What is a ‘Sliding Doors’ moment? Well, basically, its an opportunity in life where the decisions we make alter our very destiny. Turn left and bump into the supermodel who immediately falls in love with you. Turn right and bump into her ugly-as-owt relative who ends up sucking all the life out of you and draining your bank balance whilst simultaneously pecking your head about everything.
Well, it’s eight years to the day since Bolton Wanderers’ own sliding doors moment.
Eight years ago today we lost 5-0 against Stoke City at Wembley in the FA Cup Semi Final.
Taking you back to that day, the club was on the up under the inspirational leadership of former striker Owen Coyle, who had joined the year before from Burnley and who had us firmly secure in the Premier League playing some superb football.
Then it all went wrong.
Thousands of Wanderers fans saw the team and the club implode in front of the world.
Already without the talents of Stuart Holden in midfield, Wanderers also had to cope without the services of on-loan Daniel Sturridge who was unable to play, meaning our only game-plan appeared to be lumping the ball towards Kevin Davies’ head. Which didn’t work.
It would end up being five nil and to this day I’ve yet to rewatch the highlights. It’s still too raw.
We would go on to lose the remaining five league games in the season and ended up being relegated the following year.
Coyle lost his job in the Championship, to be replaced by Dougie Freedman. A brief resurrection was halted on the final day of the season when the clown inexplicably changed what was a successful and confident team, and Wanderers fell short.
To this day we have yet to even trouble the top ten in the Championship, with a season in League One followed by two shocking campaigns back in the second tier - the final of which is thankfully about to end.
It all could’ve been so so so so different.