BWFC Guest Article: The Catalyst
Thanks for the article, Barney. This is one deal I'm praying happens... and fast!
Last season we described Craig Dawson as 'the catalyst` that Bolton Wanderers needed to galvanise the team and in particular, the back four. I would suggest it was an inadequate adjective and venture to argue that the presence of Dawson was more far-reaching than that.
It`s a true saying that one man doesn`t make a team, but one with exceptional ability and personality to match, can make a huge difference. In every way, Craig Dawson did a compelling job, from marshalling the defence to encouraging others by his attitude and commitment. His sheer ability to defend as well as score goals was exemplary.
But after losing him to his parent club West Brom, it was as though a big hole appeared in Bolton`s defence. Not only that, the whole team seemed bereft and significantly hasn`t won a single game since. Over the five ensuing matches, the best the team has been able to muster has been: three lost, with two drawn. Most of those disappointing results have been against so-called 'inferior opposition`.
This was after moving up the table from a relegation-threatened twentieth, to a play-off spot, plus a record eight wins on the trot at home. In which, it must be said, Dawson was an ever-present. Since then, his absence from the ranks has been almost palpable. In a strange way, the team now looks lost, lacking shape as well as a leader or talisman.
I have every faith in Dougie Freedman and his management skills and feel sure that he also admires and covets the defender. But… and it`s a big but, he is registered to play for West Bromich and supposedly not for sale and therefore out of our reach.
However, every day I read that such-and-such a club is chasing a player who is reputedly unavailable. It rarely seems to deter the seekers. They pursue their prey with a vengeance. And I`m sure use any number of underhand methods to secure their desired players signature.
For me, now is the time for our owner/chairman to go ahead and give the green light for Dougie to try and get Dawson. I hope I won`t be accused of naivety or have someone raise that 'hoary old chestnut` about money being unavailable. This is paramount. This is the difference between gaining promotion and missing out again. Money can always be found, but failing that, we should go for a loan, with a view to buying him next year when we are back in the Premier League and can afford it
Finally, we need Dawson like a man needs a mate. We need him to organise and defend against intruders; to caress and cajole; to hopefully score every week-end and indeed, to make love to us all. Let`s face it, it must be doubtful that Dawson will be a consistent first-team performer at West Brom next year and so we should go for it with all we`ve got!
As we say up t'north… Mither them to death!