You couldn’t make it up really, then again maybe that is exactly what has happened. Barely enough time has passed for Chris Hutchings to list his Premier League suits and silk ties on eBay, before his old boss is seriously being linked with a return to the JJB. I’m not saying it’s set in stone, but with Paul Jewell refusing to rule it out and Dave Whelan seemingly creaming himself at the news all that money that went on Graham Souness the other day is looking a bit silly now.
The question is whether the scouser is talking the same language as the king of Parbold Hill with Jewell willing to “consider any offers that come my way” and Whelan declaring that “if he applies for the job, then I’m certainly interested”. Obviously there’s a big gap between either man’s expectations.
If it does come off, if either one of them realises that there’s a reason the other one hasn’t been on the blower, would it be a good thing?
There are definitely those who will be genuinely excited by the possibility of Jewell’s return and of course he knows the club, the board and most of the players but at the same time he is the man that only six months ago reckoned that he’d taken Latics as far as he could.
His increasing frustration over the course of last season was only matched by the fans’ frustration with his tactics, apparent attitude and ultimately his style of play. Then again he’s got his plus points as a manager and his achievements at the club shouldn’t be underestimated.
Jewell reckons that his time out of the game has left him refreshed and raring to go, he’s spent time reflecting on the past and spending time at other clubs. He says that he’d do things differently, but not that differently. When things go wrong there’s an attraction to retracing your steps, but only if you’ve learnt enough lessons from your mistakes.
It’ll take some convincing that Jewell has actually managed to do that and those fans that want him back will be matched by as many who see it as a step backwards at a time where Latics are clearly in need of fresh momentum. A new man would want his own people, Jewell might be prepared to stick with what he had before.
Of course there’s another possibility here. Jewell might have been asked about the Latics job, but all I’ve seen is him saying he doesn’t want to talk about it because he’s mates with Hutchings. Now that could be interpreted as a fairly strong statement, or it could just be a new way of saying no comment.
Either way some enterprising journo has pounced on it and dangled it under the nose of someone who’s never been known to say ‘no comment’ and hey presto, the first Premier League managerial search to ever threaten to be a non-event becomes a story yet again.
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