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Barca attack picking up steam

Barcelona 5 hours ago
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By ESPN Staff
Dec 15, 2005

Bolton move on after Keane

Sam Allardyce hopes to inflict more disappointment on David Moyes tomorrow after both Bolton and Everton missed out on the acquisition of Roy Keane.

Allardyce insisted Wanderers were serious alternatives to Celtic in the chase for free agent Keane, who quit Manchester United last month.

The 34-year-old, who also interested Everton, opted to join the club he supported as a youngster rather than spearhead the Lancashire club's challenge for UEFA Cup honours and a top-six Barclays Premiership finish.

'We will probably both cry over our beer after the game but I hope I am not crying as much as Dave because we have got a result against him!' declared Allardyce, ahead of the Barclays Premiership encounter at Goodison Park.

'Not being able to clinch Roy's signing is particularly disappointing because that is a world-class player you are talking about.

'From my point of view it was a top-class player, who, on January 1, I could put into the team and say 'this man is going to make us better'.

'I had no doubts at all about that. Where I can go and find that now is virtually impossible.'

Keane suggested he gave serious thought to a move closer to home but wanted a change of scene rather than continue his career in England, following 13 years with United.

'We were right there as one of the two or three clubs he was going to choose from,' added Bolton boss Allardyce. 'When you come so close - but yet so far - it is an even bigger disappointment than just a straightforward 'no'.

'Yet I am pleased we got to the stage we did, the way the negotiations went and by the fact it does not appear to be the financial side of it where Roy has made the choice.

'It's down to his childhood dream of playing for Celtic and to the size and pull of that football club.

'We would like to wish him all the very best.'

One former international midfielder who is thrilled to be involved with Bolton this weekend is Welshman Gary Speed, a lifelong Everton fan and former Toffee.

'I love playing against them, especially at Goodison Park,' said Speed. 'I supported them as a kid and it is a fantastic stadium.

'They beat us last season and at the start of this campaign, so it would be nice to get one over on them. However we know it will be a difficult game.'

Bolton totally dominated the meeting between the two teams at the Reebok back in August only to lose by a single goal - Everton's only points in their opening eight matches of this campaign.

Jamaican full-back Ricardo Gardner (hamstring) is doubtful after he failed to reappear for the second half of the 1-1 draw with Sevilla in midweek which sealed a place in the final 32 of the UEFA Cup.

One definite change at the back is enforced with Tal Ben Haim serving a suspension.