A major cause of concern for Bolton Wanderers?


Then you have a group which comprises of nearly half the league, in which league places are keenly fought and easily swapped just as they were towards the end of last season. In this latter group it becomes extremely easy as the season progresses to find yourselves unexpectedly sucked into the relegation mire. Bolton will have to be mindful.

It’s hard to fully judge how the season will transpire for Bolton, after all, they have played against Man City, Man Utd and Liverpool in their first four league games. But with Aston Villa and Arsenal away and Chelsea at home still to come and Bolton could become seriously stranded near the bottom after such a tough start.

The perception that Coyle has garnered in the press is certainly a false one. Bolton are not a style over substance side with a particular emphasis on passing football as the above statistics go some way to pointing out. He has not transformed this team from one that plays ugly, tough, long-ball football into Barcelona-light. They are merely an old-fashioned styled outfit which plays with two wingers and gets the ball forward early.

When confronted in the Four Four Two interview over the Zonal Marking article’s findings Coyle gave the rather unconvincing and contradictory answer: “Facts and statistics…we get our ProZone stuff every week and I can assure you we pass the ball a lot more. Zonal Whoever, good luck to them. Your facts and stats will tell you anything you want but nothing can beat the naked eye in football.”

Interpreting attractive football is indeed, all about the naked eye and difficult to quantify, but perhaps as Bolton’s horrific run continues apace, the perception of Coyle’s Bolton may begin to align itself more alongside the reality as opposed to the myth, for Coyle has profited far too much false goodwill from that as it is and worrying times lie ahead for the club.

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