Date: 18th March 2014 at 7:36pm
Written by:

My name is Dougie Freedman, but I’m known as ‘Tinkerman’,
I’m the gaffer down at t’Reebok, where I have a cunning plan.

It’s what I learned on courses, whilst passing my coaching badge,
Plus things I gleaned from playing and any new ideas I might cadge.

The vital ingredient in my plan, is to keep the punters guessing,
Not to mention, all the players, who find this so depressing.

I like to think I’m up to speed and play a novel style,
But the lads are really ‘anti’, so it’s taken quite a while.

The fans all favour ‘four-four-two’, but I like one up front,
So, they can take a running jump! I’m afraid I must be blunt!

Occasionally, I indulge them. Whet their appetite, so to speak,
But when we’re under pressure, that policy’s up the creek!

Get them all behind the ball and leave one to lead the line,
That’s the way to boss a game. If not, then I’ll resign!

The coaches taught me lots of words, I call it ‘football-speak’,
It’s a basic language, all its own, used by a tiny clique!

Some may call it ‘gobbledegook’, others are just agog,
But those of a cynical nature, suggest I’ve been on the ‘grog’!

I always work the opposite way to the fans at our great club,
But I believe it’s ‘lateral thinking’, rather than see it as a snub.

So, I couch my comments, whenever I can, in a plethora of jargon,
If I hadn’t been in ‘footy`, I’d have made a super salesman!

You’ll notice that I rarely pick the same team every week,
Even if they win a match and each player hits his peak.

Other teams like Burnley, may turn out the same eleven,
But has it done them any good? Are they in seventh heaven?

No, these young men need constant rest or face a quick burn-out,
A game a week is far too much. Of that there is no doubt!

Trust me, I know about all this. I’ve been there, got the T-shirt,
And any lad starting in the game, would soon become a convert!

Remember, I’m here for the long term. The future’s in the kids,
So that’s when you must judge me, if the blue-print hits the skids!

Until then I’ll just continue, to tinker with the works,
And keep everybody guessing. It’s one of life’s little perks!

Written by Barney Grumble.

Mr Ecky sends his best to the Vital Bolton community, he’s currently not well, he’ll be back as soon as possible and in the meantime, he’s got a staff writer to fill in for him.

If anyone has something to share in the meantime (this gives a genuine Bolton point of view from a Bolton fan!) feel free to fire an email through.

Please include your username so I can put that to it though.

To email your own unique article/blog for publishing


11 Replies to “The Tinkerman – My Story!”

  • a peach of an article barney full of truth and teasing rhyme
    moonpig wont be impressed he will probably say its a crime
    you can’t please everyone Barney, that’s life I guess, or fate,
    it will raise a laugh and a smile in some but others will be irate
    I think of Gartside, then I think of Freedman, its a struggle – nothing rhymes with useless *****ers

  • Mike, Clearly i don’t love Freedman as much as you hate him. I dont know why you have to call him the names that you consistently do, i do know you wouldn’t say them to his or Gartside’s face. For me it could be anyone, i don’t care who the manager is, i care about the club and the future of it…recognising that we cant compete in the current climate so need to find another way to do so whilst balancing the books. Consistency and stability for me are the most important thing to rebuild this club and we will not get that constantly sacking managers in search of the holy grail then sacking managers because they are not able to keep us there. You will point to results being the be all and end all but they are not in our current situation, it is about building a team that can compete after years of underachievement and becoming self sufficient bringing through our own players as and when they are ready. If you dont recognise what a difficult job managing BWFC is at the moment given the financial restrictions and constraints the club is under currently not to mention the high earning-low performing Coyle crew then i really dont know what to say.

  • Moonpig – I respect your lucid arguments in support of the current set up, however, everything comes down to having a good manager in charge if you are going to get the right players, the right performances and the right results. Our financial state does not change this, you think Freedman is the right guy, I say otherwise, we respectfully disagree and that is perfectly okay. Don’t take my reference to DF or PG to heart, often it needs to be read in context. We do agree about caring for our club and that whoever is manager or chairman, doing a very good job is all that counts.

  • As far as DF is concerned, we are surely in for the long term. You can’t please everyone all of the time and neither should you try. I respect quite a few things that he has tried to do, in what is a difficult situation. He is still learning the job and we have to recognise that, no matter how much it rankles. Some of his loan moves have been outstanding considering the financial resources at his disposal. But the way he has set up his teams at times ( however difficult) has been confusing to say the least. And some of his post-match comments from day one, have been convoluted in the extreme. I know we can’t all be privy to the problems within the camp, be it with injuries or illness, but to suddenly see Davies’ name omitted from the team and bench on Saturday was disappointing. Those with a bit of nous would guess that he was hurt etc. but more immediate info would go a long way. Some have argued that we are oblivious to what happens at Euxton and of course that’s true. In other words Dougie knows best! So, I can’t for the life of me understand how he can stand by and watch Trotter train with the lads, day in, day out and then pick him to play behind the front two against Blackburn and Brighton. It was so obviously wrong! And retrospectively, he has admitted it. You might say, there was no one else available, well I would have given Vela a go. I know one or two still don’t think he’s ready yet, but from the first minute I watched him play for Coyle, he looked a player. I can’t say the same thing for Trotter! In fact, while we are on the subject of youngsters, why isn’t Vela ready? And why does Hall look like he’s going backwards when he gets a chance. This is Dougie’s forte. This is where he excels! Are these lads getting fed up/down-hearted with not starting a game and becoming just a little stale?…..On a more confident note, I like Hutton at RB for the time being, and surely Davies and Danns will start on Saturday and all will be well!

  • Well…i have said previously that Eagles must be absolutely amazing in training to keep getting in the team! Maybe Trotter is the new Eagles in training?? I think Vela must be close but i think he is more of a deep lying midfielder than a number 10 sort. Hall i feel sorry for because when he has the ball he makes things happen, he just doesnt get enough of it. He needs to impose himself on games and demand the ball, he has a lot of talent but sometimes struggles for space a little bit. There are players that may get down hearted not being in the side but there would be a lot more of them feeling the same if DF did keep the same XI every week as most fans would like – double edged sword.

  • I would go along with most of that, Moonpig. But I think that Dougie has seen the light with Eagles. He would have to be blind and stupid not to! I’ll be surprised and disappointed, if he gives him a new contract. I agree with your observations about Hall. Most of us were expecting him to crack on as the season progressed, but he hasn’t really done that. You’re right, he should demand more of the ball, but perhaps he is still a little inhibited being so young (am I being a little naive here). He can be a very dangerous and exciting player. I’ll say it again, hopefully next season we will see some youngsters coming through to challenge the established players. If Dougie is to be believed, then that’s the least we can expect.

  • Barnie – forgive me for quoting your remark about Freedman ” he is still learning the job ” you admit we have ended up with a rookie. Doesn’t exactly fit in with everything PG said to the press after sacking Coyle, relieving Philips of his duties, when appointing this idiot.

  • When we sacked Coyle we swapped one rookie for another. In fact part of the clubs problems is because we generally appoint rookie managers. If you look back over the years you can count on one hand the number of managers who have had more than 250 games experience before coming to us – this has damaged the club over the 40 – 50 years. Vela and the rest of the under 21’s aren’t ready, but Barney I think you are being hard on Trotter. It amazes me that when players don’t plat at their brilliant best, especially after a move, Bolton supporters go on the attack. The guy hasn’t been played in the right position since he came and hasn’t even played a handful of games. I think you should give him time. It does take a long time to build a new squad, but Dougie doesn’t help himself with his chopping and changing for no reason and it’s about time he informed the fans what is going on before hand. He doesn’t need to identify the positions, just say there’s a sickness bug going round the club.

  • Rookie managers have damaged the club? Really? Our most experienced managers appointed since World War I have been Stan Anderson (529 games) who nearly got us relegated, Gary Megson (492 games) who dismantled Big Sam’s successful team and turned us into relegation candidates, Bruce Rioch (390 games) who dragged us up from Division 2 to the Premiership, Ian Greaves (281 games) who took us from Division 2 to Division 1 and then back down again, Sam Allardyce (259 games) who we all know all about, Owen Coyle (205 games) who destroyed the team, Roy McFarland (166 games) who got us relegated, Jimmy Meadows (143 games) who got us relegated, George Mulhall (128 games) who nearly got us relegated, Jimmy McIlroy (122 games) who lasted 19 days, Charlie Wright (144 games) who nearly took us down to Division 4, Dougie Freedman (90 games) who we still have, Colin Todd (70 games) who oversaw the best season of football I can remember us playing and took us up to the Premiership, Bill Ridding (20 games) who finished consistently well in Division 1 and won the FA Cup. Then the managers we had who had never managed before were Charles Foweraker who won 3 FA Cups, Walter Rowley who discovered Nat Lofthouse and rebuilt the team post-WW2, Jimmy Armfield who won Division 3, Nat Lofthouse who got us relegated, John McGovern who got us relegated, Phil Neal who won the Football League Trophy, got us promoted and then got us to the play-offs twice, and Sammy Lee who lost almost every game he was in charge for. Now, personally, a lot of the success to me seems to be weighted in favour of the managers with less experience. Why would that be? To me it’s simple: a successful manager with more than 250 games under his belt will not come to Bolton, he’ll go to one of the clubs at the top of the Premiership. So we have two choices: appoint someone who’s a “rookie” like Freedman, or Colin Todd, or Phil Neal, or appoint someone experienced in failure like Owen Coyle, Gary Megson or Roy McFarland. We did well to get Bruce Rioch and Sam Allardyce, but it’s not like managers like that hang around at lower league clubs any more for us to pluck.

  • Nidgster – If every manager explained every decision before every game then no one would get anything done. Does my boss discuss every decision he makes with me before doing it? No, you just have to accept it.

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