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Unpopular Opinions: Bolton Edition

The thing I was trying to see...

Bolton Wanderers v Stoke City - FA Cup Semi Final Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

Unpopular opinions, a current yet timeless trend which often controversially divide society and are as the tagline suggests, contrary to popular belief. Many revel in the opportunity to share theirs and I felt if only fair to allow the Wanderers faithful to share their own via the power of social media.

There was a flood of responses for which I’m extremely grateful, however, there’s only so many I can fit in to an article, so, similar to that of Marc Iles’ recent top twenty ten word match reports, I’m going to feature the top fifteen throughly studied, extensively researched and scientifically proven most unpopular opinions amongst the Bolton Wanderers community.

Ok I lied, to be brutally honest, its just based on interactions and my personal judgement, enjoy!

DISCLAIMER: Due to the limit of fifteen I’ve set myself for this, any which are duplicates or similar to a more popular shout are being grouped under the tweet most interacted with. Apologies if you’re not featured. For those who aren’t, based on the variety of opinions I’ve selected, your point is likely to have at least been represented by at least one of the featured fifteen, I hope! No guarantee’s. Terms and conditions apply.

Without further ado then...

Whilst I’d ask that you please excuse the expletives, Kian’s spot on with this one, as supported by 32 others. This one is/was/will be deeply unpopular amongst those who refuse to believe it’s fair to critique anything regarding the club until we’re ‘back on our feet’ and have recovered from ‘nearly dying’. Whilst we are still very much in the ‘rebuild process’ as Keith Hill would put it, I don’t think this makes anyone or anything at BWFC immune from criticism, let alone should it be an excuse for any contextless failings. It’s a 9 from me, Kian.

This one will no doubt rustle a few jimmies. Two very different managers with two very different playing styles and two very different mindset’s in terms of what they expect. This is of course open to interpretation but the bluntness of Patrick’s opinion suggests he feels fairly strongly on this one, as do I presume, the 22 who liked it. Hugely controversial. 8/10 for unpopularity. Good effort, Patrick!

Tin hats at the ready. David Crompton’s support for Liam Feeney is next up. I must say I applaud this effort given his performance’s regularly divided opinion on match days and remains an unsettled debate to this day. I’m with the 22 who liked it and will boldly say I agree. On his day, he was some player. When he wasn’t, granted maybe not. More often not though, Feeney put in a good shift for us so I’ll give both David and Liam himself the benefit of the doubt. Well done, sir. 7/10 for unpopularity.

With 19 likes, Jonnie’s perception that JLowe is one of Bolton’s best doesn’t actually seem to be all that unpopular and more so, an under-rated opinion regarding a player who I must agree, is extremely under appreciated and should be recognised further for his continued efforts in a time of need, and in particular, briefly prior to, mainly post Liam Bridcutt’s spell at Wanderers, Lowe’s also displayed some excellent leadership skills. Not bad, Jonnie, 7/10.

A slight variation of Kian’s who topped the list but less generalised, therefore making it different and interacted with enough to earn its own spot on the list. The Burnden Way and 18 others feel Keith Hill has underperformed. That sentence alone should be enough to rile many a Bolton fan. I’m going to restrain from giving my personal opinion on this one but I think we’re near enough back to normal now or at least when we start on 0 points next year, regardless of the division, to the point where we can talk purely about football and if we think its going well or not. Simple as that. The Burnden Way put it less fence sit-ty than myself so far that I’ll give them an 7/10 for controversy and unpopularity combined.

Another same but different one to Kian’s view from Jacob here who beyond the ‘we nearly died excuse, thinks we’re more than entitled to expect more fight on the pitch and passion off it this year. Despite it being somewhat of a write-off I’ll go along with this and say its not completely non-existent and we’re allowed to feel however we wish about this season, even after a WWE undertaker-esque start to the season. We pay good money to watch the Wanderers as everyone knows. We’re entitled to our opinions. Others don’t feel quite as strongly. 6/10 for controversy and unpopularity.

Our very own Tom Jenkins is up next with, as per, a highly controversial, yet also, a relatively well received opinion with 12 likes. Megson & Coyle were as woeful as each other in my book with similarly poor win ratio’s during their reigns at the club and continue to split Whites fans on who was the worst manager overall of the two, it something I’ll leave to you lot to continue to chew over in the comments. 6/10.

Another fair shout from another LOV writer, this time from Ian who I think is right in saying some of our very best were once again, either underrated or under-appreciated at Wanderers. As the saying goes, ‘you only appreciate it once its gone’ its certainly something we can relate to with a number of ex-players who’ve gone on to either shock or flop. I’ll leave you to decide who I’m referring to there, more so in recent times. I’m sure there’s at least ten I could name, immediately springing to mind, who we should never have let go so easily or so cheaply. Hindsight’s a wonderful thing. 6/10 Ian.

This will almost certainly hit a few nerves, Matt! It’s brave but fair to believe Sparky’s footballing ability outweigh’s Stu’s based on how sentimental the relationship has become between Wanderers fans and the former American international. Mark Davies was absolutely unplayable on his day and whilst Stu made some incredible contributions for us, Davies’ overall game edges it for me. Certainly controversial though, and to some it’ll no doubt prove unpopular as it did via the replies rather than the likes on Twitter. 7/10 Matt.

Big nibble from me here. As I’m sure there’ll be a few other chunks taken out of the bait with this one once everyone’s given this a second look. At least I hope its bait. Either that or someone has an incredibly short memory. One which only goes back as far as 2013. The glory days man, the bloody glory days. Mid to low championship? At best? Deary me. Tempted to give this is a 8 but I’m going to go with a 7 on the hopeful basis that it is bait, very hopeful. Good effort, Josh. Just please tell me you’re not actually serious.

Tom’s isn’t the only Darren Pratley-related opinion but it is the most interacted with on social media. All of which have implied how important he was for us as a role model. Pratley divided opinion even on his best days and naturally features within the top 15 for that very reason. Will neither confirm nor deny whether I agree but it’s certainly a contender for being one of the most hotly debated in recent years, just perhaps not all that unpopular. Another one that I’m sure will remain undecided for years to come. 6/10.

The first mention of Neil Lennon in this list at which I’m surprised. The issues encountered off the field at the time of Lennon’s reign almost made it impossible for Bolton fans to get a proper feel for the Celtic hero. An acceptance almost of impossibility to succeed under his guidance. One we’ll never know the answer to which inevitably creates an air of uncertainty surrounding it making a bold statement regarding it makes it extremely liable to being classed as unpopular, just as Joe has done here, just not quite to the extent that some of our other opinions so far have. 6/10.

This is certainly an unpopular one from Nick, on the basis I think we’re all hopeful that won’t be the case and we will be pushing to get back up to the third tier at the first time of asking, though I’m not ignorant towards the possibility of it. On the basis I’m hoping this won’t be the case, I think this is perhaps more of an unlikely eventuality than it is an unpopular opinion, though it would be more so if it emerged that it was in fact going to be the case. For now though, its a 5/10.

Matty’s point would’ve been more relevant a few years ago if I’m being totally honest. The elimination of goal music a few seasons back takes the wind out of the sails with this one. Whilst I agree some of the pop music doesn’t exactly set the right tone, the return of some favourites from the good old days including 633 squadron makes us slightly more intimidating, granted not by much though. Doesn’t quite have the same effect without the fireworks and a 20,000+ crowd. Nevertheless, an unpopular opinion, just not as much so now. 5/10.

Whilst I don’t believe this is a particularly unpopular opinion, I’m sure they’ll be a fair few, myself included, who’ve only ever known the Reebok to be our home and wouldn’t be able to vouch for Burnden. This is included on behalf of our younger readership who I can appreciate didn’t realise how much of an effect moving to Horwich would have until now when we’re just about getting 10,000 through the gate every week. Even the stadium designer Paul Fletcher told myself on the LOVpod we should never have relocated. As special as Burnden sounds, a move was needed, though that far? I’m not sure. Those who don’t know any better than where the Reebok is, trust me, he’s right. 4/10 for our final, discussion worthy, unpopular opinion.

BONUS ROUND

I thought I’d add the more light-hearted ones at the end, just because I feel as though they deserve to be included for effort purposes, regardless of how well supported they were on twitter. These won’t be rated as they make for comedic value and/or I just can’t take them seriously.

A proper opinion, we think so too! If only there wasn’t the slightest hint of sarcasm about it...

Couldn’t agree more, Phil. Didn’t get enough of a chance to prove himself at all in those 0 minutes he got in a White shirt. Should’ve started every week. Shambles.

Ever the optimist, Wes. Definitely an unpopular one, just not sure how serious it is. If you don’t laugh, you’ll cry type-tweet.

I knew there was always something suspect about those bootcut jeans, Leanne! Gone downhill ever since it was decided that we needed to be a set of fresh legs in a cub outfit on the sideline. Wouldn’t trust er...it as far as I could throw it. Fraudulent imposter. There’s only one Lofty!

What could possibly go wrong? Everyone’s a winner. Think about it. Condenses the crowd into the upper tiers. They get to keep their seats. Improved atmosphere. The support will be right behind the la...oh hang on...

An absolute given that one, Adrian! We all dream of a team of Nicky Hunts!

Long term ambition, I like it, Mark!

Let me guess, Geoff. You sit in the upper tiers?

It’s great banter, it really is...

Don’t make me laugh, Scott...

“John McGinley”