So, it's the international break. While I am not one of it's many critics, and I (masochistically, considering my allegiance with England) enjoy international football, it does mean that news is a bit sparse on the Bolton front. And by sparse, I mean every single Bolton story published in the last 48 hours is Cahill related. This is not an exaggeration, and if you're a long term reader, you know how I feel about writing more about Cahill. I've published my opinions on him and various transfer rumours involving him ad nauseam. So I'm going to do it again! And write about some stories from last week that we missed out on. Hit the jump for a round up of Wandereriness.
As you will have certainly heard by now, Gary Cahill was once again given the start for England against Montenegro, in spite of the fact he's been playing in a defense that has conceded the most goals in the Premiership. England needed a result from the match to qualify for the 2012 Euros and they got one in the form of a 2-all draw (keep an eye out for the upcoming On the Trot piece which will go into further detail about the international action involving Whites). This, of course, sparked a media frenzy over Cahill's future.
Harry Redknapp, who couldn't wheel and deal quite enough to land Cahill in the summer, has given an interview saying if the two clubs could reach an agreement, he'd "love to bring [Cahill] here" in January. But if the rumour mill is anything to go by (it's not) Spurs will have large competition in the form of Juventus, Barca, Arsenal, Liverpool, and any other largeish club you would like to name. I find this all a bit difficult to believe as, while he wasn't at fault for every one of the 21 goals we've conceded this season, there were quite a few he could've done more to stop.
Gaz himself has of course declined to comment on any of this, merely saying a few words about the Three Lions.
"There is competition and the way Manchester United are going this season is terrific and the two lads are part of that so it is always going to be hard for me. I'm going to be looking over my shoulder at the minute but the only thing you can do is work hard, try and impress when you can and competition is healthy."
I personally would be quite frightened to look over my shoulder and see Phil Jones, but Cahill is made of harder stuff than I. He continued,
"It was difficult with going down to 10 men. We had to soak up a lot of pressure in the second half. Although the job is done and we are through, we were disappointed from a defensive view to concede late in both halfs.But we will learn from that and will get better."
Perhaps this is why Capello started Cahill, as he is used to going down to 10 men and soaking up pressure. And disappointment. Sigh.
Speaking of disappointment, Owen Coyle had a few words to say on the subject of Bolton's poor performances and poorer results.
"We knew we had a difficult run of games against five of the teams who will finish in the top six, but saying that, we are disappointed because we know we can do better than we have done. In the Premier League you have to prove your worth week in, week out and, simply, we haven't done that to the consistent level of quality we know we can achieve."
It is nice for him to be a little more real in this interview, as too often after bad results he only lists the positives. The international break has hopefully served as a cleansing period for the club, allowing us to move past the horrendous start and look ahead to the easier (but high pressure) fixtures coming up. This week we will be making the short trip to the DW to take on our favourite pie eaters, in what has unfortunately snow-balled into a must-win fixture.
Lastly, as a bit of housekeeping, two fixtures have been rescheduled to accomodate the powers that be (Sky Sports). Our visit to Ewood Park has been brought forward a day and will take place on December 20th (a Tuesday), and our trip to Goodison Park has been pushed back two days to January 4th (a Wednesday). Both matches have an 8pm kick off UK time.