Dougie Freedman has been confirmed as the new manager of Bolton Wanderers. Swapping a club that loves him for a club that won’t give him a second thought if his managerial milk turns out to be sour. Is it really such a wise move?
They say that football is a funny old game, but I can’t hear any Crystal Palace fans rolling around in hysterics.
Dougie Freedman was Mr Crystal Palace. The forward had scored over 100 goals for the Eagles during his career, and famously kept Palace in the Championship, in 2001, with a last gasp winner against Stockport. He rein-acted these heroics as part of the managerial team in 2009-10 when again, Palace escaped the threat of relegation, despite it seeming impossible. He is also a member of the ‘Supporter’s Trust,’ involved in the plans to build a new training facility.
The days of consistent uncertainty looked to finally be behind Crystal Palace. With the financial state of the club no longer looking cancerous, some shrewd summer transfer’s were bought in and Wilfred Zaha is blossoming into a well groomed performer that most Premier League clubs want a piece of.
At his time of leaving, Palace is sniffing hard around the play-off’s whilst becoming known for an attacking stylish form of play. Crystal Palace fans were finally beginning to experience emotions that had become unknown to them, ‘happiness’ and ‘excitement.’ In one fell swoop Freedman has retracted that buzz and back again is the more familiar feelings of ‘frustration’ and ‘confusion’ amongst the Palace faithful.
Not even the love child of Mystic Meg and Grant Russell could have predicted his move to Bolton. It just doesn’t seem to make sense. The club sit 12 places below Palace in the table and are £110m in debt.
Time was on Freedman’s side at Palace, at Bolton he will be expected to get it right fast. With no disrespect to Bolton Wanderer’s it’s not like he’s made a vastly superior move. If anything Crystal Palace has the more fashionable history. At least when you hear the words ‘Crystal Palace,’ it is immediately linked to football, with a possible flash back to the ‘Wright and Bright’ days. But, when Bolton rolls off the tongue more are inclined to associate the word with Vernon or Peter Kay.
On the flip side the move also offer’s a risk for Bolton Wanderers. Freedman may have been shining of late with Palace but, is still a novice and last season only managed one win in the last 13 games. At Palace Freedman was a legend, at Bolton he could soon become a joke. What is he thinking?
I could have saved you the time from the start of course and simply said ‘money.’
Do you agree, is it all about money for Freedman, or is it simply a more ambitious move?
image: © Matthew Wilkinson