Tag Archives: wanderers

How is Stoke’s Thibaud Verlinden getting on at Bolton?

Stoke fans were shocked when Bolton signed their winger, Thibaud Verlinden. He’s only on loan with Keith Hill’s side but Stoke fans thought he would be ready to join their first team this season.

As a Bolton fan, I would like to thank Stoke. Verlinden has been absolutely brilliant for us so far.

The skill that the 20 year old has is unbelievable. He has also shown the determination with the rest of the Bolton team to try and get points.

Stoke fans will welcome him back with open arms. This spell in League One will prepare him for regular football if Stoke want to feature him in their first team.

Unfortunately, he suffered a groin injury a few weeks ago and missed two games. However, he’s back now and fit.

Current form

In 7 games, he has scored 2 goals. The youngster is talented. Not only can he score goals and contribute to others but he can also inspire with his footwork.

He isn’t afraid to take on opposition and get stuck in. I would say that he is definitely getting the most out of his time at Bolton.


Before he returns to Stoke in January, there are still a few things he needs to work on.

One thing is fouls. When Verlinden played against Blackpool, he picked up a yellow card and the referee had to have a word with him. That didn’t stop him however, as he continued to be quite careless on the pitch.

3 words to sum up Bolton’s win over Man City Under 21’s

Last night, Bolton Wanderers faced Man City Under 21’s in the Leasing.com Trophy. They managed to win 3-1 and here’s three words to describe their performance.

In other rounds of this competition, Bolton had to put a very young team out to fulfill fixtures.

However, last night they were able to compete with a full team of experienced players.

The improvements in the team were obvious as Bolton managed to win 3-1. Bolton went 1-0 up early on with a goal from Ali Crawford.

Yoan Zouma put the ball in the back of his own net to give Man City an equaliser. However, that wasn’t enough as Chris O’Grady managed to score twice giving Bolton the win.

Here’s three words with explanations to sum up their performance…


The scoreline obviously shows that Bolton had a great game. However,the thing that stood out for me as a Bolton fan was how solid the team were as a whole.

Having Chris O’Grady, Joe Dodoo and Ali Crawford work together is proving to be the attacking force that Bolton needed.


What Keith Hill has done with this team is brilliant. The transformation from the start of the season is evident.

Man City Under 21’s have a very talented squad, compared to Bolton who have only been together for a matter of months. To beat this team with a solid performance is also brilliant.


However, despite the positives, things seem to be going one step forward and 5 steps back for Bolton.

A few weeks ago, Liam bridcutt who is arguably Bolton’s best player, was injured. This was a big blow for the team and now they’ve had another one.

Ali Crawford went down with what looked like a serious knee injury later on in the game. That is one more player they’ll be without if the injury proved to be a serious as it seemed.

The Bolton Wanderers team to face Man City u21’s should look like this

Bolton Wanderers will face Man City Under-21’s tonight in a Football League Trophy game. The Football Manc Cave have predicted how Keith Hill will line up his team.

While this clash will be a tough one for Bolton, it will also be a very exciting one for fans.

It will be interesting to see how Keith Hill uses his players in terms of the starting line-up.

It’s obvious that he will want his side to go out and try and win the game. However, this might give him a chance to play some younger players who have been benched recently.

This is the starting line-up that I have predicted for tonight…


My guess is that Keith Hill will want to give the strongest possible starting 11 a chance.

Having options like Ali Crawford, Daryl Murphy and Joe Dodoo upfront will surely give a strong attacking side.

Plan B

Bolton had a situation at the beginning of the season in which they had to play young players in order to fulfill fixtures.

However, that is something that has benefited them now because they always have options on the bench.

If Keith Hill does go with a similar starting line-up to what I have picked, then he will have options like Sonny Graham and Adam Senior that choose from.

Aberdeen looking to bring in former Bolton Wanderers man

According to The Sun, Aberdeen are looking to sign former Bolton Wanderers man, Gary O’Neil. Although it does look unlikely that the 36 year-old midfielder will be joining the club.

The Aberdeen boss Derek McInnes is looking to bolster his midfield numbers in the free transfer market.

McInnes has been forced into playing defenders, Greg Leigh and Zak Vyner in a central midfield position.

This comes after first choice players have been suspended or are out with injury.

To try and fix his midfield problems, the Aberdeen manager has held talks with ex QPR, Middlesbrough, Bolton and Norwich man, Gary O’Neil.

However, it doesn’t look like the move is likely to happen.

Gary O’Neil

The 36 year-old midfielder has been without a club since leaving Bolton in the summer.

However, it doesn’t look like a move to Aberdeen will be the next destination for him.

Youssouf Mulumbu

It now looks like another man could be on Aberdeen radar as a back up plan.

Former Celtic player, Youssouf Mulumbu could be the new man of interest.

Bolton Wanderers striker gives rallying call

Bolton Wanderers’ fight to stay in League One is well and truly on. One of their new additions, Daryl Murphy has said that he is ready to face the challenge head-on.

The Nottingham Post has explained how the striker is wanting to help Bolton climb out of the negative points they are currently on and start ‘the great escape.’

Murphy made his debut against Blackpool on Monday night and was happy with the football he saw. Despite not finding the back of the net himself, the 0-0 draw did show off how far Bolton have come.

The 36-year-old now wants to build off the great performances and turn them into wins. Murphy was out with a calf injury but that was a perfect opportunity for him to analyse how the side have been playing.

Now he knows exactly what he needs to do in order to help out the squad and Keith Hill.


Most players at 36 would be judged. Some would say its too old. Murphy appreciates that but has said he has never had a problem with his fitness. He’s also never had serious injuries, just little knockbacks.

The forward now can’t wait to show what he’s capable of. After Monday night’s performance, I’m sure fans can’t either.

Relegation Battle

Bolton is obviously under a point deduction at the bottom of the league. Once they get out of that, they then have to get out of the relegation zone. Murphy is hoping for some wins to help with that plan.

He’s also said that it isn’t a nice situation to be in. However, he believes that the transformation Bolton has taken on is brilliant. Now it’s just a matter of winning and it’s something he’s ready to get stuck into.

Returning player a major boost for Bolton Wanderers

When Preston North End loaned Josh Earl to Bolton Wanderers at the start of the season, things were looking up. However, 14 minutes into the Wycombe clash, the defender tore his ankle ligaments. The 20-year-old has been out of action ever since. Now he’s back in training.

At Preston, he made 33 appearances before being loaned out to Lancaster City. Now he’s part of the Bolton squad who are working hard to escape their point deduction.

He was looking forward to being a part of a squad that would be making a difference. The injury he picked up was unfortunate and a lot of young players had to step up at Bolton.

It’s nice to see him back in training now. A lot of players who have been a part of Bolton over the years have always credited them for looking after injuries. Having another player as an option for Keith Hill is also great.

Fallen Behind

However, Hill has had his players working extremely hard since he arrived. You can tell in Bolton’s performances that training is working. The only negative is, Earl will have to ease himself into this style of play.

While he will have to be careful in training, he will also be under pressure to play catch up. Being physically fit is something Hill has been working on but the 20-year-old has missed out on this.


Even though he’s back in training and taking it easy, the injury could still be causing him problems. I’m sure he will be worked back into the squad at his own pace although fans will hope it will be sooner rather than later.

When he does make his return, it will be a sensible decision to have him on the bench. Bolton has had a series of solid performances. Their defence has been a lot better but Earl could offer some relief to a few of the squad.

‘Beat the bookies’ Keith Hill’s Bolton war cry

Bolton Wanderers Keith Hill

Bolton Wanderers boss, Keith Hill has said in an interview that his side can ‘beat the bookies.’ The Football Manc Cave takes a closer look.

In an interview with The Bolton News, Keith Hill has responded to the fact that Bolton is still favourites to be relegated from League One this season. The Trotters fell 18 points behind the safety line after last weekends defeat to Portsmouth, and still have the possibility of further punishment from the EFL hanging over their heads.

Hill is now said to be urging his players to fight what is in front of them rather than worrying about the potential consequences and to also ignore anyone who is writing off their chances. He has explained how the club has been fighting a long, hard summer and still have had no relief but despite everything, he believes his side are ‘still in it.’ He’s also added to this by saying that anyone who disrespects League One simply doesn’t know it.

In my opinion, I do clearly think we’ve got a huge relegation battle on our hands. Once we get out of the points we have had deducted, we then have to start building again like it’s the start of the season. It will be a relief when we do get out of the minus and I think it’s coming sooner rather than later.

The harder work starts now

However, I like the fact that Keith Hill has got this teams mentality at a point where every game is just as important as the next. They don’t need to think about what’s being said, they just need to put the work in.

I think he’s absolutely spot on in saying that Bolton will beat the bookies because they have already. Look at the Sunderland game, we were not favourites at all, nowhere near but we were winning until the last couple of minutes of the game. Fans are actually excited to start putting bets on Bolton again because goals are coming gradually.

What Keith Hill has done with this team just proves that he knows what he’s doing. This is in no disrespect to Phil Parkinson because he stuck around in extremely difficult times and will always be remembered for that.

However, Hill’s experience with this level of football just goes to show. He’s got the squad playing skilful football, scoring goals, got the defence working as a solid team and is developing the youngsters well too. All of the above and he’s still not happy because he wants his squad’s fitness to be better, which just proves how much he cares for this team.

While I think it’ll be a hard battle. I think Keith’s attitude towards the league, his players and football as a whole will see us get back on top eventually.

‘No problem Liverpool’ Wolves upset the odds and leave Man City chasing

Manchester City had a good opportunity at the weekend to try and close the gap between themselves and Liverpool. Unexpectedly, they lost 2-0 to Wolves. 

Wolves now sit 11th in the Premier League on 10 points and fans are extremely happy with how their team are performing at the minute. The game was looking like it was going to be a 0-0 draw in the closing stages, which also would have been a disappointment for City because they to match Liverpool’s form.

However, after many chances and a David Silva free-kick hitting the crossbar. Wolves managed to break, not once but twice and take all three points in the 80th and the 94th minute.

Adama Traore bagged both of the goals with Raul Jimenez assisting both. The pair took advantage of Man City’s defence both times as they worked as a pair to break them down.

It looked as if Guardiola’s defence were dropping too far down the pitch leaving a lot of space open for the opposition to break. Another key performer for Wolves who is worth mentioning is Rui Patricio. The keeper had an outstanding game and was constantly on his toes.

Here are your reactions…

Bolton should line up like this tonight as they search for their first win under Hill

Bolton Wanderers Keith Hill

Keith Hill’s Bolton side are about to face Blackpool tonight. The Football Manc Cave is looking at how the Trotters side should line up.

Before the kick-off at the University of Bolton Stadium tonight at 8 pm, we are looking at which players should get to start in trying to keep Keith Hill’s sides performance strong.

They have proven recently that they’re turning things around and just looking at the transformation in their score sheets each week confirms that. They recently managed a draw with Rochdale in the Football League Trophy, after a 1-1, they only lost on penalties.

Their 1-0 loss to Portsmouth was unfortunate as it only came in the second half after a great performance again. Another frustrating scoreline was when they drew 1-1 with Sunderland, as it looked like they would take all three points until they gave a penalty away. Bolton’s first win is on the cards.

Blackpool is currently 5th in the league and are on 19 points. It’s going to be a hard match for Bolton, however, Blackpool’s most recent form looks like this; 2-1 win against Lincoln, 1-1 draw with Accrington Stanley and won 1-0 against Doncaster. Even though they’re on good form, they’re not scoring loads of goals each week and it’s only small score sheets like 1-0 wins.

This is something Bolton could take advantage of and try to get a point out of it. Here’s how I think Keith Hill should line his team up…

Remi Matthews obviously deserves his place in goal and that won’t change. The defence should line up with Josh Emmanuel on the right, Yoan Zouma and Jack Hobbs in the middle and Adam Chicksen on the left. These four seem to do well together.

Jack Hobbs has had a great season so far and even though Yoan Zouma gave away the penalty against Sunderland. I think starting him is the right thing to do, it will help with his confidence and keep him going mentally.

Bolton’s midfield

In midfield, Liam Bridcutt obviously should go out as Captain in the middle as he’s proving to be a great leader and motivation for the rest of the midfield. Jason Lowe should accompany him with Ali Crawford and Will Buckley and Thibaud Verlinden on each wing.

Keith Hill has been working on fitness within the squad and even though Verlinden is excellent on the ball, he was replaced against Rochdale in the 61st minute by Dennis Politic. This is another sensible decision as the pair are both great additions to the team and should both be given a chance but we don’t want either to get injured.

Bolton attack

Upfront should be Daryl Murphy. He’s a new signing who has been out but now is fit again. He does have some competition now though however as Bolton signed Joe Dodoo this week.

If Keith Hill sticks to his sensible style of planning, he will probably keep him on the bench for his first game with the Whites and only bring him on in the second half but we will see later tonight.

How has Keith Hill transformed Bolton Wanderers’ in his first month

Bolton Wanderers are beginning to pick up points finally and The Football Manc Cave is looking at what Keith Hill has done to achieve this so far.

When you look at the Bolton scores from the first couple of weeks of the season and compare them to now, it’s a completely different level. Since Keith Hill has been appointed as manager, if you ignore the 6-1 loss at Rotherham, he’s got a point against Oxford United and another against Sunderland last weekend after being in front for the majority of the game.

What has he done to achieve such a difference?

Before there’s any misunderstanding here, I am not disregarding Phil Parkinson. His style of play may have not been to everyone’s standard, however, he stuck around when times were rough.

He kept us up and got us promoted in his time with us, and he only gave up when he felt the time was right to give another person the responsibilities that he had been carrying for a long time. That man will always be remembered for sticking by us and doing what he could with such a young squad.

Looking at the here and now, Keith Hill has come in and had new players sign for the club on loan spells to help us out. He has had less than a month to get these lads playing together well enough to earn some points.

Bolton went 1-0 up against Rotherham and fans thought that was the start of something special. When you look at the final result of that game, it did turn into something quite different. However, fans got a glimpse of how the newly formed squad would be playing and Keith Hill got a taste of what he would have to do on the training ground to achieve more.

Here are some things that I think he has done in order to achieve success…

Jason Lowe

The man who received a lot of negative comments in the early stages of the season and why? Because he was going out as Captain and we weren’t playing well enough.

However, Keith Hill has come in and taken that Captain’s armband from him and it’s the best thing he could have ever done for the midfielder. Let’s be honest here, he was only made Captain in the first place because of the age of all the squad players, the inexperience of most and the fact that someone needed to go out as Captain once David Wheater left.

This knocked his confidence as a player and there was a lot of pressure on him. Now fans are seeing a different player because he doesn’t have that added pressure on him, and is open to being a wider and more attacking midfielder now.

He has been given Liam Bridcutt as a partner in the middle. The loanee has taken the Captain’s armband which is proving to be the right decision and has made a positive impact on the team.

Younger Players

It’s also no secret that a lot of the younger players had to go out and try and play for points in the early stages of the season. Fans have got those players down as legends now and constantly said that they didn’t want their efforts to go unnoticed.

Even though we have more experienced players in the squad now, fans wanted to see some of the youngsters on the bench and getting rewarded with more playing time.

That is exactly what Keith Hill has done but in the completely correct and sensible way. Everyone has noticed that Dennis Politic has the capability and standard of play to be in the first-team squad. He has remained in the starting line up which is brilliant for him. If he had have gone back on the bench each week, that could have knocked his confidence.

There are also players like Yoan Zouma, (let’s not talk about the penalty he gave away at the weekend, it literally could have been anyone that gave a handball at that stage). Zouma has been getting brought on in the second half of games which is sensible because he’s not yet at the level to start games. Although, giving him playing time will see him earn that spot eventually.


And finally, the most important thing he has done is, to be honest, and not have high expectations. He has said that he would need time and he even addressed the fact that by saying that, he may receive some comments saying he’s making excuses.

However, in actual fact, time is exactly what he needed. He’s already getting draws with this squad and it’s not even been a month yet. So imagine what will come in a couple of months.

The most impressive thing is the fact he’s not had high expectations and recognises that it’s going to be a hard journey, although he has given Bolton fans the one thing they needed. Hope.

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