Bolton will be looking to build on the hope given to them last season by new manager Owen Coyle.
Position Last Season: 14th
Transfers In: Martin Petrov, Robbie Blake, Marco Alonso
Transfers Out: Ricardo Vaz Te, Ali Al Habsi, Nicky Hunt
Owen Coyle finally has Bolton playing the sort of football their fans have craved for so long. Often criticised for their negative attitude under Sam Allardyce and their unattractive style of play under Gary Megson, Bolton finally started to look like a creative team towards the end of last season.
The club now have a manager that looks as though he can get the team performing as well as producing results and they are in a good position to move forward. Coyle has made some interesting signings during the summer, Martin Petrov perhaps being the most noticeable. The Bulgarian winger signed on a free transfer from Manchester City and is sure to play a big part for the team this season. His pace frightens any Premier League defence, and he is guaranteed to be involved in most of the team’s attacking play this season.
The team do however need certain players to step up if they are to move forwards. The most notable is record signing Johan Elmander, who is still some way off justifying his price tag when signed from Toulouse two years ago. Maybe the introduction into the team of Martin Petrov is what Elmander needs, he is clearly a striker that needs decent delivery into the box in order to replicate the scoring record he had at his former club.
Bolton have a solid collection of players already, with star performers such as Gary Cahill, Jussi Jaaskelainen, Fabrice Muamba and Kevin Davies guaranteed roles in the upcoming Premier League campaign. The squad may yet be added to before the close of the transfer window, and the introduction of one or two more quality players may be what the club needs to finish above last season’s 14th.
Caughtoffside prediction: With a few more additions, Bolton could well be competing for a top half finish. More realistically, they will avoid relegation easily but still be some way off a push for a European place.