The never-ending story of the Wanderers managerial search has finally come to an end with the official Bolton Wanderers website confirming former Bradford City boss, Phil Parkinson as our new manager. I for one am pretty pleased with our man but the board have to take flak for the amount of time the took to make the appointment. Parkinson now starts on the back foot as he hasn't had a choice in who was released and many free transfers have already been sewn up before he can so much as look at his own squad.
I wont focus on the negative mind because we do have ourselves a good manager. He has a couple of promotions under his belt; one with Colchester United to the Championship and the other with Bradford City to League 1. He has an average win ratio of 38.2% which really isn't bad when compared with say, Big Sam (39%) or Dougie Freedman (34.3%). He also focusses on building solid teams with a direct style who are hard to break down; qualities that have been missing from Bolton since the times of the aforementioned Big Sam.
What most will know him for is his outstanding performances in the cups. He guided Bradford City to the League Cup Final when they were just a League 2 team; truly a stunning feat. He then last year saw his Bradford team go 2-0 down against the then Premiership champions Chelsea, only to stage a hell of a comeback and win 2-4. This to me says he builds teams with good chemistry and togetherness, another 2 features we've desperately lacked.
The in depth knowledge of League 1 was very important to me in this search. So often we've gone for young managers with potential who have sod all experience of the League they'll be playing in. Parkinson has been in and around this league for years. He knows what it takes to get out and he knows what kind of players it would suit (pending embargo lifting).
We also have to look at who we could have ended up with to truly see if we did well here. It was widely reported it was between Steve Cotterill and Nigel Adkins for the job. Trying to be as level headed as can be I think both were about our level and both would have been bang average in the job. They each have mixed records and fairly uninspiring back stories. Adkins obviously achieved the double promotion with Southampton but when you look at the players in that team, it would have been a job to have not done that.
Only time will tell if Mr. Parkinson will turn out to be a decent appointment. A lot of what will decide that does depend on the board getting the embargo sorted out, sorting themselves out and backing him as best they can financially. With him at the helm however, we've certainly got someone who'll make a damned good go of it regardless.