Bolton Wanderers: To The Wolves
It was a BIG shop.
So, what did I learn from our 2-2 draw at Wolves on Tuesday. Well, Wolves fans still hate Mark Davies with a passion and even more so now. Someone should give Fred Barber a call, pay Bury whatever a fee for his services, and get him back to solve the Adam Bogdan parrying a ball straight to the opposition problem. There needs to be a bottling of this comeback spirit so that, whoever the new manager is, it can be uncorked when necessary. Not that it should be necessary if the defence works together, but there is still a problem there. Benik Afobe has obviously been given Ivan Klasnic's locker and peg so that he can score a goal but will do cock all other than that. If we do have to go for it at the end then maybe we can extend SKD's career by sticking him in defence. And, if we can do that, maybe we can wave goodbye to Zat Knight. And my question to OC at the fans forum 'why re-sign Zat Knight and let Mark Connolly go' is playing on my mind more and more.
If we are to appoint Dougie Freedman, and I understand Ipswich is lovely this time of year, then he would be advised to look at the difference in the team since Owen Coyle left the club. There certainly seems to be more togetherness from them as a unit, despite the deficiences pointed out above. It is good to see people being played in their correct positions, Petrov especially, although the same problem exists with him that he just will not track back, something our leaky defence needs.
It is difficult to suggest where to start with the defence. Despite popular belief, Tyrone Mears appears to be playing well and there is nothing to suggest that the signing of Stephen Warnock was not a good one. Whilst the idea of SKD turning defender in the style of Dion Dublin, there would be nothing against Sam Ricketts moving there until David Wheater returns. The appearance of Zat Knight in the reserves on Monday would suggest that the only person at the club who saw any merit in giving him a new contract was Owen Coyle, but many believe that he was the best central defender during the early part of the Championship campaign. Whilst the thought of Knight back in defence may give many a cold sweat, neither Mills nor Ream have done anything to suggest that they are a long term partnership. The irony is, of course, that this is Zat Knight. I know. Slap me.
If Saturday's game is to be Jimmy Phillips' last game in charge, then anything other than a defeat will do his stock no issues at all. Even a defeat to the team currently in third, if we play well, may not be all bad. My thoughts on the managerial situation will follow later, but he, Sammy Lee and Julian Dary seem to have instilled something into the team that was sorely lacking over the preceding eighteen months. Whether OC had lost the dressing room or was just too stubborn to do anything about what was going wrong we will probably never know. What has been proved is that the decision to remove him was the right one. Hopefully, the decision that the chairman makes will also prove to be so.
Right, we haven't done the Fantasy League for a couple of weeks, so let's get on it. Alakerran~Flinttaus~ remains top (were they top the last time?) with AFC Nano in second and Roderick's XI in third. Team of the week are Inter Mi'nan (Fnarr, Fnarr...) and, as I can't remember if we did it, the team of the month for September were the aforementioned Alakerran~Flinttaus~. So, well done to all. Don't let it go to your head.
OK, we'll be back later with another article re the managerial situation. Steady yourselves.