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Not All Who Wander Are Lost

Richard Hammond, of Top Gear, takes charge of Bolton.
Started on 1 August 2014 by squirmy420
Latest Reply on 7 September 2014 by squirmy420
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N'Gog is a great player, good to see him stay on
I just want to thank everyone that has supported this story so far. I've made story of the week this week, and I doubt I would have without the readers so thank you all very much! Makes a lad feel welcome!
Increeeeeddibbleee start to the season!

Ex-Bolton captain and favorite Jay-Jay Okocha has held a press conference in London following Richard Hammond first two month in charge of his former club Bolton Wanderers. He has even gone as far as to infer that “Hammond may be the man to build Bolton up into a solid premier league side, the way we wanted in 05-06.”
Okocha, who captained Wanderers in the 04 season, is well thought of by fans, despite his comments in 2012 following their relegation.

“After a stellar start to this season, a lot of fans are very hopeful of a top flight return. And more of them, including me are hoping for the team to build well in the next few years as Richard is given more money and time to build a squad to his shape.”

He also took time to highlight the play of Andre Moritz over the last few games. “Bolton, having both Lee Chung Young and David Ngog unavailable for the next 2 games at least due to injuries, will be looking for players such as Moritz to step up. And if his form is anything to tell by, he’s just starting to click in his role for the Wanderers.”
Andre Moritz celebrates his first goal of the season

Jay-Jay also went further, hinting at perhaps a return to the Reebok stadium this time perhaps to join Hammond at the sidelines. “Maybe, if I play my cards right, I can find a way to work with Richard Hammond and this resurgent Wanderers side. I’d love to go back there, and see if we can’t really turn this club into something big.”
Okocha says he would love to engineer a return to Hammond's Bolton Wanderers
great update, good to hear such positive words from the great Jay-Jay
squirmy420's avatar Group squirmy420
8 yearsEdited

October Review

Richard Hammond produced a 3rd perfect month in a row with the Wanderers over the course of October. Playing 4 league games against mid table sides and a Capital One Clash between the Trotters and Bury, who had done well to knock clubs such as Everton out.

The month started off well for the Wanderers in their first game of the month versus a semi inconsistent Blackpool. Missing both Lee Chung Young and star-man David Ngog for this game left Hammond with a thin line in attack, especially after the early injury to Rob Hall but Andre Moritz came up big around the half hour mark to sink a long range free kick into the bottom corner of the net.
Andre Moritz sinks yet another free kick with his favored left foot.

The game went into the half at 1-0 in Boltons favor, with both teams suffering injuries. And Bolton looked to exploit this by using more of the ball in the 2nd half and attempting to keep it from Blackpool. Eventually Jermaine Beckford found himself with the opportunity to double the lead and managed to do so by pouncing on the loose ball and tucking it home for his first of the season in the 82nd minute of play.
Beckford pounces on a loose ball to score his first of the season.

Bolton looked to win it 2-0 but Chris Basham managed to hit a lovely free kick two minutes from time to give the Blackpool fans something to cheer about on the day.
Basham hits a lovely free kick, but it’s too little too late.

Bolton’s next game took them to St. Andrews to play Birmingham, and it would be Bolton’s last game with their two key players sidelined via injury. Will Keane was handed the start for his last appearance to a lack-luster loan spell with the Wanderers before he returned to Manchester United and made the most of it around the half hour mark as he volleys home a wonderful Chris Eagles cross.
Will Keane makes the most of his last game for the Wanderers with a crushing volley.

No one would score again until 5 minutes from time when Will Keane picked his head up and picked out a lovely through ball for Rob Hall to run onto and tuck past the keeper's outstretched glove.
Rob Hall places one in the upper V of the Birmingham goal.

Bolton would travel back home to Reebok Stadium to take on one of the rougher defenses in the league Sheffield Wednesdays. Bolton also saw David Ngog and Lee Chung Young return from injuries on the same game day to the chagrin of Wanderers fans everywhere.

Wanderers again waited until about the half hour mark before Rob Hall continued his scoring form from last game and had his shot beat Adam Davies to the far post and into the net. Bolton took the 1-0 lead into half time.
Rob Hall scores a wonderful goal in the 34th minute.

Hammond really must have lit a fire under the Wanderers at halftime as they came out guns blazing, putting pressure on the Wednesdays to start the 2nd half from the whistle. It wasn’t until the 58th minute that returning Lee Chung Young managed to find the goal to double the Wanderers lead with a shot from a tight angle that Adam Davies had nothing to say about.
Lee Chung Young scores on his return from a gashed leg.

With the Trotters firing on all cylinders it was only a matter of time before Adam Davies Wednesdays constantly under siege keepers went from bad to terrible. David Ngog made his injury return with an instant impact as well, managing to find a late goal in the 80th minute by tapping home his own shot that had rebounded off the upright.
Ngog turns it from win, to rout.

Seven minutes later Rob Hall found the net again to complete his brace with a lovely effort past the red faced Davies and fully humiliate the traveling team.
Rob Hall scores his 2nd of the game and his 3rd of the season.

Playing again in Reebok stadium this time against Ipswich, who Bolton had beaten 4-2 earlier this season in a Capital One Cup game. Things got off to a flying start for Bolton when David Ngog pounced on a defensive error to score the 10th goal of his season into an open net after being rejected by the keeper moments earlier, for his second lucky goal in as many games.
Ngog has had a stellar season thus for under Richard Hammond, who would have guessed?

Bolton fell back and were forced to defend for the remainder of the half after Ipswich found another gear. With the half closing at 1-0 things were looking fairly even with the difference being the returning David Ngog. In the second half, things didn’t much change with a large amount of the battle being waged in midfield players like Franco Zuculini and Jay Spearing were forced to come up big for the team, retaining the ball when the Wanderers had it, and showing a bit of the teeth when they were forced to fight for.

Things became very nervous for Richard Hammond and any Bolton fan watching in the 71st minute when the ref gave a penalty for what he judge to be Tim Ream handling the ball on the edge of the box. However, Adam Bogdan came up huge for the Wanderers, making the save and 2 more before the team was able to clear the danger.
Adam Bogdan makes a huge stop for Bolton.

With the save made, Bolton found a new spirit and got into the attacking side of the pitch more often but were unable to add to their lead and the game finished out a dramatic 1-0 thanks to David Ngog.

Boltons final game of the month saw them travel to Gigg Lane to take on League 2 over achievers Bury, who’d scalped Crewe, Everton (on penalties) and Walsall on their cup run so far. Hammond opted to rest David Ngog and play Craig Davies who has recently forced his way onto the transfer lists at the Reebok Stadium citing low playing time for his reasons.

Hammond also rested a number of other key players, including Jay Spearing.

His gamble in playing Craig Davies payed off in the 16th minute of the game when the welsh international struck the only goal of the game off a corner kick from in close.
Davies is left with a simple job after a superb cross from the corner.

Hammond again brought home the manager of the month award for another perfect month. After which he says, “nothing can stop this team. The spirit we have here is incredible. We are a team resurgent. We don’t even care about the burden of debt. The players know they play for more than money here, they play for a badge. They play for a club. They play for each other. Even the lads that want out, like Craig, (Davies) are welcomed into our starting 11 and perform like they belong there. It’s a great place to be at a great time.”

Next months fixtures

Bolton have a light month next month with a long international break in the middle, however, and a large number of Trotters involved for their nations it’s likely to provide little respite to a weary team.

Player of the Month
for this month and last month, forgot to award it to him last month.

Andre Moritz

Andre Moritz has been in blistering form for the Wanderers, picking up the attacking line when both Lee Chung Young and David Ngog were out injured. He’s topping the assists chart in the league with 8, (10 overall) and I doubt Ngog would be scoring as much as he is without Moritz and his heads up passing awareness with the ball at his feet. He is the spring in the Bolton counter attack, making tackles high up the pitch and immediately looking to play into either winger or the striker. The Brazilian is bringing a level of excitement back into the Bolton squad in his first year with the squad.
squirmy, stahp winning mate it'll get too easy ;)
@fzemdegs I'm seriously worried about the mental scars the first loss is going to have on Hamster!
So much detail, great writing. Keep the good run going, team is playing well.
Really like this story - great ideas.
You just won't stop winning will you?! Great results :D
squirmy420's avatar Group squirmy420
8 yearsEdited

News from the Wanderers Camp
Hammond took to the press earlier today to talk some Trotters news.

Richard Hammond has by all accounts become one of the top topics of the year when it come to surprises. Not only has he quit his Top Gear job as a co-presenter, he’s also taken up the mantle as one of the more promising Football Managers of the year. Making his presence felt the league over with his winning displays, Hammond has hit the ground running at Reebok Stadium, and it doesn’t seem he’s looking back.

However, earlier this week Franco Zuculini, already becoming a key figure with the Wanderers in his first season, revealed he is struggling to adapt to English life style. Translated from spanish”Life in England is very different from life in Spain or Argentina. It’s very difficult to overcome the language barrier here in this country. It helps a little having people like Andre (Moritz) who I can speak spanish with but it’s really hard not being able to understand any of the fans that approach me in the streets of Bolton. I’m sure it’s all good,” Franco said, smiling and laughing a little, “But it doesn’t feel like home, that’s for sure.”
Franco held a small press conference to discuss his problems adapting in England earlier this week.

“I’ve already approached the gaffer. He’s promised to do everything he can to help me out. I asked him to look into bringing Leo Franco to the club, I played with him at Real (Zaragoza) and he was key in my adapting to spanish life. He really took me under his wing, and it’d be great to have him here to help me again.”
Zuculini has had a great debut season at Trotters, as the stats show, but is still not quite at home.

Leo Franco refused to comment following his teams latest game, stating, “I haven’t heard from Richard Hammond or the Bolton club, when I do, I will have a decision to make. Before then… I won’t be speculating.”
Franco is forced to slide out to make a save, could he be Bolton bound?

Richard Hammond did state that he was excited for the January window to open up. With a few players on the trading block, including international player Craig Davies, Hammond could have a little bit of cash to spend if things go right and he might be looking at someone like Leo Franco, who would undoubtedly help Franco Zuculini settle in his new home. “We’ll see where the club sits come January, if we have the money, I’d love to do anything I can to help Zuculini settle here. He’s a great player, and it would be a shame to lose him to homesickness.”
Really well written piece mate. Hopefully you can bring Franco in because Zuculini is a real talent!
@MCox Thanks, mate! Love to hear the feedback, for sure. I'll be doing everything I can to keep Zucu at Reebok!
If Franco is available for a low-price, I'd go for it. Maybe add him as a player/coach due too his age?

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