I’m pleased to say that Paul Cook was my first choice for the Latics manager’s job. Of the candidates available I believe he has the right profile for a club which is trying to rebuild itself after relegation from the Championship.
Cook fits the bill in several key areas. Firstly, he wants to be based in the North West and has strong Wigan connections having played nearly 100 games for the club and featured in the squad which reached the FA Cup quarter-final in 1987.
Secondly, as Portsmouth and Chesterfield manager he has a strong track record of success leading both teams to the League Two title. He knows the lower divisions very well but he has also played at the top level in the Premier League with Coventry City.
Thirdly, he plays football in the right way. He coaches possession based football and says that exciting the supporters is of paramount importance. Cook says he wants to attack, pass the ball well, go forwards quickly and excite the fans. If he can achieve that, he will certainly be a great improvement on the likes of Warren Joyce, Malky Mackay and Owen Coyle.
Cook certainly has the potential to be successful, like another Liverpudlian Paul Jewell who led the club from the third tier to the Premier League between 2001 and 2005, but only time will tell if he can reach those heady heights.
This article was first published in the 12th Man column for the Wigan Evening Post on Friday 2nd June 2017.