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BWFC Guest Article: The Catalyst

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!

Date:Sunday July 28 2013
Time: 1:05PM


a glowing reference indeed and I for one hopes the kid rises to the challenge of the prem.SC seems to rate him ,but hes got one hell of a job to displace Olsson or macauley.having said that if hes sticks around long enough time is on his side wheras it aint for gmac
John Rowland
28/07/2013 15:05:00
the time and moment to spend money on new players to help gain promotion was this time last year, our best chance for a swift return. Had £10 million been splashed on a couple of attackers and defenders we probably would have made it and now we could be reaping the £70 million a year increased premiership club revenue. Of course the club stopped spending and stuck with OC, the rest is history. I cannot share your blind optimism claiming we will achieve promotion this season. In all honesty we are a pale shadow of the team we were fielding when OC first arrived, he systematically went on to tear the heart and strength out of the squad with some horrendous player deals, aided and supported by PG along with a series of terrible injuries to key players. Sadly we have never recovered, pre season performances have fallen well short of expectations, no matter how much faith supporters wish to place in the manager the team is only as good as the 11 players out on the pitch and what we have witnessed recently does not bode well for the weeks ahead. I know its an old record but scoring goals is the key to success in this league, without a razor sharp attack we will drop too many points and that will cost us dearly as it did last year and the one before. I genuinely worry, there are some decent clubs with money to spend in this league, we ourselves have collapsed dramatically inside 2 years, consigned to scratching around for freebies. If the premiership represents the shoreline and financial security for this club, we have drifted some way off and could easily be cut adrift for many years. I still shudder when I recall how just one of two shocking refereeing decisions at Stoke brought everything collapsing down, followed by our ' rabbit in the headlights' Chairman who lacked the guts to take decisive action when it mattered 12 months ago. He knew he was entering the last chance saloon with one good throw of the dice available and he bottled it - as often proven to be the case the wrong decisions taken at the wrong time.
aussie mike
28/07/2013 18:00:00
So it would appear the Stuart Holden has another serious injury. I fear if the initial reports are even close to being right, we may never see him in a Bolton shirt again. Another blow to the whites, the football gods really do seem to have forgotten us. Hope it isn't that bad but I'm not holding my breath.
29/07/2013 08:28:00
Mike, you constantly go on about the amount of debt we have but then say we should be spending £10 million on a couple of strikers. I just dont get it, you wither want us to cut the debt or you want us to spend and add to it. We have strikers that have scored goals at this level in Sordell and Beckford, Sordell needs a run in the team, he clearly has talent and has a good shot on him, we need to create chances for him. We never got any of our midfield or wingers anywhere near him on Friday, i think that had a lot to do with Andrews' crab-like movements on the night, replacing him would be my first port of call
29/07/2013 09:22:00
Mike, try telling the Watford fans that the key to success in this league is scoring goals. 85 scored, 12 more than the league's second most prolific strikeforce last season, and what do they have to show for it? A play-off final defeat caused by an inability to score and another season of Championship football. Or perhaps try telling it to the team with last season's seventh most prolific goalscoring record - despite scoring only three fewer goals than ourselves, Peterborough face a season of League One football next year. As proven by Crystal Palace, Hull and Cardiff, there is no magic "key" to gaining promotion. Crystal Palace had a prolific strikeforce but a mediocre defence. Hull couldn't hit a cow's backside with a banjo but a selectively good defence (it was good when they scored first and awful when they didn't) got them up automatically. Cardiff scored well and defended well. There's no point scoring 100 goals in a season if you're going to concede 120. Likewise, there's no point keeping 46 clean sheets if you only score 5 goals all season. A strong attack and a mediocre defence, or a mediocre attack and a strong defence, will normally gain promotion, and a combination of both will normally win the league. But the correlation between goals conceded and league position is significantly stronger than the correlation between goals scored and league position (roughly double for last season's Championship). So if there's one thing to pick as a "key" it's the defence rather than the goalscoring. I'm gutted about Holden's latest probable setback - it feels like this might be the end of his career, to be honest.
29/07/2013 11:12:00
And having just run the numbers properly... the correlation coefficients are: league position to goals for -0.70, league position to goals against -0.81, league position to goal difference 0.90, points to goals for -0.64, points to goals against 0.84, points to goal difference -0.89. It's the proximity to 1 (or -1) that's important here, and whilst the league position numbers are interesting, it's points that are more important really. 0.84 is more than twice as close to 1 as -0.64 is to -1. Obviously goal difference being stronger still highlights the importance of having ability at both the front and the back, but that's hardly surprising. But defence definitely matters more than attack.
29/07/2013 11:33:00
Sorry, that should read league position to goals for 0.70, not -0.70.
29/07/2013 11:33:00
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