This article is part of Football League World’s ‘The Verdict’ series, which provides personal opinions from the FLW writers regarding the latest breaking news, teams, players, managers, potential signings and more…
Bolton Wanderers have recently announced that they parted company with Keith Hill after the club’s relegation into League Two was confirmed.
The Trotters had a tough start to this year’s campaign, with their well-publicised off-the-field problems meant that they would start the season on minus 12 points.
Hill was forced to field a number of the club’s younger players during the first-half of the season as well, which resulted in some heavy defeats.
But the Trotters did show some much-needed fight during the second-half of this year’s campaign, which would have been pleasing to see for some of the club’s supporters.
They’ll now be preparing for life in the fourth tier of English football though, which is likely to mean that there is a complete rebuild from top to bottom at the club.
But have Bolton made the right decision in parting company with Hill heading into next season?
I think they are in need of a fresh start as they prepare for life in Sky Bet League Two to be honest.
It was always going to be tough for Hill to work his magic and keep Bolton up this season – even Pep Guardiola would have struggled.
Hill is a vastly experienced manager who has experience of winning promotion from League Two before with Rochdale, but whether he would be able to repeat that next season with Bolton is a mystery.
He will feel slightly hard done by after being let go by the club after not being given a chance to rebuild his squad and bring in his own kind of players, but you can’t blame them for wanting to start afresh.
I think they should go all out for a manager like Kevin Nolan – he knows the club really well, he’d warm to fans straight away and he wouldn’t need a massive budget to thrive, after doing a really good job in charge of Notts County.
It’s a tough one for me, I can see both sides of the argument.
On one side, Keith Hill never really got a fair crack of the whip at Bolton, and was immediately struck with a handicap the minute he got the job there, with the club dealt a sizeable points deduction.
Hill didn’t have a great deal of resource too in his playing squad, and wasn’t really able to strengthen the squad in the manner he would have perhaps liked.
The manager does have a strong track record of getting promotion from League Two, so in that sense, he could have offered some real experience and nous of getting out of the second tier.
However, it seems that the Trotters want to go into the new season with a fresh start, and a change of manager could help the side adopt a new mentality that will help them progress as a team.
The new manager will have a clean slate and an opportunity to build Bolton back up to arguably where they belong.
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I understand Bolton’s thinking but I can’t help but think he’s been hard done by here.
When he took charge of the Trotters in August, Hill was facing something of an impossible task as he looked to help a threadbare squad overcome a 15-point deduction and secure survival.
Obviously, he wasn’t able to get it done but I don’t think too much of the blame can be placed on him.
That said, with Bolton starting League Two, you can understand why they’d want to start fresh and particularly if they’re looking to build a long-term strategy for rising back up the leagues