clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

My Greatest Ever Bolton Wanderers XI: Chris

Chris decides who beats who, and why

Matthew Lewis/Getty Images

So on #LOVpod 31 we argued and decided on our greatest ever Bolton Wanderers XI.

I, as editor, boss, chief, captain or whatever decided to ask our writers to come up with their own greatest XI - the choices afforded to us should encourage a world of debate, and this would no doubt be well worth an article on the subject.

So here's my effort:

Goalkeeper: Keith Branagan

Sorry Jussi Jaaskelainen, but Branny's heroics vs Reading in the Play Off Final earns his spot here. A fine keeper who was reliable and dependable in equal measure.

Right Back: Neil Cox

The best uncapped English right-back in the modern era. Cox could attack and defend equally well, and was a key man in a good Bolton Wanderers side in the late 1990s.

Centre Halves: Gary Cahill and Chris Fairclough

Two fine centre halves, with another half a dozen who will be disappointed to have missed out. Cahill's grace and elegance mixed with Fairclough's drive and prominence during my early years at Bolton Wanderers earn them both slots in my team.

Left Back: Simon Charlton

Apologies to Ricardo Gardner and Vincent Candela - but former Southampton man Charlton earns the left back slot. Adept also at centre half, Charlton was stronger than his size suggested, and had a turn of pace which he used to devastating effect when required.

Right Midfield: Stelios

The Greek earned my respect the day that he turned down Liverpool and Manchester City to sign a new deal at Bolton Wanderers. Honourable mentions to Michael Johansen and David Lee, but to my knowledge, neither player won the European Championship with Greece in 2004:

Centre Midfielders: Ivan Campo & Jay-Jay Okocha

Again, I feel bad in leaving out Scott Sellars, Per Frandsen and Jamie Pollock, but Ivan Campo remains one of my footballing heroes to this very day - so he's a lock in midfield. Okocha is perhaps the most gifted footballer to ever pull on the famous white shirt, and so is equally deserving.

Left Midfield: Youri Djorkaeff

Alan Thompson or the aforementioned Scott Sellars could hold equal claim to this role, but my desire to fit in the former Inter Milan forward is enough to shoehorn him into this team. A classy and understated performer, his knack of scoring important goals at vital moments validates his inclusion.

Centre Forwards: Nicolas Anelka & Kevin Davies

I seriously could have named five different combinations. John McGinlay, Andy Walker, Nathan Blake, Bob Taylor et al - are all deserving of being included in this 'best ever' conclusion. Anelka was without doubt the most lethal striker we've had. The confidence I had in his one-on-one skillz remains unsurpassed. Oh and SKD....he's SKD. What else needs to be said?

Manager: Sam Allardyce

A world-class manager and someone who's achievements at Bolton rank alongside Mourinho winning the Champions League with Porto, or Louis van Gaal doing the same with a young Ajax team. I can't think of anyone else who could have dragged a club from the arse end of Division 2 to be being a top-6 Premier League side - it's certainly an achievement that will be seldom repeated.


Please give us your thoughts and opinion below the line - post your own greatest BWFC XI and we'll mass debate until we're all spent.

We've been nominated for the best Club Football Blog in the Football Blogging Awards. We'd really like your support in this, so please vote for us by tweeting 'I'm voting in @TheFBAs for @LionOfViennaSte as the Best Football #Club Blog,' or follow this link. If you do not have Twitter follow this link to vote!