Last Season: 14th
New Signings: Petrov, Blake, Alonso, Klasnic
Key Player: Gary Cahill
One To Watch: Marcos Alonso
Needs A Big Year: Matt Taylor
Would Quite Like: Push for a top half finish. Victory over Blackburn.
Thoughts: I think Bolton will do pretty well this year and shouldn’t have too many relegation worries. Established as a Premier League club for a decade, they have a very good manager in Owen Coyle, who with the help of a full pre-season should produce a competitive mid-table side.
For me Martin Petrov is one of the signings of the summer and his creativity and crosses from the left wing should see Kevin ‘arse and elbows’ Davies reach double figures in league for only the second time in his Bolton career. Lee Chung-Yong should continue impressing on the right while the permanent signing of Ivan Klasnic gives another option up front.
Of the could do betters, record signing Elmander needs to score more and develop into a proper replacement for the ageing Davies while it’s been a few season since Matt Taylor was regularly bashing them in from 30 yards.
Coyle’s scouting network appears to be developing if you take Real Madrid youngster Marcos Alonso as an example – it will be interesting to see how he develops at left back. Importantly the defence will still be marshalled by Gary Cahill, who hasn’t been bought by anyone (yet). His influence and partnership with Zat Knight should see Bolton have a decent defence, if one capable of the odd thrashing.
After criticism in some corners that Coyle wasn’t actually winning many more points than Megson (though was producing better football), he’ll want to show that it was worth the hassle of poaching him from Burnley. Bolton should have a really solid season, it’s hard to say much more.