“…but knowing the Bolton manager’s liking for crippled-by-caution football, it would be no surprise if he recruits the club captain and his box of magic to strike down Lukas Jutkiewicz or Joe Mason, just before kick off.”
– Manny Road Blackburn Preview 28th February 2014
Right prediction, wrong game. It took just two matches for Dougie Freedman’s childhood fear of playing two strikers to re-emerge.
Having scored three times in the previous three fixtures, Joe Mason was assigned to bench duties in Bolton’s game against Derby County on Tuesday, with the message that he was a bit poorly being relayed by Dougie’s Bitch aka Bolton News journo Marc Iles, who has his tongue lodged so far up Freedman’s ring piece that a French kiss can be delivered from the inside.
Was young Mason really under the weather? Of course he was. And that e-mail from a mystery benefactor who wants to deposit six million dollars in your bank account is genuine as well.
In Mason’s absence, Bolton reverted to type with Lukas Jukiewicz, the loneliest of lone strikers. Andre Moritz was assigned the job of feeding off the scraps, but he’s used to those served with a triple portion of pudding, chips and gravy. In any case, whilst the Brazilian has his moments, he’d only be quick enough to benefit from a target man if there was a taxi available.
On the face of it, a draw away at the third placed team seems satisfactory,. Those who made the journey wouldn’t agree. It was a backs to the wall performance with little or no attacking threat, a mode of football that’s seen Bolton surrender game after game this season.
In addition, Derby are running out of steam, as the leading clubs did this time last year. Whilst Bolton were humping Leeds, Steve McClaren’s charges lost to lowly Millwall, who themselves handed Blackpool their first victory in 19 games on the next outing.
Dougie Freedman has often been compared to a less ginger Gary Megson, but in attempting to stick to a favoured formation, he’s more like Owen Coyle. In the distant days when Bolton were a Premier League outfit, Coyle accidentally stumbled on a set up that stopped the defence conceding goals by the bucket load, but then reverted to his usual system against all logic. That obstinacy cost the Whites their place in the division. Freedman is the same at the other end of the pitch. Results come second to ego.
Brighton are next up at the Reebok and the Bolton boss has already begun instilling the fear factor.
“Brighton defend in a little bit of a different way. We’ve looked at them a lot on the videos, the manager has got them defending a little bit deeper,” he told the official site
“We need to make sure we don’t get done on the counter-attack. It’ll be a tactical game so we need to make sure we’re fully on top of that.”
Oh lordy. Yes, Brighton are a fearsome bunch. They’re on the verge of storming the play off places and beat money bags QPR in the week. They had a big fight on the beach back in 1964 as well, so they’re ‘ard. And the weather’s better down there too, which means their players are healthier. Just getting into the Dougie way of thinking you understand.
The Seagulls have a middling record of late, both in general and away from home. They’re capable of putting up the shutters and nicking a one-nil, as Freedman alludes too. But they can also be rolled, with the right attitude. Ask Watford or Charlton.
Be bold and Bolton will win. The fans like it, and on the front foot, the players are more comfortable. Dose Joe Mason with immodium and leave Moritz on the bench with a bag of pork scratchings. He can come on in the last ten minutes and score a screamer.
On the other hand Douglas, you can carry on being a wuss.
– Richard McCormick