Coyle betrays those who loved him
BURNLEY came to the Reebok Stadium on Tuesday night to take on Bolton and their former manager Owen Coyle.
Rarely has such vitriol greeted an ex-manager as that which was aimed at Coyle by the Burnley fans.
And most of it was understandable.
Coyle attempted to justify his move by saying that football was a game where managers either succeed and move on or fail and are moved on, citing the recent sacking of Darren Ferguson by Peterborough, despite leading them to back-to-back promotions.
This makes sense and it is logical that Coyle would want to move on to bigger and better things in his career, but it is a question of who you move on to.
If he was moving to Liverpool or Manchester City it would be forgivable, but he did not, so it is not.
Burnley and Bolton are local rivals, so moving from one to the other is akin to moving from your girlfriend to her best friend.
This is never ideal, even if you are single, but at least is understandable.
However dumping one for the other is inexcusable in all circumstances.
Coyle described it as “a purely football decision”.
Were this true and his decision was solely based on on-pitch matters then surely he would have remained with the side that was placed above their rivals in the Premier League table?
Coyle actually moved because Bolton have a bit more cash and a shinier, yet habitually half-empty, stadium, the equivalent of a purely relationship decision, eg she has bigger boobs and better telly.
Bolton are not untapped top six material, like Tottenham were when Harry Redknapp became manager midway through last season.
Coyle drew attention to his successes at Burnley in another attempt to legitimise his treachery.
He said: “Last year it was God, this year it was Judas. If you’re going to get biblical than I should be Moses. I led them [Burnley] out of the wilderness.”
Listing achievements earned together – promotion, Carling Cup semi-finals, beating Manchester United, raising a child, buying a house, etc – is no excuse for abandonment.
Coyle has let Burnley down, he has let football down, but most importantly he has let himself down.