An Interview with Bolton’s Owen Coyle

After reaching the FA Cup semi-finals and a solid mid-table finish, expectations are rising at the Reebok Stadium. Owen Coyle has done a fabulous job in a little over 18months in turning Bolton into one of the most attractive sides to watch in the Premier League. The Trotters pragmatic style still exists within their game but as Coyle states below he is determined to ensure that Bolton are no longer predictable and have many different facets to their game.


What is your footballing philosophy? How do you like teams to play?

Ideally we would all like to play like Barcelona, but for me the league we’re in; the Barclays Premier League, is the best league in the world. I think ultimately the way Arsenal, pass and move is a skill that certainly pleases me, and one I would like to evolve to. I think we’re a million miles from that at the moment, but in answer to your question, that’s the way I like to see football played. Down to the ground, very expansive, the best sight in football is seeing the ball hit the back of the net. Second to that I feel it’s a winger going at full-back, getting by him, and all of a sudden, everybody’s on their feet. We’re here to entertain and I think the more entertaining match-winning players we have in the team, the better we’ll all be. So it will be a very expansive style of football. Ultimately you need the right personnel, the right players in the right positions to do that.

You mentioned Arsenal, you’ve had Jack Wilshire here, Daniel Sturridge and now of course you’ve got Gael Kakuta? Do you think the willingness of clubs like Arsenal and Chelsea to loan you these players, demonstrates that Bolton is a good place to learn your trade?

Well I would hope so, and I think it’s more than learning your trade I think we have to obviously look to do the best by our own club, now there are terrifically gifted young players out there at league clubs which Arsenal and Chelsea and Manchester United and these clubs are. There’s no shame in any of these players not making the starting eleven at such a young age; but if we feel that they are capable of playing in our team, then I would do everything I can to bring them to the club. I’ve also brought Dedryk Boyata in from Manchester City as well on loan and we like to utilise the loan market it. There are very gifted players, Jack Wilshire, and Daniel have come on at such a speed now, that Jack’s probably an integral part of the England team, let alone the Arsenal team and Daniel Sturridge for me will go onto be a world class striker. So if we can play any small part in their development then great. I always feel when you get that quality of player coming to your club; it’s a win, win, win situation. It’s certainly a win for us at Bolton Wanderers because he’s a gifted young player who has a real desire to improve. The parent club whether it be Arsenal, Chelsea or whoever, then get the benefit of them coming back a better player. The player themselves really evolves and takes confidence from it and you’ve seen particularly those two young lads, Jack Wilshire and Daniel to level they play at now. So I always feel in that scenario it’s always a win, win, win situation.

Do you see Bolton’s style evolving so much over the next few seasons? If so how?

Yea we’d love to, there’s no doubt about it. I think there’s always perceptions of football and Bolton have been tagged rightly or wrongly as a one-dimensional team that just play the ball from back to front, and I honestly think they did the club a disservice with that, but that was the name it was given. All we’ve tried to do is to try and make sure we have more facets to our play, more flavours if you want; that we’re not predictable. That’s all we’re trying to do, we’re just trying to get better year by year and hopefully as time goes, and you’ll see a more fluid, better passing game. You can’t come in and click your fingers and think it falls into place; you have to work at it very hard and as I say, try and improve on it slowly as you go.

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