clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

A Northampton Fan on Chris Wilder

A Northampton supporter gives us the lowdown on the favourite for the Bolton Wanderers job.

Pete Norton/Getty Images

Over the last couple of days Northampton Town's League Two winning manager, Chris Wilder has jumped to the bookies favourite to be the new Bolton Wanderers manager. We also revealed he was on the three man shortlist here.

So, as none of us really know who Wilder is we asked football writer and Cobblers fan, Tom Reed (@tomreedwriting) to fill us in on all the details:

Phil Brown is a tremendous manager, in many ways a tactical visionary with a great affinity to Bolton Wanderers and a fantastic tan to boot. He is the standout contender for the Bolton job and should be appointed post haste for fear of losing him to another club.

Chris Wilder, on the other hand, is a flash in the pan, hoof-ball merchant that will lose the dressing room within weeks. He has no experience at a big club like Bolton and no loyalty as evidenced when he left Oxford for Northampton. Wanderers should avoid Chris Wilder like the plague.

Ok, I might be throwing you a few red herrings there in the hope that Cobblers boss Wilder doesn't take the bait thrown at him by you guys.

Wilder has done a great job at Sixfields, turning Town from relegation fodder to champions elect in League Two. His best attributes are his man management and in game tactical judgement which has seen us turn over more fancied sides.

Wilder favours a 4-2-3-1 formation at Northampton with swift counter-attacking propelled by a variety of attacking midfielders. Defensively, the Cobblers are weaker but that may be a side effect of having such an effective offensive array.

Appointing Wilder would be a no-brainer, a safe choice in a gaffer who will do a good job of creating stability after the chaos at Bolton in recent seasons.

The reasons for accepting the job at a team in the same division? First and foremost is geography with Wilder commuting from Sheffield to Northampton every day and a shorter trip being an undoubted relief. The second would be financial as Bolton will likely offer a better salary.

The issues standing in the way of Wilder taking up the Bolton job will begin with fear. Taking the reigns at a pressure job and leaving a role at Northampton where he is well liked may prove an unwise move. Described as a football man, it is uncertain why he'd choose to leave a team, that with a few additions, is expected to go well next season.

There is likely to be very little to split the two sides in terms of footballing ability given Northampton have a progressive, settled squad and Wanderers have greater buying power but whose purchases will take longer to bed in.

That takes us to the old ‘bigger club' debate which has seen some Bolton fans claim bullishly that once Wanderers come a knocking Wilder will be off like a shot. It's sad that fans of a team with extreme dysfunctional finances in recent years would throw in stadium size and Premier League experience to an argument when the unsustainable effects of Bolton's over-ambitious recent past are so obvious and painfully felt.

Bolton are a great club with fantastic loyal fans but the grim reality is that at this moment in time they are no more big a club than Northampton.

Fair enough you have a larger stadium but that is a moot point given Bournemouth have gained access to the Premier League millions with a capacity of 11,000. Northampton has a larger population and catchment area and, in reality, both clubs would struggle long-term in top level football. Wanderers, in the Premier League, were a much bigger team but look where that got you.

If the Premier League is a top level hotel, both Northampton and Bolton are parked outside in their mid-range cars wondering if they can afford to pop in for a cup of tea as things stand.

If Wilder does go there's not much we can say given that he left a fellow League 2 side in Oxford to come to the Cobblers.

So that brings me back to style icon Phil Brown, a miracle worker at Southend, you should go for him.

We thank Tom for his time and you should follow him so you can read more of his great work @tomreedwriting