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Is Dougie's Revolution a Damning Assessment of Previous Regimes?

July marks the first pre-season for Bolton Wanderers under Dougie Freedman, and there has already been some significant change to the club's infrastructure.

Michael Steele

The announcement, late last week, that Owen Coyle was to be named as the new Wigan manager has caused a number of opinions to re-surface on Twitter over his time at Bolton. There are some who still look on him favorably and think he is a good manager who just didn't have the luck with injuries, but the majority have still not forgiven him for the state he left the club in.

There have been a few cases put forward to defend Coyle, such as a more attacking style of play and the injuries being out of his control, but a football club is more than just what goes on to the pitch. I don't think theres much doubt that Owen is a genuinely nice guy with loyal principles, but it's that loyalty, particularly to his backroom staff, that may have been his ultimate downfall.

Before his departure the Bolton hierarchy looked to bring in former manager Sammy Lee to work alongside Coyle. Unfortunately this appointment wasn't to his liking and instead Lee went to work with the academy and Coyle stood by his own staff.

A miserable start to the Championship season saw Coyle and his first team staff dismissed. Dougie Freedman replaced him and brought with him his team of Lennie Lawrence and Curtis Fleming and also installed Jamie Fullarton as Development Squad manager.

The difference between the two regimes can best be seen on the touchline. Coyle's staff of Sandy Stewart and Steve Davis were as inexperienced as the manager and never looked like they were offering any differing opinions. Contrast that with Freedman, who is constantly seen in discussions with Lawrence and Fleming and using the wealth of experience that Lawrence provides, it can be seen why there has been the turnaround in fortunes.

Another aspect that has changed is the return to the utilisation of sports science. This was a concept that was heavily championed by Sam Allardyce and was seen as a major factor in our success under him. The concept was lost somewhat under Gary Megson, but was never brought back once Coyle came in. That is all set to change. At least three members of staff will leave this summer - club doctor Jonathan Tobin, strength and conditioning coach Mike Rawson and fitness coach Jimmy Barrow in an attempt to refresh the way we look at the medical and fitness side of the game.

Dougie has already moved to install Mark Leather, who was the former physio under Allardyce, to his team, with more additions expected.

There have also been rumours that the scouting network will get a re-vamp with a more holistic approach to be adopted instead of sending scouts out to look at individual players.

Whilst most managers have their own ways of doing things, the scale of the upheaval at Bolton this summer does suggest that there were many things wrong with the club. Whether this will be a success is yet to be seen, but for me it is a big step in the right direction if the club is to progress and be stable in doing so.