COS Contributor Chris Wright looks at the imminent managerial switch that makes little or no sense.
From the moment it was announced that the Bolton Wanderers top brass were coquettishly fluttering their eyelids at Owen Coyle across a crowded saloon and that he was reciprocating with a coy flick of his hair or two, one question loomed large in my and many other people’s minds; ‘Why would he want to go?’
I suspect the only reason Coyle may be tempted would be the bigger transfer and wage budget at his disposal at Bolton, something that he doesn’t seem likely to have at Burnley in the foreseeable future. He has reportedly been offered between £4-5 million by chairman Dave Kilby to spend in January as a last gasp attempt to keep him at the club but realistically how far does that get you in the Premiership these days? The truth is, not far.
Bolton Wanderers would represent a challenge to Coyle. He would have to remodel them in his own image and impress on them a more balanced and positive style of football or risk being turned on by the Trotters faithful as they turned on Gary Megson, or more to the point, the particular brand of football Megson employed. Burnley are respected now as a team that play in a manner that belies their unfashionable image, an attribute that most Bolton fans have been asking of their team for years now.
The move to Bolton may have turned Coyle’s head but surely, after serious thought, the facts would come to light. Bolton are 4 places below Burnley and are currently wallowing in the relegation mire in 18th. The team is low on morale and leaking goals and the fans are desperate for success. I’d never heard of Owen Coyle referred to as a ‘Bolton Legend’ before a few days ago, now Newcastle-like ‘messiah’ tags are being bandied around. That kind of predilection could be detrimental in the long run.
In my opinion, Coyle would be better off staying with Burnley for a couple more seasons. If he keeps the Clarets developing at the rate he has managed so far, under fairly frugal circumstances, then his stock will rise and rise. The consensus seems to be that Coyle is destined for big things in management and surely a ‘bigger’ rather than a ‘different’ challenge await him further down the line.