Daniel J. Boorstin
Friday, October 3, 2014 marked another remarkable day in the life of the Bolton Wanderers fan. Despite words of defiance after our latest defeat, Bolton Wanderers and Douglas Freedman parted ways - none too soon for the average fan. Indeed, Bolton Wanderers find themselves firmly rooted to the foot of the table and a 4-0 thumping at the hands of fellow strugglers Fulham proved a step too far for club owner Eddie Davies.
If Dougie Freedman is totally honest, he may well have breathed a sigh of relief at having what can be viewed as a poisoned chalice, removed from his hands. Stories have surfaced of resistance from players at the disciplined and rigid approach taken by Freedman and some former players have even taken to social media to express their delight at his departure. Jay Lynch is one such player who has been quoted as saying of Freedman "So glad to see the back of him at BWFC... killed the atmosphere around the place, drained the life out of squad, neglected the young talent coming through etc!"
While it is unfortunate, he is only one of a number of former Bolton players who have either come out and been quite vocal about his methods or hinted darkly about comments to follow, as in the case of former Freedman favourite, Chris Eagles. Freedman himself famously said the job was harder than he thought it would have been and went so far as to suggest that the players at hand were not up to the task of pulling the club out of danger.
The strain was clearly beginning to show on young Douglas and the circumstances under which he was asked to operate would have proved a challenge for an older and wiser campaigner than he is. Since the mutual separation, a number of these so-called "older and wiser campaigners" have thrown their hat into the ring for the vacant manager's position. Names such as Billy Davies, Tony Mowbray, Malky Mackay and Phil Brown have all been bandied about, with Brown the huge favourite. My personal priority, if I were Eddie Davies, would be to take a closer look at the selection panel.
Few would argue that those that have followed Big Sam in the hot seat at the Wanderers have not exactly covered themselves in glory. In fact, none of these gentlemen are managing football teams at present - which is an alarming statistic. This suggests a failing in the selection panel that has become almost par for the course and must certainly have caught the attention of Mr. Davies, by now. The buck stops squarely at the feet of the Chairman Mr. Gartside and he most certainly should not be allowed another failure of a managerial selection without it qualifying as Hara-Kiri.
As for Douglas Freedman, I have every confidence in his ability to come back from this experience a better manager. In the interim, however, he may be best served by asking Jay Spearing for a reference for a holiday spot in Ibiza. After all, Dougie's been freed, man.