Bunn: Out On His Own or Out Of His Depth?

You don’t need to have been a decent player to become a successful manager. Mourinho, Wenger, Benitez and Van Gaal are all good examples of managers who didn’t have illustrious playing careers.

Oldham’s Frankie Bunn had a fairly decent career with the club, so much so that people weren’t asking “Who?” when he was appointed. Fans younger than 30 and with a vague interest in Oldham’s history might have said: “Wasn’t he the guy who scored six goals in a game?”. They would be right of course but being an ex-player of a club hardly qualifies you to transition into a reasonable manager. It merely means that the fans have probably heard of you enabling the crossing of your first managerial hurdle.

I have always thought that managers who played the game as a defender would put out defensive sides and that former attacking players would attempt to play most of the game in the opponents half.

Bunn seems to have destroyed my long-held theory with less than half the season played. It comes as something of a surprise given that when he played under manager Joe Royle at Boundary Park, the idea of approaching a home game with a solo striker was unheard of.

Royle regularly played with four or five up front to swamp the opposition and there are six very good reminders for Bunn how well that worked!

Of course, the players we have now are in no way equal to the quality of the squad Joe Royle had but we are operating two divisions lower now and something needs to be done to reverse the slide down the table.

Nobody expects Bunn to be the new Mourinho but at the very least he can show us that he learnt something about winning games from his days as a player.