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Countdown to transfer deadline day: Catch up with the latest Bolton Wanderers breaking news here

Last updated:

The Bolton News: Photograph of the Author

Marc Iles, chief football writer


    Boltonbhoy 9:37am Wed 29 Jan 14
    Think his times up. He cant get a tune out of the players, said at Reading they were useless, last night said it's a pleasure working with them. He needs to make his mind up or is it all just spin to keep his job. I would say majority of fans feel the same, although most wanted him to be a success, just not happening, sad but true.
    Score: 1
    Rowboti04 10:13am Wed 29 Jan 14
    Hi Marc,

    Firstly, reaction to last night. Is 2-1 away to QPR really a bad result, given that we have a 'clueless' manager and an awful team, according to some/most fans? I didn't go, but listening to Tower FM and a few snippets from you, it seemed we dominated until they scored with their 1st attack and then we fell apart. It's hardly surprising that we fell apart is it? Given that our confidence is already shot to pieces even before the game starts.

    I don't think DF should be fired, not because I think he is a great manager - I don't, but purely because hiring and firing managers hasn't really done us any good the past 4 times has it? All it has done is plough us further and further into debt and get fans more frustrated. This time it needs to change, we need to keep our manager for the long run and suck the hard times up. There needs to be some patience from the fans, because even though we don't hear much from the board, it does seem that they won't be firing Freedman anyway, regardless.

    There are things the frustrate me about Freedman and I don't think he helps himself sometimes. Firstly, he doesn't know his best team. When was the last time we played the same team consecutively? I know there have been injuries but he should look to keep a consistent team as much as possible. For example, who is our best forward? We have 3 now, Craig Davies, Beckford and Jutkiewiz. By the sounds of it, Davies played well last night. He is definitely our target man, the one to play in a 451, but he aint gunna score many is he? Beckford can't hold the ball up well enough and Jutkiewicz doesn't really fill me with confidence about goalscoring.

    Dougie needs to go back to basics. Get a foothold in each game and work from there. Play 15 minute matches. I also think that there should be a change in attitude to matches, at this point in the season, regardless of who we play, we should, first and foremost be looking to not lose. 1 point is better than 0.
    Score: -1
    Chris Merrills 10:14am Wed 29 Jan 14
    Time is up for me. I've tried to back him, but its come to a point now where its virtually impossible to defend him. Im really disappointed, it was so promising at the start but his stubbornness and unwillingness to adapt to in-game situations is baffling. He never makes a tactical sub before 60 minutes, regardless of the score, and when he does its the same system with similar players just with fresher legs. The thing that amazes me most is the fact teams are picked 3WEEKS in advance!! How is this deemed to be acceptable? What incentive does a player have to perform if he is told he wont be playing the next two games? How does he account for the form of the other team and their selection issues? He just says the same old tripe every week and its time for him to go!
    Score: 1
    Balboa 10:26am Wed 29 Jan 14
    Good to see the BN is allowing the live comment box Marc. If users behave themselves can we hope for more regular use of it?

    As for the squad, both the club and the fans must accept there is no realistic prospect of play-off places this season. No point moaning, let's just get on with it. Hope DF will complete his task of clearing the decks and "recycle" the funds available with experienced championship players, and younger players ready for next year.

    I have to keep this brief or I'll be here all day with my 6 point plan for the season!!
    Score: 2
    JustaBloke2000 10:46am Wed 29 Jan 14
    "why are 30% of the fanbase clueless idiots?"

    I think that's a fairly conservative figure considering the stuff I've heard in the 30odd years of watching BWFC :D

    I wonder if the fans slagging off DFs in-game tactics are the same ones wishing BSA would return... who also got slagged off for his lack of adapting in-game, as well as his route-1 methods. Thinking of, I can even remember Rioch getting many an ear-bashing for his tactics, too... let's not start on Phil Neal...

    Let's be honest, Wanderers fans will never be 100% happy and most will never realise nor understand just how much of a small fish in a big pond we really are. I'm conflicted, to be honest - I'm intrigued by DF's apparent 'softly softly' approach and background developments but on pitch results need to change. It's a fine balancing act given the position we're in.
    Score: 3
    Connor93 11:05am Wed 29 Jan 14
    Is there any truth in rumour we are close to signing mark albrighton?
    Score: 0
    J J J J 12:16pm Wed 29 Jan 14
    Lots being said about strikers being needed. Surely defence is the key. What do you think Marc? Are we remotely close to signing any defenders? Felt Hayden white came in and showed us why he was so highly rated before we snapped him up. Inspiration for other youngsters?
    Score: 0
    J J J J 12:27pm Wed 29 Jan 14
    Youngsters need football in lleague 1 and 2 but they can cut t in the championship. Look at zaha. Williams. Both palace. Both from the academy. Even clyne went from palace academy to premier league with Southampton. He is now playing in the premier league
    Score: 0
    keveh82 12:27pm Wed 29 Jan 14
    Re Hayden White, isn't his situation similar to Joe Riley? A lot of experience with the reserves and then got thrown in the deep end.

    Obviously reserve team action can't compare to the first team in terms of skill level, but you'd hope as a young lad he'd be able to last 90 minutes in at least one game.
    Score: 0
    J J J J 12:29pm Wed 29 Jan 14
    Here is to hoping for good news and defenders. Defence stretched now with ream possibly out and other defenders need a rest
    Score: 0
    Balboa 12:50pm Wed 29 Jan 14
    Barry Cowdrill would be available to fill the hole at left back - no signing fee, just a pair of boots, some curlers and a hairdryer are needed. Easy.

    Failing that stick with Baptiste - he's slightly less bad at left back, than he is at right back. And give some confidence to White by playing him, he'll be better for it.
    Score: -1
    mbeastall 1:10pm Wed 29 Jan 14
    Changing managers isn't always the option but I'm at a loss as to what choice we have. I never understood why Freeman got the job in the first place, given his managerial stats at Palace - it seemed to me lived off the success of Saha and was (quite rightly) held in high regard by the fans and the club but for his playing career, not his managerial one.
    In my opinion, we have 7 or 8 players that are more than capable at performing at a Championship level, we have the stadium, training facilities, a decent fan base (for a small club) so that doesn't leave much else.
    The thing that frustrates me with Freedman is his statements of:
    "Things will change"
    "We just need a bit of luck"
    "I know what's wrong and how to fix it"
    "We're constrained by Financial Fair Play"
    He's been saying this since August and it would be intersting to know what his 'fixed' state is. Is it higher up the league, not in debt, playing better, scoring more goals, conceding less. I don't even think he knows himself.
    Whilst it all very well investing in youth players, they certainly aren't the answer to a a short term problem of staying in this league and it's a problem that I don't think will go away for the rest of the season.
    Score: 0
    Alfieswhites 1:33pm Wed 29 Jan 14
    Is there any truth in BWFC getting something out of game very soon???
    Score: 0
    Rowboti04 1:38pm Wed 29 Jan 14
    I honestly can't wait until next season. Unfortunately, this season will be a complete write off and it's vitally important that fans understand this. We won't get promoted, we won't get relegated - that's all that matters at the moment.

    Next season will be very, very interesting. We have 5 players out of contract - Holden, Mears, Knight, Moritz and Eagles. Pretty sure all of them will go, certainly 3 will as they don't even play at the moment. I'm afraid Holden will get released. He will be on a lot of dough and although he's a cracking lad a a fan favourite, we'll need him off the wage bill. If N'Gog was earning 32k pw, Holden must be on similar. I know we don't pay it at the moment, but we will when he comes back and it's too high. Unless he re-negotiates to half his current wage, he'll be on his way. Add all them 5 up and that saves near enough 100k per week.

    As for incomings in the summer, DF will be busy. I trust him. His signings on a shoestring budget have been good so far, maybe apart from Beckford and Hall. (Why sign someone and not play them?) I'm pretty sure that at this point in time, as bad as it sounds, BWFC's main priority is avoiding relegation and getting to July without spending any more money than needs. Get them 5 off the wage bill and we'll be saving money straight away. That's when Dougie can come into his own and make his own team. Next season will be a totally different season.

    It's the horrible old cliche, but this season is a transitional season.

    Oh, and as long as we keep hiring new managers every 2 years, BWFC will always be in a transition - and we don't want that, do we?
    Score: 1
    Liamdog 2:04pm Wed 29 Jan 14
    How much championship experience do you think we actually need ? Is two seasons and more in lots of players cases not enough ! The way were heading we will need league one experience !
    Score: 1
    keveh82 2:08pm Wed 29 Jan 14
    "There needs to be a bit of patience shown with the young talents we've got at present, allow them to develop."

    Easy to say when you maybe have a full back four who are playing well ;)
    Score: 0
    Rowboti04 2:12pm Wed 29 Jan 14
    Been in transition since Allardyce, Marc. That's our own doing, no manager since Allardyce had properly settled.

    Stop this transitional period by sticking with manager for minimum 3 full seasons - that's the only thing we haven't tried since Allardyce left.
    Score: 1
    Eaton81 2:38pm Wed 29 Jan 14
    I'll stand by Dougie and don't think we should be a club that sack managers left right and centre. We should be aiming for stablility. If we did bring anyone new in i think they'd have similar problems as we have no money and have to cope with what we have.

    My one problem with Dougie is his insistance that he loves to bring through the youth but then failing to give them any game time becuase of the situation we're in. We're either -

    In a difficult spell so it isn't fair on the young lads.
    On a good run so don't want to change things
    Playing an important, high pressure cup game so its not fair to throw them in.

    If all of the above are correct when are they ever going to get an opportunity? You mentioned earlier that the likes of Clough, Wilkinson and Lester weren't ready and need some game time elswhere and thats fair enough but we all know that Josh Vela is good enough now and should be playing. He played in the premiership and was one of the better players so there is no danger in playing him at this level. Samni Odelusi is another who can perform at this level - why not?

    He wants to freshen it up with new signings but could easily freshen it up with the younger lads. It can't get any worse and i actually think the two mentioned are capable. He needs to show some faith in them, they're good enough.
    Score: 1
    Liamdog 3:31pm Wed 29 Jan 14
    Ok, granted the players with " championship experience " did make a differenvce back in Oct. however we were in as bad a state then as we are now. Anyone would have made a difference. The fact is we are we're we are . DF should be asked serious questions. Is the defence any better than when he took over ? Is the spine of the team strong ? Do we have a settled best 11 ? Do we have a togetherness and fight within the team ? Do we have a goal scorer ? Has youth been given a decent opportunity ? Do the fans understand what your trying to do with tactics style of play and enjoy this brand of football ? And question DF comments such as those who say we should play two up front are living in the past. Or Moritze is one for the fans and then doesn't play him. Or last nights stupid comment about the fans not complaining when we scored . We are all BWFC fans we want the best for our club. We will be here long after DF and the BEN reporters have gone. DF is not was not and never will be the man for Wanderers it's time for change top to bottom .
    Score: -1
    tokyodave 3:42pm Wed 29 Jan 14
    A few myths on this forum need busting...

    1) MYTH: We won't get relegated this season...FACT: if we keep losing, we will go down, as will any team. We have won one league match per month of the season so far. At that rate, we'll win four more. That's not enough.

    2) MYTH: Low confidence is the only reason we fell apart at QPR. ...FACT: Poor defending is the reason we fell apart last night, and in a lot of games. I was there last night. I reckon there were five defenders and just Austin for QPR in his part of the box, and he still scored. Reminiscent of Reading's 5th or 6th.

    3) MYTH: DF has done a good job in difficult circumstances...FACT
    : He has been there 15 months and we're in as bad a position as when he took over. There has been no improvement in league position and the gap to the bottom three is fast diminishing. It was in such circumstances that OC lost his job.

    4) MYTH: Young players need to go out on loan...FACT: If they are knocking 20 and can't cope with the demands of the basement end of the Championship, they probably don't have a meaningful future in the game. Do we want a back-up squad of Tom Eaves-alikes? Out on loan all the time and still never good enough to get in a team that is hardly brimful of stars when they return? If Clough is as good as his scoring figures suggest, he should be on the bench at least. On the other hand, if DF thinks the Academy isn't delivering, then he should close it down to save cash.

    5) MYTH: You can win a game by using your last sub to maintain a 4-5-1 formation when you're 2-0 down at an in-form side that has the best squad in the division.
    Score: -1
    JustaBloke2000 3:48pm Wed 29 Jan 14
    "Worse still I have just sat through 15 minutes of highlights."

    Spreading the pain, eh?

    Ah... Warhurst... Remember when it was either him or Jon Newsome? Jon is now in the motor industry, from what I was told by a colleague who is a friend of his a year or so ago...
    Score: 1
    JustaBloke2000 3:52pm Wed 29 Jan 14
    MYTH: We have enough money to make sweeping changes to improve the club like sack DF and buy in players who will get us out of trouble.
    FACT: We don't.
    Score: 1
    JustaBloke2000 3:59pm Wed 29 Jan 14
    "To make amends for posting the video of the play-off final, here's Fredi Bobic scoring "that" hat-trick... Hasn't been one since."

    April 6th, 2002... I was there... Haven't seen those goals since. Thanks for that one!
    Score: 0
    J J J J 4:17pm Wed 29 Jan 14
    DF with his own and right group of players I think will do well, don't know why other fans want to see him sacked he hasn't added enough of his own signings to be judged yet but the signings HE has made have been decent. Hal has done well when he has played. Beckford. Took a while to get gong but when he did he has done well. Dawson(loan) I personally had never heard of him before he came in and he did well. Tierney. Felt he was solid till his injury. Mortiz. Probably the most lively player this season. Danns. Gives 100% commitment most of the time. Give dougie time to implicate his style of play and his own players and I feel we will be rocking once again
    Score: 2
    Delboy58 4:51pm Wed 29 Jan 14
    Worst season since 94!

    Im not going to pitch in to should he stay or should he go argument on DF, go want to point out that in this record breaking season, worst defeat since a pint of beer was 72p, worst start of season before jack the ripper was stopping around london, home wins 2, well if (sarcastic if) we dont reach the playoff, this will be our worst season since Bruce Riochs 1st season in division 2 (old Money) in all other season we have been either in the Prem or playoffs or league one winners.

    Should a man how keeps breaking records keep his job. over to you BIG PHIL
    Score: 0
    Delboy58 5:17pm Wed 29 Jan 14
    We need players able to play at this level!

    Not buying IT Dougie, he has been banging this drum since he walked through the door. The players he had available at the start of the season were mostly premiership players, generally better than most championship players, defenders with experience against world class strikers and forwards who have scored at that level against defenders like Rio and Vidic. So if they cant do it against lesser opponents in the championship, then the poor team performances are MAINLY due to the management, coaching, tactics, team formation & team selection. We have defensive issues agreed, however Dougies so called players with championship experience haven't set the world alight, who would swap Sam rickets for Baptiste? and where is Wheater during all this?? I think one of our best hoke performances this year was against Blackpool, he got the team formation and tactics right for once. then dropped eagles and Medo who both had outstanding games???
    Score: 0
    J J J J 5:17pm Wed 29 Jan 14
    DF with his own and right group of players I think will do well, don't know why other fans want to see him sacked he hasn't added enough of his own signings to be judged yet but the signings HE has made have been decent. Hall has done well when he has played. Beckford. Took a while to get going but when he did he has done well. Dawson(loan) I personally had never heard of him before he came in and he did well. Tierney. Felt he was solid till his injury. Mortiz. Probably the most lively player this season. Danns. Gives 100% commitment most of the time. Give dougie time to implicate his style of play and his own players and I feel we will be rocking once again. Do you agree Marc?
    Score: 0
    byrom57 7:08pm Wed 29 Jan 14
    its time for a change of chairman and board of directors for me !!! since sam left they have failed to appoint a qaulity premeirship manager, to even consider sammy lee was stupidity and then appoint the most unpopular man in football gary megson, the story just goes on an on and further in to debt we go, whilst we buy players for millions who leave for nothing ? look at swansea and southhampton qaulity manager after quality manager appointed by their chaiman and board, if we didnt have eddie davies to bail them out we would be out of the football league, they need to move on and lets start afresh
    Score: 0
    J J J J 7:10pm Wed 29 Jan 14
    Have we signed Yannik Bastos now? Says we have on Lion Of Vienna Suite. What is he like? How does he play? Having heard of what he is like how would you describe him?
    Score: 0
    Beyond News Forum 8:10pm Wed 29 Jan 14
    "He had a medical this afternoon and signed all the forms - just waiting on confirmation from the club. "

    Bastos or the one we all want to hear - Dawson?
    Score: 0
    J J J J 8:17pm Wed 29 Jan 14
    What can you tell us about Yannick Bastos and his style of play?
    Score: 0
    Liamdog 7:27am Thu 30 Jan 14
    Reference were are you going in reply to my last comment, I suggest the hospital to have those splinters removed that you picked sitting on the fence so much!
    Score: 0
    Balboa 8:08am Thu 30 Jan 14
    As much as I want DF to do well and help the club, I can't help wondering if he knows his preferred system. One minute he wants wee Joe Mason up front, and then he signs Lucas Juktiewitz - they could hardly be more contrasting styles.

    With the big fella up front, that will presumably mean (even more) long balls from Mills, and bypassing the midfielders needed for DF's possession based football style.
    Score: 0

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