Michael Bolton: ”I was thinking about how it all went wrong for Bolton since the day Big Sam left. It has been just one big joke that has gone on in recent years and it is amazing to me how Gartside still has a job.
So what do you think is Bolton's biggest mistake since that day in 2007 when Big Sam left?
Signing Elmander for £8.2m who had no resale value was a huge mistake IMO, but I think the biggest mistake for me was by Gartside in not sacking Owen Coyle long before he did. Didn't we have a run of something like 21 defeats in 24 games? We were getting battered at home by 7 goals by the top sides. Away from home we were just awful. Owen Coyle has been proved also at Wigan to be a dud. Considering we only went down on goal difference that season, if Coyle had been given the boot in the autumn we would have definitely stayed up.
It is sad to see how bad Bolton are now and it needn't have come to this, did it?”
Keegan: “A tie for me - not firing Mr. Gartside and paying too much attention to what "people in football" think.”
Norpig: “Coyle should have gone straight after we were relegated. His past with the club was the only thing that saved him. The rot had set in by then and he should have been man enough to realise he couldn't turn it round.”
bwfc1874: “Appointing Sammy Lee when we could have attracted some quality to the role. Then only backing him to bring in crap like Alonso and Braaten.”
doffcocker: “Hindsight's a wonderful thing. Autumn 2011 wasn't too long after Coyle had us in the top 6 and a cup semi-final playing attractive football. You can understand why the club gave him the benefit of the doubt.
There's no saying we'd have stayed up if we'd sacked him halfway into the season.
A decent tactician would have kept that team up, but there's no guarantee we'd have got one.
We might have sacked him, replaced him with somebody just as useless (they do exist), still gone down and now be saying we got rid too soon.
It's hard to choose a ‘biggest mistake’, it's just been a series of monumental strategic errors, some that seemed clever at the time, some that didn't make sense to begin with.”
Allardyce: “Allardyce bailed out because he knew the money would never be enough and would have to be paid off some day and he had no succession plan for an ageing team. He knew his plan was falling down around his ears and that the only way to save his reputation was to buy a new team or leave- so he left.
Continuing to throw money at the team to try to patch it up and keep up appearances was a mistake and the board should have been honest with themselves and the fans then and cleared out the cupboard instead of letting the problem fester until now when the position is far worse.”
bwfc1874: “Anelka, Diouf, SKD, Nolan, Dzemaili, Faye, Al Habsi - All of them under 30 and under contract when Allardyce left us. He left us with a good squad and it was squandered.”
Tigermin: “Allardyce bailed out because Gartside and the board wouldn’t back him to take us onto another level, he took us on a wonderful journey most of us never thought possible. He had a fantastic tenure as boss and I for one will be forever grateful for it. The players we were lucky to witness came to the club because of him and him alone, the man had presence and ability and we were the lucky ones that benefitted from that.”
Sluffy: “The biggest mistake was getting relegated - we've lost absolutely millions because of that. The team that got relegated under-performed badly - worst home record in the clubs history and we had players like Davies - who had recently been good enough to play for England, Klasnic, Petrov, Jussi, Reo-Coker (who was the clubs player of the year that season), Lee, Eagles, Wheater, Mark Davies, Alonso, etc.
Can anyone honestly tell me that team wasn't good enough to stay up with an half decent manager in charge?
Instead we had Coyle playing the same system week in and week out and getting beaten every time.
Thank you Owen for your master class in tactics.”