European Soccer

Tuesday Kickoff: Bolton's Coyle fired, Ballack wants coaching license and more

Owen Coyle (Getty Images)



The English Championship has not even reached the two-month mark yet, but already we have the first coaching casualty of the season.

Bolton Wanderers fired manager Owen Coyle on Tuesday morning after a nightmare start to their season in the Championship. Bolton, who were relegated from the Premiership last season, are currently in 18th place in the 24-team league with a 3-5-2 record that has seen them concede 16 goals. Coyle had been in charge of Bolton since January 2010, but the painful start to the campaign that has hindered the club's chances of gaining promotion has ended his time there.

Coyle's dismissal will have direct implications for two Americans plying their trades with the Trotters. Coyle brought in both centerback Tim Ream and midfielder Stuart Holden, and what their roles will be with the team going forward will depend largely on who replaces Coyle. Ream has been on the bench recently after a poor start to the season while Holden is still recovering from his knee injury.

Here are more stories from around the soccer world:


It appears Michael Ballack might not stay out of the game for long. Having retired from playing professionally last week, the 36-year-old former German international said his immediate goal is to obtain a coaching license. Ballack, however, is uncertain if he wants to pursue a career in coaching, saying right now he wants to spend his newfound free time with his family. Ballack also cited a lack of motivation as to why he retired.


Everton may have gone 2-1-1 in league play last month, but that was enough for manager David Moyes to receive a serious accolade. Moyes was named the Premiership's Manager of the Month for September after helping guide Everton to wins over Southampton and Swansea City and a draw against Newcastle United. September began with a loss to West Bromwich Albion, but since then the Toffees have not lost and currently in fourth place in the Premiership. 


Cristiano Ronaldo has been given the green light to play for Portugal despite a shoulder injury and he should take part in the nation's World Cup qualifier in Russia on Friday. Ronaldo has suffered the knock to his left shoulder during his two-goal performance in Real Madrid's 2-2 draw with Barcelona on Sunday, but Portugal's medical staff has deemed the injury to be minor. Portugal also takes on Northern Ireland in a World Cup qualifier next week.


Ashley Cole could have faced some serious discipline for his recent Twitter slam of the English FA, but his apology for his inappropriate tweet has helped him avoid any major sanctioning.

FA chairman David Bernstein announced on Tuesday that Cole would face no ban for his vulgar tweetaimed at the FA following findings in the investigation into John Terry's alleged racist abuse of Anton Ferdinand. The findings essentially brought into question the validity and truthfulness of Cole's testimony, which led him to fire off a vulgar tweet that made waves around the world.

Cole still faces the likelihood of a fine, but will be free to play in England's upcoming World Cup qualifiers vs. San Marino and Poland.


Newcastle will have the name of their storied home stadium, St. James Park, restored after completing a sponsorship deal with Wonga, a loan company looking to get in the good graces of Newcastle fans.

The stadium had seen its name changed to Sports Direct Arena, after the company of Newcastle owner Mike Ashley, but that name change never stuck with Newcastle fans who continued to call the team's home St. James Park.


What do you think of Coyle being shown the door at Bolton? Think Ballack would make for a good coach? Agree that Moyes was the best Premiership manager in September?

Share your thoughts below.

  • b

    Well now Stu Holden has no reason to stay at Bolton when healthy. It doesn’t look like they will be promoted so if he comes back and performs well he will be gone by the summer window.


  • Jon

    Ballack needs to move to LA and get a sitcom with Lalas.

    Also, who started the Bradley to Valencia rumor?


  • patrick

    i love Holden as much as most, but I’m not so sure any EPL teams will want to splash the cash on him after playing a couple of months after coming back from effectively a 2 year absence. He may have another year after this at Bolton before he goes anywhere.


  • timmytwoshoezzz

    Stu HOlden doesn’t need to think about anything except how to actually get healthy and stay on the pitch.


  • Good Jeremy

    In terms of Ream and Holden, I doubt a new coach could really make things worse. Holden has shown that he should be an automatic starter when he gets healthy, and on a poor championship team he should be able to get decent playing time before getting his full form back. For Ream, he is barely playing now, how much worse could it get?


  • Michael F. SBI Mafia Original

    I don’t watch the Championship but last season I saw Ream play a few games and he played well. Is his benching a drop off in form or someone better taking his place?


  • Dank

    It was a sign of everyone playing poorly, including Ream, and the manager trying to find something that would work.


  • Tony in Quakeland

    Note to editor: Please include the phrade “future US National Men’s Team Coach” whenever yourefer to David Moyes. I’m trying to make this happen and would like all the help I can get.


  • PanchoMiguelMoralesdeConejo

    You apparently. Hadn’t heard any Bradley to Valencia rumors…till now…


  • PanchoMiguelMoralesdeConejo

    2nd the motion. That would be an interesting choice for the 2018 cycle.


  • fischy

    “Ballack also cited a lack of motivation as to why he retired.”

    Then, he definitely should have waited and signed with an MLS team. He would have fit in really well with NY or Chicago.


  • CrazyMike366

    Stu’s target return date is sometime in late October or early November if I recall correctly. If his previous injuries are anything to go by, once he’s back on the field it’ll take him another month to get into the groove of things, then another month to get back to get into form, then every month after that he’ll slowly and quietly push himself further and further.

    Just before his injury, fan polling put him as the best midfielder in the Premier League. When at his best, he’s the epitome of the box-to-box linker – every bit as good as Scholes and Xavi at making himself available to receive a pass, making the pass, and making himself available to receive another pass. Rarely do these kinds of players make the assist or steal the headlines, but they make the pass that set up the guy who made the assist or created the channel the guy who ended up knocking it in used. Its very hard to quantify that statistic, but its a bit like the soccer equivalent of oil in an engine.

    Stu probably won’t be the oil that makes the whole engine work – for Bolton or the USMNT – for at least another 3-4 months. But if he works his way back into that kind of form again, he’ll move on from Bolton and find himself on a top half team and he’ll be the “missing piece” that finally lets the Yanks achieve the style Klinsi’s been pushing…all just in time for the World Cup.


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