Oh, what a sad day. Bolton Wanderers legend and slayer of Wolves, Johan Elmander, has officially retired from football, aged 36.
Elmander will obviously be remebered most for that goal against Wolves back in 2010, which you can see again in all its glory courtesy of the club’s official Twitter account, below.
He joined the club in 2008 from French outfit Toulouse, signed on a three-year deal by Gary "The Bastard" Megson for a club record £8.2 million. Imagine having that money to blow on a striker now! Who'd've thought we'd be in this mess with Slippery Ken at the helm nearly 10 years later. Oh, how time flies when you've been relegated twice and promoted once, eh?
Anyway, back to Johan. He actually scored with a header on his debut against Stoke in the 2008/09 season, but then it became apparent what an absolute shitehawk we'd bought. By December, he had chalked up five goals. Then he didn't score a single goal for NINE MONTHS, until poking home an injury time winner against West Ham in the League Cup. As part of the same drought, it also took him 11 months to score a league goal after the one against Aston Villa, finally hitting home in an embarrassing 5-1 defeat to Aston Villa. Sigh.
I'm not sure what we gave Johan during the pre-season tour of 2010/11, but he really upped his game, scoring six goals in our opening 13 games, all away from home. That includes the banger above; I'm still not sure how he even managed that one. He also scored at the Reebok (as it was then, RIP) in our FA Cup 6th Round draw with Birmingham City, which subsequently led to the injury time winner from Lee Chung-Yong, sending 3,000 travelling Whites into delirium at St Andrew's and catapulting little old Bolton to Wembley.
Then, for some BIZARRE reason that I don't even think the Scotsman can explain, then-Bolton manager Owen Coyle decided to play Elmander in central midfield for our FA Cup semi-final against Stoke at Wembley. We all know how that ended, too.
Shortly after, it was confirmed that Elmander would join Turkish champions Galatasaray on a free transfer in the summer of 2011, after his contract came to an end at Bolton. Great piece of business there from the board. Well done, lads. He made 92 appearances in three years, scoring a whopping 18 goals in that time. Again, sigh.
In short, Elmander never really got going at Bolton. I always admired his work rate but that's all there really was to it - from what I can remember of him, he had a lot of huff and puff and was very good at chasing down loose balls, but other than that, he didn't do much. It's a shame as we had some very good players in that side and I have no doubt he had the ability to become a real club legend (despite the title of this article), but maybe we never gave him the service or real opportunity to do so.
Who knows where Johan will go next. Maybe he'll become a future Bolton manager when we're back down in the Conference North?
From all of us here at LOV - Johan, if you're reading this, we wish you the very best in your retirement. Thanks for the memories.