Read that headline and then take a second to let that soak in. In the whole of 2013 (thus far), Bolton Wanderers have not won once in the league without Craig Dawson. That is the impact that one player can make. Let's take a step back for a quick second.
On the 24th of January, 2013, Bolton Wanderers officially signed West Bromwich Albion and England U21 defender Craig Dawson on a three-month-long loan deal. He would make his debut for the Trotters on the 9th of February, starting in the home match against Burnley. It was a match that Bolton would ultimately win 2-1 thanks in part to Dawson's threat up front and poise at the back. Bolton would win eight of the next 11 to propel them into play-off contention. Dawson's loan ended ahead of the season's final match, a crucial clash against Blackpool at home that Bolton would ultimately draw to miss out on a chance at promotion.
Ahead of Dawson's arrival at the Reebok, Bolton Wanderers hit some rocks after Dougie Freedman had largely steadied the ship upon his appointment as manager. At that point, the Trotters had won one out of their last seven, losing four of those matches. The story was much the same after Dawson's departure. Bolton Wanderers have not won a league fixture in 2013 without Craig Dawson. The defender appeared 16 times for Bolton with Wanderers losing just three times in that stretch.
The last win came on the 29th of December when Bolton beat Birmingham City by a scoreline of 3-1 at the Reebok Stadium. That match was surrounded by 1-0 losses against Sheffield Wednesday and at Leeds United. In 2013, without Craig Dawson, Wanderers had lost twice and drawn four. Those totals were compounded with the current season's poor start, brining it to five losses and six draws in 2013 without Craig Dawson.