Today’s guest blog comes from Callum Gaunt, 15, who issues a rallying cry to the Wanderers faithful!
Staring relegation in the face is a tough thing for any club to do. For our beloved Bolton Wanderers, more so than most.
After 11 relatively successful years in the Premier League, going down would be tough to take. We all saw how Blackburn Rovers’ fans reacted to being relegated to the Championship, and for me, it was nothing short of a disgrace. I don’t think the protests against Steve Kean and the seemingly clueless Venky’s ownership did the manager or players any favours. In fact, I believe it could be a major factor as to why they did end up dropping down a division after 16 years of top flight football.
It’s absolutely vital that the Bolton faithful don’t follow suit; venting their anger and disappointment towards the manager and players would be criminal at this crucial stage in the season. The last thing we need is for heads to go down. We need to get our ‘Mighty Whites’ fired up, giving them every chance we can, praying and hoping they’ll build up the courage to take on a formidable Stoke City side in their own backyard. ,
I for one, at the tender age of 15, can only recollect us being in this sort of position once before: in the dark days of Gary Megson. We drew 1-1 away at Chelsea on the final day (I was there), which secured us top flight football for another year. Megson only lasted 5-6 months after that draw, and was sacked in December 2009, much to the delight of us avid supporters.
I grew up during the good old days. The Sam Allardyce era. Top 10 finishes always looking fairly likely. The silky skills of Jay-Jay Okocha; the cool heads of international legends Youri Djorkaeff and Fernando Hierro; and the ever reliable Bruno N’Gotty, Henrik Pedersen and Ivan Campo forging my early memories of our beloved club. What I’d give to have those players back in their prime!
In fairness, Owen Coyle’s has tried to stabilise what was an already damaged Bolton Wanderers. After Megson took the job, following Sammy Lee’s brief stint, many of Allardyce’s players had sought opportunities elsewhere, perhaps because they ‘clashed’ with the new manager.
We have worked with what we’ve had available, and I don’t think Coyle hasn’t done a bad job. However it appears our club (on the pitch) has been in decline ever since the 5-0 Wembley drubbing at the hands of Sunday’s opponents. We’ve suffered some heavy and embarrassing defeats, away from home and at the Reebok Stadium.
It will only be with great desire, passion and 100% commitment from the players, that we will manage to defeat Stoke away come Sunday at 3.00pm. I very much doubt Queens Park Rangers will get anything from the Etihad Stadium, where a superb Manchester City side will be licking their lips at the prospect of a Barclays Premier League title, so the win will be enough. Their first top division title since 1968. So really, it’s in our hands. All we need to do is win. I make it sound so easy, don’t I?
The Wanderers fans have sold out the 3,500 allocation for what will surely be an emotional roller-coaster of a day for all involved. Like I said in the title of this blog, we need to get behind our team, not on top of them. Save the criticism for after we’ve given it a go and the season finishes. That’s the time for summarising what has been without doubt, a very poor season by our standards.