Bolton Wanderers: Reality
Well here we are. It`s the beginning of February and we sit seventeenth as I write this, and closer to League One than the promised land. But is all as bad as it seems?
On first inspection it probably is; gone are the star names which we had enjoyed watching in our beloved white shirt, with Petrov being the last to leave the building. Unfortunately, the big boys have realised that a player`s career isn't over at thirty and therefore the chances of us or any of the other smaller clubs picking up an Okocha, Campo or Hierro these days are gone.
For many of us, Dougie Freedman was not the first choice as replacement for Owen Coyle or come to that second choice either. We are also heavily in debt for a club of our size. However, this does not tell the whole story. Firstly, we have been without many of our first team for the last twelve to eighteen months; but Holden, Lee, Wheater and Mavies are all now nearing full fitness. I think we are starting to see Lee coming back to being the player he was in the last few weeks, which is a bonus for any team. Holden, Wheater and Mavies will hopefully follow suit in the coming days and weeks.
There is also Josh Vela, who barring injury would surely by now have been a regular in the first team. Add to that the fact that Sordell is now
looking like the player we thought we signed a year ago and the new signings, some of whom I am truly excited about and in particular Kamara.
This brings me to the manager. So he wasn't who we wanted, but there has been an improvement under his stewardship; and although it is not yet
to the degree we all wanted, I am beginning to see where he wants to take the club. He will now be judged on the next few months and the signings
he has made and where we finish.
I like many of you worry he is over cautious and would like to see us really take it to the opposition for the rest of the season, because I don't think many teams in this division can live with us in full flow. With the aforementioned debt we have to be realistic about who we can afford to attract to the club, and based on this transfer window I am encouraged by Freedman's signings.
So, all in all, things are not perfect; but there is cause for cautious optimism. In reality, from where we are now, a finish in the top eight would be a good
step in the right direction for next season; and who knows, with a little luck and a following wing, we could still trouble the play off spots.