We are in 19th place after 32 games, we are below Derby County (3rd) and our Manager does not fear being sacked. It is of note that we have accumulated all of 33 points in those 32 games. For a team that finished last season so strongly - just missing out on a play-off position - this has passed embarrassing and is firmly on it's way to deeply worrying. We seemed like a team that had finally come to grips with being in the Championship and was intent on getting out of it, but currently, the route out has been heading in the wrong direction. It speaks volumes that a victory at home against Watford led to their Manager, Mr. Giuseppe Sannino, apologising to his supporters. "It was a bad day at the office today for all of us, but what I want to say in particular is sorry to all the people from Watford who came here today to watch the game," Sannino told the Watford Observer.
In a season were we have struggled for goals, we have sent Tom Eaves, Conor Wilkinson, Marvin Sordell, Craig Davies, David Ngog & Sanmi Odelusi out on loan and brought in Lukas Jutkiewicz from Championship rivals Middlesbrough along with Joe Mason from Cardiff City. Doug Freedman has not been particularly consistent in his actions, but he managed to consign his second successive captain to the bench, in the personage of Mr. Zatyiah Knight. In an awesome turn of events, we have had games this season where big Zat has been employed as a striker - and has actually had a hand in a Bolton goal!
While I appreciate the financial constraints under which we seem to be operating, the recent trial of former Sweden International Mikael Dyrestam came to nought due to our inability, or perhaps unwillingness, to pay the requested compensation of about £320,000.00 to his former club IFK Gothenburg. We are sufficiently short in defence that Tim Ream has been asked to play out of position in the troublesome left back position, despite looking like the Phantom of the Opera - having suffered a horrific facial injury at QPR. This compensation, compared to what it would cost to get back to the Premier League from League 1, would have had to be taken into consideration and still the money was not paid. This suggests that either the young player was not up to the task (a suggestion already refuted by Mr. Freedman) or the club has no money to spend. Young Hayden White has been drafted in as a stop gap and despite still being referred to as "one for the future", gave a good account of himself.
Our U18 and U21 teams have been, on the other hand, doing quite well recently - with wins over Premier League opposition such as Manchester City, Manchester United, Tottenham and Stoke City. Although the future looks quite bright, our current team is chin deep in the sticky brown stuff, and standing on tip-toes.