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Season Preview 2011-12 - Bolton Wanderers Interview

Saturday 13th August 2011
Bolton Wanderers flirted briefly with European qualification last season, but a threadbare squad eventually took its toll and the side suffered a desperate finale to the season, instigated by a 5-0 hammering in the FA Cup Semi Final. This time around Owen Coyle is looking to build on the positives of last season, but the threadbare squad remains due to the loss of leading scorer Johan Elmander and several other squad players over the summer.

We spoke with Bolton fan Dominic Walsh (@bwfcdom83) as he offers his views on the Trotters' hopes this season.

What would be a dream season for you?

I think that in terms of the league, a dream season would be Europa League Qualification. Last season we were fantastic in the first half of the season and to say we faded away would be an understatement. Had we kept our form up I think we would have qualified this year but we have a small squad that lost key players last year. It would be nice to go one further in the FA Cup after our embarrassment in the Semi Final this year and go on and win it.

What would be your worst nightmare?

Relegation and more serious injuries to key players. The latter has already been realised with Lee Chung Yong's injury against Newport at the weekend. He will be missing for 9 months. He's a class act that could have really pushed on this season after his first proper pre season build up for a couple of years.

What do you think of your club's summer transfer activity?

Until recently we were very very quiet but then it was like waiting for the bus, they come at once. First we had Darren Pratley who has impressed pre-season according to reports. We also picked up Nigel Reo-Coker for free who I think is a really good signing. We have also bought Tyrone Mears and Chris Eagles from Burnley. They will both be solid squad additions but we still need a striker and cover for Chung Yong now.

Who will be your most important player/s this season?

Well I think Chung Yong would have been up there. Our best player last season; Stuart Holden, is still out injured and will be until around October/November. We will be using Kevin Davies to our effect again and I think it would be great if we can keep Gary Cahill in the centre of defence. I'm also interested to see the impact that Nigel Reo-Coker will have. A couple of friends of mine who support Villa said that he was a cracking little player so hopefully, it will be another choice addition from Owen Coyle.

Any players you would happily see the back of?

I think the players that we have are all worthy of being at the club in their own roles. Giving Robbie Blake a new contract seemed odd but I imagine he's a good figure to have around and obviously has a great relationship with Owen Coyle. I have to admit that selling Matt Taylor was the right move. He had grown a little stale at the Reebok and getting over £2million for a player in the last year of their contract is a good piece of business by Coyle.

Do you have the best manager for the job?

Owen Coyle has the fans on his side which is something that our previous manager didn't have therefore there is a good feeling around the club. This obviously doesn't count for anything unless your winning football matches but we have proved that we can do that very well when we have a full and fit squad. So, as long as Coyle brings in the right players and we have some good strength in depth, I think we have a great manager who is taking the club in the right direction.

Opposition players that you respect?

There are a lot. Part of me hopes that Wesley Sniejder signs for an English club as I would love to see him play. Of the current players I think that Rafael Van Der Vaart at Spurs is a quality player and could be an even bigger player this year. I also have a lot of time for David Silva at Man City. Another quality player who is very exciting to watch.

Really respect two ex-Wanderers too; Jack Wilshire and Daniel Sturridge for what they did for our club and for what they have and will achieve respectively.

Opposition players that you despise?

I don't like Didier Drogba; a great player but I always find myself getting frustrated watching him.

Best away fans/ground in your league?

I really enjoy going to Wolves every year. There's always been a good rivalry with them. I grew up watching John McGinlay be a thorn in the side of Wolves and I was glad when this rivalry got renewed. There's always a little bit of needle with fans and the ground isn't the worst I've been to! I'd say the best ground I've been to in the Premier League is probably the newly renamed Etihad Stadium.

Which teams do you really want to beat this season?

Wigan and Blackburn. Twice. Would be nice to beat Fulham away in the league too as we can never seem to do that!

Finally, where do you honestly think you will finish?

11th

Bolton fans, do you agree/disagree with Dom? Let us know and sign up to have your say in the comments section below!!!
IRAIW Admin

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