There was a time not that long ago when Bolton Wanderers fans were frustratingly calling for more transparency around the club. We had a lot of that for a while with Ken Anderson’s notes and I will pass no further comment on that.
After so many public statements I for one was hoping that things might quieten down a little. The owners have certainly managed this, only making comment where is necessary and otherwise cracking on with the sizeable task of rebuilding the club. Someone else though does not seem so keen to go down this route.
Keith Hill decided that a post match interview was a good opportunity to air his views that the club was not operating in unison. This is a nice, highly public way, of having a go at his colleagues in other parts of the club.
Now I certainly have no way of knowing whether his comments are accurate but it is fair to say there have been numerous stories of divides between the academy and the first team set up amongst other things. So there might be something to his comments and certainly they are issues worth solving. But, are they issues that need public airing a few months into a top to bottom rebuild of the club? Absolutely not.
Controversial public statements over the last few years played a huge part in creating a toxic atmosphere around Bolton Wanderers and forming the very divisions which need bridging. These kind of remakes need to consigned to the history books. This means we really don’t need our manager publicly criticising sections of the club and then by way of ‘apology’ stating that if he has offended anyone that is just life.
The club needs to move forward together but work needs to be put in to encourage and promote this movement. Public criticism is certainly not the way to go about this.
Hill has passed comments about Bolton’s recent history and comparisons with Sam Allardyce and Phil Parkinson, but I think he needs to entirely ignore references to the past. He has been installed as one of the key individuals responsible for wiping the slate clean and building a new future, one which should not be informed by our recent past, both in terms of the glory years and horrible lows.
Hill talks about wanting respect, but this cannot be demanded it has to be earned. Allardyce and Parkinson earned the respect of the Bolton fan base and the wider football community for the job they did at Bolton. Critically this respect was afforded on the basis of what they achieved.
If Hill builds a team we as Bolton fans can be proud of then respect will surely follow. It will not be gained by way of post match interview outburst.