BBC Home

Explore the BBC


user rating: 4 star

Little Sammy feeling the heat

Premiership Bolton Wanderers
comment on the article

After seeing his side lose to Portsmouth for their third defeat in three games this season, Bolton boss Sammy Lee knows exactly what he needs to turn things around - time.

But will he get it?

At Lee's press conference following Wanderers' 3-1 loss at Fratton Park, you could only feel sorry for the rookie boss.

He is undertaking a massive task in not only stepping up to replace Sam Allardyce as Bolton manager but in trying to change his team's whole approach to the game.

Bolton are trying to play passing football rather than their previous direct approach and, as Lee himself said: "It won't happen overnight".

The worry for Lee is that he could be out of a job before he even gets started.

Little Sammy's mantra is that he is "seeing progress and development" but he knows that won't stave off the sack if Bolton keep losing.

"I am not relaxed," he added. "I don't look relaxed do I, surely? Because I am not, not after a third defeat.

"I don't want anyone to think I am easy-ozy about the position I am in at the moment. Far from it - I know football is all about getting results."

It seems ridiculously early in the season for a club to be considering sacking their manager but the stakes are high in the Premier League these days and patience is notoriously low.

Ask former Charlton boss Iain Dowie - who lasted 12 games in charge when the Addicks were in the top flight last season - or his successor Les Reed, who spent only 41 days in the post.

So should Bolton be looking to ditch Lee and start again?

I hope not because Lee comes across as likeable and determined, and you cannot doubt his honesty or knowledge of the game.

He also deserves a chance to at least get his feet under the desk at the Reebok Stadium and try to stamp his style on his team.

But do Wanderers fans feel the same way?

Pompey boss Harry Redknapp has backed Lee to turn things round, saying: "It has not been an easy start for Sammy but I am sure he will get it right. He just needs time to build his own team.

"If anyone deserves to succeed it is him because he is one of football's great guys."

Sadly for Sammy, as Reed and Dowie found out last season, in football it is often the nice guys who end up out of a job.

Latest 10 comments

Read members' comments or add your own

posted Aug 20, 2007

in response to bwfcsheen how can you slate Gavin McCann when on his debut he had a solid game along with Jay Lloyd Samuel. I feel tht both have been good signings and we can expect more from them. Sell Anelka never in a million years, yes so what he may be nicknamed Le sulk but so what he hasnt disrupted the dressing room as far as we can tell. Sell diouf n buy the one central defender who will link up with faye because we have a generally solid back four in samuel faye n hunt (not very consistent but still capable of doing the job).

add comment | complain about this comment

comment by rume100 (U8842809)

posted Aug 21, 2007

If you ask me diouf is more committed than Anelka, he is just frustrated like everyone that bolton is not progressing.

Diouf made it clear that he will be disappointed if Anelka goes and quality players should be signed.

I suggest we bring in 2 defenders e.g. Hyypia or Luc Dracena(The brazilian). Replace RB with Andy O'brien. Loan out gerald Cid to get experience. The defence will be ok

Reinstate Campo in the midfield with Wilhelmsson. Ensure Nolan or speed start from the bench, things will just be fine.

We have quality but we are not playing as a team at the moment and the manager is not proactive and gambling with team selection

add comment | complain about this comment

comment by U9450559

posted Aug 21, 2007

In response to galacticSharpy I am not saying that Gavin McCann played badly but 2m can get you a lot better than him. Jlloyd Samuel was a very good signing I agree.

Also, I am not saying that they should sell Anelka, I am saying that they will be forced to along with Diouf and with Faye out of the squad all of the signs are there that he's on his way. Losing these three will be disastrous because I thought, watching the Portsmouth match, that Wilhelmsson and Braaten linked up brilliantly with Anelka and Diouf and I thought they could have scored 2 or 3 goals in the last 10 minutes.

If we keep Diouf and Anelka and sort out the defence then it looks like we have a very exciting team that can do very well, but Sammy Lee just doesn't have the respect of the players to make it all happen.

So I reiterate with a manager with experience and respect and it promises to be an exciting season.

Also, I'm sorry galacticSharpy but how can you call that a solid back four?? 8 goals conceded in 3 games with a world class keeper, i need say no more.

Lastly, if Anelka is sold, what does anyone think about signing Jermaine Defoe? The 10m received from Anelka's transfer put together with whatever we already have we should be able to afford him and I think he would jump at the new challenge, UEFA Cup and first-team football.
Would be good to hear your thoughts on this.

add comment | complain about this comment

posted Aug 21, 2007

It is not just time he needs but new defender(s). Sammy Lee has made some interesting additions to the squad, as well as some who have been described as "rejects".

Bolton's weakness at the back will stifle any attempts to introduce a new playing style. But with key players admitting doubt in developments this season, Bolton's team spirit looks to be failing!

Sure Big Sam is a tough act to follow, but the Premiership is too competitive for sentiment. even at Bolton!

add comment | complain about this comment

posted Aug 21, 2007

We lost 3 matches at the bottom end of last season with Big Sam So why cant we lose 3 games at the beginning with Sammy?

Cause we were in 5th. Now we're bottom.

We have got to keep three of Faye, Diouf, Anelka and Jussi to stay in any european run and sort out the defence.
Personally I think Bolton is the est thing that could happen to Anelka he's coming back to tackle, closing down and helping something which he never did before. But we've got to keep him I feel. Reading is a must win and if not then Eveton is!
Jol's on the ropes though so we might get him if Sammy goes!!(As if)

add comment | complain about this comment

posted Aug 21, 2007

Sammy will get time from the board, they know that he is trying to completely overhaul the playing style, which takes time.
Whether or not the players will give him time is another matter, by the time they're playing the style he likes we may be a shadow of our former selves with all our best players gone!

add comment | complain about this comment

posted Aug 22, 2007

I doubt whether people will pay 10m so expect he will stay, hopefully anelka would only leave for 1 of the big 4 which really is fair enough. I like Wilhelmsson get him match fit and his pace with dioufy and anelka we will score plenty. They know the defence needs work and expect a personnel change for reading, hopefully some hard work in training will improve things. Got to give sammy time and just get behind the lads its easy supporting when we are in the top 5 or 6 all season this is when we are needed most

add comment | complain about this comment

posted Aug 22, 2007

Why hasn't Campo been playing? I think he is valuable to us and keeps the side Strong in the middle. Is there a reason. Did i miss an injury?

add comment | complain about this comment

posted Aug 22, 2007

hello well am geordie and i would just like to say how happy i am to big sam behind us, and how taunting and frustrating it must of been to see us geordies going mental after we played you of the park in your on backyard with your ex mangager BIG SAMS black and white army

add comment | complain about this comment

posted Aug 23, 2007

I wish Sammy Lee would stop saying that Diouf and Anelka might leave. Anybody would think he's trying to attract offers. Anelka is saying that the club might sell him because they need the money, but how come they're in that position ? They've made a fortune out of being in the premiership and in Europe, and they haven't exactly gone berserk in the transfer market - they've spent less money per season than most clubs would spend on one player.
Success on the cheap might be the dream of Bolton's directors, but unless Lee starts getting results, this season could turn into the supporters' nightmare.

add comment | complain about this comment

Comment on this article

Sorry, you can only contribute to 606 during opening hours. These are 0900-2300 UK time, seven days a week, but may vary to accommodate sporting events and UK public holidays.


Rate Breakdown

  • 5 54.84%
    17 votes
  • 4 12.90%
    4 votes
  • 3 6.45%
    2 votes
  • 2 3.23%
    1 votes
  • 1 22.58%
    7 votes

average rating:
3.74 from 31 votes