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Freedman Out - Who's Next?

Bolton Wanderers today announced the departure of manager Dougie Freedman, after a poor start to the season that has seen just one win from ten league matches. The big question is what next, and who can save the club from the mess it now finds itself in?

Freedman Out - but who's next in the Bolton manager hot seat?
Freedman Out - but who's next in the Bolton manager hot seat?
Mike Hewitt

Having endured a torrid start to this season with just five points from the opening ten league games, Dougie Freedman has become the latest in the long line of inept Bolton Wanderers managers to be given the sack (or leave by mutual consent, whatever that means).

Since Sam Allardyce departed the club 7 years ago we have had our fair share of dismal managers - Owen Coyle, Gary Megson, Sammy Lee - and the hunt is now on for the muppets in power at our club to pick Dougie's successor.

I'm sure the large majority of us want Phil Gartside to be following Dougie out of the door, but in reality it isn't going to happen any time soon. Gartside's prepared statement to the media didn't give a great deal away, but it did hint at the tough task Dougie had at a club that is hugely on the decline - a task that the new manager, whoever he may be, will have to assume in his absence.

Gartside said: "Dougie has worked tirelessly off the field to improve the infrastructure of the football club. Unfortunately, recent results on the pitch have not reflected all his work off it.

"The club has faced a difficult time following our relegation from the Premier League and Dougie has helped to restructure the club in order for it to become successful again under ever-tightening constraints.

"I would like to thank Dougie personally for all his commitment and efforts for Bolton Wanderers."

I've had a quick look at the immediate favourites for the job, and there's some very interesting if totally random names being linked to us. Some of these can be immediately ruled out, including - wait for it - Megson and Coyle, who is bizarrely at 11/1 to make a return! But here's a look at a handful of the likely or unlikely candidates to take over at The Macron.

Long shots

Tony Pulis: An excellent manager under tough circumstances, as proven by his minor miracle in keeping Crystal Palace in the Premier League last season. Highly unlikely to be interested in dropping down to the Championship, especially not to join Bolton, and we certainly can't afford him. Chances of being hired: 0/10

Malky Mackay: Again a manager with Premier League experience, who is unlikely to want to drop down to the Championship. We also can't afford him, and I'm not convinced he's a great manager anyway. I also don't like him in the slightest, and the last thing we need now is another dour Scottish manager. Thankfully, he's also near unemployable due to recent revelations over his conduct at Cardiff. Chances of being hired: 1/10

Brian McDermott: You can imagine McDermott will feel pretty scarred by his ordeal at Leeds, and is unlikely to fancy another job with another former Premier League club in freefall. Chances of being hired: 2/10

Outsiders

Paul Ince: A manager who has a tendency towards ruining clubs means this should be an option Bolton steer well clear of. But with the recent rumblings around more black managers being considered for available jobs, this could be an option for Gartside and his cronies. Chances of being hired: 4/10

Ole-Gunnar Solskjaer: Didn't do the greatest job with Cardiff, but he did work wonders in his native Norway with Malmo. He's a young coach with some good ideas and passion for football, but would he want to come to a club like Bolton? Unlikely. Chances of being hired: 5/10

Likely targets

A sensible option for Bolton right now would be to go with someone who knows the club well, will get the fans back on side and will help instill some passion in the team.

Kevin Davies: A club legend, former captain and the fans love him. However, rumour has it Gartside does not. Also not sure where he's at with coaching badges, so this is probably a non-starter but I'd love to see him come into the backroom staff if the option is there. Chances of being hired: 6/10

Phil Brown: Another former player who is doing a solid job at Southend United having previously had Premier League managerial experience. He would likely be a popular choice with the fans, but then again so was Owen Coyle. Chances of being hired: 8/10

Jimmy Phillips: Yet another former Wanderers fans favourite, Jimmy is currently a youth team coach at the Macron and takes charge of the first team for tomorrow's game at home to Bournemouth. He stood in as caretaker manager when Coyle left two years ago, and is probably favourite to be handed the job on a permanent basis this time around. Would be a good move, given he knows the club well, the players know him and the fans like him. Also likely to be an affordable option. Chances of being hired: 9/10

Who do you want to replace Freedman? Let us know in the comments box below.