First, lets get the logistics out of the way. Bolton started very well in front of a skeptical home crowd. Kevin Davies opened the scoring with an assist from a Chris Eagles cross (This is basically our only means of scoring so far this season) on the 14th minute. Bolton proceded to dominate the rest of the first half. Leeds United were really pinned back, but still managed to equalize a few minutes before halftime. Our old friend El-Hadj Diouf provided the cross, and Samuel Bryam headed home.
Predictably, Leeds went ahead just after halftime. They did so by (predictably) winning a penalty. Bolton once again dominated play after that. Owen Coyle made a few changes, and eventually Kevin Davies equalized from a Martin Petrov cross very late indeed. Bolton pressed and pressed, putting the Leeds goal under siege for the final 15 minutes of the match, but just couldn't get a winner.
Now, on to the serious stuff. Bolton have 11 points from nine matches. According to the target Chairman Phil Gartside set at the beginning of the season (2 points per match), we should have around 18 points. Three points from four away matches, and eight points from five home matches. So, the million dollar (or pound, or Quetzale, or peso) question, has Owen Coyle done enough tonight to keep his job, at least for one more match?
In my opinion, yes. After Saturday's match at Millwall, there is an International break. If the board have decided that Coyle needs to be replaced, that seems to be the time to do it. Give the new man two weeks with most of the squad before our October 20th home match against Bristol City. But I don't think that will happen.
if I am perfectly honest, I think we are stuck with Coyle for the rest of the season. That is not necessarily a bad thing, but it is the reality. Gartside takes great care in choosing his managers (excepting Sammy Lee), and he is very slow to give up on them.
Right now we are 17th, three points clear of the relegation zone, but only five points from a playoff spot. However, as you may have read on Lion of Vienna Suite the other day, it is still too early to be looking at the table. That said, if we are still within three points of relegation in another six weeks, all bets are off.
To be honest, I will not be at all surprised if we beat Millwall Saturday. That is how Bolton Wanderers work under Coyle. Again, you may have read on Lion of Vienna Suite, we have been tremendously inconsistent. In fact, almost comically so.
That is my prediction. We played quite well today, despite allowing two goals ad only coming away with one point. I think we will play well on Saturday and get the win. That will put us into the international break on a high note, in the top half of the table most likely, and buy Coyle a good bit of time.
You, dear reader, are welcome to disagree with me, in fact I welcome it. That is why we have the comments section after all. I've also included a poll, so please, tell us what you think will happen in the great saga of Owen Coyle and the Mighty Bolton Wanderers.