Bolton Wanderers: If Gartside Had Been A Manager
As we hover just above the relegation zone, let's look at Gartside's performance over the last few years; since he played a part in Sam Allardyce leaving. Then, let's judge his work in the way a manager is judged.
One of a manager's biggest responsibilities is finding talent and signing players. A real manager has to sign a whole squad, but Gartside just had to find one 'player', one slice of talent. The manager. His choices have been Lee, Megson, Coyle and Freedman.
Every manager is given a little time for his choice of talent to settle in and make a difference. Gartside's signings have had their chances and the results are a disaster. What would be the cry from fans, journalists, broadcasters, phone-ins etc? Sack the manager! Yet I don't pick up a paper and read headlines, rumours, speculations about Gartside going.
Of course there are mutterings and shouts from supporters, a whinge at an annual meeting. But they don't add up to anything and he's still there. Is it because he's slithered his way into some role at the FA, and is seen as a force in football? Or is it just that a manager is an easier target?
Doesn't really matter but the end result is he dodges the bullets and sticks around. So as the pressure builds on Freedman - it's pointless to have a go at him. He's just the defensive wall round Gartside. If relegation gets much closer he will go - but Gartside will remain. He uses the same insults as his managers; fans don't know what they're talking about. Everything will be fine. I feel desperately sorry for Eddie Davies, who has spent fortunes; his contribution is unbelievably good. But he does seem to have this blind spot. Why is the incompetent Gartside still with us?