Date: 27th October 2013 at 10:30am
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Our Aussie friend uses culinary metaphors to describe why Dougie Freedman should vacate his post as Bolton manager

I’m losing faith in Dougie Freedman being the man to steer the Wanderers to success. Aussie Mike has already made up his mind, plus, he gets the taste-buds tingling…

The time has come for all, i.e. Fred, moonpig, Rob, Muur, Barney, etc to put their thoughts down.

We all accept players go through good spells & bad spells, (Spearing and Eagles to name but two). I don’t like focusing on individuals as I see the more important task is how the team as a whole galvanises together and plays as a unit, a united force. For that to occur, everything comes down to the manager. It`s a sad day when our manager, Dougie Freedman, is that bankrupt and penniless with reference to the actual impact and success he has had after a year in charge, he has to tell the press about his coaching badges while claiming he is working on the future.

Let me remind him, you don’t get points for future results, the future is immaterial unless your a pension salesman. The only thing that truly matters as a football manager is the here and now. The present gets you points; promoted or relegated.

I am convinced Freedman is following a script, written for him by Phil Gartside, driven entirely by the accountant`s mindset rather than football requirements. To claim he has cut the wage bill simply says we are broke, but what the hell has wages got to do with the manager? Nothing at all. Dougie is responsible for football and results? nothing else. Stuff the book keeping. He goes on about the academy – another way of saying we`re broke, we can’t afford to buy players so we must grow our own.

Unfortunately, good footballers are not like carrots and tomatoes, where taste and quality is the same. All that truly matters is the bowl of footballers being served up now- the team that Freedman puts out this season- this is what we are eating. This is the only food that can keep us alive and in all honesty, if a restaurant served it up, we would send it back to the kitchen- its off, its not cooked right, the chef should be sacked.

That’s the real problem, in reality Freedman has no idea how to get the best from the ingredients in front of him. He tries mixing them, changing the recipe, but everything he tries fails. It never comes off, so always leaves a sour taste in the mouth – you would never order that meal again. Dougie just does not have that ability or skill to become a chef or the nose to be a successful football manager. At Palace he was lucky, he had some fillet steaks on the table, they have their own wonderful taste, no matter who cooks them they are good to eat.


25 Replies to “BWFC Guest Article: Food For Thought”

  • That’s a real chef d’oeuvre on the rancid stew that is currently BWFC. As instructed I shall collect my thoughts.

  • Right then, I have been out to the shed for a snout (it’s raining and so windy I was worried I might end up in Kansas) and a modicum of thought collection vis-a-vis all things Wanderers did take place. Whilst musing on the current plight (“a dangerous, difficult or unfortunate situation” – OED) it did occur to me that all of us on here have been saying more or less the same things in subtly different ways for a pretty long time. GM came and went, OC came and went, Sam’n’Jimmy ditto (the former for the second time); now we have DF. It doesn’t seem to me like much has changed and I’m sure that our Antipodean mucker would agree that the one constant is PG. I could, and indeed might, re-hash my views on these people; I could, and well might, re-hash the myriad thoughts I have expressed on here over the years. The point is that I and most of you have put forward vast numbers of well thought out ideas on matters such as tactics, management, personnel, booing, bums-on-seats, finances, kit design…the list is probably endless…but we have been saying the same things for years. And yet we are 2 points off the bottom of the second tier, 22 points behind Burnley and 13 points off a play-off place…and it’s still October. We all know that recovery from this position is not impossible; we almost pulled it off last season. But how many of us can put our hand on our heart and say that this is realistically what we expect? It may be a pessimism born of being Northern or of being Boltonian or of being a football fan supporting a specific club but where do pessimism and realism converge…or indeed diverge? I wrote a long, long piece over the summer consisting of memories of Whites-related stuff (which I may share), all of it from a time when Bolton Wanderers Football Club mattered to me, it was squirelled away at the core of who I am. Obviously it still does or I would not be writing this but I am truly scared that the connection between me and the club is becoming a disconnect – that it is turning into indifference. I have lived in north London since 1981, longer than I lived in the North, but I have always been immensely proud to be Northern and even more proud to be Boltonian. Football and sport have been a part of my life for as long as I can remember and I have been a Wanderers fan for 40+ years; I really don’t want to lose that aching, exciting feeling of supporting our club. I was with the mother of my children for 25 years – she was from oop north but hated football – I now have a new partner of 2+ years who is from t’south. I have taken her to Bolton twice, each time with almost childish, tear-inducing glee at showing her where I was raised(for the record she loved it). I FEEL being Boltonian and I want my football club to be great again, I want it to be what it was when I was growing up not what it has been the last few years. Wow, I really have rambled! What I think I am trying to say is that I have said what I think before, as have we all. Nobody takes any notice and we repeat ourselves endlessly. I am a primary school teacher who happens to specialise in PE and sport; most of my job I love but the classroom stuff is a necessary evil these days. We have a senior management team (lower case deliberate) which is a shower of waste product, issuing ever more baffling edicts and policy which us grunts at the chalk-face are supposed to implement on a playing field equipped with goalposts which move at speeds which the Higgs Boson can only dream of. Our succession of recent management (BWFC that is) with Captain Gartside on the bridge seem to have achieved the same. No obvious plan for the crew to follow, or at least one that they understand. Once the crew of HMS Bolton head out of port the oarsmen all row in opposing directions, the man with the map and sextant is looking in the wrong end and the admiral is nowhere to be seen. Now to specifics – DF is going nowhere so we need to get used to that. PG likewise. This season is a write-off (again). We need to ship a few players out who are expensive and under-performing. We desperately need coaches who can coach and motivate. Our development squad is looking good so give them a kick here and there. And as many have said, to hell with the future, we are in the brown stuff right now. The future can wait. That’s if it’s still there!

  • I must say I was heartened by mentions of Lardel in an earlier thread. I remember seeing him warm up for a sub appearance at QPR. Never have I seen a fatter pro footballer. The living embodiment of “unfit”. Both sets of fans took the p*ss. And he waved. And just came across two names for you all to mull over – Ebi Smolarek and Mustapha Riga!!

  • Mick Mack said yesterday’s game was pants. Good for him. DF came out with more corporate OC speak. Mind you he did say it was time we learned how to protect a lead which is true. Do any of you think we practise shooting? 14 shots, 4 on target, again! Probably down to Eagles hitting row Z on a regular basis.

  • no real success in a year…….just 1 goal away from getting two clubs into the play offs in the same season. i say that’s pretty damn good. if learning anything from liverpool, tottenhams board of directors is that it’s sticking with your appointed man even though they might no be bearing fruit or imediate success that you was hoping for, but that sticking with them can pay off. .. getting rid of dougie will do damage, i can’t think of any manager who we might be able to lure with our financial means will be able to make an impact on the team. hes brought in three loaness that have had an imediate benefit to the team and they wern’t even his first, second or third choice for loans. this i a tough time at the moment, if we were in the prem in a relegation battle, i could understand the benfit of changing manager to rescue the club. but any newly appointed manager wont be doing a rescue job but a rebuild, they will have the same task of bringing in new blood either for the reserves or new signings and trying to get the best out of a previous mangers senior players.

  • Dear Fred, its all very well saying DF & PG are going nowhere so lets accept that fact, the name slot on the office door says Chairman & Manager, it says nothing about them personally. what your really saying is if they are going nowhere the club and our beloved team are going nowhere also and that is what I vehemently object to. Since when did BWFC become the sole property of PG, he has failed and therefore should get out along with his team manager, for exactly the same reasons. Please recall that PG sacked OC with confidence lost on his ability to take us straight back up. DF was appointed to do exactly what OC appeared unable to do – get us promoted that same season, at worst he was tasked with improving the team and our performances given his ” fantastic ” ability as a manager. Sorry to disappoint but his ability as a manager has proved to be rancid, utterly inept, useless. We are a pale shadow of the team OC created, far worse in fact – forget promotion we are now candidates for relegation to division 1 and complete oblivion. So what happened to the agenda on which PG appointed this incumbent ? has PG decided to conveniently ignore the same, to use it as toilet paper for what its really worth – pure *****e. Make no mistake leave things as they are, to save PG further humiliation and we seriously risk complete oblivion into the wastelands of forgotten football teams. Its one thing sleepwalking into hell, its another thing entirely voluntarily going there with your eyes wide open. All tragic victims under the Nazis had no choice when forced to enter the gas chambers. We seem to be gleefully standing aside while PG throws his coins in the meter as DF shouts stand aside let me pass, ” don’t worry, its fine I am looking after the future ” excuse me – what future does a corpse have ? none actually, absolutely none.

  • if i remember correctly sean dyce was almost sacked, when burnley went in a completely different dirrection nearlt being in a relegation battle towards the end of the season. your food analogy was very funny and true but the bit about dougie being lucky at palace. am i confused about the job of a manager? the same manager put together a truly formiddable tteam. he was at palace for years, he brought in youngster who he had a personal impact being that he was there reserve coach for a number of years, he brought iin glen murray on a freebie, (where on earth is the luck?. one moment it’s all the managers fault for us being in this CURRENT mess but when he has had great success you strip him of any praise asthough he did have a hand in their promotin. sorry but i’m hearing massive contradictions!

  • Bowton I normally agree with your opinions but I can only think your spectacles are not only rose tinted but fogged up to boot. I too argued DFs case last year and until about 3-4 weeks ago. But things are going from bad to worse. The team look like they have never met or more likely don’t like each other so can’t even complete a pass half the time. The loanees no doubt look good but so did Spearing last year, he currently is awful, I am not sure what to make of that? Things did go well at Palace for DF but that can happen, I have no doubt he would flourish there again. It just isn’t working at the moment and really should be by now this season. I know we did well for a few months last season and like many of us I thought we had cracked it. However as I have said before a good manager has a plan A and B. DF appears to have neither at the moment. I understand the lack of finances is a massive problem but it is one which is being compounded by allowing it to continue. Make no mistake any talk of the playoffs is aloof at best, we are embarrassingly in a relegation battle.

  • i am fully aware of the predicament that the club is in gav. you’d would have to be an idiot not to realise. but the question/argument put forward is on if dougie should be sacked. i dont think he should (as i don’t know of any managers who can take or improve the squad more than dougie could. ) we have to start to give managers a chance longer than a year. as i said before, if in a prem relegation battle i could see the benefit at making a gamble to stay up. but we are not in the top division, we have aims to get promoted, so no matter what manager comes in, they will be expected to be promoted. but most fans expect it first time, and that just isn’t going to happen. so if i’m going to have to put faith and time in a manager, why on earth should it not be dougie?

  • Who can we get that’s better and out of work? If we can’t afford to buy an out of favour winger in the last six months of his contract, we’re not going to be able to afford to buy a new manager.

  • Because he isn’t going to do it at the second time of asking either!! I don’t understand why its worth the gamble to stay in the premier league but not to stay in the championship, because we are only heading one way my friend and Dougie does not know how to stop the rot. We do have good players just a very very poor team and that is down to the Manager and coaches. Nobody else not even PG for all his faults!

  • Dear Bowton, I truly respect your opinion, there is nothing fancy or rightful about my opinions I simply tell it as I see and it might not be worth much at all. The only thing you say that confused me is ” you cannot think of any manager who can improve the squad more than Dougie can ” forgive me – what improvement are we talking about ? we are worse off in every respect, there is no improvement, the club cat would get more from the players. As for a relegation battle, we are now a third through this season and its a relegation battle. We recently played the 2 bottom teams at the Reebok and struggled to get a draw, 9 days ago everyone was talking about 2 easy home games ahead and 6 points in the bag, er not exactly, we now have 3 difficult away games in the next 4. Come the end of November we might be rock bottom – god forbid, but if that’s what you want, sod our league position, our performances, our results, we must stick with DF because he did a really good job at Palace. Who cares what he did at Palace, he could have taken Tonga to a World Cup Final or walked on the moon, all that matters is what he is doing here at BWFC – its a disaster, a car crash in slow motion, look across the page at our league position. We could have a Chimpanzee as manager for me as long as it got the results and improved the team of course. Finally, if as you suggest we have aims to be promoted, pray explain how we achieve that – by keeping faith with the guy who has taken us in the opposite direction If we do keep faith and get relegated it will spell the end of this club as we all know it, more than a hundred years of history thrown on the bonfire and for what ? because we had a chairman who could never spot a decent football manager as long as he has a hole in is ass, who refused to acknowledge his own incompetence, or that we kept faith with a manager who previously had 18 months good experience elsewhere, must be our fault then, could it be the Horwich air or the colour scheme around the stadium. Lets be straight, if its not DF who is at fault and he is truly a very good manager then point me in the right direction please as I must be lost. Someone else mentioned the common denominator in all our recent troubles – PG – I refuse to get started on that one. Is it the wages, the players ?? hello is that the excuses list knocking on the door? who sets the wages and who selects the players ? PG, DF ?? or is it the cleaner ? Better still, lets not cast blame on anyone, we can all hold hands and smile together as we receive the chefs latest delights – I envy the Chimp – he gets his own banana

  • we are only going to be heading in one way if we don’t give managers time and that is down. there needs to be stability. we need to give our youngsters time or rather the academy. another 4-6 years and we will have an academy that will start producing on a regular basis. we can say good bye to staying in the prem for prolonged periods of time, we need to get real. we are not a great club. (never really have been.) our most successfull period was under sam, and we won diddly squat! dougie is a good manager. i aint gonna repeat no more his credentials (it’s not going to change opinions,) on what he managed to do in an early managerial career. we need a realistic outlook to our club, mike has been saying for the last few months the dire situation were in. what ever is going on behind the scenes the one person fans need to get behind is the manager. we have gone through enough managers recently, and it clearly hasn’t paid off. i haven’t known many clubs recently where ditching a swapping has paid off.

  • no i’m not expecting promotion. i expect 9-14 by the end of the season. all the rott tossed on the bonfire and staying in the championship for another 2 years before we look strong enough to get promoted. i don’t think that too farfetched. saying we are going to get relegated with another 33 games to play. now that is far fetched.

  • I am saying that we are as it stands in a relegation battle. Is that not the case? I am also saying ( above) that I know the finances are dire and that is an issue with regard to removing DF. I have never thought that cchopping and changing managers is good for a club in fact as Bowton says above it is usually the opposite. However we have never had such a bad start to a season in living memory. We cannot score enough, we can just about defend and our midfield whilst packed with talented individuals is a complete shambles. I don’t believe being held to ransom over Feeney would have done us any favours either and it is probably the best decision made recently by the club. I don’t believe there is a manager out there who will take over and fire us up the league, all I want is someone who inspires something other than failure. Has super John McGinley done his coaching badges? Or maybe Ivan Campo? Stelios keeps saying how concerned he is at our plight maybe he could have a go? I’m sorry but I cannot put my faith in a man who is supposed to know what is required and how to manage our club who thinks its worth throwing on a sub at 1-1 in a home game as the ref is blowing the whistle! He is as frightened of making a decision as his players are of having the ball. In another 4-6 years we may have a good group coming from the academy but who cares we are in trouble now!

  • Frankly I couldn’t care a toss about DFs record at Palace. I care about now. To say that he should stay based on that is a bit like saying we should give Michael Ricketts another go as he did have a good season once!!

  • I am guilty of staring at the crystal ball in my opinions but others leave me in the shade – ” in another 4-6 years our academy will be churning them out ” we can be naïve but lets not abuse the privilege. All reference to the academy is a smokescreen and utterly meaningless. We have had an academy and reserve team since Montgomery stood on the beaches of Normandy on D Day. Our records show we produce one very good footballer every Preston Guild. With modern transportation and mobile phones, good young players can speak to any club and go where the grass is greenest, while it may be a lottery our chances of churning out top talent are no better than they have been for the last 25 years. Current management have to look towards the academy more so than previous as we no longer have the money to bring established players into the club, but that will not make the lads any better than what they are and our record remains as poor as it always has been – Nicky Hunt was home grown and played regularly for the 1st team, he was always a poor player guaranteed a game to simply demonstrate the academy actually existed, he never earned his place on merit or ability. That now becomes the worry, faced with no other options the youngsters will go into the team, but they will be poor players and the team will remain a poor team. It becomes a vicious circle that’s unlikely to be broken

  • Alright. Put the knives away. It’s very easy to look at a small set of results in isolation and jump to the conclusion that it’s the end of the world (even though we’re unbeaten in five games). Let’s just take a few things into consideration. Firstly, the current manager’s record compared to those who’ve previously held the post. Dougie Freedman is averaging 1.37 points per game so far. That compares with 1.19 for Owen Coyle, 1.29 for Gary Megson and 1.14 for Sammy Lee – so he’s doing better than the previous three managers. Sam Allardyce chipped in with 1.55, Colin Todd 1.57, Roy McFarland 1.11 and the mighty Bruce Rioch trumps the lot with 1.69. So he’s not doing better than Bruce, Todd or Allardyce, but we already knew that – but he’s doing better than all the other recent managers in terms of his points return. Then there’s the squad to consider. Of the current playing staff, Sam Allardyce signed Joe Riley as a youngster, Sammy Lee signed Ádám Bogdán, Gary Megson signed Zat Knight, Mark Davies, Josh Vela, Chung-Yong Lee and Sanmi Odelusi, Owen Coyle signed Tyrone Mears, Matt Mills, Tim Ream, Chris Eagles, David N’Gog, Darren Pratley, Stuart Holden, Andy Lonergan, David Wheater, Jay Lynch, Chris Lester, Oscar Threlkeld and Andrew Kellett, and Dougie Freedman signed Jay Spearing, Jermaine Beckford, Robert Hall, André Moritz, Alex Baptiste, Kevin McNaughton, Neil Danns, Marc Tierney, Craig Davies, Ján Gregu?, Conor Wilkinson, Arran Lee-Barrett, Medo Kamara and Tom Youngs. I’m not sure who was responsible for Michael O’Halloran, Hayden White, Zach Clough or Luke Woodland, but I’m guessing all four were Owen Coyle’s work. Considering the fact that Dougie Freedman has had less to spend in total than Owen Coyle spent on David N’Gog or Gary Megson spent on Zat Knight, one would expect to see the team littered with Owen Coyle’s signings. Mills, Ream and Pratley are putting in a shift when asked at the moment but the rest seem to have completely lost the plot. Megson’s signings, then, perhaps? Knight is terrible, Mark Davies is injured, Vela apparently can’t regain his fitness, Lee is doing okay and Odelusi seems to be flattering to deceive. Sammy Lee’s players, then? Well there’s only one left – Bogdán – and he’s something of a regular, but then Lee was always a better assistant than he was a manager so let’s give him the benefit of the doubt and say he spotted a reasonable player. And the only player remaining from the Big Sam days is Joe Riley, who never actually played for Allardyce but was signed to the youth books in the same season Allardyce took over. So far, his professional career spans nine games and two injuries. That’s 25 players in the first team squad, of whom at the moment you could arguably only pick (if fit) Bogdán, Mills, Ream, Davies, Riley, Pratley, Holden, Lonergan, Vela and Lee, and amongst them, Bogdán, Davies, Riley, Holden and Vela are injured, with the root of four of those injuries arguably down to the poor fitness regime implemented by Coyle. That’s five players who were at the club when Freedman arrived who he can currently legitimately give a first-team start to and expect some sort of performance. And the rest, signed by the incumbent, cost less put together than Zat Knight or David N’Gog. So what sort of a job is Dougie Freedman doing? Is it a complete, total and unmitigated disaster, spiralling down towards the lower echelons of the football league, or should we be prepared to stick by him as he waits for the contracts of his completely unsaleable lazy army of pre-DF-era players to expire and hold some hope for the future that he’ll get it all right once he’s got a bit of money to spend? I, for one, absolutely do not want to see DF go – not only because I think he’s a good manager, but furthermore because, given our current dire financial and playing staff situation, I can’t see anyone even a quarter as good agreeing to take on the job – and I’m perfectly willing to be patient. Don’t get me wrong, the football we’re playing is not good, but we don’t have the same level of player we used to. And don’t get me wrong, I’m not happy down where we are in the league, but I still expect us to end up with a points tally in the mid-60s, perhaps a few points short of the play-offs but reasonably comfortably ahead of the relegation zone. And then at the end of the season, when the contracts of Knight, Mears, Eagles and N’Gog are up, I shall do a little dance and then look forward to seeing who we bring in over the summer. And the summer after, when Bogdán, Lonergan, Mills, Ream, Pratley, Vela and Lee will have their contracts up for renewal or otherwise, I’ll look forward to that too – either these players will be taking massive pay cuts or they’ll be moved on. And that’s what I’m looking forward to at the moment. I know it’s a long way off, but Owen Coyle left a very serious mess to clear up, and I believe Dougie is the man to do it.

  • I have to agree with robmoss 100% – in fact I was just about to di-sect the line up from Saturday and point out the fact that most of them aren’t his. Anyway – I think we have to air on the side of stability and look towards the long term. DF has been hamstrung by the amount of bobbins/lazy players left over from previous managers. I’m not saying he’s without his faults – I’m not a fan of fitting square pegs in round holes (ie central players in wide areas), I’m not a fan of the timing of his subs, I’m not a fan of him giving an opportunity to youngsters who then take it and don’t get picked again (think Hall & Odelusi) – but he is still a very young manager, does seem to be open to the fact that he is still learning his trade and he strikes me as fiercly ambitious. (if some of the rumours about the last days of SKD are to believed then he also is ruthless) That is the kind of guy I want incharge. And to the people who suggest it was better under Coyle – you have very short memories!

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