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This article made me a bit misty eyed.

 

Bolton can halt a record Rush

Independent, The (London), Apr 2, 1995 by IAN RIDLEY

E-mail Print Link FOR one team it marks the end of the beginning, for the other it could be the beginning of the end. Today's Coca-Cola Cup final at Wembley between Liverpool and Bolton Wanderers is a confrontation between a club seeking to confirm its renaissance with a trophy and another at the crossroads of achievement.

 

A return to the traditional Anfield virtues by the Liverpool manager Roy Evans has served the club well in the aftermath of Graeme Souness, whose new broom came with bristles the boot and board rooms found too spiky. Now, though still perhaps two players short of challenging for the Premiership title, Liverpool have taken their place again with the cream, of which they were once the cream.

 

Promotion to the Premiership, rather than a slot in its upper tier, is the Bolton Wanderers priority this season, with today's match offering either inflation for the lungs in the final straight or deflation to the spirits. On the outcome of that rests the issue of whether this promising team under a sophisticated manager in Bruce Rioch goes on together or goes its separate ways.

 

Rioch's odds to become Arsenal's new manager were cut from 10-1 to 2- 1 favourite last week, which suggests someone has good information. It would no doubt appeal to a man whose contract expires in the summer and whose family home remains in Hertfordshire.

 

His prize assets, the defender Alan Stubbs and the midfield player Jason McAteer, may also be tempted to further themselves elsewhere. Bolton have done well to hold on to them so far but may not do so for much longer. An irony is that they could be playing for Liverpool today, Bolton having turned down pounds 6m for the pair in pre-season.

 

But enough of worst-case scenarios. Today affords the opportunity while it lasts to enjoy what many judges consider the best team outside the Premiership. It is fitting that the Football League are represented in the final of their own competition by a team who can show that there is defiant life in the old body yet, a club whose name evokes its heyday.

 

"Bolton are a mixture of the direct and good football with early passing," says the Luton Town manager David Pleat. "They would rather play further forward than defend."

 

After the nearly-but-not-quite stewardship of Phil Neal, Rioch has grafted on astutely to a strong spine of the composed Stubbs, the busy McAteer and the lively John McGinlay, a late flowerer who has won his first cap for Scotland at the age of 30. Richard Sneekes adds Dutch technique in midfield, Mixu Paatelainen some Finnish finishing and bustle up front.

 

"I think if you look round the team we have got good quality everywhere and that's why we are doing so well," Stubbs says. "We have also got good players in reserve who can come in and do a job. We have played together for a long time and we are strong both mentally and physically this year. And if the forwards have not been scoring, the midfield and wingers have."

 

Pleat adds: "It will be a big test for Stubbs and how he reacts to the movement of Liverpool's front players. Up front they may be restricted in their chances but McGinlay is a strong finisher. Sneekes also has a terrific shot and McAteer surges through well from midfield."

 

Much hinges on the choice of wide players. Rioch may wish to include on the right the out-and-out winger David Lee, who can produce moments of both inspiration and frustration - more of the former in the 2-0 win at Anfield in the FA Cup two years ago - but caution may preclude a place in the starting line-up.

 

Should Liverpool begin with the attacking threat of Mark Walters on their left rather than the defensive instincts of Stig-Inge Bjornebye, Bolton may feel that Neil McDonald or the terrier Mark Patterson is better suited, though Pleat believes that Lee would give Bjornebye a torrid afternoon. It may be too much to hope that four wingers are deployed, with Steve McManaman and Alan Thompson on the other touchline.

 

Rioch is an enlightened thinker. Last week he explained his philosophy by referring to draughts games against his father. "He'd allow you to advance while he was planning moves ahead. He'd give you a draught and you'd take it, and then he'd look at the board and take maybe four or five and be in for the kill. That's the equivalent of planning passes, drawing the opposition on to you and making the killer pass that ends with the ball in the net. That's how I like football to be."

 

He has, he adds, learnt from his own playing experience of the game in the often negative, physically excessive Seventies and has changed his outlook. "They say I should teach Sneekes to tackle. Isn't it enough for them that he's bursting the net from 30 yards?" says the man whose own shot was one of the most powerful in the game. "They say Alan Stubbs takes the odd chance at the back, which to me is a little like remembering Bobby Moore for the goal he gave away in Poland. Do you dwell on the one error in 100 or do you praise the brilliance of the 99 times the ball is brought down and stroked around? We go for the latter."

Edited by HR
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http://www.theherald.co.uk/sport/headlines...Bruce_built.php

 

I will be glued to the celtic v aalborg game, just want to see if Bruce Rioch and his team have some of the cavalier style that the bolton of old use to have, in the days when the press called bolton the white Brazilians.

 

I still sometimes watch the videos from the Rioch era ...... League Cups away to Ipswich & West Ham; FA Cups against Liverpool, Everton & Arsenal. Amazing how those players could play such quality football against Premiership opposition, while the current better players ...... well, fill in the rest yourselves.

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I think if you look round the team we have got good quality everywhere and that's why we are doing so well," Stubbs says. "We have also got good players in reserve who can come in and do a job. We have played together for a long time and we are strong both mentally and physically this year. And if the forwards have not been scoring, the midfield and wingers have."

 

Pleat adds: "It will be a big test for Stubbs and how he reacts to the movement of Liverpool's front players. Up front they may be restricted in their chances but McGinlay is a strong finisher. Sneekes also has a terrific shot and McAteer surges through well from midfield."

 

Much hinges on the choice of wide players. Rioch may wish to include on the right the out-and-out winger David Lee, who can produce moments of both inspiration and frustration - more of the former in the 2-0 win at Anfield in the FA Cup two years ago - but caution may preclude a place in the starting line-up.....

 

 

if only....someone send this to the dickhead running the team now...

 

he wouldn't know where to start

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I still sometimes watch the videos from the Rioch era ...... League Cups away to Ipswich & West Ham; FA Cups against Liverpool, Everton & Arsenal. Amazing how those players could play such quality football against Premiership opposition, while the current better players ...... well, fill in the rest yourselves.

 

didn't said players get us relegated with 20 odd points?

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didn't said players get us relegated with 20 odd points?

 

Doesn't make any difference to the quality of football & entertainment we were seeing

29 points from a team who were in the 3rd level 2 years before ain't bad going - better then some clubs I could mention.

And didn't much the same team run away with the Championship the next season - 100 goals & all that ?

And get 40 points in the Prem after that ? We'll be happy with that total this season.

Facts, facts, facts ..... what would be do without 'em.

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Doesn't make any difference to the quality of football & entertainment we were seeing

29 points from a team who were in the 3rd level 2 years before ain't bad going - better then some clubs I could mention.

And didn't much the same team run away with the Championship the next season - 100 goals & all that ?

And get 40 points in the Prem after that ? We'll be happy with that total this season.

Facts, facts, facts ..... what would be do without 'em.

 

you suiad the players could play 'quality football' against prem opposition

 

i pointed out when they had to do it week in, week out they failed

 

anyway, quality football?

 

owt that gets 3 points is my idea of 'quality'

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you suiad the players could play 'quality football' against prem opposition

 

i pointed out when they had to do it week in, week out they failed

 

anyway, quality football?

 

owt that gets 3 points is my idea of 'quality'

 

aye the game against pompey last year was a right shitter.

 

best footy i've seen us play for years and we get beat 1-0.

 

give me a scabby 1-0 any day

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aye the game against pompey last year was a right shitter.

 

best footy i've seen us play for years and we get beat 1-0.

 

give me a scabby 1-0 any day

And there in lies the conundrum! As someone who went to every home match and half the away matches in those days when the football was worth watching, I have now become an occaisional visitor to the Reebok due to the 'result at all costs' mentality that has prevailed for the last few years. Sure we have experienced some great European trips but none of the actual football action can compare with the night at Anfield or Highbury (to name but 2) for pure entertainment.

There are plenty of fans who will still go and watch 'a scabby 1 - 0 any day' but there are many more who wont!

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And there in lies the conundrum! As someone who went to every home match and half the away matches in those days when the football was worth watching, I have now become an occaisional visitor to the Reebok due to the 'result at all costs' mentality that has prevailed for the last few years. Sure we have experienced some great European trips but none of the actual football action can compare with the night at Anfield or Highbury (to name but 2) for pure entertainment.

There are plenty of fans who will still go and watch 'a scabby 1 - 0 any day' but there are many more who wont!

 

If i didn't care about the result for my team and only about being entertained, i may as well stay at home and watch the goggle box or go to the cinema/theatre. Or feck off and watch Arseal/Manyoo.

 

I don't go to the footy to be entertained as it's a sport.

 

The idea of a sport is to win so if we end the day winning 1-0 having played shite i'm happy. if we play fantastic football and get beat then it's noconsolation we played well.

 

Ideally i'd love to watch us play fantastic football and win 5-0 every week but it ain't happening

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If i didn't care about the result for my team and only about being entertained, i may as well stay at home and watch the goggle box or go to the cinema/theatre. Or feck off and watch Arseal/Manyoo.

 

I don't go to the footy to be entertained as it's a sport.

 

The idea of a sport is to win so if we end the day winning 1-0 having played shite i'm happy.

 

 

whats the point in actually going to the games then...surely you could get as much out of just checking the result on ceefax from home?

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If i didn't care about the result for my team and only about being entertained, i may as well stay at home and watch the goggle box or go to the cinema/theatre. Or feck off and watch Arseal/Manyoo.

 

I don't go to the footy to be entertained as it's a sport.

 

The idea of a sport is to win so if we end the day winning 1-0 having played shite i'm happy. if we play fantastic football and get beat then it's noconsolation we played well.

 

Ideally i'd love to watch us play fantastic football and win 5-0 every week but it ain't happening

I understand your point of view because I have been there many times myself. My point is that as I have drifted away because of many reasons, the football on offer does not entice me back and there are many other people out there with the same opinion.

Edited by Boby Brno
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whats the point in actually going to the games then...surely you could get as much out of just checking the result on ceefax from home?

 

it's the tension and adrenaline that comes from watching the match, if i didn't care about the result it wouldn't be there.

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