Bolton Wanderers: Stretcher
I don`t know if I am wrong, but under Sam Allardyce, we never had this sort of injury crisis. His large backroom staff contained men who were able to keep men fit and get them back quickly from injury. Yes, Bibi was often crocked, but apart from him the majority of the squad were always available to pick.
Maybe this was just luck. Maybe Big Sam`s ability to get the best out of players meant that we never really missed anyone who was out, and somehow my nostalgic vision has blocked all the injuries from my mind. I think not. Somewhere between here and now (I imagine mainly the exodus to Newcastle), the club became ill-equipped with dealing with injury.
I suppose you could say that my opinion on the inner dealings of the club, especially the medical department, is beyond my reach as a blogger who relies on the little media that a failing Championship club receives. However, there was a man on the inside who also believed there was a big issue with the backroom team`s adequacy.
Step up Sean Davis, a man the football world forgot as he tried and failed to get his career back on track after 36 months on the sidelines with the club. He told the Bolton News in June this year 'The one thing I would have changed is that I would have done my rehab elsewhere. I don't think the medical team were experienced enough with my injury to have helped me get through it and back to a good condition. I eventually saw a doctor called Jay Rodrigo, who was fantastic, and I feel if I'd seen him earlier things might have been different. With that in mind, I have managed to help certain players with a bit of advice and I did tell Stuart (Holden) to go and get his rehab back home".
Yes, Davis may be a little bitter, but in context it still looks like his words ring true. We have lost Wheater, Lee, O`Brien, Cahill, Holden, Ricketts, and many more as well as now Mark Davies to long spells on the sidelines in recent years.
I am not sure if Freedman has looked at or made any changes to this area of his backroom team yet, although with the majority of his men from Palace joining us in dribs and drabs over the last few weeks, it can only be a matter of time. We have a serious problem off the field, and it needs to be looked at. Quickly.
With regards to how we deal with Davies` absence on the field, I believe that we are actually quite well equipped now that Jacob Butterfield is with us for at least the next few weeks. I think that both he and Chris Eagles can do a very effective job in an advanced central role, and we will need both of them to be at their best over the festive period if we are wanting to look anywhere near like the team that Sam Ricketts appears to see.
Right, I`m off. Enjoy Quentin`s article tomorrow, as there isn`t many left, and look forward to my preview of the Charlton game on Friday. I promise it`ll be there too.