Date: 20th May 2009 at 5:16pm
Written by:

1. City’s 56th and final competitive game of this 10 month season is almost upon us. 13th placed Bolton are 6 points behind 10th placed City. You have only scored 2 goals in your last 5 league games. Planning on going out with a bang at SportCity?!

‘Bang’ isn’t a word you associate with Bolton these days. Surrender, capitulation and feeble are closer to the mark.

Our allocation has sold out and there’s a bit of party mood, so those travelling to Eastlands will have a good day out, regardless of the result

2. What’s the mood amongst the Bolton fans on how this season has gone and what the future holds under Gary Megson?

Never has a man divided the fans like Megson. Some hate him. They blame him for poor results, rotten football, bad weather, the credit crunch and global warming. I exaggerate, but not by much.

This has caused a reaction amongst those who have a more rose-tinted view of things. For them he can do no wrong.

The middle-view, and one that I take, is that he’s done well to stabilize the club. Sam Allardyce left a small, ageing, dispirited squad behind. With the best of intentions, Sammy Lee made things worse.

Megson has addressed that situation and deserves credit for doing so, but he’s not Mr Motivator. The best we can hope for under him is to grub about just above the relegation places. It’s not a cheery prospect.

3. What’s your view on developments at City this season? Do you think Mark Hughes can take the club forward?

Hughes did well when in charge of Wales and Blackburn. Whether he can manage the egos of high value players or perform well in the transfer market when money is no object remains to be seen. But I’d stick with him for now. Clubs who change manager frequently underachieve, as City amongst others have found out.

City are in limbo at the moment. The players on their shopping list will also be wanted by the big four, and at the moment, those clubs have Champions League football on their side. Patience will be called for.

4. If you were Mr. Megson, what would be the direction of your team talk before sending your players out against City at Eastlands this weekend?

Go eye balls out. You owe the fans after the last few listless performances.

5. ‘The City Three Step challenge:’ What comes into your head when you think of Manchester City…?
…Give us first the image you see, second the feeling you get and third the word that sums us up….

Image: The screens on the concourses at half-time in 2006. We were 2-0 up, but they only showed the shot, you lot had cleared off the line. About a dozen times as I recall.

Feeling: With the support and resources you’ve had over the years, you should be better than you are.

Word: I’d say deluded, but it’s end of term, so we’re being nice. I’ll settle for optimistic.

6. ‘Six Plus Five:’ FIFA President Sepp Blatter is continuing his campaign to impose a maximum quota of five overseas players on every English team. Do you agree or disagree with his proposal?

I’m against, as the motives are wrong, and perhaps because we’ve had more than our share of foreign players in recent seasons. The idea is to limit the success of English clubs in the Champion League and that’s just envy.

I’d rather the UEFA rules are applied to the Premier League, where in a squad of 25 you have to have four home grown players and four from an academy within the same association. That will force clubs to put resources into their youth systems rather than the quick fix of spending big on transfers.

7. What’s your prediction for Sunday?

A City win, and probably a comfortable one.

Very many thanks and respect to Richard and The Vital Bolton team for this great end of season interview.


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