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Bolton Wanderers manager search: Jack's view

The dust over the departure of Dougie Freedman has well and truly settled at the Macron Stadium. If there is one thing we have learned over the past week, it's that our club is actually more attractive to potential managers than previously thought. There have been a lot of names banded about, but the search has narrowed in the past couple of days.

Richard Heathcote

As Bolton Wanderers move closer to appointing a new manager, it's time to look at the shortlist.

To my eternal disappointment it looks as though Phil Brown and Jimmy Phillips are both out of the running. At this point I think we need character rather than a 'name'.

A wider list of names has narrowed, names such as Tony Pulis, Brian McDermott, Paul Ince, Paolo Di Canio and even former Wanderers striker Kevin Davies have been discarded, leaving a shorter list of four.

So let's have a look at the candidates:

- Neil Lennon
Chances: 8/10

The former Celtic manager is looking increasingly like the favourite to take over at Wanderers, and with the man seemingly turning down the oppertunity the manage on a high wage overseas, you can only think that he is looking for a job slightly closer to home.

I don't think it would be a bad appointment, as I said earlier I think we need a character, and he certainly is one. He had a lot of success at Celtic and I think he could bring it to Bolton.

His lack of experience at Championship level is a concern though. Do we take another chance on an inexperienced manager? With all the success he had, Celtic was his only managerial post.

It seems like he wants it, I wouldn't be unhappy if he got it.

- Chris Hughton
Chances: 7/10

I don't know about anybody else, but this name does not fill with enthusiasm.

I thought he did well at Newcastle.

Thrown into the hot seat at an extremely turbulent time at the club and worked miracles considering, getting them back into the Premier League at the first attempt with ease, before shcokingly being sacked with them in a comfortable position in the top flight.

But then you compare that with what he did at Norwich.

He was able to stabilise a side that was rocked with the departure of Paul Lambert, with a nice mid-table finish, but when he was allowed to assemble his own squad, it was rubbish. Ageing players that were past it, they really were a poor team, not to mention bringing in Johan Elmander which proved to be uninspiring.

However you could argue he left them in 17th, 5 points clear of the relegation zone - that they went on and suffered relegation can be partially put down to his work beforehand.

- Malky Mackay
Chances: 5/10

I think it's such a huge shame that he has this FA investigation looming over him, because I think he is a great fit for Bolton Wanderers.

Because of the investigation it's unlikely that he will get the job. A fan poll showed that he was the fans favourite for the job, and maybe Gartside should take note of that, seeing that one of the crucial goals of the appointment is to reconnect with the fans.

He did a good job at Watford, before moving onto do a fantastic job at Cardiff, taking them to the Premier League.

He has great Championship experience, and I think his personality would connect well with the fans, and also the board, I think it would make a good partnership.

Maybe after being able to splash the cash last year at Cardiff, a restrained budget might be better for him, certainly a bigger challenge for him to overcome to get some positive press.

- Tony Mowbray
Chances: 5/10

I haven't seen much of a positive reaction to this, which is unsurprising.

He did well at West Brom, but his failings at both Celtic and Middlesborough have done his reputation some damage. As I said earlier, the appointment needs to bode well with the fans, and this wouldn't.

However, he is an advocate of attacking football, something with the fans have been longing to see after Freedman installed a 'wait for a chance' approach.

He is also available to be selected, and is probably the cheapest option compared with the other candidates.

He also tried to get rid of the Juke, which is baffling. 


It's looking likely that unless someone like Tony Pulis throws their hat into the ring, one of the above four may get appointed.

Whoever comes in has a tough job, but we are a great club and anybody who came in would be lucky to manage a club like ours.

We have a decent squad, who are suited to attacking football, and with some confidence & leadership, I can see us progressing under a new manager.

Watch this space.