Sorry for the lack of updates these past couple of weeks. Where have I been? Well I'll reluctantly inform you I've been flirting with the enemy.
Despite my side-ways stepping move 'down' to Turf Moor last week (they're really not a bad bunch are the Clarets!), I've been keeping tabs on everything Bolton Wanderers...and if it wins me any points back, I did mention Bolton and Coyle as much as I possibly could without being punched in the face!
Firstly, Spanish left-back Marcos Alonso FINALLY put pen to paper after long protracted negotiations. Great news. I don't expect him to walk straight into the team, I'd expect Robbo to keep his place until Alonso is fully fit and ready to make the step up for regular first team football.
On the way out, Bolton born 'n' bred fullback, Nicky Hunt has finally parted ways with the Wanderers, leaving for Bristol City. Say what you want about his defending, his dodgy shoulders or robbing Sir Les of the last minute winner against United; Nicky has always given 100% for the club he loves. Can't ask anymore than that. Plus he had a 'Beckham-esque' cross from deep. It is probably best for both him and the club to move on now though. Best of luck to him!
Club chairman Phil Gartside gave a frank assessment of our successes and our failings. I thought for the majority of the interview he came across very well.
'Uncle' Phil (as he became known for some reason...) divides fans, some love him and think much of our success is due to his smart business sense. Some hate him and blame him for Big Sam leaving and the subsequent downturn in fortune. I've always been a fan of Phil. It's clear he has made mistakes - just as everyone has - his worst for me being that distasteful comment about having 'the better Sam' when Lee replaced Allardyce. A comment that in hindsight that made him look foolish.
However, I don't think it is any coincidence he, and of course owner, Eddie Davies, have presided over our most prosperous period in fifty years. They are smart businessmen, and generally, I do trust where they lead. Some people have taken Gartside's comments to mean he may be stepping down as club chairman in the not too distant future, and if that is the case then he can only be thanked for what has been a successful tenure. As Gartside admitted, we haven't got things running to the exact science that we did during Big Sam's heyday, but we are half-way up that mountain looking up again, having survived the freefall with our Premier League status still intact.
Finally, I'm over the moon to say welcome back to the Reebok Ivan Klasnic! Another transfer that has been on and off more times than a light switch. Whilst Klas has limitations he is lethal in front of goal- and after weeks of being linked with sub-standard forwards like David Nugent, I'm all the more grateful for Klas now.
Next in may be Tom Cleverley, I've heard pretty strong rumours that we're at the front of the queue for Tom, and that Fergie wants him at Bolton probably due to Coyle's outlook on young players- and our positive work with Wilshere last season.
Clev is a great prospect. He does not possess the out and out flair or creativity that Wilshere has, but is much more of a goal threat.
Taking a (very) loose analogy: If Wilshere is a young Joe Cole, then Cleverley is a young Steven Gerrard.
Speak to you soon, COME ON YOU WHITEMEN!