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BWFC: You Started It!




I believe... No, I know... we have one of the best Vital communities on the whole site. When you guys are in full-flow- even though pulling in the same direction- you all raise differing yet valid points. When you are suffering, though hard to read, rarely do you let your frustrations boil over. Your wit remains and your respect for other people's views are admirable. Your comments of late, although unprompted, have been the same dilemmas circling my head. So, rather than putting a single-line statement in the section provided, I bring you this article. Hopefully, your comments about the situation will continue and maybe blend into other areas for discussion. There's no reason why they shouldn't continue. They're no doubt the same dilemmas Dougie will be discussing, as we discuss the dilemmas he'll be discussing, we'll be discussing the same dilemmas as he discusses the dilemmas at the same time we'll... Wow, I fell into a Big Bang Theory, infinite loop there. So, without further ado, here goes... Top priority for promotion next season: shore up the defence or add goals to the attack? Here's my opinions on the subject... What? You guys started this!

There's no doubt goals win you games. You have to score a goal to win a game and secure 3 points. You could argue, therefore, goals are the most important aspect of a winning team. If this statement was placed under the nose of a complete layperson, it's impossible to argue against. So, having missed out on promotion, was it lack of goals for Bolton which proved decisive? Did Bolton not score enough goals this term to win enough games to gain promotion to the Premier League? Let's see...
Bolton Wanderers played 46 league games and scored 69 goals. Therefore, Bolton Wanderers scored 23 more goals than necessary to win EVERY game they played in the league this term. Frivolous statement? Maybe, but scoring 69 goals in a season can only be insufficient for a successful promotion campaign, if the amount of goals conceded is greater than the amount of games played. If we had conceded 46 goals (a-goal-a-game) rather than the 61 we did concede this term, would a +23 goal difference have been a 'lack of goals' problem? When and how those goals are scored and conceded within the games is a different matter completely, but tally-wise, a +23 goal difference would be adequate for a promotion push. Is it, therefore, more important for Dougie Freedman to add to their goal-tally this summer? Or, is it to reduce the amount of goals conceded? In other words- and how I see the problem: Would it be easier for Dougie and his scouts to find players to add to the goals total or easier for them to find players to reduce goals conceded? I believe, not only would it be easier to find defenders better than what we have already to reduce the goals-conceded bill, but also cheaper than finding a 25-30 goal a season striker. Which is what we all want, right? A prolific striker? Are you sure?

This season has proved, having a prolific striker on your books does not guarantee success or promotion. It doesn't even guarantee your team's goal-tally for the season, increasing beyond those of your competitors. Not only does having a Jordan Rhodes, Charlie Austin or Glen Murray on your books not guarantee promotion, it also means you're putting a 30 goal basket in the hands, or boots, of a single player. That player gets injured... Then what?
If Blackburn, already with with 30-goal Jordan Rhodes on their books, went to their neighbours and poached 30-goal Charlie Austin for next season, would Blackburn have the benefit of 60 goals from two players next term? Almost certainly not. It doesn't work like that, especially at this level. Blackburn, or any team in the Championship, do not create enough chances for two strikers to tally 30 goals each. They would have to share the 30 between themselves, which is where my point begins. I believe Bolton Wanders, at present, have enough goals in them to secure promotion next season. No, I don't mean the basic 46, I mean the 70+ to mount a challenge. I believe, if adequately played next campaign, C. Davies, Sordell, Ngog and young Eaves, have 10-15 goals each in them. Add that to another 10 from Eagles and you already have 50-70 goals in the team from 5 players alone. Of course, it won't be that simple. But it's a lot simpler and more plausible than going out and finding a 20-25 goal striker.
If we add to the striking corps this summer, obviously I wouldn't be disappointed. If we added James Vaughan from Norwich, say... Did you hear me, Doug? James Vaughan from Norwich? That would be superb. But I would much rather secure Craig Dawson from West Brom, any day of the week. Shoring up the back-line not only decreases goals conceded, it also allows your forward players to express themselves without the fear or reprisal for not doing their defensive duties when a goal is conceded. I know the 'team' is responsible for defending, but the front players' jobs are to create or score goals. That's what they're paid for. You wouldn't blame the defence if the team weren't scoring enough goals if roles were reversed.

We all want Bolton Wanderers to be successful. We all want Bolton Wanderers to entertain us. But when you're trying to solve the teams inadequacies, don't confuse the two. All adding a 'Jordan Rhodes' does for a team is give the crowd a name to chant, it only increases the player's tally rather than the team's. Missing the chances created, however, has been a problem, granted. But several of our front lads are still young and finding their feet in their profession, never-mind the club. They deserve a full season under Freedman, surely?
If Dougie this summer can solve our concession-rate by 10-11 goals, I'll be happy. Oh, I forgot to mention, all them saved goals, they all have to be erased from the away-record column. How do you manage that, Doug? Maybe the problem with our season wasn't a tally problem? Looking at the away record, maybe the problem was all in the players' heads? Good luck with that, Mr Freedman. We're all watching in anticipation.
The Journalist

Writer: Mr Ecky: bwfc_85 Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Tuesday May 7 2013

Time: 8:37PM

Your Comments

Mr Ecky can I say how much I am enjoying the site during this early part of your tenure. Its nice to have an editor that appreciates the vital Bolton community.
Boltongav
Now to business, an excellent take on all our respective points of view. I don't think any of us really have a clue what df and his team are going to do. What I think is clear (other than to mike anyway) is that df is taking the club in the right direction. I like that he is talking about winning divisions not just trying to get promoted. Whilst "one swallow does not a summer make" I see several coming home to roost at the reebok since his appointment. Now I am not saying there won't be bumps along the road but without them you don't appreciate the smooth bits!!
Boltongav
Now to business, an excellent take on all our respective points of view. I don't think any of us really have a clue what df and his team are going to do. What I think is clear (other than to mike anyway) is that df is taking the club in the right direction. I like that he is talking about winning divisions not just trying to get promoted. Whilst "one swallow does not a summer make" I see several coming home to roost at the reebok since his appointment. Now I am not saying there won't be bumps along the road but without them you don't appreciate the smooth bits!!
Boltongav
when I last checked none of the forwards you mention achieved 10 goals for the season let alone 15. Has Eaves scored a goal yet for the 1st team ?. We can all say a lot of easy words on paper and write whatever script suits us at the time but they should at least be supported with fact rather than blind optimism and reality should only be ignored at ones peril. The 1st half of the season was basically one step forward and two steps back, DF did turn this around after January, however the steps back cost us dearly at the death. Until we begin to see constant forward progress, yet to happen out on the pitch were it matters, our optimism should remain tempered. Next season I expect to see a few teams come good and dominate this league, we hope to be amongst them, until it actually happens my feet remain firmly on the ground
aussie mike
With regards to the striker v defence discussions, I have said previously we need in this order- left back, centre back and then striker. My big worry next year is that we will get the same return from the forward line we did this time around. I agree we cannot realistically expect to get a 25 - 30 goal man in but the figures you quote are some way of this years actual goals scored. Had our current front line even have scored 10 each this year and our defence have done what it did, then we would have scored an extra 5 goals based on Ngog sordell and c davies. Those goals would have seen us make the play offs I believe. I see no reason to believe that Ngog and sordell will suddenly score 15 each next year but I do think that eaves and davies stand a chance. Maybe it is worth letting sordell have another chance but I am not convinced.
Boltongav
Ngog was injured at the start of the season dont forget, he ended up scoring 8 in 31 so its reasonable to assume he could notch close to 15 in an injury free season. Before we signed Sordell he had scored 8 in 26 so its also fair to assume he could easily reach 15 plus. A left back is priority with Alonso bound to leave (I believe Wheater is just as good if not better than Dawson and will prove that next season) and an attacking midfielder to fill the gap that Mark Davies has left - though Holden and Medo could prove to be the best midfield in the championship. Most importantly however is making sure we retain the services of Eagles and Chungy who have both looked great this past few weeks.
Chris_AC
If our front four had 10 - 15 goals each between them, we wouldn't be in the position we are now. At the moment, they have only scored a fraction of that. Indeed, that's why we need someone else up there! It's cloud cuckoo land to think they have so many goals in them, I'm afraid. It seems to me that we've just about exhausted this particular argument. Most people believe that we should build a team from the back, and that makes sense. Obviously, it's important to be secure in that department. I would be disappointed if Dougie wasn't aware of that! It gives the whole team more confidence to attack as well. But we need a proven striker to latch onto the chances. There's nothing like seeing the ball hit the back of the net repeatedly. It creates its own excitement and a big filip for the whole team and supporters. Getting someone who can do that in the short term, is another matter. I've said it before, we may be reliant on young Eaves to get up to speed quickly. You can bet that he's up for it!
Barney Grumble
Don't forget that a team's style has a very heavy influence on the goalscoring potential of a striker. A team who sits deep will be far more reliant on their strikers than a team who flood the box. And that can be a terrible thing - in the 2008/9 season, Megson's only full season with us, we sat very deep, became entirely reliant on Davies and Elmander who scored only 16 between them, and we scored a total of 41 between us. Kevin Nolan scored no goals in 11 games, and no goals in 31 games under Megson. He's got 48 goals in 140 games since he left us. That's the equivalent of 16 goals per 48 game season which Megson cut off. A prolific striker is no panacea - you have to pass the ball well, press high up the pitch, counter attack at pace, remain well organised when not in possession, never lose concentration and know what the opposition are good and bad at. Only once you get those things right is it worth spending money on a good player. And a striker is rarely worth it - look at how many trophies Alan Shearer, the most prolific striker the Premier League has ever seen, has in his cabinet at home, and how many Gary Lineker has, and compare that with how many Hansen and Lawrenson have.
robmoss2k
Now to business, an excellent take on all our respective points of view. I don't think any of us really have a clue what df and his team are going to do. What I think is clear (other than to mike anyway) is that df is taking the club in the right direction. I like that he is talking about winning divisions not just trying to get promoted. Whilst "one swallow does not a summer make" I see several coming home to roost at the reebok since his appointment. Now I am not saying there won't be bumps along the road but without them you don't appreciate the smooth bits!!
Boltongav
Some very interesting comments have been made, you guys make this blog relevant and worthwhile, appreciated by me. Robmoss touches on tactics, a big subject on its own, there are other important issues like fitness and injuries, I dread to think about how injuries have blighted the team over the last 2 years , Holden, Mavies , Wheater, are the three that spring to mind, three talented senior members of the team, not fringe players, all injured at the same time, it beggars belief. Had we had the benefit of their services all season who knows where we would have ended up. Its not as if the injuries themselves have been relatively straightforward, for Holden it could be a true career changer, you cannot put a figure on the financial impact the above has had on the club during the period these lads have been unable to play. I wonder whether Gartside has been slaying all the black cats in his neighbourhood, someone has brought the wrath of bad luck down upon us.
aussie mike
Totally agree on the fitness; Alladyce proved that this is a science and one to be taken seriously; that approach was lost under Megson & Coyle, and, whilst we cannot expect to have everyone fit, to lose Wheater, Holden and Mavies was too much. Dawson has proved that we lacked a leader at the back - whilst it is too much to hope that he returns next season ( & I can still recall what happened to Florent Laville when we signed him) - I hope that we find someone to replace him (and this could still be Wheater). Whatever happens, money aside, the past season has been far more interesting than the previous 4 in the premiership. So I am looking forward to next season and to who DF will unveil as he gets a full season to demonstrate his nous.
Fake
Thank you Mr Ecky for not only stepping into the Vital breach but for treating us to some sympathetic, reasoned analysis of the goings on the club we all love. Especially the last few following the traumatic happenings of last weekend. As a reasoned, rational community we have all pontificated long and hard about the minutiae of the White's days, weeks, seasons, past, present & future but our immediate fate is now sealed & I guess now is a time for reflection. As you say, it may be that nobody but ourselves reads our thoughts or advice or acknowledges or acts upon it. But it is no less valid for that. I started watching the Wanderers in the early 70's so I like to think I have a bit of perspective on our club. In fact, one of my kids asked me today who I support and when I said Bolton Wanderers (whilst wearing a Bolton polo shirt), he laughed & said "but they are in the Championship". My thought - so what, you support Chelsea while living in Barnet; I support Bolton because I was born there & I am proud as I told him. This has been a season of two halves; the disaster of the OC half (and yes Mike you were right about him) and the hope of the DF half (which I like to think has made us all pop down the Happy Shop for a blue-and-white pair of rose-tinted specs). So, despite missing promotion, I think it's reasons to be cheerful part 103.
FredMadagascar
This bloody site does not like me. Second piece I have written that it has rejected. Frustrating!
FredMadagascar
This bloody site does not like me. Second piece I have written that it has rejected. Frustrating!
FredMadagascar
Now when I have a moan it duplicates it!
FredMadagascar
would find it interesting for someone to research how many quality players the club have released or sold during the last 3 years or so, with the aim of judging are we weaker or stronger as a result ? somehow I think we are guilty of repeated mistakes, the idea in buying and selling is surely to strengthen the team, make the club stronger as a result of each decision, convinced we have been doing the opposite on more than one occasion which suggests the powers that be are not qualified in any real sense of the word. By the way nice article from Fred, short but sweet.
aussie mike
After all the talk Dougie off to Everton
Pedro1874
lol - well he might be!
Pedro1874
Mike- where is Feeds article? Pedro - don't even think it.
Boltongav
We'll need at least one more striker. Eaves isn't proven in the Championship. We'll also need a few defedners, Ream has been poor this term, all Mills does it hoof it.
Muur
All very interesting guys but view it as home and away not goals for and against. Only Cardiff accumulated more points at home. Fortress Reebok indeed. It is our abysmal away form. Dougie hasn't cracked that yet - indeed never have we been tough to beat away since Sam. So guys its away tactics nothing else. Losing from winning positions - twice when 2 up - is sacrilege!! That alone would be good enough to keep Leicester in the Championship for one more year.
norfolkandgood
Fergie's teams never ever lost when 2-0 up. Come on Dougie - this is what you have to sort out!
Pedro1874
See the article about the return of Leather and his comments?
Pedro1874
 

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