Bolton Wanderers: Who's Next?
Oh, the photo at the top is Sandy Stewart. We never had the chance to use it, so thought we would now. It will probably never be used again.
There are a lot of names being bandied around as successors to Owen Coyle. Some credible, some faintly ridiculous, some so ridiculous you fear for people's sanity. People are already distancing themselves from the job and I would like to take this opportunity to do so myself. The club are likely to be sifting through some 'football manager' applications and sneering at those who have taken Hyde United to three consecutive Champions League triumphs. Which is harsh.
On the poll to the right, we have asked, as most other BWFC sites have, who you think should be the next manager. The answer seems clear, with the supposed favourite for the job down in third place. I can only hope that those wags who regularly vote for Dazza Prazza as man of the match haven't hijacked it again.
So, let's look at some of the more credible names that have been suggested so far:
Alan Curbishley is a man whose name comes up every time a job in the top two divisions comes up. He hasn'tt had a job since 2008, preferring instead to tell Kirsty Gallagher what he thinks of things on Sky Sports News. Curbishley has already told the press that he doesn't want the job, which is good news as I doubt he has any real idea where Bolton is and gets a nose bleed if he ventures any further north than the M25. He would probably do a good enough job if he came to Bolton, but would jump ship as soon as London Orient move into the Olympic Stadium.
Roy Keane did a job with some money behind him at Sunderland but didn't do anything once promoted and then showed himself up as yet another in the long line of Fergie failures at Ipswich. There are some who would prefer Robbie Keane rather than Roy, but Bolton's pre eminent boxer and all round king of bling Amir Khan said on TalkSport on Monday night that he would like the moody Irishman as the manager. The only thing that this suggests is that Amir has taken a few more blows to the head than we have given him credit for.
I was a big supporter of Phil Brown before Big Sam took over and was disapppointed when he didn't get the job, which tells you what I know. Despite his slight success at keeping Hull in the Premier League for a season, he has been pretty appalling anywhere else. A good number two, just like Little Sam, but he has had his chance at the top job and has been found wanting. Plus, he may start singing in the centre circle, and that's Lofty the Lion's job.
Mick McCarthy is favourite and for a reason. Has taken two clubs into the Premier League and the second time kept them there, at least for a while. His dourness may be seen as a reason why some don't want him, and I agree that listening to that voice day in day out would drive you potty. But, his credentials in the Championship speak for themself, and there are always subtitles.
Paolo Di Canio would be a left field choice and would bring the political spectrum to bear on T'Reebok, due to his somewhat right wing views. There is no denying that he has done a good job at Swindon and probably won't be hanging around League One for the rest of his managerial career. He will be appointed by someone sooner or later and there is the old argument that football and politics shouldn't meet. However, some have said that if he is appointed, then they would stop going to T'Reebok and for a club so entrenched in the working classes it probably wouldn't be the right appointment.
Eddie Howe is, apparently, on his way back to Bournemouth. But if Big Phil did stop him on his way along the M61 and offered him the job, it may just be worth as our 'friends' in the north get all fourteen digits out to come up with a new biblical name for another ex manager who has gone to Bolton. Not that it has a cat in hells chance of happening.
Ole Gunnar Solskjśr is the winner in the poll for next manager, and it easy to see why. He stayed at United after retirement and learnt at the knee of, pains me though it does to say it, one of the greatest managers the game has ever seen. Whilst other former players of Fergie have bombed managerially, Mark Hughes is the highest placed in the league at QPR and many have fallen by the wayside, the baby faced assassin first coached the strikers at Old Trafford, then moved into coaching and won the two local cups before moving back to Norway and immediately won the league. Whilst he has moved his family back to Norway, and turned down the Villa job because of this, you cannot believe that he will stay there permanently. He knows the north west and, whilst Bolton may be a springboard to a bigger club, United even, he certainly has the right credentials to move the club along. And he's my choice. Tell Garty.
There are other names being mentioned, mostly ex players like Hierro, Campo and McGinlay whilst SKD has also been spoken of, if only by about three people. If they are available I would invite some onto the coaching staff. The success that David Lee and Tony Kelly have brought to the juniors shows the good that former players can do when you bring them onto the staff. None of them, however, should be considered for the top job. Eventually, maybe. But not now.
Right, it is early morning and I still have four hours of work left. You get the feeling it's going to be a busy few days so we'll be back later with some more. Bonne nuit.