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Analysing Paul Cook and Thorsten Fink's credentials as pair apply for SWFC job

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Sheffield Wednesday still haven’t appointed a successor to Tony Pulis after the Owls boss was sacked last month.

The Owls have now been without a manager for over a fortnight, but this week we’ve had two huge developments on that front.

Indeed, we’ve learnt of two names that have applied for the vacant post at Hillsborough, and it’s almost impossible to choose between them.

Thorsten Fink and Paul Cook both apply for this post with impressive CVs, and we’re going to try and decipher which gaffer would be the better option for the Owls.

Paul Cook

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Firstly, let’s have a look at Paul Cook.

If you’ve been following the EFL in recent years, you know what Cook is all about, he’s been as success wherever he has gone, and he’s won promotion with Wigan, Portsmouth and Chesterfield in each of his last three jobs.

Most of the time, a CV boasting three promotions would be enough to land you a job at a team currently battling relegation, but there is another string to Cook’s bow.

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Indeed, the ex-Pompey gaffer has a unique experience that makes him a very well-suited candidate for this role, in that he proven he can lead a club through a tumultuous period, getting a great tune out of his Wigan team last season despite being forced into administration late in the campaign.

We discussed this earlier this week, but it’s worth mentioning again, Cook knows what it’s like to work with a club going through a rough patch, and he knows how to motivate players even when their wages aren’t being paid on time, which has unfortunately recently been the case at Wednesday.

Cook ticks all of the boxes, he’s tried and tested at this level and in this country, and he’s proven he’s capable of overcoming the tough task that would face him if he became Wednesday boss.

Thorsten Fink

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This would be something of a left-field appointment, but Chansiri is no stranger to hiring such a manager.

Fink may be untested in this country, but he still boasts a mightily impressive CV.

He’s managed in six different countries and he’s had plenty of success over the years, winning two league titles throughout his career as well as two domestic cups.

It’s worth noting that German managers have often performed well in the Championship as well, Daniel Farke and David Wagner have tasted promotion with Norwich and Huddersfield respectively, while Daniel Stendel did a solid job at Barnsley before he was controversially sacked, a decision led to criticism of the board at the Tykes.

Fink isn’t tested in England. However, he has been tested against English opposition, and he’s famously outwitted one of the greatest managers this country has ever seen.

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Indeed, Fink has only ever managed one Champions League game against English opposition, but when his Basel side took on Alex Ferguson’s Manchester United back in 2011, Fink held his own.

Basel took a point off of United at Old Trafford, but it was a managerial masterclass that inspired them to such a result, with Fink’s ability to exploit United’s weaknesses allowing his team to overturn a 2-0 deficit to lead 3-2, before a typical last-minute equaliser from Ferguson’s side saw the team’s share the spoils.

“We did not want to hide, we wanted to capitalise on those small weaknesses in United’s defence – and that’s what we did in the end,” Fink said at the time.

Verdict

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These are two mightily impressive candidates who have the potential to work wonders with the Owls.

Of course, the question remains, which one should Chansiri go for?

In any other circumstances, we’d probably edge towards Fink, he’s more of a gamble, due to the fact he’s never managed an English club, but he’s got the footballing pedigree and the experience at a high level.

Fink would be an excellent candidate if Wednesday were mulling around mid-table and they were in a position to take a risk, but the reality is, they’re not.

Sadly, the Owls need someone who can save them from relegation, someone who can turn their season around and someone who can work under strenuous conditions, and Cook has proven he’s that man.

Cook would be an excellent appointment, and if Chansiri had to choose between the two managers right now, we’d advise him to go with the tried and tested option.

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