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Would we Really Want Phil Brown as Bolton Wanderers Manager?

The takeover rumours indicate that Phil Brown could replace Neil Lennon, but would that be a good thing?

Phil Brown looking perfectly normal while celebrating Southend United's promotion
Phil Brown looking perfectly normal while celebrating Southend United's promotion
Matthew Lewis/Getty Images

Phil Brown has been mooted around as the replacement for Neil Lennon should the proposed takeover headed by Dean Holdsworth go through. But would this actually be a good thing for the club or an early step in the wrong direction by the new owners.

A number of people seem to be in favour of such a move, but I for one am not.

For a start I am still behind Neil Lennon and believe he can take the club forward. This would especially be the case should this new consortium bring some much needed investment into the playing staff at the Macron.

There is also Phil Brown’s record which is somewhat mixed. His first pop at the top job was of course at Bolton Wanderers in 1999 when he was caretaker manager for five games. He won four losing one to give him a whopping 80% win rate. Sign him up I hear you yell, but clearly only five games is not enough to judge a manager on.

His next role was at Derby County where he managed 33 games. He won only five of those games with a dismal win rate of only 15%. His next move though was rather more successful with Hull City. He got them promoted to the Premier League and even managed to keep them there for a year before losing his job during the following season. While at Hull he achieved a credible win rate of 33% from his 157 games in charge.

His next move was something of a mixed bag, a 29% win rate at Preston North End from 51 games during 2011. This is not terrible, but also not exceptional. And importantly right now is not that much better than Lennon’s 25% win rate from his 55 games in charge of Bolton. He then moved onto Southend United in 2013, where he is to this day. He has achieved a 41% win rate at the club and boasts a promotion from League Two last season.

Now I do hear people say but that’s not a bad record. This is especially the case when you compare his record to Mr Lennon’s which is set out above.

But Brown’s record at Championship level is mixed. Yes he got Hull City promoted but that was back in 2008. When you then take his time at Derby and the spell at Preston you start to question why you would want him in charge of the club.

Yes Brown has proved at Hull and is proving at Southend what he can do. But that was seven years ago in the case of Hull and at a lower level in the case of Southend.

In my view returning to Brown would be a step in the wrong direction. I have no reason to believe he would get more out of the current crop of players than Lennon would. And if there was investment I would far rather it went to Lennon who signed the likes of Victor Wanyama and Gary Hooper for Celtic.

I have no doubt that with a bit of cash in the transfer window Lennon would improve our fortunes. If there is no new cash after the takeover though then I would not back Brown to come in and turn things around. As such I do not see the point in removing Lennon and installing Brown. It would, for me, be a backward step and seriously call into question the judgement of the new owner.