BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND - MARCH 12: Bolton Wanderer fans celebrate during the FA Cup sponsored by E.On Sixth Round match between Birmingham City and Bolton Wanderers at St Andrews on March 12, 2011 in Birmingham, England. (Photo by Jamie McDonald/Getty Images)
Another weekend and another Bolton loss. The story is old at this point and the stats are against us. Bolton have had quite possibly the worst possible first half of the season. Negativity is everywhere and the fans are this close to breaking down the Reebok's gates a la the angry mob in many a Frankenstein film.
This is arguably Bolton's most important stretch of fixtures in the last 11 years. While Owen Coyle may or may not still be the right man for the job, the fact of the matter is that he is still Bolton Wanderers' manager, at least for the time being. Whining on Twitter about the state of the club won't change things and neither will insulting the managers son, the players' wives and girlfriends, or the players themselves. This is a call to arms to support Bolton now more than ever, especially in these next three matches that could very well decide the club's fate.
Bolton's record is an unsightly 3-0-13, sitting on a grand total of nine points from sixteen matches and having conceded 16 more goals than they've scored. The team seems to have forgotten how to defend, and more importantly, how to score. Ivan Klasnic has been the only White to put the ball in the back of the net in Bolton's last five matches, scoring twice in those 450 minutes of football.
There are lots of issues between the club and the supporters that question the coaching tactics, the identity of the assistant coaches, and the players' commitment to the club. The loss at Fulham added an exclamation point to the current crop of problems, especially as Darren Pratley and Zatyiah Knight were seen smiling after the final whistle blew. Both were former Fulham players and while they were likely just catching up with old friends, there was no reason for either of them to smile given their shambolic performances.
With Tuesday's relegation six-pointer against Blackburn just around the corner, the fans have to get behind the team in order to avoid being bottom at Christmas. You may disagree with me about whether Coyle should stay or go, what our lineups and formation should be, who should be substituted on and when, and whether we even stand a chance this season. That said, one thing that you should agree with me on is that now is not the time to admit defeat. When you, as the fan, give up, that's when everyone involved with the club gives up. If you want Premiership football next season, get behind the club at Blackburn and bring those three points home.
Yesterday on Twitter, former Manchester City and QPR player Rodney Marsh said:
I know I wouldn't change my allegiances and I'm sure the vast majority of you lot wouldn't either. Don't give up, don't admit defeat, and show the Premier League that we want to be there next season.