A Closer Look at Coyle

Jamie McDonald

Since the appointment of Owen Coyle as manager a few days ago, it seems as though Latic fans are largely disappointed. Sure, most will say we have to get behind the new man, but there’s definitely a sense of tentativeness heading into the 13-14 season. Is all this worry justified? Let’s take a look at Coyle’s past and see what we might expect out of him.

Coyle's true managerial career started in 2005 at St. Johnstone in the Scottish First Division (He had a brief stint as co-player-manager at Falkirk in 2003). After two seasons and two second place finishes, Coyle’s sides narrowly missed promotion into the SPL. In his third season in Scotland, Coyle was approached by Burnley and ended up taking the manager position with the Championship side.

With Burnley, Coyle gained promotion to the Premiership in his second season. He would end up leaving the club only halfway through their campaign in the top flight to join another top flight club, Bolton. His first full season in charge would see Bolton finish 14th in the league, and the next ended in relegation for the Wanderers. After a slow start in the Championship, Coyle was sacked.

Now here we are. We have a manager whose resume appears to be pretty up and down. One promotion, one relegation. What should we expect? Here are my 3 predictions of what we’ll see from our new boss.

1) Promising loanees that could make serious first team impacts. Coyle has proven himself to be savvy in the transfer market, especially when it comes to loaning players in. In the past, he's brought in young talents like Daniel Sturridge and Jack Wilshere. We may see a new young star get some playing experience at the DW.

2) A great leader and man manager. Past players have praised Coyle, but his true leadership qualities quickly became apparent to the world of football during the Fabrice Muamba incident. After Muamba's cardiac arrest, Coyle was there to support the player any way he could. He was commended for his handling of the situation, and it is this kind of leadership the club is going to need to fill Roberto's big Italian leather shoes.

3) A return to passing football. Not a return for Wigan, but rather a return for Coyle. Many are afraid that Coyle will turn us into a long-ball side after looking at his years in charge at Bolton. It's true he cultivated a hit-it-up-pitch mentality at Bolton. The stats will tell you that (see stats), but that was because Coyle was working with a team that was built that way by his predecessors. If you look at Coyle's Burnley, it was their passing football that got them promoted. With Wigan's personnel Coyle should be inspired to go back to his passing ways.

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