Sunday, June 19, 2011

Gardner Stays

Ricardo Gardner may have been born in Jamaica, whom I am watching play the US in the Gold Cup semi-fina this afternoon, but he now calls Bolton home.  It was this stability, and his family's comfort with the northwest, that caused Bibi to turn down Sam Allardyce's offer of a big money contract with West Ham and stay at Bolton for less money.

I have always liked Gardner, but he is no longer the marauding left-back that may have been the best in the premiership for a year or two under Big Sam.  At 32, his extraordinary pace robbed by age and injury, he is little more than a role player, versatile and good for depth, but not to be relied upon.  Realistically, if Gardner makes more than ten appearances next season, it is probably not a good sign for Bolton.  That said, it will be nice to have him around.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Fare Thee Well Dear Wanderers...

Word has been leaking out that Bolton have offered some players new contracts while letting others go.  Robbie Blake has a deal for next season.  Ricardo Gardner has been offered something (with a rather severe pay cut I would imagine) and he has a decision to make.

Jlloyd Samuel has been cut loose.  I don't quite understand why he has been frozen out by Coyle, especially in favor of Paul Robinson.  When Samuel was first choice two season ago, he had a fine year, and he was a big part of the reason we stayed up.  Maybe he is just too much to deal with off the pitch.

Joey O'Brien is leaving as well.  Thinking about him just makes me sad.  Whenever he was fit, all four of our recent managers made him first choice in central midfield, and he always played well.  He simply couldn't stay on the field.  Some bodies just aren't built for the abuse of professional sports.  I hope the change of scenery does him good, perhaps he can build a career somewhere else.

I am sad to see Tamir Cohen go as well.  He was never going to be first choice at a Premier League club with top 10 ambitions, but I thought he was decent midfield depth. 

Let's just hope Owen Coyle can bring in some upgrades this summer.