Saturday, August 17, 2019

Is Royle appointment right for Latics?

Phil Tomlinson in General Soccer News 17 Mar 2009

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Joe Royle is back in football at the tender age of 59, but can he cut the mustard after three years out of the game? Royle has been appointed manager of League One outfit Oldham until the end of the season, 15 years since leaving the Boundary Park club after guiding them to the most successful period in their history. The Liverpool-born manager spent 12 years at Oldham guiding them into the top flight along with a League Cup final and two FA Cup semi-finals – both of which they lost to Manchester United.

And now he will get another chance at the Lancashire club after John Sheridan parted company with the Latics after a turbulent week, which started with an alleged fracas at Belle Vue dog track and ended with a 6-2 thumping at MK Dons. But while the Oldham faithful are welcoming back one of their favourite sons, can Royle be successful after three years in the wilderness?

Royle left Ipswich in 2006 after a disappointing 16th-placed finish in the Championship and since then he’s been doing work as a television pundit. Whether or not Royle has been keeping abreast of the ins and outs of lower league football is debatable and only time will tell if Royle can be as big a hit second time around as he was in the 90s.

Oldham are still handily placed in the League One shake-up, just one point behind sixth-placed Tranmere – who they play at home on Saturday and he will be the hero once more if he can guide the club into the Championship. But ‘they’ say never go back and the underlying feeling is that Royle’s second stint will end in disaster.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Phil Tomlinson


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