Bolton next manager odds
Bolton next manager after Ian Evatt
Who is Bolton’s manager?
Ian Evatt was born in Coventry, November 19th, 1981 making him currently 38 years of age. Age 11, he joined Derby County youth academy and was there all the way up to his professional debut in 2001 as he came of the bench to face Ipswich in a Premiership draw. After a brief spell on loan at Northampton, he moved on a permanent basis to Chesterfield in 2003, where he made 84 appearances scoring 9 times, playing as a centre-half. In the next 13 years, he moved on the play for Queens Park Rangers, where he had a fairly unsuccessful 2 seasons, before moving to Blackpool on loan, which then led to a permanent deal lasting 6 years, serving 230 appearances.
To finish his playing career, he returned to Chesterfield, racking up 148 appearances over 5 years. He had returned as club captain and his 1st goal back was a memorable one as he gave Chesterfield the lead against Fleetwood in the Johnstone Paint Trophy Northern Area Final, as Chesterfield won 3-1. He was then released by Chesterfield at the end of the 17/18 season and at the same time he took the decision to retire as a player.
However, his time in football was far from over, as Ian Evatt in that same season was appointed as caretaker manager for the last 3 games of the season as Chesterfield were relegated to the National League, finishing rock bottom. He was then released.
Just months out of football, Ian Evatt aged 36, was unveiled as the manager of Barrow AFC. Coming into the job, Barrow had finished just one point outside the relegation zone in the National League, which was seen as a huge disappointment considering the season before they had finished very close to a play off position. It was especially important that in Evatt’s 1st season as Barrow manager, he must ensure stability. He most definitely delivered, as he secured a solid 10th place finish, 15 points better off than the season before. The amount of goals scored stayed relatively around the same as the season before, however, Barrows defence was hugely improved conceding 51 goals, 12 less than before. This is not to say that Evatt’s methods were at all conservative, as he chose to adopt a style unique to that league.
It that 1st season Evatt chose to thoroughly rebuild his Barrow side with 16 players leaving on free transfers and he brought in around 30 players, many as loans and the rest in on free transfers. The average age of the players brought in were 22, which indicates his intentions to build a foundation which would lead into the season after, without spending a penny.
What followed in the 19/20 season was extraordinary. Evatt brought in much less players this season, being satisfied with his squad. Nevertheless, to really push on to the top end of the table in the season to come, they needed a goalscorer. Evatt put his faith on new signing Scott Quigley, signed on a free from Blackpool. A striker with not many goals in English football but had scored 32 goals at TNS in the Welsh league. Unfortunately, because of the current pandemic the 19/20 season could not be finished in the National league, nonetheless, after 37 games Barrow had gathered 70 points, meaning a ppg (points per game) of 1.89. This was a tally good enough to promote them as champions with Scott Quigley finishing on 20 goals, the most in the league.
This was not pot luck whatsoever. Throughout the season, more and more people noticed the job that Evatt had done and had even been hailed as “Barrowcelona”. Evatt had been inspired by the work Pep Guardiola has done at Manchester City and by former manager Ian Holloway at Blackpool. In his time at Barrow, Evatt had predominantly used the formation 3-5-2. This style of play had such an effect in the National League because of the lack of forward pressing by teams in the league. This meant that the two wider centre-backs of the back 3 had lots of time, giving them the option to execute a penetrative pass. 3 at the back gave Barrow a secure base bringing overloads further up the pitch and against weaker teams one of the 3 central midfielders were used as a “10”.
This then caught the eye of Bolton and on June the 24th this year he was announced as their new manager. In his 1st public interview, Evatt stated he will look to implement his style into League 2.
In short, what Ian Evatt has done in his short career in management is very impressive and it will be remarkably interesting to see if he can succeed in the higher leagues of England.