Though it may seem hard to believe, we’ve almost reached the end of what has been a rollercoaster of a decade for Bolton Wanderers.
It might seem like a lifetime ago, but Wanderers began the 10s as a (seemingly) well ran Premier League outfit. Gary Megson had just been relieved of his duties & the Owen Coyle era was just about to begin.
From there, there were few highs & a hefty amount of lows.
Reaching the FA Cup semi-finals only to be dumped out in humiliating fashion.
Making a case for promotion only to miss out on the play-offs on goal difference.
Being promoted & successfully avoiding relegation whilst under a transfer embargo to almost ceasing to exist.
Safe to say, we’ve been through the ringer.
Thankfully, the club finally looks to be on the mend & we can concentrate on the good times we’ve had in the last ten years.
We asked you to vote on Twitter for the best XI from this decade.
Alongside the POTD vote, we've decided to do a poll to find out your Wanderers team of the 10s.— Lion of Vienna Suite (@LionOfViennaSte) October 14, 2019
You can vote for each position in this thread:#bwfc
Here it is:
Goalkeeper: Jussi Jaaskelainen
Wanderers’ legendary goalkeeper kept twelve league clean sheets in his last two years with the club, making some crucial saves as the club avoided relegation in 2010 & had a great cup run in 2011. He left after Bolton’s relegation in 2012, having made 536 appearances in all competitions.
Right Back: Gretar Steinsson
Played 54 games for Bolton this decade, with his most impressive performances coming in the 2010/11 season, notably having Gareth Bale in his back pocket after the Welshman’s hat trick at the San Siro.
Centre backs: Gary Cahill & David Wheater
Arguably one of Bolton’s greatest ever defenders, Cahill was a cert in this team. With an eye for a screamer & his terrific defensive displays, it was obvious that after making his England debut, Cahill was destined for bigger & better things. Just a shame we didn’t receive a fee worthy of his talent from Chelsea.
With the most appearances this decade, Wheater is one of the most popular players to put on the White shirt. His defining season was the 2016/17 promotion campaign, as he scored nine times & Bolton conceded just 36 goals the whole season. No player made more appearances for Wanderers this decade than Wheats; 236.
Left Back: Marcos Alonso
A graduate of the Real Madrid academy, Alonso joined Wanderers in 2010 for £2 million. Despite a rocky start, the Spaniard finally got his chance to flourish in The Championship, scoring four goals before moving to Fiorentina. He was ready to play at a higher level, though I doubt few fans saw a Premier League winners medal coming.
Centre midfielders: Fabrice Muamba & Stuart Holden
The dynamic duo. Both had their Wanderers careers sadly derailed for different reasons.
Holden was one of the best players in the Premier League during the 2010/11 season, a key reason for Bolton’s rise up into the top six. Who could forget ‘that’ goal against Blackburn. A glorious volley that sent The Reebok into sheer pandemonium. A horror tackle prematurely ended his season & ended up ruining a career that could have the seen the USA international play for bigger team than us.
Muamba perfectly complimented Holden in the middle, the pair had a formidable partnership. It was a real shame that Fabrice had to retire at 24 due to suffering a heart attack during the game at White Hart Lane, though we’re glad he survived.
Left winger: Chung-yong Lee
At the start of the decade, Chungy was flourishing in his debut season in England. In his first two seasons, he was unplayable. A tricky winger that shone in Wanderers’ midfield. His defining moment will always be his last gasp winner at St Andrews to take Bolton to Wembley. An horrific leg break played a part in Wanderers’ relegation from the top flight. He was back at his best in a central role under Neil Lennon, a scintillating run of form earned him a move back to the top flight with Crystal Palace in 2015.
Right winger: Filipe Morais
Few could argue that no player has hit the ground running this decade as quickly as Filipe Morais. Released by Bradford City at the end of January 2017, expectations were low when he signed for Bolton. However, Morais proved to be pivotal in Wanderers’ promotion to The Championship. A goal & fourteen assists in just nineteen games was the added spark Bolton needed to go up.
Strikers: Kevin Davies & Ivan Klasnic
Super Kev was always going to make it into this team. In this decade, Davies became the oldest England debutant for sixty years, when he made a substitute appearance at Wembley against Montenegro. He captained Bolton to an FA Cup semi & scored 29 goals in three years before leaving on a free transfer.
If you needed a goal to change a game, Ivan Klasnic was the player you wanted. A real fox in the box. 18 goals during this decade, including one which incited a riot inside The Reebok from the travelling Stoke City fans.
So, here's the team in all its glory.
Are there any notable absentees? Let us know in the comments box below.