Former Bolton and Burnley boss Owen Coyle could this week become the fifth Wolves manager in 15 months, as fans of the relegated club voted Coyle as their number one choice to replace Dean Saunders in a recent newspaper poll.
The opinions of over 7,000 supporters were canvassed by the Express & Star this week, with Coyle proving the most popular choice with over 44% of the vote. Crewe’s Steve Davis came in second, a fair way behind Coyle on 28%.
In a day and age when the term “player power” is often discussed, Wolves owner Steve Morgan could well prove that fans can still have a say in the game and appoint Coyle ahead of his own reported favourite candidate, Kenny Jackett.
Jackett’s name has been in the frame since resigning as Millwall boss on the same day that Saunders was sacked, but with less than 5% of the vote, Morgan might be conscious that such an appointment will not be popular with fans whose feelings are already at an all-time low regarding the way the club has been run in recent times
Morgan sacked Saunders after less than five months at the helm, just days after the Welshman failed to keep Wolves in the Championship, with successive relegations now meaning that Molineux will be hosting third tier football next season for the first time in 25 years.
Of course Coyle himself is no stranger to the ignominy of relegation, having seen his promising Bolton side drop out of the top flight in May 2012. And while his reputation took a further dent when he was sacked by Wanderers in October of last year, it seems the Wolves fans remain more taken by his ability to mastermind Burnley’s promotion to the Premier League in 2009.
Morgan will also be encouraged by the way Coyle’s success at Turf Moor was established on a famously small budget, with a focus on slick, attractive, passing football. Despite being managerless, Wolves remain 9/2 favourites to win League 1 next season, which speaks volumes for the resources any new manager will have at their disposal in comparison to their League 1 rivals.
Morgan and chief executive Jez Moxey have already revealed that the post will be a Head Coach rather than manager, meaning that for the first time in Wolves’ history, the boss will be expected to work alongside Head of Football Kevin Thelwell.
Given his tracksuit-style management, daily presence on the training pitch, and noted development of young players, Morgan and Moxey might well see Coyle as a good fit for this new system. With further discussions planned in the next two days, Wolves fans should know by the end of the week if they’ve got the man they want.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.