So I started out trying to create a Bolton Wanderers all time Euros XI but due to the imbalance and vast number of strikers and midfielders I ended up with a few more than 11. So I then did the only reasonable thing which was to create a rather unbalanced Bolton Wanderers Euros squad!
So the question now is who will make the all-time best Bolton team, and who would just languish in the squad?
GK: Peter Shilton
He may have only played once for Bolton but he played plenty of times for England, 125 times to be precise including at Euro 1980 and 1988. One of England’s greatest ever players will do nicely between the sticks.
DEF: Fernando Hierro
The Real Madrid and Spain legend turned out for his country at Euro 1996 missing a penalty against England in a shootout we actually won! Remarkably enough Hierro is Spain’s fourth highest all time goal scorer behind only Fernando Torres, Raul and David Villa on 29 and has scored the joint highest number of penalties with 9.
DEF: Gary Cahill
He even wore the captains’ armband against the Russians when Wayne Rooney was substituted. The former Wanderer has cemented his place as England’s first choice centre back and with fairly limited competition at the moment he may well maintain that place for some time to come.
DEF: Vincent Candela
I have to admit I do not know who this guy is, I can only apologise for this. But he did take part in France’s victorious Euros campaign. Oddly enough both of his two appearances came as a striker despite the fact that he is a left wingback, go figure. Due to the lack of defenders and his Euros pedigree being somewhat better than the one defender in the wider squad he has been shoehorned into a defensive three.
DM: Peter Reid
The former Bolton player turned assistant caretaker manager played 13 times for England which included representing his country at Euro 1988. Due to my age I never got to watch the man who many would say is our greatest ever youth product play. But based on what I have heard he deserves a place in this team. The defensive midfielder would shield the back three nicely.
RW: Stelios Giannakopolos
The only Bolton player to ever win the tournament while at the club simply had to be in here. He helped Greece win against the odds at Euro 2004 in one of the great underdog stores in football. The Greek of course enjoyed some great seasons at Bolton and even tried to buy the club last year. His energy on the flanks would be valuable with the tracking back required when playing a back three.
CM: Jack Wilshere
The Arsenal player of course spent half a season on loan at Bolton. This was obviously the making of the man, particularly the injury curse no doubt. One of England’s most technically gifted players may yet prove to be a big asset for England at a major tournament.
CM: Youri Djorkaeff
He was a part of the French side which won the World Cup in 1998 before backing it up with a Euros win in 2000. The phenomenal Frenchman (one of the few who can hold that title) had to be here given his winning pedigree and the fact that he is a legend. Alongside Wilshere this team would have no problems creating chances for our illustrious strikers.
LW: Martin Petrov
The Bulgarian featured at Euro 2004 scoring his country's only goal at the finals. He struggled to make a consistent impact at Wanderers but his quality cannot be doubted. In this system though his lack of work ethic could leave the defence vulnerable down his flank.
CF: Eidur Gudjohnson
Out there at the moment and cruelly confined to the Iceland bench. It was his second spell at Bolton of course which put him back on the international map and at the ripe age of 37 he finally gets to take part in his first major tournament, which for a player of his class is long overdue.
CF: Nicolas Anelka
He appeared for France at Euro 2000 and 2008 so like Youri and Candela picked up a winners medal. A hugely talented played who would no doubt thrive off the level of service this team could offer and rounds off a potent strike force.
And if your still with me here is the rest of the squad with a rather alarming lack of depth in the defensive departments;
CB: Cesar Martin
Ok I feel like this one is cheating a little. He was included in Spain’s Euro 2004 squad though did not play. Despite that he did play 12 times for the Spaniards so it seems fair play to me to pop him in. He may have only played as many times for Bolton as Shilton but that’s enough!
LW: Vladimir Weiss
Well I have committed to a squad so need some players for it. Remember him doing nothing of use for Bolton or against Wales in Slovakia’s opening game. Although he did then go a score against Russia so could yet be a useful Euros player.
RW: Tuncay Sanli
My only memory of him for Bolton was missing a great chance to put us 6-0 up against Stoke City. He played for Turkey at Euro 2008 and is listed here as a right midfielder for balance when he can in fact play in a range of attacking positions making him a versatile option off the bench.
CM: Claus Jenson
He made his Denmark debut while at Bolton and would go on to play for his country at Euro 2004. I don’t remember him playing for Bolton but I do remember the reception he got from Bolton fans when we travelled to The Valley, he had clearly left a lasting impression.
CM: Jan Gregus
He made a grand total of zero appearances for Bolton and only has four caps for Slovakia but is in their squad for Euro 2016. From a Bolton perspective he will simply go down as one of many forgettable signings from the Dougie Freedman era.
CM: Blerim Dzemaili
The midfielder had a torrid time at Bolton as another player struck down by injury, though to his credit he did it before it was cool. LOV new boy Joe wrote something on him which can be read here. He has built a good career for himself away from Bolton and deserves his inclusion here.
CM: Keith Andrews
He played his part in Ireland’s horrid Euro 2012 where they lost all three group games crashing out. Didn’t make a big impact at Bolton but a decent enough player for the bench, not that we would want to take off any of the first team midfielders anyway!
CF: Emile Heskey
He turned out for England at Euro 2000 and 2004 back when we had proper striker options rather than Harry Kane and Jamie Vardy. Ivanhoe is one of the greats of English football in his own little way and with over 60 caps has great international pedigree.
CF: Ivan Klasnic
The Croat played at Euro 2004 and 2008 for his country scoring 2 in 2 across the two tournaments. One of the best finishers I have seen in a Bolton shirt, and given where we are going will ever see, who would offer a reliable goal threat off the bench.
CF: Johan Elmander
According the Guardian readers he is the scorer of the Premier League’s greatest ever goal for his cracker against Wolverhampton Wanderers. He represented Sweden at Euro 2008 and 2012 and in his ten year international career he scored 20 goals in 80 something appearances which isn’t bad considering the Johan we all knew at Bolton.
CF: Daniel Sturridge
A natural finisher like sub fellow Klasnic who would offer a killer instinct up top if called upon. A fantastic player who like Wilshire picked up Bolton’s injury curse and would likely be in England’s starting line up if he was ever fit.
CF: Jonathan Walters
The Republic of Ireland forward may be better remember by Bolton fans for his role in that FA Cup semi-final than as a Bolton player but he did of course turn out for the Whites once upon a time. Given our other striking options though he would most likely not get a sniff at the first team.
Is there anyone I have neglected who should be in here? Is there anyone should have made the XI? Comment below!