It was reported earlier this week that Paul Cook had applied for the vacant Sheffield Wednesday manager position.
The former Wigan manager would certainly be an interesting candidate to take over at Hillsborough. He’s an experienced boss at this level, and he’s done a stellar job wherever he has been so far in his career, winning promotion with both Portsmouth and Wigan.
However, more importantly than his previous promotion exploits, the ex-Wigan boss ticks two unique boxes that not many other managers do.
Indeed, the one big test that faces any manager coming in at Hillsborough is the points deduction that Wednesday suffered at the beginning of the season and the financial issues that are ongoing at Hillsborough.
Players’ full wages haven’t been paid on time and the club face a relegation battle, but unlike many other candidates, Cook has been here before.
This exact situation unfolded at the end of last season at Wigan. The Latics were put into administration, the players weren’t being paid on time and the club faced relegation.
Unfortunately, Cook couldn’t keep Wigan up as a 12-point penalty was too much for them to overcome, but that didn’t stop Cook’s squad from giving it their all.
Wigan remarkably lost just one of their last 13 games in the Championship last season, and they went unbeaten in their final five games of the campaign despite knowing that they faced an uphill battle and the players’ wages weren’t being paid on time.
Cook somehow managed to motivate his squad throughout this tough period and while many would have downed tools after facing these obstacles, the Latics squad went up a gear, most famously thrashing Hull 8-0 just two weeks after entering administration.
Nobody knows what the future holds for Wednesday, Dejphon Chansiri’s ownership has been a rollercoaster of an experience, and the club have faced plenty of turmoil off of the pitch, but with Cook at the helm there’s a good chance that performances on the pitch won’t dip, regardless of what happens behind the scenes.
Cook is uniquely qualified to take a job at such a tumultuous club, and if he is truly interested, the Owls shouldn’t hesitate in appointing him.