Tuesday, October 09, 2012

Owen Coyle: From an FA Cup semi-final to the sack at Bolton

As the days ticked down to Bolton's FA Cup semi-final against Stoke at Wembley on 17 April 2011 many saw the game as proof of the superb job Owen Coyle had done since taking charge of Wanderers 15 months earlier. The Scot had taken the Lancashire club from the lower reaches of the Premier League to the cusp of their first FA Cup final since 1958. He had united a club that appeared to be at odds with itself under the management of Gary Megson, and had done so while introducing a more pleasing style of play. And even though the day out in the Wembley sun proved to be a disaster as Bolton were thrashed 5-0, the result hardly set alarm bells ringing. A week later Wanderers defeated Arsenal at the Reebok, with Tamir Cohen snatching a last-minute winner to effectively end the Gunners' title challenge and leave Bolton sitting a handsome eighth in the Premier League table. But there the good times came to a shuddering halt.

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