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Owen Coyle: EPL Talk's Person Of The Year For 2010

 Owen Coyle: EPL Talk's Person Of The Year For 2010

If you could name one Person Of The Year award for someone who has achieved so much in the Premier League this calendar year, who would it be and why? It’s an interesting question because rather than just narrowing it to a Footballer Of The Year or Manager Of The Year, the nominations are open to anyone connected with the Premier League. With it being so open, it makes it more challenging to determine who would be the Premier League Person Of The Year for 2010, but we’ll give it a try.

Looking back at the past 12 months, there’s been a lot of change in the world’s most popular sports league. The Big Four monopoly was finally broken, transfer spending took a massive nosedive and, gulp, financial responsibility is beginning to creep back into the league.

In the process of identifying the Premier League’s Person Of The Year, I looked for individuals who made a significant improvement in the past 12 months. With that in mind, my choice for Premier League Person of The Year for 2010 is Owen Coyle.

Owen Coyle
On January 8, 2010, Bolton Wanderers appointed Owen Coyle as manager of the club after leaving Burnley FC. In his time at Burnley, Coyle got the side promoted to the Premier League and, in their first season, Coyle’s side defeated Manchester United. When Coyle left Burnley, the Lancashire side sat in 14th position in the league. For the remainder of the season, Burnley only won three matches before being relegated in 18th spot. Conversely when Coyle joined Bolton to replace the hapless Gary Megson, Bolton sat in 18th position, but thanks to Coyle’s management experience and encouraging his players to play a more attractive style of football, Bolton ended the season in 14th positon. Essentially what happened is that Burnley and Bolton swapped positions. Burnley went from 14th to 18th while Bolton went from 18th to 14th.

Since this past summer where Coyle took his Bolton side on a low key preseason tour of the Carolinas and Canada, Bolton has catapulted up the Premier League table after radically changing their formation from a 4-5-1 to 4-4-2 which has given Kevin Davies and Johan Elmander the opportunity to do what they do best which is to score goals. The front line has been buoyed by impressive displays this season by American Stu Holden and the re-energized Martin Petrov in midfield. But what has impressed me the most about Bolton this season has been the team spirit shown on the pitch. This is a team that is playing for their manager and, for the first time in ages, are having fun. After all, this is Bolton Wanderers, the stereotypical doom mongers in Premier League football. Yet, thanks to Owen Coyle, that label can now thankfully be removed.

Bolton are currently sit in seventh position in the Premier League.

Runners-up
There were several people who came close to winning the honor. Those were Blackpool manager Ian Holloway, Chelsea left back Ashley Cole (who has regained his top performance), Manchester City’s Carlos Tevez and two men, who if they could have performed as well in the Premier League as they’ve did in the Champions League in 2010, they both had a wonderful opportunity to win the top prize, namely Gareth Bale and Harry Redknapp. But while all of these men performed heroics, it was Owen Coyle who stood out from the rest by making an immediate impact at Bolton and turning the club around to such a point where they are a formidable side in the Premier League who are now very difficult to beat.

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About Christopher Harris

Founder and publisher of World Soccer Talk, Christopher Harris is the managing editor of the site. He has been interviewed by The New York Times, The Guardian and several other publications. Plus he has made appearances on NPR, BBC World, CBC, BBC Five Live, talkSPORT and beIN SPORT. Harris, who has lived in Florida since 1984, has supported Swansea City since 1979. He's also an expert on soccer in South Florida, and got engaged during half-time of a MLS game. Harris launched EPL Talk in 2005, which was rebranded as World Soccer Talk in 2013.
View all posts by Christopher Harris →

7 Responses to Owen Coyle: EPL Talk's Person Of The Year For 2010

  1. Earl Reed says:

    I think a mention could be given to former Chairman Martin Broughton and the Board at Liverpool, who upheld doing what was right for their fans and the team rather than allow the bully Tom Hicks to finagle his way back into the club to create more havoc and destruction. Love them or hate them, Liverpool is an important club within the Premier League structure, and nobody needed them to get demoted due to an administration penalty.

    • The Gaffer says:

      Good point Earl. It was definitely valiant work by Broughton and company to fend off Hicks and Gillett.

      Cheers,
      The Gaffer

    • Lyle says:

      Not a good point Earl. Broughton simply handed the club over to another group of American businessman. Liverpool wasn’t the first, and won’t be the last, club to do such a thing.

  2. Jon Sharp says:

    Owen Coyle – excellent choice. Successful, positive, all round nice bloke, wears shorts in winter.

  3. Quentin X says:

    Nice to see St. Owen getting the plaudits he undoubtedly deserves. One small niggle though. While we can all agree that Holden, Davies and Elmander have been excellent, Petrov has been about as re-engergised as a duracall bunny that has been shot in the head four times, run over by a steamroller and then thrown into the sea to be eaten by sharks. He has been a major disappointment.

  4. King Eric says:

    i actually think that he’d be a quality replacement for SAF when he decides to call it a day. he’ll have the experience needed in the premier league, is still young enough and gets the most out of his players and plays a positive attacking style football.

  5. Lyle says:

    Funny there is no mention of Roy Hodgson. Only led Fulham to the Europa League final in 2010 and then got hired by Liverpool. Arguably bigger accomplishments than Owen Coyle being hired by Bolton last season and leading them to an above average spot in the BPL so far this season.

    Good for Owen Coyle, but he ain’t in the news as much as Hodgson, Ancelloti, or Mancini.

    If this is supposed to be for the whole year, you can’t just emphasize the very near past, like this year’s Bolton and Gareth Bale’s over hyped coming out season.

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