Owen Coyle Puts His Reputation On The Line At Blackburn Rovers
It came completely out of the blue last week when Blackburn Rovers announced the appointment of Owen Coyle as their new manager. After interviewing a few other candidates they contacted Owen Coyle, who was in the United States, at the 11th hour, and after an interview quickly installed him as owners Venkys 7th manager in the 6 years since they took over the club.
This looks like a make or break appointment for both Venkys and Owen Coyle. Coyle is of course an ex-manager of bitter rivals Burnley which has not enamoured him to a large proportion of the Rovers fan-base, and so he really needs to hit the ground running once the 2016-17 season kicks off.
He has had a chequered managerial career but of course he did have great success at Burnley, leading them to promotion to the Premier League in a monumental season for the Clarets when they also had excellent runs in the Cup competitions. He jumped ship the next season, joining Bolton Wanderers who he claimed were 5 to 10 years in front of Burnley at that time.
Although he was later relegated with Bolton I don`t feel that the Wanderers fans believe he was an unmitigated disaster although I am sure they don`t see him as a great success either. He left Bolton in 2012 and in June 2013 joined Wigan Athletic as their new manager as a replacement for the departing Roberto Martinez, but he only lasted 6 months and when he left them they were 14th in the Championship table.
He has lately been at Houston Dynamos in the MLS where they were lying bottom of the table when Venkys came calling.
Venkys have had little success since buying the club 6 years ago, when the club had just over £20 million of debt. They now have over £100 million of debt and are owners of a team who finished in the bottom half of the Championship last season when Paul Lambert walked out.
It is hugely important for them that Owen Coyle brings together a team that will galvanise the disillusioned supporters and give them something positive to finally look forward to.
In the meantime ex-Blackburn manager Gary Bowyer has been newly appointed as the boss of Blackpool, another faltering club. Bowyer did an excellent job of stabilising the club when he was in charge at Blackburn, bringing in good players such as Rudy Gestede and Tom Cairney who were sold on for huge profits. Let`s hope he can do the same at Blackpool.