Dave Whelan is back in Gods land following his trip south these past few days, now his focus will be firmly on the candidates list for the vacant managers post at the Latics, with speculation mounting as to whom will be moving into the hot seat at the DW Stadium, I thought it might be a good time to once again refresh ourselves with some of those in line and their chances of becoming our next boss
Over the next couple of days we’ll take a look at some of the front runners, Gus Poyet and Karl Robinson have already been under the spotlight, now it’s the turn of Rene Meulensteen:
One of the first names linked with the job, Meulensteen has a vast amount of coaching experience, but relatively little as a manager, and would be seen as a risky choice by a number of Latics fans if appointed.
Following an unremarkable playing career in the Dutch lower leagues, he started his coaching career in 1990 with NEC Nijmegen before moving to Qatar a few years later to take charge of one of their youth national teams. He got his first taste of club management in 1999, and had some moderate success in the Qatari league over the next two years, winning a couple of domestic trophies, before being approached by Sir Alex Ferguson and offered a place on the coaching staff at Manchester United.
In 2006, he was appointed as manager at Brondby after getting his UEFA Pro license, but joined at a bad time, as the once-dominant Danish club were in the early stages of their current financial meltdown. Results on the field were disastrous, and Meulensteen left the club after just six months. He later re-joined Manchester United’s coaching staff.
There’s no doubt that Meulensteen would be a good fit at the Latics – he was initially brought to Manchester United as a technical skills coach, and would bring Wigan a similar footballing philosophy to that of his predecessor. He was initially one of the front runners for the Latics job as it was assumed that he had left United, but this has been denied over the past couple of days and his odds have since drifted a little.
Despite over two decades of coaching experience, the appointment would definitely constitute a gamble. Although there are a number of successful managers who started out as assistants or coaches, plying your trade at Manchester United doesn’t guarantee success as a manager, as Carlos Queiroz and Ricky Sbragia have since shown.
In a fairly uninspiring list of managers though, Meulensteen may not be a bad option, and it all depends on whether Whelan would be willing to take a chance on someone relatively unproven.