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Okocha’s departure still rocks Bolton

Posted by By GBOLAHAN DADA on 2006/07/14 | Views: 617 |

Okocha’s departure still rocks Bolton

Bolton manager, Sam Allardyce, is finding it difficult to fill the vacuum created by the sudden exit of three star players....

Bolton manager, Sam Allardyce, is finding it difficult to fill the vacuum created by the sudden exit of three star players, who were recently released on free transfer last season.

The coach, who was speculated to be on his way out of the Reebok, has been having sleepless nights to secure competent replacements for Nigeria’s midfielder, Austin Jay Jay Okocha, Bruno N’Gotty and Khalilou Fadiga, plus Hidetoshi Nakata’s retirement from football, after his season-long loan at the Reebok.

Nevertheless, the departure of these players has left a big gap in the squad that the manager will need to plug with experienced replacements before the new season kicks off.

Gartside, however, says the decisions not to offer some of the more experienced members of the squad new deals were justified.

"Looking back on the season, N'Gotty was really the only one you could say made a significant contribution," he added. "In the end, it was a football decision, based on Bruno's age, not to offer him a new deal and they are the decisions Sam usually gets right."

In recent times, Bolton have been passing through turbulent waters and the problems have had a negative impact in the club management.

Allardyce had threatened to dump the club following an impasse with the chairman of the club, Phil Gartside.

But Gartside, currently in Australia on business, laughed off suggestions that a fall-out between him and Allardyce had prompted the manager to consider moving on.
"I've been in Australia and Sam's been in Europe, but the two of us are constantly in touch with each other," he said. "To suggest that we have a problem is laughable.

"He's been getting on with the job of strengthening the squad, checking out potential signings and speaking to players. There has been nothing to report in terms of signings, but there has been little business done anywhere recently because of the World Cup.
"Nevertheless, a lot of work is going on behind the scenes.

"Money is available and we're making a lot of offers, however, like we've always said, the club won't be held to ransom."

Although Israeli international midfielder, Idan Tal, is the only new arrival to date, Wanderers have made one other significant summer signing by securing Ivan Campo on a new two-year contract.
Okocha has refused to quit England in spite of tempting offers from Asian clubs, as he prefers to stay because of his family.

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