Dave Whelan has disappeared. At least from off the airwaves. Earlier in the week, Manny Road reported on the Wigan owner’s interview with Bolton FM. The full text can be read here, but to summarise, Dave thinks there’s “something wrong at Bolton,” wonders how such a huge debt was racked up and opined that Eddie Davies, his opposite number at the Reebok, is being “led a dance” by persons unnamed.
A recording of that short discussion has now been removed from the Soundcloud page of presenter Steve Lucas. The station was contacted to ask why, but didn’t respond.
Is this part of a fiendish plan to eliminate Dave Whelan and to remove proof that he ever existed? Fortunately, that question can be answered quickly. If Dave and his leg are unscathed they’ll be at the Reebok this afternoon as Bolton face Wigan. The discussion in the chairman’s suite should be interesting.
Whatever Whelan’s faults, and there are several thousand of them, his logic when it comes to hiring and firing managers seems sound. Owen Coyle and Chris Hutchings were removed quickly when it became clear they were failing, whilst Roberto Martinez, Steve Bruce and Paul Jewell were left to get on with it.
By contrast, since Sam Allardyce, Bolton’s method has been to appoint duffers and leave them in place long enough to cause significant damage. The latest example is of course, self-proclaimed tactical genius Douglas ‘Record Breaker’ Freedman, a man of comical ineptitude.
If the latest Twitter rumour is correct, mascot Lofty the Lion has bitten the dust. That’s Lofty, who survived being pelted with pies by Wolves fan in the the 1995 Battle of Burnden. It’s a sad day. He was probably having too much fun. Dougie doesn’t do fun. He’s a Scotsman with the generosity wrung out of him.
Wigan arrive in good shape. Defeat at QPR in midweek was a set back, but prior to that an impressive winning sequence placed them solidly in the play off places, not to mention a stunning away victory in the FA Cup at Manchester City. A betting man would be backing the Latics to return to top flight football at the first time of asking, but that’s what you get for a making a bold managerial choice. And yes, this paragraph was typed with gritted teeth.
Will Uwe Rosler’s men suffer another inconvenience at the Reebok? That question is asked more in hope than expectation.
For the home side, Mark Davies, the sole creative spark, has been a doubt all week, but will receive a pain killing injection before kick off. The medical team might be better to administer some of those to the crowd.
Predictions? Oh, go on then. A draw, with the visitors having 75% possession and Dougie Freedman claiming that Bolton controlled the game. It make you wonder if he’s Dave Whelan’s secret agent.
– Richard McCormick