Talking Toffees with Lion of Vienna Suite

BOLTON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 26: Apostolos Vellios of Everton scores his side's second goal past goalkeeper Jussi Jaaskelainen of Bolton Wanderers during the Barclays Premier League match between Bolton Wanderers and Everton at Reebok Stadium on November 26, 2011 in Bolton, England. (Photo by Chris Brunskill/Getty Images)


With Wednesday's match against Bolton approaching, we took some time to talk with SB Nation's fantastic Bolton blog Lion of Vienna Suite. If Evertonians think things are dire at Goodison, All I have to say is give thanks you are not a Bolton fan. Leave your thoughts about the match below, and hopefully Everton will get 3 points in style once again. A big thanks to Mark for taking time out to answer our questions, and until next time COYB!

RBM: Bolton has not had the season most people were predicting, what has been the problem for the squad over the first half of the season?

LOVS: The better question to ask is "What hasn't been the problem?" The defense has been in shambles, there's no leadership in the midfield, and the strikers (apart from Klasnic for a small stretch) are no longer scoring. It has largely been a comedy of errors that's lasted the entire first half of the season.


RBM: Owen Coyle has been tipped to be the next manager sacked in the EPL. How long do you think it will be before we see a new manager at the Reebok, and are there any hints about who could replace him?

LOVS: I don't think he'll be getting sacked any time soon. Despite being under pressure, the Bolton board appears to still have faith in him. There has also been a rumor going around that sacking Coyle would cost the club a few million pounds, something we simply cannot afford. A lot of the fans have been calling for his head for a long time now but I think he realistically has to be given until at least the end of the transfer window. With this current crop of players and injuries, I can't see Bolton getting out of trouble without some new blood. As for a new manager, there doesn't appear to be a good option available that would be willing to work with the Wanderers' lack of funds.

RBM: Stuart Holden's injury late last year seemed to be a big blow to Bolton's creativity and success, and his absence due to a setback has certainly not helped matters. Any indication about when he is going to return to the team?

LOVS: We hope Stuart will be back in March. He has been off his crutches since he was spotted watching his former Houston Dynamo at MLS Cup back in November. As far as we know, his rehabilitation has been going to plan. Chung-Yong Lee has returned to South Korea to continue his recovery as well and might be back at around the same time.


RBM: Bolton has managed to win 4 matches this season, what are some of the things to lookout for if Bolton are going to get 3 points this time around?


LOVS: The forwards need to click. David Ngog and Ivan Klasnic have started the last few games up front together but the partnership has not produced a goal. In fact, a Bolton striker has not scored in 395 minutes of football. With Sam Ricketts back in the squad and Paul Robinson on the bench, the defense looks to have been shored up a bit but the biggest issue now is scoring goals.


RBM: The last time these two teams met, David Wheater's red card really seemed to turn the match in Everton's favor. What do you expect from Bolton against Everton this time around?

LOVS: I expect a better performance this time and hopefully a sense of urgency. Three points here would be massive, especially with Wolves, QPR, and Blackburn losing in the 20th round of fixtures.


RBM: What part of Everton's play worries you the most as a Bolton fan?

LOVS: Always hate playing teams on a good run of form and Everton being on a four match undefeated streak certainly qualifies as that. Louis Saha's goalless drought is another thing to worry about it as it has to come to an end sometime, right?

RBM: What is your prediction for Wednesday's match?

LOVS: It's a tough one to call for sure but I'll be optimistic and say a 2-1 win to Bolton with David Ngog scoring one. I mentioned the need to sense urgency earlier and I absolutely cannot stress the need for a result enough. Hopefully the men in white see that.
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