Friday, April 8, 2011


Maybe distracted is the wrong word, but I feel like some of the intensity has left this Bolton side in the last couple league matches.  I can't say I blame them.  They sit eighth in the table on the magic 40 points, they have an epic FA Cup semi-final at Wembley coming up, their free-flowing style of play has made them media darlings, and they no longer have an insane red-haired man screaming at them every day.

The supporters have joined this party as well, they are talking about the trip to London, talking about summer signings, and generally enjoying a great season.

The media has also joined in.  In fact, this article in the Bolton Evening News focuses not on the game at hand (West Ham visits tomorrow), but on the summer plans of Johann Elmander, whom Owen Coyle desperately wants to keep at the Reebok.

I would like to see Elmander stay, and I think there is a good chance he will.  Johann knows he has a good situation in Bolton, and he has been nothing but appreciative towards Coyle for revitalizing his career.  Many supporters have been bleating about loyalty and what not, but I have no problem with him letting his contract run out.  He's 29 years old, this will probably be his last big contract, and I don't blame him for wanting to keep all of his options open.

If Elmander does stay, Coyle will have to make a difficult decision.  Given our style of play, the respective players' ages, and their levels of ability, Kevin Davies and Elmander can no longer play together up front.  Now don't get me wrong, Kevin Davies has been a great captain and a brilliant servant to Bolton Wanderers Football Club, but the time has come for him to transition into a part-time role.  He has always been a class act, but I am not sure how the big man will take this, especially after being the squads focal point for so many years.  Coyle will have to handle it delicately.

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