Friday, 7 February 2014

Match Preview: Cherry Chimes talks to Voice of Bolton

Match Preview
Bolton v AFCB
Blogger Interview - Voice of Bolton

As usual my pre-season prediction of naming Bolton among my three teams who I thought may have a chance of going up this season has gone horribly wrong. Bolton fans can blame me for not giving them any luck,but why are Bolton Wanderers struggling in the Championship when they are all geared up to be a Premiership team? Cherry Chimes talks to Anis who writes on the Voice of Bolton blog. David Ngog, you might want to look away now!

CC: Can you tell me how you got started writing Voice of Bolton?

VOB: I started Voice Of Bolton back in the 2007 / 2008 season shortly after resigning from my position on the Bolton Wanderers Supporters' Association Committee. One of my roles on the committee was to maintain the BWSA website and towards the end of my role, to develop the paper-based magazine - this is when I realised I wanted to write about Bolton on a regular basis, and with a strong web background I decided to see if I could build something on the web for fans to read.

We're now into our 6th season and we have been going from strength to strength. Let's hope this carries on for some time to come!

CC: What do you think of the signings made in January for your team?

VOB: I'm not quite sure how to describe what I felt about January's Transfer Window. Mixed feelings for sure.

Lukas Jutkiewicz is a player who has struggled to hold a place in Boro's starting lineup and no disrespect to Lukas, he may be a 'decent' player but when we were linked with Lukas during the transfer window,the majority of the fanbase were - Who? What? Really? He is now with us for the remainder of the season so let's hope he proves critics wrong and does what he has been brought into do. Although last weekend, all of our strikers that were sent out on loan scored whilst we lost 1-0 to Ipswich. Go figure!?! Why we needed ANOTHER striker who has a similar if not worse record to those we already have on the books is beyond me.

Neil Danns is back with us. He is a good player and has shown he can perform week in week out. He’s definitely a plus for us! Yannick Bastos - I'll reserve judgement until I've seen him play in a White shirt. From what I hear about Bastos, he's supposed to be OK.

Liam Trotter on the other hand is a player that could potentially make a difference to our season. Other than that, due to the struggle we face and the kind of negativity that surrounds us, we are not a team that probably comes across as an attractive opportunity to players whom we'd probably like to be associated with. I may be wrong - our fans may disagree with me, but that's how I personally feel at the moment.

CC: How confident are you that Bolton can go on a good run and avoid a relegation battle in April?

VOB: We all know confidence is key! We know our players can perform at a higher level and we have seen this once or twice this season - shame we haven't been able to perform like this majority of the time. Quite a few of these players have played in the top flight and to see them struggling both physically and mentally is somewhat confusing. Nevertheless, I've always got faith in the Whites, we'll avoid relegation and we won't be involved in the battle for the drop come April.

CC: The Reading 7-1 result was surprising, but Bolton are a better side than that aren't they?

VOB: The score at Reading was shocking to say the least! You don’t expect to get humiliated by a margin such as that – especially when both clubs had a twitter ‘showdown’ the day before the game.

I hadn't made the trip down south for the game - instead I opted for the commentary via our local station TowerFM - and I'm glad I did. The first 2 goals showed the lack of confidence in our side and then the penalty put it all into perspective - it wasn't to be our day. The penalty decision itself was very harsh and when you're 3 down at half time, it was always going to be an uphill struggle. On paper we were a better side (I’m obviously going to say that) - but it's not about being better on paper these days is it?

CC: Is David Ngog a big loss going to Swansea?

VOB: How can I phrase this politely? Thank god he's left the club - and for many a reason:

- Despite possessing some talent (pace), his lack of confidence on the pitch showed he struggled with the 'English' game or football itself.

- Workrate wasn't all that.

- He was on some good wages hence his move has freed up some budget for future purchases. Whether we get to spend that in the summer is another thing.

- Workrate wasn't all that.

- He just didn’t win over the fans. His price tag wasn’t lived up to – he seemed like he was an impulse buy by Coyle when he was brought in last minute on the transfer day a few years back.

- Workrate wasn’t all that good!

We're glad that he's moved on, although he did contribute with a rare goal or two when we needed it the most. He seems to have an impact though wherever he goes – managers tend to get sacked!

CC: Has the club said anything about how it is attempting to reduce its large debt?

VOB: As you've probably read in the media, the debt is largely owed to Eddie Davies - the club's owner, with approx £10m - £20m owed to the banks. It's a similar scenario to what the situation is with Chelsea, with majority of the debt owed to Roman Abramovich. However, debt is always a concern - what if Eddie asked for the money back? This leaves us in an unstable situation - what happens to the club then?

I personally am quite unsure what the club is doing to reduce this large amount of money - maybe this is one reason why it has recently made the move to become a Limited company? Debt will kill football - especially with the amount of money being pumped into the top flight through TV rights and inflation of transfer fees etc.

Fans are divided at the moment with the teams they support but one day they'll have to unite when it concerns the death of the sport.

CC: How do you think you'll get on against Bournemouth having already beaten them away from home?

VOB: It’s going to be a tough game. Every game we play will now be a tough game as we’re battling against ourselves. We desperately need a win, and then another win to ensure we drift to safety. We will in the end.

CC: Which player do you think will save the season for Bolton?

VOB: That's a tough call. I don't think it'll be one player as such who will save Bolton's season. We're in a position where every player counts. If any one player is not performing on the pitch, we're easily exposed by this and suffering as a result. Each and every player needs to work together and ensure we don't get pulled into the relegation dogfight - although I'm confident we won't.

CC: Bolton fans have to stay positive now but do you feel everyone is still behind the manager and the players?

VOB: The fanbase seems to be split on this opinion. A lot of the fans want Dougie to move on and a lot are still behind him. Those that are behind him understand that although Dougie has brought in a number of players - he is still heavily relying on the players he adopted from his predecessors. At the moment we as a website are impartial - mainly due to the fact that we need to get behind the team to ensure a safe position. We've gone through one too many managers of late and that doesn't help a football club when it's fighting for stability.

CC: What do you think the manager has to do to get your home form going better?

VOB: Dougie needs to stop shifting his first 11 around. There was a point earlier this season when our back four was comfortable for a game or two - then Dougie changed it around. That proved to be highly unsuccessful and affected the stability of the games we played in. If something fits - don't change it.

CC: That was a great set of answers from Anis and Voice of Bolton blog. I do like his description of David Ngog, beware Swansea fans! I believe this game is important for both teams who need a confidence boost but particularly Bolton who are at home. AFCB's problem has been getting enough shots on target although they have been playing well, while Bolton just can't stop conceding. Both teams failed to score in their last match. Does this point towards a draw?

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