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So I’ve Rated Every Phil Parkinson Signing Since His Arrival at Bolton Wanderers - Part One (2016-17)

It’s Sunday and I’m bored

Bolton Wanderers v Wolverhampton Wanderers - Sky Bet Championship
Phil’s face when he reads this
Photo by Nathan Stirk/Getty Images

Sundays are the absolute worst. The Roman Reigns of days.

Yesterday wasn’t the worst. It was great. Bolton Wanderers showed great heart and fight to draw 2-2 away to Preston North End, after starting horrifically and finding themselves 0-2 down after half an hour.

With nothing better to do, I’ve decided to rate every signing of the Phil Parkinson era. A simple score out of five, plus a bit about each. I expect debate:

Chris Taylor - July 2016

Where to start. Should’ve been a useful squad member in League One, but it didn’t work out that way. The fans made their minds up one late evening in Rochdale for no other reason than “he looked at them funny”. Yeah, me neither. 1/5

Mark Beevers - July 2016

A colossus in League One, Beevers has struggled to make the same mark in the Championship and it was perhaps a surprise to some that he remained at Bolton over the summer. To his credit, has started this season in much better form. 4/5

Jamie Proctor - July 2016

Yikes. Another who never quite found his position/feet at Wanderers, and at times looked hopelessly lost. Was binned off sharpish. 1/5

Mark Howard - July 2016

First choice keeper for the opening half of the season, though never convinced. Injury played a part in him losing his place and he never really recovered. 2/5

Lewis Buxton - August 2016

A right back from the Danny Butterfield school of right backism, his age and lack of pace made him a liability and he didn’t hang around long. 1/5

Ben Alnwick - August 2016

Signed as backup to Howard, former Tottenham Hotspur man Alnwick held onto the no.1 shirt from January onwards and still has it in his grasp 18 months later. Not everyone’s cup of tea, but good enough for us. 4/5

Filipe Morais - February 2017

Cringey ‘postman’ stuff aside, what a signing! Arriving to very little fanfare, this ex-Chelsea man was a revelation. Despite assists being a pointless statistic that means absolutely nothing, he was a demon from a dead ball and worked tirelessly to help the side earn promotion. Left for Crawley Town recently with the best wishes of everyone ringing in his ears. 4/5

Reece Wabara - February 2017

Another player disavowed by Bolton fans for reasons-too-spurious-to-go-into-here, Wabara should’ve been a great signing but it never really happened for him at the club. Was released that summer and hasn’t played any football since as far as I can tell. 1/5

Jem Karacan - March 2017

It never really seemed as though his heart was in it, though that could’ve just been his style. Left for Millwall at the end of last season with his goal at home in the must-win game vs Peterborough as his only achievement. Not a bad one to have, I suppose. 2/5

The Loans

Andrew Taylor - August 2016

Ex-Wigan Athletic and Middlesbrough left-back Taylor arrived on loan to bolster a weak backline. His calming influence and experience was vital during our promotion campaign. Remains first choice even to this day, though one wonders whether that was the plan all along. 3/5

Sammy Ameobi - August 2016

A serial loanee, the former Newcastle United man had flattered to deceive everywhere he had been, and initially that was the case at Bolton. To his credit, once he found his feet he was streets ahead of your average League One clogger and it was not a surprise to see him move permanently that summer. To this day he’s one of the first names on the teamsheet, though consistency can be a problem. 3/5

Keshi Anderson - August 2016

Arrived with a bang, scoring (kind of) on his Wanderers debut. After that the Crystal Palace man went downhill quick. Currently leading the line for Swindon Town where he has amassed a whole two goals in 21 games. 1/5

James Henry - August 2016

Hot damn I had high hopes for this one. Signed on loan from Wolverhampton Wanderers, Henry was, at one point, a classy and dynamic attacking midfielder. Shunted wide on occasion - when not underwhelming in the middle - it was an odd campaign for Henry who will be best remembered for his last minute winner at home to Scunthorpe United. It should have been more. Much more. 2/5

Tom Thorpe- August 2016

Starbucks’ own Tom Thorpe. Man of many talents apparently - none of which he showed at Bolton. Was he a defender? Nope. Was he a midfielder? Well, maybe. Now playing in the Indian Super League, which might tell you all you need to know. 1/5

Chris Long - January 2017

Ooooooooh boy. The former Burnley man was noted for his pace.....and that’s about it. I guess you can’t really be disappointed when you expect nothing in the first place. Now at Fleetwood Town. 1/5

Adam Le Fondre - January 2017

Signed on deadline day - reportedly against the manager’s wishes - ALF returned home to a grateful fanbase who had missed his greatly. His six goals in 19 games went a long way towards helping a shot-shy team earn promotion at the first attempt. His move was made permanent and after much to-ing and fro-ing he left for Sydney FC a few weeks ago. 4/5

Viv Solomon-Otabor - January 2017

Signed on loan from Birmingham City, he made four appearances and left absolutely no impression whatsoever. Interestingly, has played in every game so far this year for his beloved Blues. 1/5


So, all in all, a mixed bag. High highs and low lows. That said, we earned promotion that year and that is really all that counts.

Tune in tomorrow for Part Two, the 2017-18 season.