I have done a longish piece on Owen Coyle’s departure for AOL’s Football Fanhouse on http://www.football.fanhouse.co.uk Here are a few extracts for those who don’t really care as much as I and – judging from the phone-ins and message boards – many others do.
‘I cannot say I am surprised he has gone. As I said on Saturday, the bookies rarely get the big managerial calls wrong, not 5-2 odds on, take no more bets wrong at any rate. The minute Coyle became the runaway favourite, you sensed it was only a matter of time. There was also the odd business of him not facing the media after the match on Saturday.
… So though I am not surprised that he’s going, I am surprised that he wants to.
… England cricketer Jimmy Anderson summed it up rather well in an incredulous sounding tweet from South Africa. ‘Leaving Burnley for Bolton?’ It is not just Burnley people like Jimmy who will be asking that.
… Yes, it is a bigger club. But not that much bigger, which is why a lot of football people are seeing it as a sideways move.
… It is true that Coyle did a lot for Burnley. But Burnley did a lot for Coyle. And I hope they hang tough on the compensation package, someone seemingly having jumped the gun in claiming it had been agreed before last night’s meeting.
… If he had stayed at Burnley, and we had gone down despite all his efforts, his reputation would still have been strong and he would still have been in the running for bigger jobs. But if he fails to keep Bolton up, it will be a reputational blow. And if he cements them as a mid-table Premier League club, he is in reputational limbo.
… The reason people feel so disappointed today is precisely because he seemed like a cut above the average football manager. He seemed to get just how much this club meant to the town.
… The adventure is still on, and the memories are still there. But it is very sad that someone who was so key to it has disappeared down the road.
…. Meanwhile, Bolton v Burnley at the Reebok two weeks from today could be one of the hottest games of a season already packed with them.