Spyin' Kop: Bolton v Liverpool (30th September 2006)

Posted by blurred on September 28, 2006, 08:16:41 PM

This Saturday sees us take the short trip up the East Lancs to play Bolton at the Reebok Stadium, on the back of three straight wins. Bolton themselves are on a mini-run of form, too, having won three of their last four games and drawing one. The members of The Wanderer are certainly optimistic ahead of this weekend’s clash, and with Kevin Davies ready to come back into the line-up with Liverpool old boys El Hadji Diouf and Nicolas Anelka to terrorise the Reds’ rearguard, perhaps they have reason to.

Bolton Wanderers v Liverpool

Reebok Stadium, Bolton
Saturday 30th September, 2006
Kick off 12.45pm
Live on Sky Sports1/Sky Sports HD1

Liverpool’s midweek exertions against Galatasaray mean that there’s little time to prepare for what has become one of the toughest away fixtures on the calendar, against a side who have just a little bit of history when it comes to upsetting the Reds. Will Rafa Benitez change his side for the 832nd time in succession? Certainly, however that should be no cause for concern among the Redmen who are travelling into deepest, darkest Lancashire on Saturday morning. What should be more on their minds, perhaps, is the curse of the ‘old boy’, and Bolton have more than one of them up front. £8m was splashed on ‘Le Sulk’, aka Nicolas Anelka, and as he gains match sharpness Bolton’s followers will be expecting more and more of the French ace.

Liverpool, however, have a new ace up their sleeve. No, it’s not the acrobatic skills of Peter Crouch, but another new striker making an impact. Dirk Kuyt has got his Anfield career off the ground in very good style, scoring against both Newcastle and Tottenham in the past week, and generally impressing with each performance. Is Kuyt setting himself for his first goal away from Anfield this Saturday? Who can tell.

Bolton Wanderers - Major Honours:

FA Cup Winners:
1923, 1926, 1929, 1958

Runner up: 1894, 1904, 1953

Division One Champions: 1997

Division Two Champions: 1909, 1978

Division Three Champions: 1973

Division One Play-off winners: 1995, 2001

League Cup Runner up: 1995, 2004

The Voice Of The Fans

How is the season shaping up thus far – are you satisfied with your early form?

Ratbert: In terms of results, yes. However, we've flattered to deceive at times. I suspect injuries and new players bedding in are partly the reason.

Soldier of the White Army (SOTWA): I'm not satisfied with the form, but I am satisfield with results. Our football seams to have improved since the arrival of Anelka, we now seem to be playing it on the ground a lot more.

Athers: It's been ok as far as points go, good win on the opening weekend was followed by two games in London (Fulham and Charlton) from which we got 1 point when we should’ve had 6. A lucky win against Watford after that and we should’ve been joint top of the league but instead find ourselves comfortable in the top half. A win against Walsall was forgotten due it the Panorama documentary airing at the same time, but it was nice to get some goals in and take the pressure off a little.

Plodder: No, we are playing shite

Communistworkethic: Given the patched up team, it's hard to complain. That's a lie, I'm a Bolton fan, it's always bloody easy to complain.

I know it’s early days, but have anyone’s performances stood out?

Clingfilm: Gary Speed and Campo have been excellent.

Athers: Campo has been excellent as usual, re-signing him was the best value of the summer. Diouf has looked fairly lively and Fortune has been very solid so far. Hunt has made a poor start, it really is a make or break season but when you’re dropped for a centre half to play in your position it’s not a good sign.

Hisroyalgingerness: Gary Speed, the guy is a machine, certainly for his age

Moral Eclipse: Fortunes been playing well, reminds a bit of the way Simon Charlton used to play. But once Gardner returns from injury, I'm sure Fortune will lose that left-back position. Campo has been amazing, and I'm glad we kept him. If we'd have lost Okocha AND Campo, we'd have been ruined.

What are your personal expectations for the season for the Wanderers?

wovlad: For a club of our size staying in the prem is an achievement in itself. However with the squad we've got I hope we can push for a European place and a top half finish

Gertie: Stay up!!! A cup final would be rather lovely too

Communistworkethic: That, like a woman, they'll break my heart again :’(

FaninOz: My pre-season prediction was 60pts, top 10 finish (just), can't see any reason to change that.

Last season we were asking you about an ex-Liverpool striker and what you thought of him, but now another one has joined your ranks. What did you make of the Anelka signing, and what do you hope he’ll bring to the team?

SOTWA: I was hoping for Johnson if I'm being truthful. Anelka is a huge gamble for eight million, but if he slots in fifteen goals this season he can sulk all he wants.

Backgammon: The Anelka signing was a massive coup for Bolton. He's a big name with a big reputation, and young enough to be considered 'not yet at his peak'. He's here to score goals, plain and simple. The amount of chances that go begging because of our lack of a true goal scorer is unacceptable. Anelka should be the bit of quality that's needed to convert those chances.

Jam: Well he'll bring goals which we haven't had on a regular basis from a striker for a while. Our top scorers over recent years ahve been midfielders - Nolan, Stelios. We may have to alter the way we play to get the best out of him. I'd like to see Anelka and Davies playing together as a genuine front two, either as part of a 4-4-2 or even as a 3-5-2 - won't happen though!

Mummywhycantieatcrayons: I thought we paid over the odds for him given that Fenerbahce only paid £5.5million for him two years ago, and he did nothing in his time there. We're gambling with a completely different order of stake to anything we have before, so here's hoping we can get him motivated. I have to admit to a not insignificant amount of apprehension.

Oh yes - I think 'pace' and 'ruthlessness' answers the second part of that.

What about the rest of your summer dealings – what’s the consensus on Big Sam’s transfer action pre-season?

Ratbert: Could have been better, but it's a more competitive market for an 'unfashionable' club to live in than before. The number of deals that haven't come to fruition makes a mockery of certain allegations against us.

Tangodancer: Time alone will tell. Hopeful signs. Still need a good creative midfielder who can pass to feet.

Bruce Rioja: Where are the full-backs? Where's the creative midfield player?

Mummywhycantieatcrayons: We look like we lack a bit of guile to me. Someone like Malbranque would have been ideal. Having said that, Idan Tal has looked promising in this regard in his outings so far.

Meite and Fortune both look like solid additions, and Adranik Teymourian sounds like a decent prospect. [personally I think he sounds like Seymour Skinner’s alter ego – Ed] Personally, I'd have held on to Bruno N'Gotty as cover, if that had been at all possible.

The general consensus is that we have done alright, and that the first eleven when fit looks very useful. However, I don't think it's unfair to say that we are hanging our hat on Anelka to a certain extent.

From reading your site (and I had to mention it really) the Panorama stuff certainly seems to have galvanised support for Big Sam. Is this a short-term thing, or can you see more people getting behind the Wanderers in the long term? Is Big Sam safe in the hot-seat?

Chris: Have to see what happens in the Stevens report. If that implicates him, he'll probably go, otherwise he'll be here long-term. The general nationwide reaction to the programme from other fans has been encouraging.

H. Pedersen: Having not seen the program it's hard to comment. But I feel that, at least on this board, questions were already being asked regarding the lack of activity in the transfer market, his derogatory remarks about some fans and players, his handling of the England job search, and his tactics. While they have rushed to his support now, if he doesn't bring the results they will be very quick to turn on him

Officer Dibble: There is no hard evidence to suggest he isn't. F**k the beeb and the witchunt. Long live Sammy Allardyce.

Tombwfc: It's backs to the wall time at the minute, i think the solidarity will be short lived. The moaners will be back soon, possibly even Monday. I think Big Sam's safe, i hope he is. There's not one man i'd rather have managing the club.

Mummywhycantieatcrayons: Big Sam looks as safe as houses to me. Here was my view of the programme on the night it aired: http://www.the-wanderer.co.uk/article.php?article_id=439

Has the ‘bung’ scandal affected your views on your manager/any other sides/football in general?

Clingfilm: Right now I'm feeling sympathetic toward Portsmouth and Liverpool for getting dragged into that crap. Getting the players instead of the clubs to pay the agents would be a realistic and beneficial move.

Gertie: It's confirmed my opinion that I don't really know what goes on and what's more I never will, nor will I take up room in my crowded mind trying to work it all out.... More space to think about cute boys and shoes.

Backgammon: I've been pleasantly surprised at the support that's come from other fans, and the people in football, for Big Sam; the Panorama program has been slated from all angles. I think what this 'scandal' might do is make people understand what is needed if we are to uncover any truth; we need solid investigation that uncovers actual evidence, rather than just mud slinging and hearsay.

There is also seemingly some concern for attendances at the Reebok of late (and other grounds around the nation) – what are the main reasons you suspect for the dropping attendances? Is it purely price? And how would you get people back inside the ground?

Athers: It’s not purely price but that is by far the biggest reason. I think other things to be considered for non-attendance are ground location, fewer goals, an expectation level risen beyond realism and the fact that Premiership football isn’t a novelty anymore for the public. Expect a bigger crowd for Liverpool thanks to the BBC and people with Lancashire accents supporting Liverpool in the home ends.

Tangodancer: Blame Sky, the transfer market, wait-and-see season ticket holders and rising prices. A smell of success and UEFA will bring them back.

Zulus! Thousands of them:
Only partly price. Too may live games on TV, daft kick-off times and a product that generally isn't anywhere near as good as the hype would indicate. Not just at The Reebok, by the way! Start getting people back by going back to say one live game per week. It'll never happen of course.

Mummywhycantieatcrayons: People are starting to doubt the hype that 'there is never a bad game in the Premiership'. For some of our fans, we prove that that isn't true far too regularly.

If you could have one new rule change in football, what would it be and why?

Warthog: The rules are fine as they are. I wish linesmen would interpret the offside rule correctly though.

SOTWA: Defenders being able to blatantly obstruct a player so the ball goes out for a goalkick really gets on my nerves! 'Ushering the ball out' I've heard it called, bollocks! It’s obstruction!

Backgammon: I watched a South American game (I think) on the box a while ago and they'd employed a great tactic for ensuring that 'a wall' is 10 yards away, and remains ten yards away, when the free kick is taken. The ref has a coloured spray that he can use to draw a line on the grass which is ten yards away from the foul. The wall line up behind this mark, which enables the referee to clearly see if there is any encroaching. The coloured line on the grass then fades after a few minutes. Genius!

What’s your favourite Bolton song? (Doesn’t have to be one that gets used on the terraces all the time).

David Lee’s Hair: I was always a big fan of "Run, Run where ever you may be, we are the bwfc, and we'll twat you all wherever you maybe and we'll put you in the infirmary". Its a goldie but an oldie

Bruce Rioja: We keep chickens in our back yard and feed them on Indian corn.

Communistworkethic: "(He was the) Lion of Vienna" by The Houghton Weavers

Nickoholism: We are awful for chants. 1 F in Frandsen?

Plodder: "......walking down the Manny Road to see the Burnden Aces......"

We’ve probably already seen your goal of the season from Campo against Spurs, but what’s your favourite all-time Bolton goal?

John McGinlay at Anfield 1993.

FaninOz: Worthington (h) against Ipswich 21st April 1979.

Bruce Rioja:
For class it would have to be Worthington's v Ipswich. However, the one that I've celebrated like no other was a wee tap-in by McGinlay, one Friday night in Hull. Having spent all of my teens and early twenties skulking round in the bottom two divisions, the Whites were going up!

Plodder: Lots of people will say that over head flick and goal. I'd prefer something a bit more critical - David Lee or Andy Walker scored some vital goals. Probably David Lee as he just doen't look like someone with so much skill.

Tombwfc: I have two that are equally tied:

Jay Jay Okocha - West Ham. It has everything a great goal needs. A great strike, importance, sending West Ham down and making Joe Cole look like a tit. Top drawer.

Ricardo Vaz Te - Guirmaraes Away. First goal I saw the Whites score on European turf, a historic moment for myself. I've never celebrated a goal so much.

Montreal Wanderer:
Lofthouse putting Harry Greig in the net with the ball, Wembley 1958

I know we’re not necessarily one of your favourite teams, but in one (or two) words, who’s a) your biggest rival, and b) your most disliked team?

Gertie: I don't mind Liverpool, I've got really good pals who are plastic Scousers from Kent. Anyways in my humble opinion a) Blackburn hate them and b) West Ham I loathe every single element and fibre of their entire beings.

The biggest rival is probably Blackburn, but I always enjoy rivalry with Man City supporters. The most disliked team would have to be Man Utd or Spurs. It's because they appear to have the most dickhead fans.

Zulus! Thousands of them: I don't mind Liverpool at all actually. Biggest rival is probably the Inbreds at Ewood Park, although I don't really mind them either. Most disliked team is either the franchise in Stretford or increasingly Spurs and West Ham.

Bruce Rioja:
I quite like Liverpool, to be honest, and Anfield's my favourite away ground. As for West Ham I'd burn the place down tomorrow and every deluded, loud-mouthed Cockney prick in it.

We know it’s in the middle of nowhere, but any decent watering holes for away supporters?

Warthog: The Beehive is nearest, but the smart fans opt for the Sweet Green Tavern. It's in Bolton town centre, but it has a range of beers and it welcomes away fans. The train station is literally next door and a ten minute train ride gets you to the Reebok (Horwich Parkway station)

Tombwfc: The Barnstomers now accepts away fans I'm told. Thats a good place. The Beehive has been the main place for away fans over the years though.

Any random Bolton facts you’d like to share with our readers?

Officer Dibble:
Stelios has the distinction of being part of the substitution that holds the record of the largest difference between the number of letters in the surnames of two players in a Premiership substitution. This occurred when he replaced Ibrahim Ba during a league game for Bolton Wanderers on February 7, 2004.

Frank Worthington has a black belt in origami.

Backgammon: Bol - Ton, in Latin, actually means Large Samuel…

David Lee’s Hair: Bolton is really callled Bolton-le-Moors - sounds alot posher that, don't it?

Montreal Wanderer: A bomb landed on Bolton Golf Course during the war and blew my mother over

Time for an outsiders view on the Reds – what do you reckon to our chances of toppling Chelsea this season? Or is breaking into the top 2 the best we can hope for? (Or just whatever general comment you’d care to make on Liverpool, positive or negative – best/worst players, whatever…)

Chris: I haven't got a problem with Liverpool, and prefer them out of the big four, but can't see you toppling Chelsea this season. Perhaps second

Backgammon: I thought that Liverpool might win the league this season, they certainly bought some good players and created an impressive squad. Kuyt looks like a good forward. But whether he's the goal scorer you clearly need is another matter. Gerrard's form is so key to Liverpool's success, it's frightening. If he says fit and firing on all cylinders, then you'll challege the top 3.

Clingfilm: I like watching Liverpool play most of the time and would much rather see you take the title than Chelsea or United. Buying Pennant and Bellamy doesn't really make you more likeable though. You haven't started well, you're leaky at the back. That should clear up eventually but 3rd looks very likely.

Tangodancer: You'll make top four for certain, might well go mad and top it. Good side if Gerrard is on his game and Reina stops taking juggling lessons. Can see us spoiling the party though.

Jam: I quite like Liverpool. Reckon you'll finish third this season but Chelsea won't run away with it again. From what I can tell this is the strongest squad you've had for a while. Your new Dick could be a very good signing.

And finally – what’s your prediction for the score?

Clingfilm: 1-0. Anelka to score and a little bit of luck to keep the clean sheet.

David Lee’s Hair: First home game after the allegations. I think we will be so pumped up and the crowd baying for blood, so you'll probably win! But having white blood running through my veins I'm going to say 3-2 bolton (anelka, Davies, vaz te & Gerrard 2 (1 pen))

Mummywhycantieatcrayons: 2-2. I think it might take a club like Liverpool to get Anelka really interested.

Montreal Wanderer: As Casey Stengel said: Predictions is for gypsies.

And finally finally, anything you want to get off your chest at all to the good folk of RAWK?

Communistworkethic: This bra - it's killing me.

Bruce Rioja: Yes, that bloke with all the badges on probably thinks he looks quite good. Could one of you do the decent thing and have a word. Do it for his family's sake. Also, please could you ask your lot to help us out with our campaign to get Sam installed as BBC Unsung Sports Personality of the Year? http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/tv_and_radio/sports_personality_of_the_year/5255842.stm

Gertie: I really like the songs and chants that you come up with... But I hate that one that goes Liiiivveerrrppooolll over and over again it's soooo dull...... It makes me want to add on the end... "Go away"

Backgammon: Don't change the name of the website to 'West And North Kop End Red Scousers', because then you'd be WANKERS.

SOTWA: I look forward to your unbiased and mature responces once more ;)

Athers: I detect more hatred than there should be for teams like Chelsea and ourselves on RAWK, stick to hating your traditional rivals and not just clubs that have pissed you off in recent games. Also, we all know how many times you won the European cup, there’s no need to remind us if you lose on Saturday.

Montreal Wanderer: Blurred is okay (when he is drunk)

Zulus! Thousands of them: Don't believe everything you read, see or hear in the media about us, on or off the pitch. But you already know that after the disgraceful aftermath to the Hillsborough tragedy.

And that seems like an apt place to end it this time. Many, many thanks to all the users of The Wanderer for their responses – a full list of which can be seen here.

Best of luck in the game, chaps, and for the rest of the season!

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