Not so long ago, (or a lifetime ago, depending on which longsuffering fan you ask!) a certain young Scot by the name of Owen Coyle was recruited from a rival team despite not having achieved anything of note outside of promotion to the Barclays Premier League with Burnley. Boundless enthusiasm, bright and young, Coyle came in on a cloud of optimism after the struggles experienced under that veritable fountain of charm, wit and animal magnetism who was affectionately nicknamed "The Ginger Mourinho"- Gary Megson.
Eighteen months of deepening pessimism and a relegation later, Phil Gartside seems to have somewhat maintained his objective of keeping Coyle at the helm by hiring a man who is seen by many as Coyle Part 2. Freedman has not achieved anything of note in his managerial career to date, was recruited from a rival club, has no experience of managing in the Premier League (compared to the very little prior experience that his predecessor had) and is saying all the right things in his interviews.
The club started life under his stewardship - albeit not under his direction, in a less than stellar way, by conceding two second-half goals to lose by the odd goal in three to Middlesbrough. For fans who had started to warm up the cosmopolitan and tinkerman-esque ways of the gleesome threesome of Phillips, Lee and Darby - so much so that many thought they should have been given an extended opportunity to take charge, this was a rude awakening. A school of thought had started to develop that suggested that either our roster was really not very good, or those in charge were not up to the task at hand.
Mr. Freedman, having watched the proceedings from the safety of the stands, made his first signing in the person of his former assistant at Crystal Palace, Robin "Lennie" Lawrence. He has been so bold as to say that Lawrence will prove to be "...the best signing Bolton will make this season", and went on to say of the partnership "I’ll drive the ship and Lennie will steer it. It’s my enthusiasm, ideas and desire to succeed. Lennie just steers it along and makes sure we don’t go off track." This Scot may, however, end up needing the Luck o' the Irish if he is to lead Bolton Wanderers to that pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. If this should prove to be the fourth consecutive bad managerial appointment made by Philip Gartside, both he and Douglas Freedman may find themselves forcibly reminded that the buck, indeed, stops here.
Written By Keegan