Without a club since the first of July, former Wanderers midfielder Nigel Reo-Coker has signed a short term deal with managerless Championship outfit Ipswich Town. Now, considering the reason stated for him activating a clause in his contract that allowed him to leave Bolton if the club got relegated, he still felt he could perform at the highest level. Before joining Ipswich, there was only muted interest from Fulham, Charlton and then it eventually came about that the Norfolk club appeared to be his only option.
Over the years we have had a number of players who at the time they left, thought that they could do better than Bolton Wanderers. I have chose three players to look at how there careers panned out after vacating the Reebok dressing room.
First up is Striker Michael Ricketts; who featured 98 times for Wanderers scoring an impressive 37 goals after signing in summer of 2000 by Sam Allardyce for a fee of £400,000.
In my previous article, I looked at the status Legend in general and how it has been used in reference to Owen Coyle. If you’ve missed my previous post – you can find it here: Who Is Considered A Legend: Part 1. Now, as I’m not old enough to have have seen either Sir Nat or Eddie Hopkinson play, I will pick a few players who I feel are deserving of the ‘Legend’ status from an era, from a time where I have been able to watch my beloved Wanderers.
Now, this will come as no surprise, a choice which is pretty standard among the fans who have watched Bolton over the years and have been lucky enough to see Scot play in a white jersey.
John, much in the same way as Eddie Hopkinson, is player whose stories are told to the younger fans by those that have had the privilege to see John play. McGinlay was at Bolton for five years, two of which he was joined in attack by Coyle. The reason why John is held of in such high esteem, it is down to his ability to score goals, and score goals he did!
He also holds the honour of scoring the final goal at Burnden Park. Although John isn’t in the same category as Sir Nat and Eddie Hopkinson, I believe Super John is deserving of being called a legend.
The outpouring of good luck messages directed at our departing manager across the various Social Media outlets demonstrated the that among Wanderers fans Owen Coyle is highly regarded as a person, although the football that his Bolton team were producing was not up to the standards expected.
The gist of such messages are mostly not that of anger but that of fans glad the reign was over. I very much agree with the sentiments expressed, the man is known as one of the nicest men in football who’s positivity and love for Bolton wanderers was there for all to see; and I do wish him well and hope that whatever he moves onto next, he has better success than the project of Bolton Wanderers brought.
With that said, it’s the inclusion of the term ‘Legend’ that leaves me a little confused when used in reference to the departing Scot.
With the transfer window being closed for over a week now and as we are in the middle of a two week break for internationals, it’s time to look over the players that bid farewell to this football club since the last day of 2011-12 season.
Owen Coyle, true to his word, has lowered the overall wage bill at the club by letting some of the high earners leave, trimming the dead weight and calling time on two legends.
The most high profile of the departures this summer was that of vice-captain Nigel Reo Coker who chose to exercise a clause in his contract that allowed him to move to pastures new if as we did, drop out of the Premier League.
I’m more than confident that Owen would have wanted Reo Coker to remain but that choice was completely out of the managers hands. Behind Reo Coker, the next high profile first teamer to move on was last seasons top goal scorer Ivan Klasnic.
According to Zat Knight, former midfieder Nigel Reo Coker would be the answer to Coyles teams midfield problems. Knight has gone on record stating we currently have, at the club, mostly attack minded players and we need to be complemented with a defensive partner in the heart of Wanderers midfield.
Reo Coker left the club in June of this year after activating a release clause in his contract which allowed him to walk free – if the club suffered relegation.
It’s now the almost the end of the transfer window, and at the time of writing this no club has seemingly come forward to take on the experienced midfieder, leading Zat to come out and urge Wanderers to offer their former employee a return ticket to the club. This news has brought a mixed reaction for Bolton fans on the various social media outlets, most of whom appreciate the contribution to the cause that Nigel offered as well as regularly standing in as skipper in the absence of Kevin Davies.
1st July has now passed, which as we are all aware is smack bang in the middle of silly season where names are banded around like the balls on the lawns of Wimbledon as to who is going where, which clubs are going to pull of that marquee signing that will get the journos salivating.
Now while our old gaffer Big Sam, who in his time with us pulled off many jaw dropping pieces of business; including Youri Djorkaeff, Jay Jay Okocha and Super Kevin Davies for the grand sum of nothing, is still up to his old tricks trying to lure Del Piero to West Ham. A signing itself being so surprising as he is a player that does not posses the quality that Sam looks for first in his potential acquisitions, which they had to have at one point to represent Wanderers.