After Wigan Athletic’s immediate relegation to League One being confirmed yesterday afternoon, Wigan Chief Executive Jonathan Jackson and Chairman David Sharpe expressed how they will be putting all of their focus towards finding the right man to take charge for Wigan’s promotion bid next season.
Jonathan Jackson told the BBC that Wigan have a shortlist of managers that they are looking at, and will hope to make a decision at the end of May/early June, in which teams will know what league they will find themselves apart of in the 2017-18 season.
Like most Wigan fans, I’m really intrigued on who the next manager will be, and I’m praying that we will get the decision correct, as we simply cannot afford to make the wrong choice, as the club has suffered with enough instability since our Premier League relegation in 2012-13. We’ve seen 5 different permanent managers since then, with the longest lasting being Gary Caldwell with an 18 month spell, so that standing alone doesn’t need me to say, something needs to change.
Whether people believe we need an experienced head or a young forward thinking manager, here is some managerial candidates that I believe Wigan should consider for the vacant role. Please note that this is just my opinion, and that I have no knowledge on whether any manager on the list is actually being considered, but if I end up being right, would be a great prediction nonetheless.
Also worth noting, a few of these choices are currently in the Play Offs so the moves could be dependant on whether their respective teams achieve promotion.
Graham Alexander: Scunthorpe United
I know what you’re thinking, straight away when you read the name Graham Alexander. Preston North End legend. I understand and appreciate Alexander may not be over with the fans straight away, however I feel he has more than enough potential to take us forward to the Championship and beyond. Alexander has turned Scunthorpe, a club with relatively small finance with relatively small crowds, into a team that fights for the play off places annually, who have been unfortunate in recent times to not have been promoted to the Championship. Alexander has helped bring confidence out of players, and plays some great football and would be a respectable candidate.
They say never go back and leave the past in the past, but I still firmly believe Uwe Rosler has unfinished business at the club. Uwe Rosler was sacked in the 2014-15 season, after a poor run of form, however, upon his sacking, Dave Whelan said about the German, “I still rate him as a very, very good manager and I think he’ll get another job very quickly and I wish him good luck.”
Uwe Rosler guided Wigan to the play-offs and an FA Cup Semi- Final in his first spell at the club, and only narrowly lost on penalties to eventual winners Arsenal. Rosler was unfortunate to be sacked in ways, as the challenging egos of the players at the time contributed to the poor league form.
Uwe Rosler has secured play-off position in his first season at Fleetwood, and only narrowly lost out on automatic promotion. This achievement is nothing short of phenomenal, as he’s managed to turn Fleetwood, who only just survived relegation dramatically on the final day of the 2015-16 season, to automatic promotion challengers.
Uwe also played a part in Brentford’s promotion to the Championship, before joining Wigan in that season.
Uwe could be an option, as his passion and footballing style would certainly suit Latics need for promotion. There has been a few whispers that Uwe is on the top of the Wigan manager shortlist, so could potentially return for his second spell at the club in the 2017-18 season.
Highly thought of by the footballing world, Darrell Clarke is a candidate that should be considered by the club.
Darrell Clarke achieved promotion from League Two with Bristol Rovers in 2015-16, and has managed to finish respectively in mid-table in League One.
Clarke is young and forward thinking, and could well be worth looking at due to his fantastic work at Bristol Rovers.
Keith Hill has developed Rochdale AFC into play off contenders, and although Dale narrowly missed out, it is still a fantastic achievement considering their budget and resources.
Hill has built a squad from scratch, and helped develop players further such as Nathanial Mendez-Laing and Callum Camps.
Hill would not be my personal first choice, but he’s highly rated by many, and a worthy shout that has been made by multiple Latics fans.
Kenny Jackett is vastly experienced throughout the Football League, and is currently available to take on the manager’s role after resigning from Rotherham United.
Kenny Jackett has achieved promotion on two occasions from League One, with Millwall and Wolves respectively, in which he set a record number of points gained in the division during his promotion with Wolves.
Kenny Jackett is an experienced head and could be a sensible option for Wigan to appoint if they are looking for an immediate return to the Championship.
Micheal Appleton, Paul Cook, Neal Ardley could all be worthy mentions, however they may also be a massive gamble.
I’d love to know who Wigan fans would like as their choice for the vacant manager role. No matter who is appointed, we need to make sure to back the boss, as need everyone together, working towards the same aim of achieving promotion back to the Championship.
Written by Jay Whittle