Trotters Talent | Part 32: 15 Year Reflection

After 15 years in-game at Bolton Wanderers, I thought it’d be good to reflect on our time at the club and have a look around the world of football in 2035. So read on for our best players, competition histories, manager updates, and the best regens in the world!

At the time of writing, I’ve been Bolton manager for 5,431 days and amassed 758 matches in charge, which puts me nine games off second in the all-time club list and 154 behind Charles Foweraker’s record of 912. I’ve won 338 of those games, which is 35 behind Foweraker’s record of 373. I’m also 10 years off his record of 25 years as manager! We’ve scored 1,034 goals during my rein, conceded 803, won two league, got three promotions and won our first cup last season. And, to date, I’ve got career earnings of £17.5 million.

I’ve signed 90 players for a total of £106 million and sold 94 for £315 million. We’ve also broken the club record for biggest transfer with Emanuel for £15.5 million and biggest sale as Erlend Skorpen went to Wuhan for £35 million.

But the key focus of this save has been developing our own homegrown players and, if those players aren’t good enough, sustaining the club with sales. And we still have a strong core of Trotter Talents in the first-team squad, including captain Nana Martin (348 league appearances), goalkeeper David Roberts (275), midfielders Luke Johnson (69) and Ray Johnston (55), and striker Neal Vickers (24 goals in 102).

We’ve added long-term players like midfielder Sean Caldwell (45 goals in 249 league apps since 2028) and striker Guilherme (82 goals in 146), who cost just £7,000 between them! While the likes of Sharon Laluz and Gonzalo Pereyra have more than 100 league appearances for Bolton.

After 15 years, our all-time best 11 is home to some legends of the save. This includes captain fantastic Nigel Turner, who made 444 league appearances for us but has dropped back to League 1 with Southend, Ryan Cassidy, who scored 127 in 246 in six loan spells and is now playing for Krasnodar, defender Jack Salter, who’s now at Shakhtar Donetsk, and Solomon Suraka, who scored 53 in 208 league games for us and now six in 28 for Wolves. Current players Roberts, Martin and Caldwell are all in the first 11 and Vickers just made the bench.

English football in 2035

Man United have been the dominant force in England with seven titles, while City have five and Liverpool have three. There’s no real surprise teams in the top tier, but Portsmouth have possibly had the best growth as they’ll have their second season in the Premier League next season. Only City, United, Liverpool, Spurs and Chelsea have won the FA Cup and the Carabao Cup.

Burnley and West Ham have dropped into Championship mid-table but no side has dropped down the leagues. Probably the biggest surprise team is Bromley, who are now in League 1, while Leyton Orient just reached the Championship and Dulwich Hamlet are now a strong League 2 side. The likes of Newport, Cheltenham, Morecambe, Stevenage, Boston, Shrewsbury and Northampton have dropped out of the EFL, while Bradford just came back up.

European/International football history

The Champions League has been shared around a decent amount, with PSG and Man City winning three each and Barcelona winning it twice. Real Madrid have only won it once, along with Inter (in the first season, United, Juventus, Chelsea and Dortmund.

English teams have won 10 of the 15 Europa Leagues including the last three through West Brom, Spurs and Villa. Leicester won the first two, Arsenal, Liverpool and Spurs have won it twice, AC Milan have won it twice with wins also by Napoli, Porto and Dortmund.

We won this season’s Europa Conference League, which was the sixth time an English side has won the competition. Brighton have won it twice, Leicester, Villa and Everton once. Marseille, Rennes, Fenerbahce, Hertha BSC, Lazio, Mlada Boleslav, Metz and Lille have also won it.

The World Cup has been won by Spain, Portugal, France and Argentina in 2034, while the European Championships has been won by France twice, then Italy and Portugal in 2032.

Best players in the world in 2035

Amazing PSG striker Oguzhan Topcu has won the last two Ballon D’Or, after his teammate Erling Haaland, now 34, won the previous two. Leonardo Bustos, our nemesis now at United, won it in 2030 at Hertha BSC, Kylian Mbappé, now 36 and just passed 300 league goals for PSG, won the previous four, prior to which he shared four with Haaland, and Lionel Messi, who retired at 37, won it in 2021.

Reputation-wise, Topcu is the best player in the world, along with Danilo Pisani at City, who’s won the last seven English players’ player of the year and footballer of the year awards. Other top players are PSG’s Jean-Paul Ferreira and Northern Irish winger Reece O’Neill, Chelsea’s Bacar Mendes, Barcelona’s Irish winger Daryl Collins and Madrid players Marek Gasparik and Julian Zabala.

Transfer-wise, United have made the three most expensive signings of the save. Bustos is the biggest at £123 million from Hertha, followed by Bruno Costa and Carlos Serrano from Barca for £122 million and £121 million. One player, Daijiro Tojo, has moved for more than £100 million twice, with the latter moving him to Chelsea from Valencia.

Managers in 2035

The Premier League manager situation is interesting. Arsenal are managed by former Salzburg boss Wolfgang Schneider, Sergio Conceicao is at Aston Villa, Eddie Howe’s at Brighton, Julian Nagelsmann is Chelsea boss after Frank Lampard was sacked in 2034, Jesse Marsch has been at Everton since 2025, Alexander Frei is at Fulham, Simon Grayson is Leeds boss, Raúl is Leicester manager after a spell at Burnley, Erik ten Hag has been at Liverpool since 2031, Pep Guardiola is still at Man City while Man United just sacked Ole-Gunnar Solskjaer after 16 years, Slaven Bilic is at Southampton after spells at Leeds and Blackburn, Jurgen Klopp is Spurs boss, former Club Brugge boss Philippe Clement is at West Brom, and Scott Parker is at West Brom aftrer managing West Ham, Fulham (again), Bournemouth and Derby.

Elsewhere, Oriol Romeu is Bournemouth boss, Wayne Rooney’s at Bristol City, Will Hughes is Norwich boss, Christian Benteke is Swansea manager, Neil Lennon is at Swindon, and Henning Berg is Chesterfield manager. Elsewhere, Marco Giampaolo is England manager and Thierry Henry is France boss after a spell at Arsenal

Interestingly, Lampard is now at Porto, Thomas Tuchel is still at PSG, Mauricio Pochettino is at Hertha BSC, Zinedine Zidane is still at Real Madrid, Diego Simeone has passed 23 years at Atletico, and Luis Enrique went back to Barcelona in 2031 after brief spells at Spurs and Dortmund.

Join us next time as we pass 15 years at Bolton, look to strengthen for the 2035/36 season and take part in the Europa League for the first time.


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