5 Reasons Why Dougie Freedman Should Sack Off Bolton & Stay At Crystal Palace
It's a dirty, lazy and horrible cliche that a week is a long time in football. All fans know this to be true but never more so than when this reality manifests itself within your own beloved club. Especially when everything seems to be ticking along quite nicely and you think you're just about to find your way out of the bowels of the Championship and meander into a league position resembling respectability.
Take Crystal Palace for example, who just before the international break had managed to rack up six wins in seven. Having been forced to come up for air whilst San Marino came to town, the Eagles found themselves basking in a relatively successful glow. Contrary to his reputation for turning slower than milk, Glenn Murray won Championship player of the month following his six league goal haul, almost equalling his entire tally for last season in the space of four weeks.
Dougie Freedman was also awarded manager of the month of September. Despite an early season nightmare losing his first three games and a micro mutiny amongst a section of the support in response, The Doog swiftly worked his way back towards indispensability whilst silencing all the miserable boo boys.
In true Palace style then, of course just as it all starts flowering with red and blue carnations in SE25, in swoops the pests to pick at our pollen
The cherry on top would have been a timely spanking of local rivals Millwall on Saturday, but in having to make do with a 2-2 draw, all was well as it saw Dougie preserve his record of having never to lost to an arch rival at the sixth time of asking (All notable draws and wins v Brighton, Millwall and Charlton).
In true Palace style then, of course just as it all starts flowering with red and blue carnations in SE25, in swoops the pests to pick at our pollen. News of Bolton Wanderer's intentions to seek permission for talks with Doogie Freedman has unsettled the Palace faithful all over the weekend. Into today the silence of the Crystal Palace board has been deafening except for a small statement that permission has NOT been given to Bolton to speak with the Eagles legend. Other speculation suggests that Place will allow Bolton to speak with Freedman if compensation is established first.
As the term 'stalemate' currently seems to be best word to describe this fast-moving debacle, let's take a moment to reflect on why Freedman would be best off by not giving this option a moments thought:
Freedman is already at 'his' club with the fans in his pocket and legendary status intact, it would be a sizeable risk not to take that into account at this early stage in his managerial career
1. Dougie has momentum with 'his' club
Shudders of the Steve Bruce saga abound where Palace were similarly riding high in the Championship only for the vultures to circle and pick off our main man. Sure enough, Bruce went on to get promoted with Birmingham after a protracted gardening leave wrangle, returning to where he had rose-tinted success as a player. He was greeted with open arms and success as Birmingham flew into the Premiership. But that's what Owen Coyle thought was in store for him when he was reunited with Bolton. Freedman is already at 'his' club with the fans in his pocket and legendary status intact, it would be a sizeable risk not to take that into account at this early stage in his managerial career. And a bitter slight on how he is remembered.
2. What was that you said about Zaha and loyalty, Dougie?
The Doog will not welcome reminding of his quite public stance and recent advice to young Palace prospect Wilfried Zaha on the merits of staying put at Palace for a bit longer.
Like himself as a manager, Zaha the player is a rough diamond who would likely be stifled should he move on too soon from his cushty spot at Selhurst Park. Nathaniel Clyne was also subjected to gentle pressure by Freedman to stay on before his contract expired in the summer, but being two years more experienced and a free agent, he had earnt his stripes and was ready fly the nest. Zaha on the other hand was persuaded to sign a new five year contract. Dougie would do well to do the same and practice what he has preached.
As much as we love him, let Palace finish in the top twelve before Freedman can be considered worthy of such hype
3. Don't believe the tripe
Palace go on a mesmerising run, Freedman wins manager of the month, and then follows a slow-news fortnight over the international break where some struggling clubs take the opportunity to sack their manager and use the two week window to formulate a panicked remedy. All prime conditions for the press to go crazy over any suggestion that the settled Freedman might be ready to take the next rung on the managerial ladder. Let's reiterate, Freedman has only just won manager of the month and silenced the early season doubters after two seasons of low league table finishes. As much as we love him, let Palace finish in the top twelve before Freedman can be considered worthy of such hype where he might be ready to take on the expectations of another 'bigger' Championship club.
4. A Scottish accent and a tracksuit are good currency in football management
Bolton seem to think so anyway. And there's truth in that assertion too. But Bolton would do well to take a leaf out of our book and take a longer term view, promoting from within and going back to basics. They appear to be exhibiting bad habits picked up from the Premier League where poaching other talent as a quick-fix is de rigueur. You're in the Championship now, Wanderers and austerity is just around the corner waiting for you.
5. The CPFC board - your time is now (again)
CPFC 2010, when the going got tough, you backed Dougie in that difficult week before the transfer window closed and signed five players. Look how well they have settled and what great work Freedman has put in to get Palace up to 4th in the league. The modest contract given to the fledgling fresh faced manager has served its purpose and it's high time those terms were revised together with a good few years on top to boot. Dougie is on the verge of graduating to the next level and to pull that off that he's going to need a suit.
Give Dougie a new deal, and quick!
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