1. Best goal? – Chris Eagles from Bolton 2 : Blackpool 2. Although it wasn’t enough to secure that elusive play off place last year technically this goal is right up there. After carrying the ball from the midfield Eagles cleverly exchanged a one two with Sunderland new-boy Marcos Alonso and finessed the ball into the top right hand corner brushing the cross bar as it went in. It was an important and well worked goal.
2. Best goal you’ve celebrated? – This was a close call with Andre Moritz’ penalty against Wigan a few weeks ago but it has to be from Barnsley away in early March this year. I made the trip to Oakwell and was a bit annoyed to say the least when we threw away our 2 goal lead. But in the 59th minute Bolton won a free-kick 30-yards from goal, Spaniard Alonso showed his expertise and curled the ball round the Barnsley wall with Steele only able to parry straight into the path of Craig Dawson. Showing a cool head Dawson controlled the ball and side footed home directly in front of the 2,000 Whites supporters. We celebrated in style.
3. Best signing? – It’s got to be Craig Dawson. It’s no coincidence that our impressive run in form came when he signed on loan for us. I’d love to see him back at the Reebok although that is unlikely.
4. Best result / game? – The best result was in the FA Cup against Sunderland. After throwing away our 2 goal lead I automatically thought that we wouldn’t stand a chance at the Stadium of Light. I was pleasantly surprised when I saw that we’d won 2-0.
The best game was when we played Hull City at home. Scoring 3 goals in the opening 10 minutes was incredible and once again proved that we are good enough to be challenging at the top of the table and if we hit a good run of form or even become consistent we’d definitely be promotion candidates.
5. Best save? Adam Bogdan against Cardiff in the penultimate game of last season.
6. Moment of Madness?- This one’s easy, cast your minds back to Bolton v Blackpool on the final game of last season. The score was 2-2 and we had 5 minutes to go, a win would definitely secure our play-off spot but that could also be achieved if Leicester City and Nottingham Forest drew. At the time they were drawing so Dougie threw on Zat Knight to ‘tighten’ up the defence and everyone was happily clapping and singing at the Reebok. Things only got better when a vicious rumor spread around the stadium that Nottingham Forest had taken the lead and effectively guaranteed our play-off spot. Cheers came from the stands but no-one was 100% sure.
The final whistle went and there was no cheering, no jeers, just confusion as we all waiting around for some official scores which never came. Leicester had dramatically won it in the last minute at the City Ground and consequently leapfrogged us in the league to that 6th spot. It was madness and something that I never want to endure again. If you’ve been to the Reebok you know that a 3G signal is rare so none of us could simply check the scores. In the future they should put it up on the big screen or have it announced because I didn’t quite know what was going on, and neither did Dougie Freedman nor his players.
7. Moment of genius? – Andre Moritz’ rabona against Watford, that was a moment of Brazillian magic.
AMAZING SKILL: Brazilian Andre Moritz's rabona trick pass (via OfficialBWFC)
8. Unsung hero? – Andy Lonergan got his chance in the FA Cup 3rd round match against Sunderland and has never looked back since. He was terrirfic in that match denying Steven Fletcher twice. The club is very fortunate to have 2 very solid goalkeepers. Lonergan was confident filling in for Bogdan with his injury last season and has done similar this campaign. He was the Man of the Match against Barnsley on Boxing Day and saved a penalty at Leicester.
9. Funniest moment? – Cast your minds back a few months to when we were playing Sheffield Wednesday at home. It was half time and spirits were low after a poor half. Thankfully the club had arranged the ‘Kia Catching Challenge’ which made my day, it was hilarious. In a nutshell 3 balls are kicked into the air at different times and if selected fans catch 2 they win beer. If they catch all 3 they win beer and cash. What’s better? Before this challenge the sprinklers must have been on because every contestant that went up caught one and then fell over, it was great entertainment.
10. Describe the past year in a word? – Inconsistent.
11. What does 2014 hold for Bolton Wanderers? – A mid table finish and a massive clear out in the summer. Unless we get our act together I can’t see us finishing in the play-offs and we desperately need to get players off the wage bill. We’re still massively indebted to Eddie Davies so we need cheap bargains, maybe look for a young lower league prospect rather than the usual rubbish.
12. Is Dougie Freedman the right man? – Yes.
Now let us know what you think!