Date: 14th May 2013 at 12:25am
Written by:

search your feelings

Remember school? I’ll make it easier for you… Remember secondary school?

School days for me, being short with blonde hair, was a double-edged sword. On the one hand, I was bullied for my slight stature and natural hair colour, so blonde, the Milky Bars were always on me. On the other hand, the same look that made me prone to bruised arms was also the look that attracted a pretty girl named Caroline. Unfortunately- and cause for me to continuously kick myself to this day- girls were not the fore-front of my mind. Even then, my mind was taken up by football. After numerous attempts and constant knock-backs from yours truly, Caroline turned her attention to someone else. From the outside peering in, I’m sure I looked unfazed by how things had transpired. Inside, however, it was stinging. The architect of my own outcome and I felt sick? At the time it was confusing but as I grew older, the creases of discovery began to iron out perplexity.
What has this got to do with football, I hear you cry. Well, to be honest, not much.
Other than telling you folks how pathetic I was at school, the experience of the Caroline situation is similar to the feeling I get with possible incoming transfers. Not all incomings may I add and only a diluted version in similarity to the original Caroline feeling.

Even though Bolton Wanderers is our club, us fans have as much say in what goes on with team matters as we do with our tax money that bailed out the banks. So when there’s a possible incoming transfer, we’re quick to do our research on the player, calculating his possible impact on operations. Some new recruits need more Googling than others, but there are some players who’s sheer name-phonetic sends shivers down the spine of prospective suitors. I mean, if I said the words, ‘Marlon King linked with Bolton switch…’ What did your central-nervous system do to the muscles in your body? I know, just writing that triggered perspiration.
Several days ago, the words ‘Jermaine Beckford’ were used in the same sentence as the words ‘Bolton Wanderers’. With Jermaine currently on Leicester’s books, it could only mean Beckford was on Dougie’s radar. After trawling through the internet to validate the murmurs, I allowed my mind and body to react to the news.

It wasn’t good.

It was nowhere near a ‘Marlon King’ reaction, but I was surprised at how rappelled I was with the rumour of the striker joining Bolton. With the transfer imminent, I began to watch videos of the front man, along with the knowledge I already had of his career, I read more. As the days passed, I continued to refresh the pages regarding Bolton Wanderers transfers, expecting to see a picture of Beckford holding a Bolton shirt. I went on Twitter, where news always breaks first, to reluctantly welcome Jermaine to the club.


Were all those rumours bogus? They can’t have been all false, it was coming from both sides- Leicester and Bolton. I shouldn’t feel bothered, should I? I didn’t want the guy at the Reebok, my body had already rejected the sound of his name. So what was I feeling? Rejection? Jealousy? Had another club shown interest in our interested interest?
Like Luke Skywalker, I began to search my feelings. Why the sudden turnaround of wanting Beckford at Bolton? Had a Jedi Mind Trick been done on me? Maybe watching lots of goals scored by the player- some spectacular- had saturated my subconscious to alter my conscious impression of him. Maybe reading all about his prolific past had erased his more recent struggles from my opinion. Or maybe and more plausible is the notion of, ‘I don’t want him, but I don’t want anyone else to have him’. I obviously felt this way about Caroline, but with Beckford, it’s not through jealousy. It’s because, if he does move on from Leicester, the likely destination is another Championship rival and if he finds his feet, becomes a major threat to our promotion aspirations. At 29 and a failed spell in the Premiership already on his C.V, Jermaine Beckford, if signed, is not the long term answer to Wanderers uncertain future. He may, however, be the answer to the here-and-now and have one of those seasons that gifted players of his age often have. Jermaine Beckford maybe due a ‘Jason Roberts at Reading’ season and if he is, I want him to have it with us. After saying he prefers working with youth prospects, Dougie Freedman maybe thinking the exact same thing.

Of course, we want the best players possible at the Reebok, but Beckford is one of the most sought after strikers at this level. So if we land him, we should be happy, shouldn’t we?
Jermaine Beckford may shoot us into the Premier League… He may not. To find out, Dougie’s going to have to do what I didn’t with Caroline… trust his feelings, take the plunge and hope he’s ‘the one’.


21 Replies to “BWFC: Jedi Mind Trick”

  • Dougy has improved so many of our team so I hope he will improve Jermaine too if we sign him. Enjoying your writing style Ecky!

  • if you only have £1 million in your wallet at this level of the game, its akin to standing over the roulette wheel with few chips in your pocket, do you go for the unproven young player with potential who might get better or the older guy who delivered in the past, though never as often as everyone wished for as his years tick down. Any decision is a gamble and each on its own merit, I suggest the club learns from its history and past mistakes, not to be delusionary in its judgement, perception of what a player might deliver is always key, Coyle never had that as we know to our cost, maybe DF is a better judge, not that he could be worse, or could he. Just hope our chairman is not making the decisions, although with Beckford in the frame he just might be.

  • Pedro- Cheers. Maybe you’ve got a writing style I may enjoy? If so, have you got an article for the site in you?
    mike- Do you fancy putting your views into an article for the site? The glass can be as empty or as full as you wish.

  • Unfortunately living through the sixties as a young man and enjoying that lifestyle has somewhat blurred my memory! – very frustrating when I read articles about that time that I just cannot remember anymore! I trust DF’s judgement much better than that incompetent twit in the shorts. I think Medo is pure class and was very good value. Hopefully his scouts will find a few more class players and have learned from the Butterfield mistakes. It is class, above everything, that we need to improve our team. We do not want or need injury prone journeymen.

  • well said Pedro, bang on. I recall BWFC paying £70,000 for Terry Wharton from Wolves in the 60’s, a record fee in those days, now players get that as wages – totally crazy. In reply to bwfc_ 85, sure would love to do another article, but at the moment would you belief I am doing a dissertation and it is doing my head in big time, studying at my age – I need my bumps feeling. of course the tragedy surrounding our play off demise has not helped me at all, still in mourning.

  • I like your take on this mr ecky. Many things at the Reebok have had a conspiritorial feel over the last few years but that seems to be the case less under df than it has for some time. I quite like the fact he says little about his plans but what he does say he means. As for the Beckford situation I have had almost identical feelings, firstly I thought why would we want a Leicester flop? Then I recalled his exploits from years ago and began to rethink and now I too have been wondering when is he going to sign? I think the other reason that we worry about this is if he doesn’t come then who will? That is an entirely bigger concern.

  • Given that df came to Bolton as it gave him the best chance to manage in the premier league how must he be feeling now his ex charges are in the play off final.

  • thats two signings under way already, only two youngsters for development, but hey ho, it’s a start, and beckford for a million. i’d bite their hand off now. i’m not a gambling man, but the odds are in our and his favour to hit form again. 15+ then i’m a happy fan.

  • Zaha was the difference for Palace not DF and the difference between them and ourselves, well £15 million springs to mind straightaway, which might translate to £115 million come the play off final. imagine, had we the choice back then – take DF or Zaha, well no contest really, DF doesn’t put the ball in the net does he, your strikers have that job and the one who puts the chances away instead of wide is the one who gets you the points, no matter who is wearing the managers suit. So do we prefer a top manager or a top striker ? – take a look at Palace then Brighton then ourselves, then decide.

  • just to point out mike, eagles assisted and scored more than zaha……. i would still rather have d.f

  • and i think if you would ask a crystal palace fan if they would rather have freedman or zaha next year, they probably and should say freedman. regardless if they make it into the prem.

  • oh i’m not meaning to dispute zaha’s talent, but he isn’t a season changer, murray on the other hand is exceptional.

  • no he hadnt but palace have managed to stay in the playoffs from the 31 goals he scored before hand. and now hes out injured, if they dont get promoted they will struggle next year.

  • Dear bowton – apology offered, the point I was putting across was that Zaha’s goals put Palace into the play off final at the expense of Brighton who arguably were the better team, or as you pointed out Murray’s 31 goals led Palace into the play off’s. The reason Holloway is leading a team out onto the Wembley Turf next week instead of Poyet or Freedman comes courtesy of his strikers, it has little to do with the respective managers skills and ability. The fine margins between success or failure in a match generally comes down to the difference between a chance missed and a chance taken, with quality strikers in your team you reap the benefits. No matter how good Freedman is as a manager our future rests on the quality of the players he has at his disposal, as for Beckford, judgement should be based on recent achievement, is he on the way down or the way up? his record suggests the former, we risk making mistakes if we allow optimism bias to overtake rationality when judging a player. should we assume our manager will get more from the player than Leicester got from him on the basis Freedman has improved our players since his arrival ? where our players simply underperforming beforehand and were going to improve anyway ? has Beckford been doing the same at Leicester ? interesting points to consider.

  • I’d maybe give Beckford two years, one to try anf fir us to the Prm and then another to see if he can make up for his poor Prem from before if we make it.

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