The difference between David Moyes and Owen Coyle...

David Moyes

Ross Bellamy takes a retrospective look at the two manager's differing fortunes at Everton and Bolton Wanderers.

Question: “What is the difference between David Moyes and Owen Coyle?”

Quick answer: “One is unemployed and the other has won the Premier League Manager Of The Month Award”…End of article.

If it was that straightforward, pub discussions would centre on X-Factor or people dressed as Pandas rather than the convoluted sports industry. Thankfully, you can shelve your Louis Walsh conspiracy theories and focus on another manager being sucked into the unemployment black hole. So why am I combining these two managers in the same article?

The date was the 17th April 2011 and Bolton faced Stoke in the FA Cup Semi Final. Owen Coyle’s reputation had gone stratospheric. It was during this period that a Bolton friend of mine attempted to convince me that Coyle’s style and ethos paralleled Pep Guardiolas’, a statement that now seems nonsensical but mirrored the feel-good factor at The Reebok.

Across Lancashire, Everton had crawled into 7th Position, one above Bolton, after another diabolical start to the season. The Everton Forums were awash with anger directed at the board and the manager, citing a change was desperately needed:

“Moyes should go. He’s taken the club as far as we can. We need a natural winner who plays attractive football like Owen Coyle. I see him as the future Manchester Utd manager, not David Moyes”

This was the standard of posts that littered these forums. However, we all know what happened next. Bolton fell apart, cascading into the Championship oblivion as Everton ironically played like Pep Guardiola’s Barcelona from January 2012 onwards.

This is the difference between the two managers. Owen Coyle couldn’t stop Bolton’s freefall when the rot set in, wasting money on players who were not up to rigors of the Premier League before committing the ultimate crime of not changing his tactics or beliefs when his team faced the trapdoor.

David Moyes is far more astute than his counterpart. Moyes prides himself on getting the best of players at his disposal and changing tactics to suit his squad; something Owen Coyle was unable to do.

This basic managerial skill is essential to succeed in the football industry. Bolton and Everton have had similar players and comparable transfer budgets in the recent past, which lead to some experts expecting Bolton to finish above Everton the following season.

Of course, Everton finished 7th whilst Bolton slipped in The Championship. Why? Because David Moyes is better manager than Owen Coyle.

Owen Coyle appears to be another manager who the media overhyped, and he is no means alone at this unenviable club. Paul Lambert, Brendan Rogers and the returning Kenny Dalglish are other candidates for the club nobody wants membership to. As David Moyes receives multiple plaudits from his peers, Owen Coyle is receiving his P45.

image: © illarterate

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