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Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Positive Leadership: 'Cometh the Hour, Cometh the Man'

This is an inspiring piece from Henry Winter in The Daily Telegraph:

"The Glaswegian has been an inspiring leader during these troubled days, not simply in the support he has shown [Farbice] Muamba’s family and the way he has tended his distressed flock.

Coyle has handled the media adroitly, always exuding positivity. In times of darkness, football needs beacons of hope and Coyle has lit them across the land.

A humble character, Coyle will hate this sentiment but it needs chronicling for all time that he has embedded himself so deeply in the affections of the Bolton public.

As a player, Coyle lifted Bolton up once before, helping them rise to the Premier League via the play-offs in 1995.

As a manager, Coyle has now lifted the club off its knees.

The nation has also seen and admired somebody assuming responsibility when most required. So ‘66 was a great year for English football: Owen Coyle was born.

This is a man of principle, a figure who inspires trust amongst his players.

It is astonishing to consider that earlier this season Coyle’s leadership credentials were being questioned. Not now. Not after these past few days.

Whatever fate befalls Bolton this season, and the feeling endures that they could be acquiring the quickening resolve (as well as players like Rio Miyaichi) to scrap their way out of the relegation basement, Coyle’s reputation has been enhanced. His critics have been scattered.

Some men are made for such moments. Again, Coyle will hate the praise. That’s not his style. Never has been.

In company, the former Republic of Ireland international is modest and bright, talking almost too quickly such is the abundance of ideas spilling forth.

Attending one of Kevin Davies’ golf days last year, I suggested a quick coffee with Coyle in the clubhouse and listened spellbound to his espousal of the passing game and of football’s role in the community.

Coyle enthuses people, especially players. It is little surprise that managers like Arsenal’s Arsène Wenger entrust him with youngsters like Miyaichi and particularly Jack Wilshere, who flourished on loan under Coyle.

Chelsea’s Daniel Sturridge also matured as man and player during his spell at the Reebok.

It is also little surprise that Bolton’s dressing-room is home to some of the more thoughtful souls in the game like Davies, Sam Ricketts, Stuart Holden, Nigel Reo-Coker and Muamba.

They enjoy working with such a shrewd teacher as Coyle.

If Coyle has been seen in the right light over the past few days, the game he loves and serves so well has been viewed in a different light…….”