Bolton Wanderers: On My Radio
Afternoon all. I write this coming off Dougie Freedman's interview and phone in on Radio Manchester last night. I couldn't listen to it at the time due to work, but sitting back in an armchair in the cold light of day probably gives you a better idea anyway, especially after reading other people's comments on social media.
Phil Gartside was also there, for a few minutes, before ducking out. He said that it wasn't fair to mention the names that were on his list of managers, but did say that he had a long list, which was whittled down to a short list with Dougie on the top. Dougie now has a to do list. Let's hope that he doesn't end up on a bucket list and we all end up Brahms and Liszt.
Obviously, he came across well, as most managers do, and said the things that you would expect him to say. It was good to hear that he wants Jimmy Phillips and Sammy Lee to stay at some capacity within the club and, with Palace putting up a brick wall with regards to Lennie Lawrence and Curtis Fleming, they may well be sat next to him on the bench on Saturday evening.
He also said that he expects certain standards and that the club had some good young players that he would expect to come through. He added that the club needs to wipe the relegation from its mind but that he had no time scale for getting up to the top of the league. The players were all a 'good bunch of lads' and they were showing great enthusiasm and that everyone had a clean slate.
All very much as you would like to hear. He then faced some questions from fans who, once they had spoken about their day (why do people do that in phone ins? 'I was just on my way back from Asda. You know, the one at Middlebrook'), asked him various questions.
In answer he spoke about his experience as assistant manager at Crystal Palace and that he had been coaching for ten years so didn't see himself as not having enough experience to take charge at the club. No, he isn't a yes man to Phil Gartside. He agreed that the defence needed to be tightened, in an outbreak of the bleeding obviousnesses, and that when he came into Palace he had managed to tighten up that defence.
However, the blame for shipping goals should not be aimed squarely at the door of the defence. The transition of the ball and getting it back when we lost it should also be looked at.
He spoke of his interest in sports science, something that OC was apparently lacking in, and that the club had a good set up, probably from the Big Sam days.
He was then asked by two separate people about younger players, one in particular. He said that there needed to be a mix of youth and experience but that if you were good enough, you were old enough. Players, however, needed to be exposed at the right time. The focus then moved onto Marvin Sordell and why he wasn't playing. Dougie inferred that there may have been problems with his moving for a lot of money from London and that he was a young lad. However, Sordell should be on the pitch and we needed people like him to help us.
When it comes to Sordell, the proof will be in the pudding but we haven't even broken the crust. The amount of goals that he scored at Watford should have given him a leg up to some playing time, so it has been a surprise that the hasn't been included. Of course, anyone with an attitude problem at our level needs to be shown discipline but if everyone has a clean sheet, then you would hope Sordell gets a start either Saturday or Tuesday.
I don't think that Dougie told us anything that we didn't already know, not that we would expect him to. But I think that if he stands by everything he says, we can't have too many complaints. I still stand by my opinion that this appointment leaves me with a sense of ambivalence, but that this is a good thing. No baggage will mean he will stand or fall on what he does, not what our expectations of him are.
Quick Fantasy League now and this week we'll try and avoid using the Voice of Bolton league rather than our own. Alakerran~Flinttaus~ have extended their lead at the top to thirty six points, with Croston FC climbing to second and Roderick's X1 remaining third. Celluloid Heroes at the team of the week so a ticket to last Saturday's game goes to them.
Right, Al back tomorrow. I'll see you Thursday.