Date: 5th February 2013 at 8:23pm
Written by:

Boltongav jumps on the guest writing wagon…

A second article of the night for you guys. How lucky? Well, you didn’t get one yesterday I suppose. Sink your Wanderers-loving teeth into this!

Well here we are. It`s the beginning of February and we sit seventeenth as I write this, and closer to League One than the promised land. But is all as bad as it seems?

On first inspection it probably is; gone are the star names which we had enjoyed watching in our beloved white shirt, with Petrov being the last to leave the building. Unfortunately, the big boys have realised that a player`s career isn’t over at thirty and therefore the chances of us or any of the other smaller clubs picking up an Okocha, Campo or Hierro these days are gone.

For many of us, Dougie Freedman was not the first choice as replacement for Owen Coyle or come to that second choice either. We are also heavily in debt for a club of our size. However, this does not tell the whole story. Firstly, we have been without many of our first team for the last twelve to eighteen months; but Holden, Lee, Wheater and Mavies are all now nearing full fitness. I think we are starting to see Lee coming back to being the player he was in the last few weeks, which is a bonus for any team. Holden, Wheater and Mavies will hopefully follow suit in the coming days and weeks.

There is also Josh Vela, who barring injury would surely by now have been a regular in the first team. Add to that the fact that Sordell is now
looking like the player we thought we signed a year ago and the new signings, some of whom I am truly excited about and in particular Kamara.

This brings me to the manager. So he wasn’t who we wanted, but there has been an improvement under his stewardship; and although it is not yet
to the degree we all wanted, I am beginning to see where he wants to take the club. He will now be judged on the next few months and the signings
he has made and where we finish.

I like many of you worry he is over cautious and would like to see us really take it to the opposition for the rest of the season, because I don’t think many teams in this division can live with us in full flow. With the aforementioned debt we have to be realistic about who we can afford to attract to the club, and based on this transfer window I am encouraged by Freedman’s signings.

So, all in all, things are not perfect; but there is cause for cautious optimism. In reality, from where we are now, a finish in the top eight would be a good
step in the right direction for next season; and who knows, with a little luck and a following wing, we could still trouble the play off spots.


15 Replies to “Bolton Wanderers: Reality”

  • I have to say I felt rather more positive when I wrote this the other day. About well, pretty much everything but there you go.

  • The table doesn’t lie and it concerns and frustrates me when the manager refuses to accept we are in a risky position, just like OC a year ago. It just seems like he has a complacent attitude. Things need to improve quickly to get the momentum needed for a proper push next season and I’d like to see a bit of urgency from DF to get this going. There are reasons to be optimistic, all listed above, but they don’t half make it bleedin difficult to feel that way!

  • Two good, well thought out articles. Thanks fellas. I find that straight after a game when the other team “were there for the taking” and we have blown it, yet again, I am at my most frustrated, angry and depressed. As the next game gets closer I start to see positives and get slightly more optimistic! Having listened to the DF post match interview 3 times I have given him the benefit of the doubt and believe he was talking about the negative questions and articles written by the press and criticising heir knowledge – not doing a HWSNBN and having a go at the fans.

  • When Dougie arrived a Palace fan said that he had been overly defensive hence their bad start to his first full season after saving them from the drop. He was threatened with the sack and started playing more attacking football which is when he had hi successful run at Palace. Im not suggesting that we need to do that yet but every week im expecting us to win because I don’t see that the other side has a better squad than we do. What the teams above us mostly have – even Burnley has – is a goal scorer on or above 20 goals already for the season. without checking i imagine thats around what our top 3 have combined?

  • To be fair to DF, it wouldn’t look great for the club if he said in an interview “all our defenders our awful, we have more midfielders on the books than the rest of the league put together and our strikers couldn’t hit a cow’s backside with a banjo”. He has to put a brave face on it, that goes with the territory. Interviews are easy when you’re winning. Don’t forget that Watford are actually a decent side who are just shy of the top two because they deserve to be there. Just think how different Dawson and Wheater will look to Knight and Ream. Just think how different Holden and Kamara will look to Andrews and Spearing. Or Sordell and Craig Davies compared with Afobe and Kevin Davies. And even Pratley is rediscovering some of the form he showed when he was Swansea’s best player during their promotion season of 2010/11. We hit a bad run of form recently, even by our standards – but that happens to every club, except perhaps for Barcelona. Just look at where Real Madrid are. It’s not all doom and gloom, we’re perfectly capable of dragging ourselves into a top 10-ish position by the end of the season. Relegation isn’t impossible, of course, but I’d be incredibly surprised.

  • Decent accurate observations by Robmoss, Back of the Net, Pedro,Skopelos,Boltongav, etc. I personally reserve any praise for DF as I firmly belief managers are judged entirely on results, the only mitigating excuse for the poor results under DF can be injuries to proven players, though both Coyle & Philips faced the same situation. As for our attack, from where the bulk of our goals should come, when Gartside, Coyle and our scouting advisors, decided to invest £7 million in N’Gog & Sordell they must have hoped they would deliver the goals to keep us in the prem, or at least place us at the top of the championship table. This gamble failed badly and the consequences in not having regular goalscorers up front has seen us plummet to the depths and miss promotion – the financial ramifications of which may be extremely dire in the next 18 months, we are now investing in cheaper players such as Craig Davies, which is fine and proper, especially if he starts to knock in the goals, he may prove to be a far better investment than the other two, at a fraction of the cost. Which leads on to the underlying problem of needing to find the goals to secure the wins we desperately need, which in many cases our play has deserved, certainly in this league all the teams at the top have a forward or two who are hitting the net with ease. I certainly belief once we have the players in to make up our strongest 11, we will see more chances being created which should lead to more goals, in turn boosting confidence which has been in short supply in front of goal of late. DF should be more aggressive in his selection, if you are not prepared to gamble on attack you are less likely to come away with the spoils. The best I can hope for from here on is that we consolodate our league position, improve our performances and results to a level where we can take confidenent hope into next season. Gartside needs to move heaven and earth to keep Holden and other good players at the club, if that means pushing the boat out by offering extremely good wage deals so be it, there have been far to many mistakes made with the players released and brought in under Coyle, we cannot afford any further loss in talent.

  • I like Rpb’s opening comments with the Defece, Midfeild and forwards. I agree he has made some good signings which can be exciting. Kamara as he said the most exciting.

  • I too tend to feel better before games than after them! Agree that DF can’t be too downbeat in his post match stuff but I do think he needs to guard against just spinning that all is ok and on the up. A bit more straight talk about the facts and what will be done to change would help endear him to the fans. Everyone’s tired of over optimistic platitudes after games, so I’d urge him to be a bit more down to earth. I want to like DF and his vision to come together but it’s all coming across as a bit wispy washy at the moment.

  • And, I too don’t think he meant to have a go at the fans, but he needs to be careful of what he says and how he says it, and be aware of what’s gone before

  • Good to read your views again. Nicely put, Rob. On a separate note- can Eagles plummet in form be coincided with the absence of Mavies in midfield? They really started to compliment each other… Or did it start before that?

  • the proof of pudding quality is in the eating, I reserve opinion until our best 11 are actually playing, then we will see just what improvements are realised. Everything that has already happened is now fact, everything yet to happen is hypothetical, so while the recipe looks tasty, until its in my mouth I won’t know if it is as good as it looks. Maybe then we will see if DF is a good cook or simply another imposter.

  • my wife is an extremely good cook, do you think I should send her details on to Gartside ? her bread and butter pudding has the lot, good solid base, tasty middle and high quality topping up front, a winner every time !

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