1. Department Of The Delusional
Splendid. An away game that has the feeling of being a seminal moment in our season, and it's against the league's bully boy long ball merchants. If ever a quote defined a club it's Sam Allardyce saying - "People shouldn't call us a long ball team, we're a long passing team".
Right Samuel, you keep telling yourself that and in the meantime we'll all fix our necks at a 45 degree angle and prepare for boredom.
2. I Need To Chill Out
In case it doesn't seep through, I absolutely despise Bolton.
If you took a straw poll of Premiership fans I think you'd find Bolton right at the top of any list of least favoured opponents. There has never been a game played involving them that has been even remotely entertaining. In fact the only possible pleasure that can be derived from watching a match played by Bolton is through them losing. And possibly by El Hadji Diouf contracting Dutch Elm disease.
In the case of Bolton I am afraid I have surrendered to my emotions and given in to the Dark Side of the Force. I hate everything about them - Allardyce, Kevin Davies, El Hadji Diouf, that crappy Meccano stadium, their long ball game, the fact they play music when they score etc....
And God help me if they don't beat us every time we play them.
3. The History
Well, we have never won at the Reebok and in fact have mustered just one goal there, a late consolation from Sheringham last year when we were thumped 4-1. We actually had to play Bolton 5 times last year and won just once, the FA Cup 5th Round replay at Upton Park.
In fairness, that can't disguise the fact that 5 times is an unnecessary punishment for whatever sins we all committed in a previous life though.
4. These Sweeping Changes
Pardew has intimated in his pre match statements that he may wield the axe for this game. I can't see that he is going to be able to make too many changes given that Ferdinand and Gabbidon are both likely to be out injured and we will probably play for a draw.
After my clarion call for Mascherano and indeed possibly even Mark Noble, I am backing up faster than the French army when I say that I can't see a December trip to the Reebok being quite the right game to pitch them in to.
5. Away Day Blues
We have now gone ten hours without a goal away from home and you could make a very strong argument that the only two we have managed this year were both accidental.
So nothing to worry about there.
6. Time To Revert To Predictions
I made a promise to stop making predictions earlier in the year. And look where that has got us. So in the interests of karma I am going to plump for a poxy 2-0 defeat.
7. Allardyce v McClaren
Remember when they appointed Steve McClaren and the nation sighed, wrote off 2010 and started dreaming of the 2014 World Cup?
Well, file it away under "It could have been worse". The man who campaigned most visibly was Sam Allardyce. Just think, we could have been knocking balls into the corner for Wayne Rooney to chase so he could force long throws and corners from which his strike partner Kevin Davies could fail to score.
And best of all we could have seen England playing 4-5-1 away against Macedonia.
8. And Just To Round Off
Here's a link to make you proud. Thanks to Dave, a loyal reader who sent me this with the memorable quote "Our skipper - Bobby Moore must be turning in his grave". I can assure you it's safe for work, but be warned you will see two of our players dancing unnecessarily. I'll leave it up to you to take the plunge......