Sunday, March 27, 2011

USA 1 Argentina 1

I didn't watch this whole match, only about 60% of it.  And it is only a friendly, which the US probably took far more seriously than their South American opponents.  But I thought the Americans were impressive.  They spent a lot of time defending, however they did a good job of it, their positioning was solid, some of the young players looked very capable, and whenever the US did put together an attack, there was really a sense of a legitimate threat.

Stuart Holden will be missed on both sides of the Atlantic, but the US actually looks better equipped than Bolton to cope in his absense.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Stuart Holden

The American midfielder has been Bolton's player of the season without a doubt, but now he is out for six months.  Just a terrible blow for the club as well as the player, who has had bad luck time and again in his young career.

I just hope that Holden can come back as good, or even better, than he has been this season.  At 25, he should be just entering the peak of his footballing powers.  The worst part is that it looks like he will miss the start of next season as well.  He his having surgery today, hopefully we will know more after that.  Just gutted with this news.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Manchester United 1 Bolton Wanderers 0

I hate Manchester United.  I usually don't traffic in that sort of emotion.  Honestly, I don't get into rivalries all that much.  I usually think it is just another team that we have to beat, but over the past 2 seasons I have really grown to hate Manchester United.  The smugness.  The sense of entitlement.  The xenophobia.  The blatant intimidation.  And worst of all, the lack of talent or ability.

When I see Alex Ferguson pointing at his watch and basically saying, "You cannot blow the whistle until my team wins," I just want to vomit.  And then, the worst part, THE INTIMIDATION WORKS!  The referees in England listen to him.  Inexplicably, illogically, the referees listen to him.

I am trying to articulate why I hate them, but who cares.  I just do.

I hate Manchester United.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

FA Cup Quarterfinals

Wanders are going to Wembley for the first time since 2000!  I was attending Uni in Bolton at that time, living in Orlando Village at Thynne Street, right across the way from the Cattle Market and just down the road from a chicken slaughterhouse.

We lost to Aston Villa in the semi-final that year, but times have changed.  I know several Bolton fans would like to see us face Manchester United if we get to the final, in a replay of 1958.

I am just glad to see the club progressing.  In less than two years Owen Coyle has completely transformed Bolton Wanderers from a drab, unmotivated group under Gary Megson to an exciting, hard-working, high-scoring barrel of fun.

My hope is that the additional cup matches, plus the fact that we have already reached the magical 40 point mark in the league, will allow some of the fringe players an opportunity to show us what they've got.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Luis Suarez

It's the 40th minute of Liverpool v Manchester United, and the home side has just gone up 2-0.  Both goals have been scored by Dirk Kuyt, but both have been set up by Suarez.

The Suarez signing was widely mocked in England, with most pundits making a joke about him being a good goalkeeper (because of the handball on the goal line at the World Cup), then a reference to Afonso Alves (a South American striker who scored a lot of goals in Holland, the flopped in England), but really not knowing anything about Suarez himself.  If they had watched any of Uruguay's matches prior to the Quarterfinal against Ghana, they would know that Suarez was outstanding in every facet of the game.  He and Diego Forlan were the best strike-partnership at the World Cup.

I think Suarez will have one and a half or two fantastic seasons for Liverpool, and then, much like Fernando Torres, move on to a bigger club.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Bolton Wanderers 3 Aston Villa 2

What a match!  Another outstanding end-to-end affair at the Reebok.  Bolton didn't play as well as they are capable, in fact, Aston Villa will feel rather hard done by after this one, but you have to take advantage when you are on top.  That means finishing the chances you create.

In Ivan Klasnic and Daniel Sturridge the Wanderers have two top class finishers.  And Gary Cahill is not too shabby either.  Remember, in roughly 25 matches last season, before his shoulder problem, he scored seven goals.

Overall, there were some defensive blunders, and the finishing by Villa was not great, but both sides played very well in attack.  More importantly, this win puts Bolton on 40 points for the season, with nine matches to go.  I think mid-table was always the goal, and we should be able to push on after this, well clear of the relegation battle.  It is probably a little early for a return to European competition, and I think we will fall short of that, but an eighth place finish in Coyle's first full season, with a good portion of the squad (Wheater, Lee, Holden, Muamba, Davies, Alonso, Cahill) under 25, bodes very well for the future.