The thing which really infuriated me at the weekend and it wasn’t the result. Or the performance. Or where we are in the league. Or
I`ve calmed down a bit now. I`m not saying I recant everything I said in my last article, but I may have jumped the gun on a couple of those names whose contracts I suggested should be shredded. I had to vent my anger at the perennial underachievers and my fingers just kept typing players` names. I may feel different again tomorrow and those names I`m wavering on may find themselves back on my ‘shred list`.
I know hate is a strong word, but I hate feeling like I hate my home-team players. Bolton Wanderers in the last 3 years has frazzled the majority of my neuron-functioning, but what I know for sure is this: these are the players who relegated us from the Premiership and these are the players who are relegating us from the Championship. A premature assessment, of course, but as it stands, a fact none the less. I don’t know what players think. Of course I don’t. But what I am absolutely positive on is; there are 3 or 4 players in our squad who believe they are too big for this league and a couple who have always thought they were too big for Bolton Wanderers. Unfortunately, these are the players who are having the biggest influence on performances and results.
Onto the subject that infuriated me.
The loss to Brighton didn`t anger me. I`m used to it now. It`s become part of my weekend, like a lie-in and a Sunday roast. No, what really infuriated me was the loan signings we’ve already missed out on.
I know a lot of Whites’ fans claim they hate Man Utd, but as I’ve said, ‘hate’ is a strong word. Many fans, after the surface has been scratched, will admit to frustration from this colossus club on our doorstep sucking everything towards them from the surrounding areas.
I lived in a humble street in Deane for 20 years and in a 2-street radius of my house, there were 4 people- including myself- who went watching the Wanderers on a regular basis. In the same 2-street radius, there were 2 families who had season tickets at Old Trafford- 2 dads and 3 sons.
You get my point.
But for all the negativity which being on the doorstep of a club as big as Man Utd projects, why do Bolton Wanderers not capitalise on the few benefits such a setup presents? This week alone, Utd’s loaned-out players to Championship clubs, scored 7 goals for three different teamsb. Nick Powell bagged a goal for Wigan, Federico Macheda bagged a brace for Doncaster and Jesse Lingard- making his debut for Birmingham after signing on loan not 24 hours earlier- scored 4 goals. Yep, that`s right, four goals in 53 minutes.
Those three Utd loanees scored more goals within a 90 minute period than our whole team has scored in 8 games.
Did Bolton know these players were available? Did they enquire? Would they have taken them had they been available? Or are they not of the ilk with what we are trying to do? Or, even worse, were they too busy chasing Jermaine Beckford for months?
I know it`s different in the Premier League. Loan dealings are not ideal. Our previous encounters in the Premiership transfer window have been trying to seal that marquee signing that will define the season. But in the Championship, were loan-signings are pivotal for success and developing promising talent, the first door Bolton should be banging on is our extremely noisy neighbour`s.
The only benefit, from what I can see, of having such a big club sucking the life-force from surrounding clubs, is taking the promising youths from them, on loan, for our benefit. But having said that, Lingard and Macheda scored for their loaned clubs almost immediately after joining for them. They couldn`t have made the same impact at Bolton. There would have been 3 weeks of ‘getting up to speed` with the philosophy of what`s expected of them before another 3 weeks of fitness training. Any enthusiasm or momentum would have been zapped from the youngsters before a ball had been kicked.
It doesn`t matter; we still have Jermaine Beckford to score our goals for us.