Opinion: Talk about one step forwards...
Feature by Greg Farrimond
Updated Thursday, 8th November 2007
Paul Jewell coming back would be exactly that. He left in May saying he couldn't take us any further - now he could come back. A decision that would be the worst Mr Whelan has made since saying...
"Sure Maurice, you would be most welcome on the board at Wigan Athletic."
There's no denying it, Paul Jewell is the greatest manager that this club has ever seen. For me, what made him that bit special was that, unlike most great managers, he left at exactly the right time. A time where he knew he had done all he could. He had taken Wigan Athletic from the bottom of League One to the heights of the Premier League, a fantastic achievement.
His last season though, showed that it was time to leave. Jewell struggled to adapt to the demands of the Premiership. Yes, he kept us up, but staying up by one goal is a lot more to do with good luck than good management. So he left in the right way - a hero. Leaving Wigan to start a new journey.
Look at the names for our next manager. The last time we were on the lookout for a manager (before Jewell), we were all expecting a nobody.
Now, we have Graeme Souness, Chris Coleman, Alex McLeish, Stuart Pearce, Martin Jol, Glenn Hoddle.
Even Jurgen bloody Klinnsman was mentioned!
It just shows to me, not only how far we've come, but just how far we have the potential to go!
Sacking Hutch is the one step forward we needed. Bringing Paul Jewell back will be the two steps back for me. If Jewell and Hutch come back together, surely Wigan Athletic would be setting some sort of record, maybe more than one. Sacking their manager and hiring him again the next week as assistant? Losing two managers then bringing both back straight away?
We have the potential to establish ourselves in this league. The current crop of players aren't as bad as we think. They need the right manager and the right signings - two things that Mr Jewell won't bring.
So thank-you for everything Paul and Chris. You have become Wigan Athletic legends and for me should receive freedom of the town for your achievements, but it's time to move on. Good Luck in whatever you do and wherever you go, but your future isn't at Wigan.
Out of the other front-runners, I would opt for Alex McLeish. Jol would be a brilliant replacement but I can't see him wanting to come. Chris Coleman and Stuart Pearce seem happy in their own jobs and as much as a fairy tale it would be, maybe the return of Roberto Martinez would be just a bit too early. Souness leaves me clueless. He'll either do wonders for us or ruin us. I don't want to take that risk.
Whoever we have in charge, they will have a tough job and will have my full backing as a fan but this appointment will shape our future. Big Dave may be happy with just surviving every year but I for one am not.
As for Sunday's game, it will be incredibly tough. I'll be at work from 4pm onwards unfortunately, so Goon, I'll need updates mate!
Who do you want as manager? Have your say.