Bolton Wanderers - A Look At The Contenders

  • October 10, 2012 | By Chris Mann
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With Bolton Wanderers in the hunt for a new manager, we take a look at the potential candidates to replace Owen Coyle, who was sacked on Tuesday morning.

The decision to axe Coyle was made after Wanderers made a poor start to the season. They have picked up just 11 points from their opening 10 league games and were knocked out of the Capital One Cup by lower league opposition at the first hurdle.

So, with attentions turning to who will take over at the Reebok Stadium, we take a look at who the fans want to see in charge of first-team affairs, whilst also looking at some names you may not have thought of.

Fan Choices:

Harry Redknapp (33/1) - Currently working in an advisory role at Bournemouth, following his sacking as Tottenham Hotspur manager earlier in the year, Redknapp was voted as the fans' favourite to succeed Coyle in a recent poll.

Other than Bournemouth and Spurs, Redknapp's previous clubs include the likes of West Ham United, Portsmouth and Southampton. Despite being the fans' favourite in the polls, Redknapp has always seemed settled in the south of England and at the age of 65, is unlikely to uproot and head north to the Reebok Stadium.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer (11/4) - Second in our poll, Solskjaer is currently managing Molde FK in his native Norway. He joined the club in November 2010, signing a four-year contract.

After a poor start to his debut campaign in management, Molde recovered and clinched the Norwegian Tippeliga title in their 100th season as a professional club.

In May of this year, Solskjaer was given permission to speak to Aston Villa over the then vacant managerial position at the club. The 39-year-old decided to reject the opportunity of a move to Villa Park, however, insisting that he remained in Norway to avoid unsettling his family by moving back to England.

Mick McCarthy (4/6) - Currently the hot favourite with the majority of bookmakers, McCarthy has been out of work since being sacked by Wolverhampton Wanderers in February.

McCarthy appears to be a popular choice with many Trotters supporters and has a proven track record after guiding both Sunderland and Wolves to promotion to the Premier League.

His inability to keep teams in that division seems to have divided opinion, however, but at this moment in time, he looks the most likely candidate to replace Coyle in the Reebok hotseat.

Fernando Hierro (40/1) - Popular with Bolton supporters, Hierro is currently out of work after leaving his position as Director of Football at Malaga in July.

After ending his playing days at the Reebok Stadium in 2005, the Real Madrid legend spent four years as Sporting Director for the Spanish FA between 2007 and 2011.

He has yet to embark on his first managerial position and, despite being a terrace favourite with Bolton supporters, looks unlikely to take those first steps with the Wanderers.

Alan Curbishley (20/1) - A name that has been branded around several message boards in recent times, Curbishley has been out of management since resigning from his position at West Ham United in September 2008.

After a 15-year spell with Charlton Athletic, Curbishley defied the odds by steering West Ham to Premier League survival in 2007, when they looked destined for relegation. He led the Hammers to a top-half finish the following season, but left the club three games into the 2008/09 campaign.

Although a favourite to land the job with Bolton supporters, reports on Wednesday suggest he has ruled himself out of a return to management with the Trotters.

Paolo Di Canio (25/1) - Much like Solskjaer, Di Canio is a high profile former player who has started his managerial career at a club out of the spotlight.

The controversial Italian is currently in his second season in charge of League One club Swindon Town, having guided the club to promotion in his debut campaign.

Cup victories over Premier League opposition such as Wigan Athletic and Stoke City have earned Di Canio a glowing reputation as an up-and-coming manager, but his style of management has courted controversy and his lack of experience is something Wanderers may want to avoid after appointing Owen Coyle in similar circumstances.

Billy Davies (14/1) - Potentially an outside bet for the vacant post at the Reebok, Davies is available for work after leaving Nottingham Forest in June 2011.

Having made the step up from assistant manager at Preston North End, he would go on to have two successful years at Deepdale. He guided the club into the Championship play-off final in his first season, where they lost 1-0 to West Ham United.

After play-off upset the following season, Davies left to join Derby County, where he achieved promotion in his first season at Pride Park, courtesy of a play-off final victory over West Bromwich Albion.

Davies was sacked by the Rams in November 2007 and returned to management in December 2008 with Nottingham Forest. Forest qualified for the play-offs in 2010 and 2011, but failure to achieve promotion ultimately cost him a job, as he was sacked in June 2011.

Davies' track record of steering clubs into play-off contention is something that may appeal to the Wanderers board, but after tasting defeat in four of his five attempts, Bolton may decide to look elsewhere.

Phil Brown (25/1) - A former player, coach and assistant manager at Bolton, Phil Brown remains a popular figure with the Bolton fans.

After leaving Bolton in 2005, he began his managerial career at Derby County but was sacked just seven months into his reign. Following a successful period as caretaker manager, Brown was appointed manager of Hull City in January 2007 and guided the club to Premier League promotion in his first full season at the club.

The Tigers would stay in the top flight, but a disappointing second season in the league would cost Brown his job, as he was sacked in March 2010. A 12-month reign at Preston North End was to follow, but he struggled to fulfill expectations at the club.

Brown may still be held in high regard with Bolton supporters, but the majority would most likely prefer the former player to occupy a coaching or assistant role.

Roy Keane (20/1) - Since leaving Ipswich Town in January 2011, Keane has earned a living as a respected TV pundit.

After hanging up his boots, Keane took his first steps into management with Sunderland in 2006 and guided the club to the Championship title in his first season. Life in the Premier League wasn't quite so easy for Keane, with Sunderland finishing the 2007/08 campaign three points clear of the relegation zone. He stood down from his position in December 2008, following a 4-1 defeat at home to Bolton.

Keane returned to management with Ipswich Town in April 2009. He failed to live up to expectations at Portman Road, however, with Town finishing 15th in his first full season. He was sacked in January 2011, with the Tractor Boys hovering just above the relegation places.

Other Candidates:

Gary Neville (25/1) - After calling time on his playing career in 2011, Neville made the move into TV punditry. In May of this year, he was appointed to the coaching staff of the England national team.

Neville has yet to make the move into management, but having earned UEFA A and B coaching badges, the Bury-born former player may be tempted into starting the next chapter of his career at the Reebok Stadium.

Dean Holdsworth - At the end of an illustrious 22-year playing career, Holdsworth stood down from a player-manager role at Redbridge in order to take up a managerial position at Newport County.

Holdsworth guided Newport to a 10th place finish in the Conference South in his first season in charge, before winning promotion to the Conference National the following season by capturing the league title.

With Newport pushing for promotion to the Football League, Holdsworth took over the reigns at League Two Aldershot Town. In his two seasons at the Recreation Ground, have narrowly missed out on play-off qualification.

Michael Appleton (6/1) - Currently third favourite with the majority of bookmakers, Appleton is the man in the unenvious position of being Portsmouth manager.

Appleton moved to Fratton Park in November 2011, but couldn't prevent the club from dropping into League One, as they continued to struggle financially off the field.

The former Manchester United trainee has helped to steady the club on the field and has earned many plaudits from people within the game for his professionalism in such a difficult time.

Alex McLeish (12/1) - After resigning as manager of the Scottish national team, McLeish was unveiled as Birmingham City's manager in November 2007.

Earlier success at Motherwell, Hibernian and Rangers had helped to build his reputation, but he couldn't help the club from being relegated from the Premier League in 2008.

Birmingham won promotion back to the top flight the season after and would go on to claim a ninth placed finish in 2009/10, their highest finish for more than 50 years.

In his final season at the club, he guided the Blues to League Cup success, but they also suffered relegation. He quit his post in June 2011 and was unveiled as manager of fierce rivals Aston Villa less than a week later.

He lasted just one season at Villa Park, however, and has the unwanted record of being the worst manager in the club's history, based on a 21.4% win percentage.

Ivan Campo (40/1) - Remembered for his antics on the field, Ivan Campo is fondly remembered by Wanderers supporters for his part in helping the club qualify for European football in 2005 and 2007.

Recent Twitter posts from the former Real Madrid midfielder indicate he would be willing to make a return to the Reebok Stadium, in either a coaching or management capacity.

However, his poor understanding of the English language would prove a major barrier in his attempts to become the next Wanderers boss, meaning a coaching role is possibily the best he can hope for at this moment in time.

John McGinlay (40/1) - Regarded as one of the best strikers ever to play for the club, John McGinlay confirmed on Tuesday that he would be returning to England after a six-year coaching spell at Cincinnati United in the United States.

McGinlay was in England in August, leading to speculation that he was about to make a return to the club. The news of his resignation in the States has seen those rumours resurface, but the 48-year-old insists he is moving back to Bolton to be with his family.

It is feasible that the former Scotland international could land himself a role at the Reebok, but it is more likely to be in the youth set-up and not as first-team manager.

* Betting odds taken from Sky Bet and were correct at the time of writing.

Sky Bet League One Standings

Pos Team Pld Pts
1 Accrington Stanley 0 0
2 Barnsley 0 0
3 Bolton Wanderers 0 0
4 Bristol Rovers 0 0
5 Burton Albion 0 0
View Full Standings >>


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