Bolton ensure survival with Coyle appointment

Bolton Wanderers chairman Phil Gartside has every reason to feel pleased with himself. In replacing Gary Megson with Owen Coyle he has made himself popular with the club’s supporters who will welcome the former Trotters player with open arms.

Gartside has done more than act on the demands of fans, although the constant criticism of Megson by many supporters was only going to have one outcome – he was never going to defy the betting odds and remain in his job. In appointing Coyle, Gartside has recruited one of the game’s brightest young managerial talents, a man who has the capability to make Wanderers the Premier League force they were under Sam Allardyce.
Coyle only had a brief spell as St Johnstone boss behind him when he joined Burnley in November 2007, so the Clarets’ promotion from the notoriously hard Championship 18 months later was a notable achievement for the Scot.

Coyle got the very best out of his collection of league journeymen and helped them thrive during their first time in the Premier League. He is articulate and passionate when discussing football and has a clear idea of how the game should be played.

The experiences of Phil Brown at Hull City act as a warning for Coyle. Promising young managers soon become inexperienced novices following a run of poor results. However, you sense Coyle is more grounded than Brown and is unlikely to get carried away by his success. This side of his personality was demonstrated when he rejected the advances of Celtic in the summer.

Coyle also has the advantage of taking over a team in a reasonable state – Bolton have lost one of their last six league matches and will fly up the table if they win the two games they have in hand. He might not have a vast amount of money to spend, but he would not have left Turf Moor behind if he thought Bolton were destined for relegation.

A new managerial appointment often gives teams a lift, but Bolton’s recovery could be more long term. They will surely pull clear of the relegation battle and will soon be able to think ahead to a bright future. Some football experts might even be betting Europa League football will return to The Reebok in the near future.

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