Bolton on Saturday, wee Michael Owen and new manager

I had planned to spend more time on this, but it turns out I did have things to do yesterday and I have things to do today too which is a bit of a distraction, but it pays the bills.

But before we get to my mini preview of Bolton on Saturday - there is growing speculation that our new manager wants to part with £6,000,000.00 for wee Michael Owen and while I really would have loved to see Michael Owen in claret and blue, that was eight years ago.


But, I am confident that this is where common sense will prevail and he won't be coming. He won't be coming because it isn't just the £6,000,000.00, it is the very high weekly wage. No club spends that amount of money on a player at 30 years old - especially one that is injury prone.

Don't get me wrong, if money wasn't an issue, go for it, but money does appear to be an issue these days and while I am confident that he would score goals, if he could remain injury free, £6,000,000.00 is a lot of money. If it was on a free, it would be a fantastic deal, but the figure getting quoted worries me, even though it shouldn't.

Bolton at Villa Park

Saturday is a sad day in one respect, but I am very confident it will be a happy day too. We've scored a lot of goals against Bolton at Villa Park in recent seasons and I just think it might happen again.

Naturally, it might not, but I still see three points when I look into my cup. But like I said, a sad day too, as it will be the last time Kevin MacDonald takes responsibility for the first team and quite probably the last time he ever will.

I think the players will want to give him a good send off too and with a loud Villa Park, all things point to three points.

Bolton, last time out

Last time out we played a very clear 442 with Gabby and Carew and it worked, but it was Bolton and we really shouldn't be surprised. I think we will play a variation of 451 on Saturday with Webcam in the hole and Gabby up front. I've not got any tips, this is just because Kevin MacDonald likes to play this way.

Last time out we had 23 shots in total, made 274 successful passes and failed with 59. Of the 18 free kicks we had, Ashley Young hit them all long. I joke, but come on, he needs to work on these and develop a little consistency. If he could just mail that part of his game, he really would be a very special player.

The new manager

So, with Houllier taking over after this game I expect he will be in the stands so the players will be playing for two men and with an expectant Villa Park, I fancy there will be an optimistic feeling and Houllier will be impressed.

Houllier has also confirmed that he is in talks with Robert Duverne about adding the fitness coach to his backroom team and I don't expect this appointment to take long. It is a position that needs to be filled and Houllier is going to want it filled quite quickly.

Bolton odds

You won't get a great price on us winning, but you will get a price. Don't put your mortgage on it just because I say we are going to win but the odds below are the best you will get from all the bookmakers we use.