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Bolton Wanderers
April 28, 2009

How many Premier League Chairmen does it take to change a lightbulb? Apparently, it only takes fourteen out of twenty.

Phil Gartside's latest proposal to makeover the Premier League, the most popular and financially robust competition in the world at the moment, has now done the rounds, everyone has had a say, and the verdict seems to be that it's not a good idea. I'd go a bit further; Gartside's plan is dangerously stupid.

April 23, 2009

I was recently asked, (by someone who doesn't really care), why I don't post more often. It's a valid question, and one I was struggling to answer. At least it was until that Portsmouth result. That was just awful.

The numbers don't lie. Just glance to the right of this at the Archive list. In February there were seven posts, but this will be just my sixth in the last two months. Compare that to Mark Payne (Man Utd) who has five posts in April, or Kevin Brodie (Liverpool) with four in April. Six in two months? Inexcusable.

Of course, my productivity might have been slightly higher if I had Champion's League Quarter-Finals to comment on or the 20th anniversary of Hillsborough, but that's not really fair. Can I really blame my low output on a lack of tragedy or midweek excitement?

April 12, 2009

So, this is what it feels like at the top of the league. After spending so much of the season struggling to get a foothold at the bottom of the table, to suddenly see the team in the bright sunshine and rarefied air of the title race was a little treat for any Bolton fan.

It was especially sweet because for seventy minutes Bolton were huffing and puffing as they failed to acclimatise to the change in altitude. Even if you forget about the dreadful penalty decision against Steinsson, nobody could argue with the quality of Chelsea's play. It seems obvious, but they are a really good team.

In fact, yesterday they were too good and Bolton didn't have any answers. I could watch Ballack's goal a hundred times and not get sick of it. They were majestic. It was all smiles and sunshine at the Bridge – Oh, except for the last twenty minutes.

April 1, 2009

When you're stuck at the bottom of the pile, it's natural instinct to look at the teams around you, to try to gauge who might be ready to make a run for safety or who might have a fork stuck in them. It's really simple: it's Survival of the Fittest, and it's nice to know when there are going to be some corpses to prop up the table and some weaklings to devour on the way to safety.

When you get used to it things become clear and easy. It doesn't seem difficult for me to follow and digest six or seven results a week and immediately compute what it means for Bolton. You develop a feel for the ebbs and flows, the tides of the relegation zone, as teams make a push only to be dragged back into the scrum, eyes and throat burning from the salt and excrement.

At the bottom there are usually a few things you cam bank on. Even when Spurs looked dead and lifeless at Christmas, nobody really believed that they were going to go down. They had too many players, too much money and too much invested to risk relegation. £40 million in parachute payments sounds like a lot, but it didn't go that far in Leeds or Southampton. Big clubs can't afford to go down, maybe moreso than the rest of the plebs in the Premier League.

That said, if any BIG team has been asking for relegation recently, even more than Spurs or Man City, it's been Newcastle United. I would love it, absolutely LOVE IT if Newcastle were relegated.