Date: 10th May 2016 at 11:56pm
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Nicky Crompton has some thoughts on Jimmy Phillips, and would like to see him take the manager’s job permanently

“Jimmy Phillips confirmed after the Fulham game that he, football advisor Peter Reid and coach Nicky Spooner would be stepping down from their role with the first team having completed the nine games they were asked to cover.”
The Bolton News

Remember when a bright eyed 46 year old Jimmy Phillips took charge following the sacking of Owen Coyle back in 2012? I just watched his pre-Bristol City presser from back then (not the 6-0) just to see what`s changed.

He looked inspired. Of course he did. He`d been given the chance to take charge of one of the best squads in the Championship – a squad that contained Super Kevin Davies, Martin Petrov, Adam Bogdan and Chris Eagles.

More importantly, it was the opportunity to manage his club – the club that he loved. The club at which he`d been a season ticket holder from a young age, the club at which he`d been a ball boy, the club at which he progressed through the academy and played over 400 games.

He was proud and clearly very excited by the opportunity, and rightly so. Under his wings were good friend and fellow Bolton fan Julian Darby. He boasted great coaching experience and Sammy Lee, former England international, Bolton player and Bolton manager. What more could you ask for? He also acquitted himself very well to the job and hinted that he`d be interested in taking it on on a full time basis.

However, despite an encouraging win and a draw in his first two games, the decision was made to install upcoming young manager Dougie Freedman. Phillips remained professional, however, and returned to his job as academy boss.

Fast forward 1300 days. Jimmy Phillips has relinquished charge of a failing Bolton team. A team that has embarrassed the club on the pitch and failed to win a bloody game away form home. By no means was it Jimmy`s fault, in fact I would actually say that given the circumstances he was given, he could have done little better and that`s having lost 6-0 to Bristol City and only getting four points from nine matches.

He`s given young players opportunities and I think this bodes well. The likes of Tyler Garratt and Niall Maher now go into League One with experience playing for the Bolton Wanderers first team.

Alex Finney will have learned valuable lessons from his disappointing 45 minutes at Brentford and even Alex Samizadeh can take something from coming on during that game and jumping around a bit.

It`s been announced that long serving members of staff will be leaving, including the likes of fitness coach Chris Short (that brown haired chap who takes the players for warmups) and Head of Sports Science, Mark Leather. Also of note are U21s boss Iain Brunskill and goalkeeping coach Bobby Mimms. To be honest, I don`t really like pointing about ‘notable` members of staff having to leave because it`s all very sad.

No doubt there are also more junior members of footballing staff and other office/non-footballing staff who have been told that they`ll be losing their jobs – and these may well be the ones most affected.

The players are the ones who have got us relegated by not being good enough. The staff who have been good enough are the ones losing their jobs and may subsequently struggle. I know this has been said before but it`s sad. However, that`s life unfortunately and in other industries, redundancies like this are far too common.

In that piece in The Bolton News that I quoted from at the beginning of the article, Phillips also says that “once they (the board) have sorted out the first team structure (ie. redundancies) you would think they would move on to the academy.”

Once again, it`s the way things have to be, I know, but another thing I love about the club is the core of academy staff who have played for Bolton and are teaching youngsters how to become Bolton players: the likes of Phillips, David Lee, Tony Kelly, Nicky Spooner etc? It would be a shame to see them go too.

Now, back to that beginning quote, Jimmy Phillips is no longer manager. That doesn`t mean he`s not going to be given the job on a permanent basis, but I think it`s unlikely. If he pulled a rabbit out of the hat and got us 15 points from those nine games then the chances of him getting the job would have been much greater.

I`m gonna go out on a limb here. Are you ready?

I want Jimmy Phillips as our next manager. That may sound weird since I`ve mentioned that he hasn`t done particularly well, and that he may seem to some like he`s lost his way a little – the confidence and the passion about the job is no longer as
clear to see. However, his love for HIS club clearly hasn`t changed.

He may not want the job. You may think we need someone more experienced. However, if we`re to
get experience it`ll either be expensive, or we`ll be getting someone with a chequered past.

You may question his tactics. You may think he`s nothing more than an academy boss (in which there`s absolutely no shame). However, he loves the club; he`s proven that he can do well when given resources (albeit on a short term) and he`d be virtually free.

The big question is, could we tap into the inspired younger, happier looking Jiminho that we saw come back from 2-0 down to Bristol City in 2012? That would be nice.

However, maybe a more experienced Jimmy who`s tasted failure now as a manager, is a better manager for it.


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