As is always the case, his appointment has been greeted with the customary excitement for better times ahead, tempered with that uncomfortable feeling at the back of our minds: What if this doesn’t work out?
In personally welcoming Ian and his assistant, Wigan-born Peter Atherton, to the University of Bolton Stadium, I do so with the feeling that this is one of the most crucial appointments at the club for many a long year, and potentially one of the riskiest.
Why? Well because we now have relatively new owners, a new director of football and a manager whose CV shows spectacular and unexpected success in the top tier of non-league football.
Quite a cocktail.
Could Ian Evatt be the cherry floating on top of the drink, destined to lead us back to the relative riches of League One, or will we be left wondering if only we had opted for a safer pair of hands?
Social media, leading up to his appointment, was full of the usual thoughts and advice.
‘Play the youngsters’. ‘Give the new manager time’. ‘The result won’t matter if I see attractive football’, something for which Ian Evatt has become renowned in his time at Barrow.
Football doesn’t work like that. This is Bolton Wanderers. Rich history.
A club that has fallen on hard times with four relegations in the last nine seasons and one solitary promotion (thank you Phil).
He won’t get time. Nobody does any longer. Football is about winning and points on the board.Think otherwise and you are kidding yourself.
And of our current contracted players, the younger professionals are still developing and may not be ready for the rough and tumble of League Two, Ronan Darcy and Dennis Politic the possible exceptions.
I hope and pray this appointment works for the sake of everyone who loves our club.
I personally would have gone with a more experienced manager but Ian Evatt has my absolute support as he starts us on a new chapter, one where I suspect there will be many a twist and turn in the coming months.
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