It’s late 2021. Osasuna are cruising along with Spanish Manager of the Year Thamer Al-Tarqi in charge. This is a exciting, free flowing young side taking Spain by storm. But something is not right with the boss. He’s restless. Six years in charge have left him pining for a new challenge. A new experience. Where? What?
Meanwhile, Bolton Wanderers are in dire straits. Years of tough financial times and two relegations have left them with pennies. Debts are high and any assets that can be sold off have been sold off. The youth setup has been scrapped altogether to save money. The club entered administration over the summer, starting their League 2 campaign with minus twelve points. By the start of December they still haven’t broke even and are even propping up winless Oxford at the bottom. With a £25 million CVA to pay off and pitiful attendances, there looks to be little hope for Bolton.
That is until Al-Tarqi quits Osasuna and applies for the Bolton job. And takes over. It’s a massive step down. But it’s a massive job.
So, in a world where Teddy Sheringham is Norway boss and Mark Warburton is managing Cyprus, I’ve taken on a stricken Bolton tasked with making up the 16 point gap to safety. With a threadbare squad that isn’t very good, no money and a non-existent youth setup.
How am I going to do it? Balls to the wall attacking football like at Osasuna. Because that’s the only way I know how. Whether or not we pull this off is completely up in the air. I’ll join you at the end of the season to see how well we have done or how miserably we’ve failed.