You have to hear the chant to appreciate it. The second part of the line is delivered not joyously, but in a lower tone, with a mixture of dread, sarcasm and resignation. Such black humour keeps football supporters going when their team’s exploits on the pitch aren’t up to snuff.
With Bolton all but relegated to the third tier of English football before Easter, it’s time to find things to occupy the mind, apart from wondering when Sports Shield are going to run out of money. So with that thought, here is the Manny Road guide to Bolton’s most rubbish striker.
For this exercise, the choices have been limited to players from recent years. Older fans will no doubt remember other forwards who couldn’t even find a banjo, let alone endanger a cow with it.
On the face of it signing N’Gog from Liverpool had logic. He was seen as a young, talented, underachieving player who might be helped by Owen Coyle’s arm around the shoulder approach. This had limited success, since the arm and the rest of Coyle left the season after with the team in a lower division.
At times, N’Gog was unplayable. These times lasted as much as a minute. Then he’s spend the rest of the game trying to hide in the crowd. Never was a player so unsuited to English football.
N’Gog signed for Swansea in January 2014. It was then clear that manager Michael Laudrup had lost his mind and he was sacked a week later.
After signing for £3.5 million, Sordell spent more time playing on his iPhone than he did on the pitch. This didn’t stop him being nominated as Bolton young player of the year, or being selected for the Olympic squad. “Marvin Sordell, England’s number 12,” ran the chant.
In two seasons, the former Watford forward made just 24 appearances, scoring four times. As Millwall fans unkindly but accurately observed, Sordell looks like a fish. Unfortunately, he plays like one too.
Within minutes of his debut, Makukula clattered into Manchester United’s Nemanja Vidic, rendering him horizontal. This was the only good thing he did as a Bolton player. The Portuguese had one vital flaw that limited his effectiveness. That flaw was a complete absence of skill. After six appearances in which he scored a magnificent total of no goals, he returned to parent club Benfica, who had signed him when the manager was off his face on Madiera.
After the departure of Nicolas Anelka, Gary Megson sought a replacement goal scorer. Surprisingly, he chose the man who came to fix his taps. Rasiak had at one time played for Spurs where he scored precisely no goals, a feat repeated for the Ginger One.
Watching Rasiak run was mesmerising. His knees had a life of their own and operated independently from the rest of his legs. There was sluggish and then there was Rasiak. He was a permanent slow motion replay. After a seventeen club career the man with luminous green boots returned to his native Poland and devoted himself to plumbing full time. Service is reported to be good, if not the fastest.
Before joining Bolton, Braaten was best known as a proponent of the seal dribble, which involves running with the ball bouncing on your forehead. The Norweigan didn’t try this whilst playing for the Whites, mainly because he’d given up running two years previously after repeatedly tripping over his own stomach.
Amazingly, Braaten did score for Bolton, after coming on as a sub against Reading. He celebrated by throwing himself at Nicolas Anelka, who’d supplied the assisting pass, almost injuring the Frenchman fatally in the process. It is rumoured that Anelka left for Chelsea to avoid a repeat.
Gary Madine, Goal Machine
“I’ve been really pleased with him – he’s a better player than I thought he was,” said Neil Lennon in pre-season. One wonders how bad the ginger sex beast had been expecting things to be. It’s astounding how often the words “Madine”, “header” and “wide” appear in the same sentence.
Not much was expected of the former Sheffield Wednesday man , whose best goal scoring season was in League One, but having served jail time for assault it was expected that he’d at least add some physical threat to a side too often bullied.
That hope proved entirely false. Madine avoids rough stuff like Adam Johnson avoids the fathers of teenage girls. When inside he must have been someone’s bitch.
With acknowledgment to the Trottersforever forum where the question was first asked.
– Richard McCormick