[STORY] On a mission to change Premiership history

Discussion in 'Older Championship Manager Titles Forum' started by voetballiefhebb, Feb 7, 2003.

  1. After 5 months of the 2001-2002 season Bolton were bottom. On the 27th October 2001, Bolton sacked ‘Fat Sam’ and appointed Roy Hodgson as manager. Things did not go to plan, and Bolton remained stuck to the bottom of the premiership. 5 days into the New Year, after a board meeting, Roy Hodgson was sacked. The same day, Gareth Thomas was drafted in with only 17 games to get the cash-strapped club off the bottom of the premiership, and like no manager has ever done in the 10 years of the premiership, survive the drop.

    After only 24 hours in charge of the club, Bolton came up against 1st division Stoke in the FA cup third round. An excellent start for Thomas to test out his team and not lose nothing from the league.
                  Djorkaeff   Okocha
    Gardner   Akin   Frandsen   Warhurtst
                     N’Gotty Campo
    So with Tofting suspended for one match, Frandsen takes his place. Bernard Mendy out for two months with a broken leg, and veteran defender Gudni Bergsson out with a pulled hamstring for two weeks.
    Bolton beat Stoke in the FA cup third round 2-0. Goals from Armstrong, and Frandsen in the first half. However, Gardener saw red on the 71st minute for a late tackle. So off to a winning start and the FA cup fourth round sees Bolton travel to Rotheram.

    My first premiership match, Manchester United at home. I could not have asked for a worse match to start off Bolton’s premiership survival campaign. Akin made way for Toftings return, and Gardner was pulled out for Henrik Pedersen after failing a late fitness test. It only took Manchester United 9 minutes to score, Rio Ferdinand with a header from a Beck’s corner. Keane added to the lead on the verge of half time as Bolton went in at the break 2-0 down. No changes were made by either side, and even though Bolton dominated the first half, and second, it finished 2-0 to United.

    Man City travelled to Bolton, my third match, and my third home match. Jaaskeleinen received a red card before my arrival, and is now starting a 3 match ban. Bolton have a very poor disciplinary record. Leaky at the back, and strong going forward, Bolton took 9 minutes to score, Tofting striking home his first ever goal for Bolton. 1-0, half time. 52 minutes gone, and Armstrong makes it 2-0, 7 minutes later, Armstrong was on target again, 3-0. It finished 3-0, and for the first time since October, Bolton were off the bottom of the premiership and into 18th, 2 points behind 17th placed West Ham. Worse news to come, Ivan Campo suspended for 1 league match after receiving 5 yellow cards added to the suspension worries.

    My first away match, Southampton, James Beattie is on fire, and Ricardo Gardener is starting his first of a 3 match ban. 16 minutes in, the first part of major action, Per Frandsen sent off. The late tackles are ridiculous, and I will not tolerate it and I am fining players 2 weeks wages for each red card. 4 minutes later, Djorkaeff opens his account under my management with a spectacular free kick. 1-0 up, and half time. Bolton dominating the first half. 5 minutes into the second half, Okocha plays Armstrong through and Armstrong rounds Niemi and makes it 2-0. Henrik Pederson adds on the 68th and it finishes 3-0 to Bolton. Bolton are now 1 point clear of West Ham, who drop into 18th place.
  2. 4 players out as I lead my team to Rotheram for the 4th round of the FA cup. Jaaskaleinen, Gardener, and Campo all suspended and Mendy still out for about a month with a broken leg. Bergsson returns to the line up in place of the suspended Campo. Byfield opened the scoring and Division 1 Rotheram took a shock lead. Bolton pushed on and Armstrong made it 1-1 5 minutes before half time. At half time, Bergsson came off and was replaced by David Holdsworth. Byfield again scored on the 61st, 4 minutes later Djorkaeff struck the equaliser. 10 minutes after going ahead, Inamoto, on loan from Fulham, put the division 1 side ahead, with only 2 minutes left on the clock, and 3-2 down, I attacked, I had nothing to lose and everything to gain, 3 strikers, and Tofting as an AMC, 90th minute, Tofting gets the late leveller and it will go for an unwanted replay at the Reebok. The 5th round draw was made, and if I beat Rotheram in the replay, again, I have another division 1 side away, Reading.

    Kevin Poole makes way for Jaaskaleinen who is back, Campo back too, so Bergsson also hits the bench for him. Frandsen injured, so Akin takes his place. With 2nd place Leeds travelling to Bolton, and Venables just taken manager of the month, this was going to be tough. After 7 minutes, I found ourselves 2-0 up, both goals from Jay Jay Okocha. An excellent start, 7 shots on target for Bolton, and Leeds, 0. Bolton were playing the best football that the Bolton faithful have seen since promotion to the premiership. On Leeds first attack, the Bolton defence were sleeping, and let Bakke, who was unmarked, head home from a Kewell cross on the 58th. On the 90th minute, Djorkaeff added and the match finished 3-1 to Bolton. Into 16 place now.

    Gardener finished his 3 match suspension and returned to face Rotheram in the 4th round replay. Pederson made way for Gardner. Again, striker Darren Byfield scored again, in the 8th minute. 1-0 to Rotheram and a disappointing first half. Paul Warne headed Rotheram 2-0 up in the 61st. Armstrong pulled one back on the 77th. Pederson replaced Gardnder on the 88th and I threw everything at Rotheram looking for a late equaliser. It never came and Botlon exited the FA cup, hopefully not having a knock on effect to the premiership, so a result in my next fixture was vital.

    Bolton now faced Chelsea at home, Akin was forced out the team and Frandsen returned after his 2 match ban. With only 1 week until Mendy is back, Warhurst will also lose his first team place. Chelsea came out and made the best of my weak defence and attacked, Jaaskaleinen kept every Chelsea shot out, and Warhurst on 16 proved he can still play in the top flight, and Armstrong added on 32’ to make it 2-0 at half time. Bolton came out more defensive, looking to defend the lead. The 80th minute and Okocha came off and Pederson came on. Morris scored on the 81st, but that was only a consolation goal as Bolton pulls off another surprise win over Chelsea, full time, 2-1. Bolton now 15th and 4 points from 18th place West Ham
  3. Bolton now travel to 8th place W.B.A who are in-form as of late. The same team that beat Chelsea were named as the starting 11. It was a very even first half, but Hoult could not keep out Armstrong’s thunderous left footed shot and on the 26th Bolton went 1-0 up. 66 minutes into the match, and Armstrong, possibly my best player injures himself, he strained his ankle ligaments and will miss a month of football which is a big blow. Djorkaeff netted again on the 90th minute and Bolton won 2-0.

    Bolton yet again on the road, travel to Everton. With Armstrong out for a month, Djorkaeff takes the role of striker and Pederson moves into AMC. Mendy also makes his return after being out for 7 months and replaces Warhurst as MR. Everton took the lead, defender Li Tie headed the Merseyside team in front after 32 minutes, 6 minutes later, lone striker Djorkaeff levelled off with a volley. Half time and the score is 1-1. On the hour Warhurst replaced Mendy. Everton took control of the match, and every attack looked like resulting in a goal, Jaaskaleinen kept Bolton in the match and Bolton held on for a 1-1 draw.

    Bolton now host 1st place Arsenal, Nolan out suspended for a single match after collecting 5 yellows, so I make the most of Paul Warhurst’s versatility and he goes DMC for 90 minutes. In 45 mintues, Arsenal have had 2 shots, 1 on target which was saved comfortably by Jaaskaleinen and Bolton have had 7 shots. All 7 on target, and Tofting’s 8th minute strike hit the back of the net. Half time, and Bolton are 1-0 up. Bolton come out attacking still seeing as this is the best way to keep Arsenal at bay. 3 minutes into he second half and Gardner adds to the lead, 2-0. I decide to sit back, and Arsenal throw everything at us. I go counter attack, and Okocha adds a third on the 72nd minute. The full time whistle is blown, and Bolton pull off a shock win v Arsenal!

    Bolton now travel to 2nd place Man U. Bolton boosted by the return of Kevin Nolan are als set back by the 2 match suspension of Stig Tofting after he collected 10 yellows. It was a match I was always going to lose, Van Nistelerooy 8’, Veron 32’ Van Nistelrooy doubles on 61’ and Beckham on the 78th, Nolan injures himself after a short sprint and is ruled out for 10 days with a stubbed toe. Djorkaeff gets a consolation goal on the 85th as Bolton slump 4-1.
  4. So with the return of Armstrong to the starting 11, Bolton face 19th place West Ham. Armstrong gave us the lead on the 15th minute. 9 minutes later, Nolan was sent off for Holding Defoe. Gardner added and made it 2-0 on the 58th after James dropped a header from Gardner. Djorkaeff made it 3-0 on the 74th and 10 man Bolton sink West Ham even deeper into relegation.

    Bolton now travel to Newcastle, Nolan moves into Midfield, Warhurst is pulled out of the starting 11 and placed on the bench, and Tofting moves to DMC. Okocha opens up the scoring on the 19th minute, and Gardner adds on the 45th as Bolton are 2-0 up at half time. Gardner gets his second on the 59th minute to put Bolton 3-0 up. 74th minute and Bellamy gives Newcastle hope as he rounds Jaaskaleinen. But it was not to be for Newcastle as they slump 3-1 to Bolton at home.

    Birmingham now travels to the Reebok stadium to face a new Bolton, which Gareth Thomas has breathed life into. The same 11 is named which thrashed Newcastle. Bolton dominate the first half, 9 shots, 6 on target, 0 hit the back of the net, Birmingham 0 shots. Dissapointing. Neil Sullivan trips Armstrong as he rounds him and referee Andy D’Urso sends the keeper off. U21 French star Mendy steps up and fires Bolton into the lead. A Djorkaeff free kick in the 84th minute is deflected off of Michael Johnson into his own goal, and on the 90th minute Chris Armstrong rounds things off with a strike to award the 3 points to Bolton as we win 3-0.

    Suspended Ivan Campo and Kevin Nolan miss the trip to 7th placed Middlesbrough. Bergsson replaces Campo, and Warhurst moves in for Nolan. Within 30 minutes, Bolton was 3-0 up. Armstrong scoring twice, those goals coming on the 7th and 27th minute, and Frandsen’s on the 21st. Whelan clawed one back for ‘Boro on the 73rd but it was only a consolation goal as Bolton were victorious 3-0 the final score.

    With Campo and Nolan still out suspended, the same 11 that faced Middlesbrough started. Charlton who are bottom of the premiership have always been my bogey team, and on a winning form at the moment, I looked to get 1 up on them. Gardner struck home the only goal of the first half from 25 yards as Bolton went in at the break 1-0 up. Armstrong adds 7 minutes after the break and Bolton are 2-0 up. However, the curse of the bogeys struck, in 5 minutes my defence slept, and Bartlett and Euell combined in the 73rd and 78th to level it at 2-2. Tofting was also sent off for handling the ball in the 90th minute.

    Blackburn travel to Bolton, Campo finishes his two-match suspension and Nolan is still suspended for 1 more game. So with Campo back in the starting line-up, Bergsson is sitting on the bench. The first half sees an even amount of shots, 8 to Bolton, 9 to Blackburn, however, both keepers are strong and keep every shot out. Andy Cole on the 79th minute gives Blackburn the lead, however, Gardner on the 89th strikes home past Friedel to make an exciting match finish 1-1.

    After 11 games in charge, Bolton have gone from this:

    To this:
  5. With the return of Kevin Nolan after a 3-match ban, Warhurst moves to the bench as Bolton travel to White Hart lane to face spurs. Chris Armstrong looking to inflict damage on his old club. Gus Poyet opened the scoring on the 37th minute, only to be cancelled out on the 44th minute by a Chris Armstrong header. The second half is pretty scrappy finishing and in the 76th minute, Armstrong punishes Tottenham for leaky defending and makes the most of it and slots away the winner. 2-1 to Bolton.

    The final day of the season arrives, Tofting starts a 4 match ban, so Nolan moves back into DMC and Warhurst moves into MC. Liverpool need a win to ensure a Champions league place next season, within 27 minutes, Owen and Cheyrou have injured themselves, however Diouf 39’ and Biscan 43’ put the travelling scousers 2-0 up at half time, with nothing to lose, I threw everything at them, if I won, I would finish 11. I threw too much at them, and Diouf added, 60th and 90th to complete his hat trick and sink Bolton 4-0. Jaaskaleinen playing a disappointing 3.

    I took Bolton from bottom of the table, and in 17 matches, won11, drew 3, and lost 3. Gareth Thomas changed premiership history as he takes bottom of the table Bolton up 8 places. A very impressive record all in all, securing Bolton’s place in the premiership next season.

    As you can see, since my arrival after 21 games, Bolton were always going up and were going to survive.

    So the final league table:
  6. Just to show the league progress after I took over at 21 games.

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