Bolton Wanderers: Lennie. The Lion?
Anyway, they say that a day is a long time in politics, but it appears that two days is a short time in football. On Tuesday, Palace were saying it was a no go on Lennie Lawrence and today he joined us as Dougie's assistant. Bags of experience, was Jimmy Phillips' manager at Boro, decent chap. Not flashy, knows his stuff, not Sandy Stewart.
Having managerial experience doesn't make you an effective assistant, as having none wasn't a problem for Phil Brown and Sammy Lee, but it can't hurt. Lawrence has never been a manager to reach the upper echelons of the managerial game, but he is respected through it. There aren't many with more than a thousand games in charge (according to pinchofsaltipedia he is ninth in the list of English managers) and that experience has been and will be invaluable to the relatively untested Freedman.
In actual fact, I'm probably happier with this appointment than I am with Freedman's, within its own context. Nothing against Sandy Stewart, who I have just fired for the third time in Football Manager simply for the hell of it, but you get the feeling that Lawrence is less of a yes man, and more of a you should be doing it this way man. Which will be refreshing.
So, welcome Lennie. Sorry about the weather.
Elsewhere, Freedman has loaned out Michael O'Halloran to Chesterfield as he continues his trip down the league to a level more of his liking, where he will get games. Sheffield United to Carlisle to Chesterfield. I'd be surprised if he wore a mostly white shirt again.
Chris Eagles has said that the
Well, yeah. However, as our friends in the good ol' USA at the estimable and downright yee hahing Lion of Vienna Suite said last month, stats from a further site show that the right side of defence was where the least goals come from. Which is interesting.
The problem is where people fit and most people think that Mears doesn't fit in the side. Stats are one thing, but it is how the defence plays as a whole and playing your strongest player in that position. And, for me, that player isn't Mears. There is nothing to suggest that if Ricketts or Riley had played at right back then the figure wouldn't be lower than the ten percent figure quoted. Players chunder down their own right hand side more than the left and, if I was playing Bolton, I would automatically have my players run at our so porous water goes there to get wet central defence.
I've nothing against Mears, except for not breaking Zat Knight's foot at the same time he broke his leg. But I think that he will find himself the victim of new manager syndrome. Dougie has spoken of giving youth his head and Joe Riley is eight years Mears junior. That's the circle of life, my friends.
The captain has said that he hopes the new manager brings in a more ruthless streak. And if you think you've heard that before, then you'd be right. More than once. Scoring goals has not been a problem, but keeping the other team's from doing so as well has been a problem dating back to....I don't think I can remember that far back actually.
We all know the monkey on the players backs about clean sheets away from home. But the lack of a clean sheet in this division, just the one against Derby in a game described by the most optimistic Bolton fan as 'turgid', is even more so. As Dougie said on Monday night, the problem isn't necessarily in defence, although the defence has undoubtedly played a massive part in it. Defend as a team and you may half the problem. This is not to say that Barry Mills and Paul Ream won't stop hitting each other in the heads with planks of wood from time to time. But we may have a covering player there to catch the paint if they do.
Right, I'm off to do a James Bond impression. Did you know he's from the Wirral? Mrs X is very proud. Al is back tomorrow with a match preview. I'm sending the pigeon now.