As the football season winds to a close, it appears that Bolton Wanderers have at last hit form. This is in marked contrast to what was the club’s poorest start since before the Easter Bunny started doing his rounds.
In the thirteen games since losing to Burnley, Bolton have won 7, drawn five and lost one – comfortably promotion form. The PR spin emanating from the Reebok Stadium, is that Dougie Freedman’s master plan has at last come together, but just not soon enough.
“The most important thing is that it has clicked,” said goalkeeper Adam Bogdan to Greater Manchester Radio last week. “Unfortunately it’s clicked too late and we can’t get to the play-offs, so all we can do is keep this positive run going for as long as we can.”
The Freedmanistas – that small group of Wanderers fans who don’t think that the manager is a dim witted toss pot who should be shipped back to Glasgow in a sack, are exultant. Their hero has delivered the goods, with ideas of fiendish cunning that they saw all along. It’s all nice and bonny for next time round.
Well now boys and girls, it’s time to urinate on your French fries. How many good sides have Bolton beaten on this wonderful run. Are your ready?
If that seems harsh, then cast a look at the chart below and note the current league positions of the teams played.
|Fixture||Result||Current League Position of Opponent|
|Charlton 0-0 Bolton||Drew||20th|
|Bolton 1-0 Barnsley||Won||23rd|
|Doncaster 1-2 Bolton||Won||19th|
|Huddersfield 0-1 Bolton||Won||17th|
|Bolton 1-1 Wigan||Drew||5th|
|Bolton 1-0 Blackpool||Won||21st|
|Yeovil 2-2 Bolton||Drew||24th|
|Bolton 0-2 Brighton||Lost||6th|
|Derby 0-0 Bolton||Drew||3rd|
|Leeds 1-5 Bolton||Won||16th|
|Bolton 4-0 Blackburn||Won||10th|
|Bolton 2-0 Watford||Won||13th|
|Millwall 1-1 Bolton||Drew||22nd|
Of course thrashing the slum dwellers of Blackburn is always welcome, and a 5-1 win at Leeds was great fun at the time, even if Brian McDermott’s men have lost every match since, bar one – and that was against Blackpool who have the poorest form in all four divisions in 2014.
But the truth is that Bolton have had a ridiculously easy run in. If they had only been mid-table when it began, instead of grubbing about in 17th position, then making the play offs would have been a cinch. Here’s what you could have won Dougie. If you weren’t such a prat.
Results aside, the same problems are still there. Opposition sides are still given too many chances, due largely to an inability to retain possession and the Bolton manager’s constant tinkering with the starting line up means that he still hasn’t established a core to his side.
But, as with last season, a late run has given a false impression and misplaced hope. Dougie Freedman is nothing more than a con man.
– Richard McCormick