In throwing out Sammy Lee (platitudes aside), the Bolton board has effectively thrown its hands up in the air and admitted that Lee could not command the dressing room. You don’t get into a political tussle with an influential player like Gary Speed and come away without a scratch, especially if it’s your first season as head coach.
With England losing to Russia, Steve McClaren may very well be out of a job in the coming days (at best, we’ll have to wait till England’s home game against Croatia and Russia’s away game against Israel in mid November). A more likely option could be Stuart Pearce, who perhaps has the motivational abilities to turn Bolton around, if not the tactical nous (maybe Speed can help?).
Whoever comes to Bolton will have a massive task ahead of them – turning around a club in free-fall like Bolton has been in the last two months is not easy, and it will take a manager as big as, or perhaps better than, Big Sam to save Bolton from relegation. Or Bolton could rely on another club to go into a tailspin on the last day and escape thanks to Nicolas Anelka scoring 30 goals this season.
What would you rather bet on?