The Thoughts of Chairman Dave

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Sometimes, the thoughts of Chairman Dave are cringe worthy, at others they’re honest and brutal.  Sometimes he tells you things you’d rather not listen to, others he tells you exactly what you wanted to know.  Whether he’s in mouthpiece or car crash mode he always gives good interview and he always gives interviews.  As a Latics fan, that’s rarely a good thing but, every so often, we get the odd gem.


Tonight’s ’post-Coyle’ piece with Jim White on Sky Sports News was one of them.  With White’s typically minimal prompting and Dave’s archetypal lack of “appropriateness filter” we found out the stuff about the reigning Christopher Park Irn Bru Chugging Champion’s departure from the Latics hot seat.


When is a sacking not a sacking?


I didn’t sack Owen, I had a meeting with him after the match and I told him I was disappointed in his performance, the performance of the team, I was disappointed in his team selection, Owen said did I want him to resign and I said yes, if you’ll resign.


And such are the vagrancies of businessman.  You can read so much between the lines of this quote as much as you want to, but let’s stick to the facts as much as we can. We know that previous managers have had similar post-mortem meetings with the chairman and survived.  We know that after one of them said manager was so convincing as to make the chairman turn up at the training ground and read the riot act to the players and that others the manager has explained what he was trying to do, why and what had gone wrong.  The second manager also had an extended period at the club.


We can only guess what Coyle’s reaction to the Chairman’s disappointment but it’s clear that he didn’t convince DeeDubya of his ongoing suitableness at best his vision of the way forward didn’t meet approval, at worst he might have questioned the chairman’s right and even worse he may have offered no defence, just a weak offer to resign.


Either way, it wasn’t enough to convince Whelan he should try to convince him to stay.


It’s not what you do, it’s the way that you do it


I was so disappointed with the performance (against Derby) and the two recent home performances had been so poor.


You know what?  I know some of you will think I’m reading what I want into this statement.  Well you can write your own blog about it, if you want.  Whelan talks more in this interview about performances than he does results.  Yes he says we’re not where he would like to be in the league and that promotion is the priority, but it’s clear that he’s not been happy with how we’ve been playing (or how he’s been told we’ve been playing whilst he’s been in Barbados). 


It’s definitely all the manager’s fault


We’ve got a good squad of players and, in my opinion, we were playing badly, I didn’t go along with his team selection and I don’t think the crowd were going along with his team selection


This is a barely coded message.  “I’ve given him the tools, everyone can see I’ve given him the tools and he’s pulled a flat head out when he needed a phillips” or more simply, if he can’t pick a good team out of that lot, he’s a bloody idiot. 


You’ll have heard the rumours that Whelan forced the half-time subs on Sunday, this hardly makes them go away, does it?


The Big Man still doesn’t hold his punches


There’s been talk of Kaiser Dave losing his edge, losing his interest, being ready to let go, but piss him off and… well, it’s probably best if you don’t, eh?


you can be unlucky and get somebody who doesn’t get on with you, doesn’t get on with the team and doesn’t get on with the fans and that is actually what happened with Owen


So let’s get that clear, not only is Coyle a man weak enough to walk away from a difficult situation, who can’t get his team to perform and doesn’t know what he’s doing, he can’t even manage his raison d’etre anymore.  Coyle is a manager who has thrived on being everyone’s mate (ask Clarke Carlisle) and according to Whelan, he probably doesn’t even get on with his ping pong coach anymore.


Seriously though, as these words tripped off the tongue of the First Earl of Dalton, all those rumours about Maloney, McArthur, Espinoza, Beausejour, Perch and… oh, I’ve run out of fingers… became facts.  In six months Coyle had lost a dressing room that he’d largely built himself.


Even more so, here was Whelan siding with the fans again.  He’s a right man of the people, right?  I’ll be a bit more cagey here, what with those 2006 price rises, Maurice Lindsay and giving Coyle the job in the first place, he’s got previous as far as that goes.  The cynic in us all might say that his backing of the fans concerns is possibly rooted in the potential effects on match day revenue, but then again, maybe he’s learned his lesson…


Has he learned his lesson?


It’s not easy, everybody who is in football knows that appointing a manager is very difficult… It causes disruption throughout the club (losing a manager) and that’s quite clear and this happens at every club where you lose your manager, it does cause unease and disruption throughout the camp…The sooner I can get interviews going and appoint a new manager, the better for Wigan Athletic.


He’s clear on one thing, he wants the new man in quickly, and I can see his point.  Apart from wanting to get back to his holiday as quickly in possible, he still wants us challenging for promotion this year and getting a manager in to do that as soon as we can find one will help that, but…


It’s important that he realises that jumping for a short-term vision that Owen Coyle sold him has done us no good.  The club has become more and more divided over the last six months and more because of his appointment than anything else.  So as much as we need a manager, we need it to be the right manager, someone who’ll bring the club together, who everyone can get behind and who’s thinking not just about how he’ll get us to the Premier League, but what he’ll do when he gets us there.


My opening gambit in the interviews might be to ask the candidate where do you see us in five year’s time?  But then again, I’m weird like that.

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