Speed Relieved of Coaching Duties at Bolton


We mentioned yesterday there was unrest between Bolton manager Sammy Lee and former Newcastle midfielder Gary Speed when the Welshman was left out of the squad last Saturday for the home game with Chelsea, which Bolton lost 1-0.

Today Speed has been officially relieved of his coaching duties at the club and told to concentrate on his playing duties.

But we think this will only alert Sam Allardyce to the situation. As we mentioned yesterday don’t be surprised if Speed ends up at Newcastle in a coaching (and even playing) position if this rift continues.

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Gary Speed – relieved of coaching duties at Bolton – what next?

Manager Sammy Lee relieved the midfielder of his coaching responsibilities today and this seems to be an indication of the pressure Sammy is under at the Bolton club. To drop both your senior player (Speed) and captain Kevin Nolan, and not even have them in the squad, sounds to us like a power play by Lee. Obviously the two players did not agree with Sammy’s tactics and this is how he felt he had to deal with the matter – basically to silence them. Ever heard of the statement – it’s my way or the highway? That’s what Sammy seems to have done here.

The former Wales international was appointed first team coach alongside Ricky Sbragia and Jimmy Phillips shortly after Lee’s appointment, and at the time Speed was being quite strongly linked with Allardyce at Newcastle.

Bolton manager Sammy Lee said:

“I would like him to focus on his game at this moment in time. I don’t want anything to distract him.”

“I want everybody – coaches and players – to be fully focused on their game.”

We’re not sure this will be the end of the matter, but as far as we are concerned getting Gary at the club as a coach and player for the rest of the season wouldn’t be too bad at all. And if Barton is unsettled maybe Big Sam will also go after him, although we probably need a world class central midfielder if we are to bring another one to the club.

What do you think?

Let us know – comments welcome.



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20 comments so far

  • bowsie

    Oct 11, 2007 at 11:07 AM

    Comment #1

    Nolan on the cheap could not be overlooked (you meant Nolan instead of Barton right?). He’s looked awkward this season under Lee and seems to flourish only under Sam’s 4-3-3 we’ve grown to love so much this season. In agreement with you Ed that a world-class central midfielder is needed but until we have European football to attract them, Nolan would be a great option.

    As for Speed, most Toon fans love him from his time here. He should never have left the club, and I’m sure we all hope he will come back as a coach, especially with his ties to both Newcastle and Allardyce.

    Thanks for keeping us up to date on this story Ed.

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  • steve

    Oct 11, 2007 at 11:09 AM

    Comment #2

    Sammy Lee has lost it, no doubt he’ll be losing his job within a couple of weeks
    Bolton dressing room must be an interesting place – I hope Speed comes back, may be handy as a fallback in case of injuries once ANC starts and we lose Beye, Cacapa, Faye, Geremi.

    Oh and Babayaro, what will we do without him 🙂

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  • Chris F

    Oct 11, 2007 at 11:36 AM

    Comment #3

    why would we lose cacapa? has brazil drifted over to africa now? 🙂

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  • playzogcentremid

    Oct 11, 2007 at 11:48 AM

    Comment #4

    We don’t need Nolan. Another hardworking hardrunning midfielder is just not necessary. The squad is full of them. Creativity is not a big part of Nolan’s game. By all means have Speed back as a coach, but his playing days must be over. It would be a step backwards if he were to play again for Newcastle.

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  • valle

    Oct 11, 2007 at 12:15 PM

    Comment #5

    I agree with playzogcentremid (damn thats a long name 🙂 )… Speed is not a good option since we need to build for the future and how much future can the guy have in him?… Its also very obvius that we need creativity and a Deco or maybe a bold bid for Scholes could be great, however whatever Sam does im sure it will all have meaning… In Sam we trust!

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  • steve

    Oct 11, 2007 at 12:26 PM

    Comment #6

    whoops – for some reason I was thinking cacapa was from Africa – too much to drink last night methinks

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  • Owen

    Oct 11, 2007 at 12:26 PM

    Comment #7

    Speed as a coach, yes please. Total professional as a player and I think he’d be a great addition to the back room staff.

    Speed as a player, not really. He played great for us in days gone by and should have stayed on for another 2 years. But this year he’s pushing it and wouldn’t offer anything more than Butt, Gememi or Barton…..can’t wait for Joey to play…. 🙂

    As for Nolan. Nah, we need a spark in midfield, Nolan is a good solid player but creativity isn’t his thing.

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  • Hammy

    Oct 11, 2007 at 12:56 PM

    Comment #8

    Yeah Sammy…………….you’re next

    A slight change to the 80’s popular ditty:

    He’s fat, he’s round…he’s going to take them down, Sammmy Leeee..Sammmyy Leeeeeee..

    When’s Bolton at SJP? he’ll have been sacked then though …….doh.

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  • stjames

    Oct 11, 2007 at 1:14 PM

    Comment #9

    Ed: “Obviously the two players did not agree with Sammy’s tactics and this is how he felt he had to deal with the matter – basically to silence them.”

    Take two:

    Sammy may think that playing and coaching is too much for Speed. At a critical time for the club, Sammy has released Speed from his coaching duties and urged him to concentrate on his form.

    The matter of press exaggeration is real. You read daily about fuming, furious, slamming, rage and more. When you read the facts there is nil. The “obvious” isn’t always that obvious either. For me the facts are generally more interesting that the fiction (spin). 🙂

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  • hadrian

    Oct 11, 2007 at 1:34 PM

    Comment #10

    speed would be a good servant for the toon again in a coaching role , id welcome the guy … as a coach .

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  • Bill F

    Oct 11, 2007 at 1:41 PM

    Comment #11

    Just who are the Toon coaches at present, how many coaches are enough. I’m not saying we shouldn’t have him (I agree with most of the accolades). But I wonder how do the incumbents feel about it.

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  • Hammy

    Oct 11, 2007 at 1:43 PM

    Comment #12

    We see to have more coaches than National Express..

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  • bowsie

    Oct 11, 2007 at 2:05 PM

    Comment #13

    The large amount of coaches is one of the trademarks of Sam’s style though right? It’s the formula that brought him success at Bolton. He can have as many coaches as he likes as far as I’m concerned.

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  • Mighty Mouse

    Oct 11, 2007 at 2:07 PM

    Comment #14

    I’d like see us signing the likes of Jeremy Menez from Monaco even if he remains there on loan for another season. We should be scowering the planet trying to uncover the next great creative central midfield dynamo. A right winger wouldn’t hurt either (me thinks Milner needs some copetition).

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  • Bill F

    Oct 11, 2007 at 2:59 PM

    Comment #15

    MM, It’s just possible we already have him in the shape of JB, imo he is not just a killing machine. Milner may have had some if we hadn’t off loaded O’Brien. Some of the reserves may be ready to step up and show their paces, otherwise why have them. Bowsie I agree, Iwas just wondering how many we actually had.

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  • ToonKing

    Oct 11, 2007 at 3:16 PM

    Comment #16

    I would welcome Speed, he would do great as a coach and he’s still a half decent backup too.

    Nolan though, i feel that we don’t need him, he’s just like like Barton imo, i would much rather have Diouf.

    For people wondering this is our coaching staff :

    First Team Coach Nigel Pearson
    First Team Coach Steve Round
    First Team Coach Terry McDermott
    Reserve Team Manager Lee Clark
    Youth Academy Director Joe Joyce
    Goalkeeping Coach Terry Gennoe

    ….so one more couldn’t hurt 🙂 .

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  • leo

    Oct 11, 2007 at 4:21 PM

    Comment #17

    get in 30 and as long as we are doing well i couldnt care tbh.

    terry gennoe is a class goalkeeping coach.

    i think barton is better than kevin nolan… whats the age difference tho?

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  • ToonKing

    Oct 11, 2007 at 5:59 PM

    Comment #18

    i think they are both 25 .

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  • Lull

    Oct 11, 2007 at 8:16 PM

    Comment #19

    Gary Speed, a fantastic player for Newcastle (in the past) . I would want him to play for us again if its without any transfer fee because he can provide depth & experience to our squad and have coaching ability.

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  • Rot Weiss

    Oct 11, 2007 at 8:54 PM

    Comment #20

    I’m not sure what his position is contract wise but it was interesting to read him buttering up to Allardyce in his weekly betting column on a certain website.

    He still calls him gaffer and would presumably do so if he becomes coach.

    My feeling is that perhaps he was just not cut out for the role. Nevertheless he would be a good example of a professional footballer to any youngster and for that reason he may end up as a youth coach.

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