18 February ~ Owen Coyle was a "Judas" when he left Turf Moor but hailed as a "saviour" at Bolton where fans had despaired of the style of play produced under his predecessor Gary Megson. Coyle promised a change in the footballing philosophy, signing Arsenal's young talent Jack Wilshere on loan as if to prove a point. But Wilshere has seen his game time limited to one full appearance and, after eight matches under Coyle, Bolton have secured just six points with only one win. What is more startling is that under Coyle's exciting new regime his team have only found the net on three occasions.

The new dawn is suddenly looking not so bright, the football is not much different and the results, if anything, are worse. No one who saw it was impressed by last night's attritional goalless draw at Wigan. Staying at Burnley would not have diminished Coyle's reputation. Indeed, even if he hadn't kept them up he would attracted the attention of bigger clubs. Now though, he has a team short on confidence and quality. Bolton's next four games, all against lower-table opposition, may decide their season. The "saviour" has to work a miracle quickly. Matt Hocken

Comments (2)
Comment by kbmac 2010-02-18 14:32:42

Not sure if I would agree that relegation would not have affected his reputation. A look at Phil Brown at Hull would suggest that regardless of his previous achievments in taking the club from way down the leagues to near the top of the Premiership, as his team began to slide down the table he began to come in for much criticism. His manegerial stock rose with his team and then fell with his team. Owen Coyle was unlikely to get a really big job on the basis of what he did at Burnley and when the offer came to go to an established - albeit struggling - Premiership team came he took it. He knows he may not get another crack at it. The real big jobs in the Premiership don't come around too often and the truth is that few, if any, chairmen at the top clubs would have the bravery required to pick a Burnley or Blackburn or Stoke manager to be their next boss. Owen Coyle took a pragmatic decision to take a job which he felt would give him a longer crack at the Premiership. His first job is to keep Bolton in it and he will likely do what is necessary to do that. Next summer if he stays up he can build the team he wants with the style he wants. I hope he gets the chance.

Comment by YourMrBumbles 2010-02-19 10:17:33

What did he know about Burnley which made him walk away I wonder? Another good blog. Look forward to more from you.

Related articles

On The Brink: A journey through English football’s north west by Simon Hughes
DeCoubertin Books, £16.99Reviewed by Charles MorrisFrom WSC 370, December 2017Buy the book The north-west has always been at the heart of...
There’s always last year ~ League One 2016-17
Fleetwood make an impact at the top, while off-field issues hampered some big clubs at the bottom – what WSC contributors got right and wrong...
Blood, Sweat & Jason McAteer: A footballer’s story
by Jason McAteerHachette Books, £16.99Reviewed by Paul ReesFrom WSC 363, May 2017Buy the book That wretched title says it all. Aiming at...