Bolton have only won 6 of their opening day fixtures in the last 20 years. We actually opened our relegation season of 2011/12 with a resounding 4-0 thrashing of QPR, one Fabrice Muamba getting on the scoresheet. How times have changed for the whites. We now find ourselves in the Championship with a repeat of last year’s opening day fixture at Burnley to look forward to. It doesn’t look good. Our defence looks even weaker than last season, the midfield devoid of attacking ability, and the strikers look about as confident as Marvin Sordell at a Millwall Supporters Club meeting.
But let’s remember the good times. What about beating Spurs 2-0 on the opening day of the 2006/07 season with goals from Kevin Davies and an 80 yard pee roller from Ivan Campo? Or the 4-1 drubbing of Charlton in August 2004 with two goals each for Jay-Jay Okocha and Henrik Pedersen.
And anyone over 30 may remember our return to the Championship (or Division 2 as it was known then) in 1993 after many years scratching around in the lower leagues. Our first game back in the big time took us to Grimsby on a scorching afternoon. The Bolton end was packed and only the crossbar stopped Alan Thompson snatching the points at the death.
But perhaps the best opening day victory of the last 20 years was in 2001 when we arrived back in the Premier League after winning the play-offs. Few gave us a sniff at Leicester City but an incredible first half saw us score four goals without reply, Per Frandsen adding a fifth in the second half and Bolton Wanderers were top of the Premier League! It’s unlikely we’ll ever top that.
For the record here are the opening day results for the last 20 years:
1993 Grimsby Town (a) Drew 0-0
1994 Grimsby Town (a) Drew 3-3
1995 Wimbledon (a) Lost 3-2
1996 Port Vale (a) Drew 1-1
1997 Southampton (a) Won 1-0
1998 Crystal Palace (a) Drew 2-2
1999 Tranmere Rovers (a) Drew 0-0
2000 Burnley (h) Drew 1-1
2001 Leicester City (a) Won 5-0
2002 Fulham (a) Lost 4-1
2003 Man Utd (a) Lost 4-0
2004 Charlton (h) Won 4-1
2005 Aston Villa (a) Drew 2-2
2006 Spurs (h) Won 2-0
2007 Newcastle (h) Lost 3-1
2008 Stoke City (h) Won 3-1
2009 Sunderland (h) Lost 1-0
2010 Fulham (h) Drew 0-0
2011 QPR (a) Won 4-0
2012 Burnley (a) Lost 2-0
So the emotional rollercoaster starts all over again. Sit down, strap yourself in, and follow all the action and views on Bolton Nuts.