Vicious circle continues to bite Bolton Wanderers

The Bolton News: Zat Knight Zat Knight

PANDORA’S box has been opened, the question is, will the contents be good news for Dougie Freedman?

For a manager to step out from the wreckage of a 7-1 defeat and target a very particular group of players as being sub-standard is either an inspired motivational tool or accelerant to fuel a fire that is already raging.

What will the reaction be from the “nucleus” described by the Wanderers boss as not good enough to win in the Championship?

Of the starting line up against Reading, three players were signed by Gary Megson, five by Owen Coyle and three by Freedman.

All but David Ngog and Zat Knight – the defender made club skipper at the start of the season - are contracted to next season, which gives a hint as to the size of the problem facing the Wanderers boss.

Willing buyers have been thin on the ground when players’ names have been circulated as being ‘available’ – and enquiries that have emerged have often ended once salaries start being discussed.

Wanderers are carrying a crippling legacy of their Premier League days – chasing the dream has turned into a nightmare.

That debts owed to Eddie Davies’s company escalated to £163.8million is an easy stick to beat the club with but by no means the most worrying factor.

That money is effectively going nowhere – the problem is with Financial Fair Play now in force, Davies cannot simply bankroll the cash needed to sweep the decks, which seems to be what Freedman wants to happen.

Big wages such as Keith Andrews and Marvin Sordell have been temporarily taken off the wage bill through loan moves but efforts to shift Ngog, Tyrone Mears – even Matt Mills in the summer – fell short.

Less than a fortnight remains in the transfer window for business to be done but as things stand, I wouldn’t hold your breath.

And things could yet get worse for Wanderers, who are just four points off the relegation zone. On a weekly basis, an opposing journalist will tell me: “You know, Bolton has got a good side on paper. Why are you struggling?”

I answer the same way: “Since when have games been won on paper?”

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