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Odds comparison next Wigan manager

Odds comparison next Wigan manager

Wigan next manager after Paul Cook

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Wigan Athletic manager Paul Cook was born in Liverpool, 1967. As a player, Cook was employed primarily as one of a midfield two, generally fulfilling his duties as either a deep-lying playmaker or a box-to-box midfielder. Much of his playing career was spent in the North West of England.

Although Cook would appear only briefly before his talents were truly recognised, his playing days were initiated at Marine Football Club. After his time with Marine, Cook was acquired by Wigan Athletic, the club where it transpired he would become something of an icon having had two spells with them as a player and now one as manager. In a remarkably consistent and injury-free career, Cook would make 83 of his 642 appearances with the Latics, scoring 14 of his 56 goals for them also.

He would turn out briefly for Norwich City but struggled at Norfolk club. He failed to win a regular place in the team and left having made just six appearances for the Canaries. In 1989, Cook would make swap Norwich for Wolverhampton where he joined Wolverhampton Wanderers. Wolves would be the club that Cook spent more of his playing days than anywhere else. He made nearly two centuries of appearances over five seasons, scoring 19 times in the process. Wolves were playing in the Championship at the time and it was at the Molineux that Cook had the best years of his astonishingly long career.

Cook got his first taste of the top flight when he joined Coventry City in 1994. He would stay for the duration of two seasons but it quickly became apparent that Cook's playing level was suited more to the Championship. Shortly before the end of his last season with the club, he would be approached by Tranmere Rovers about the possibility of him joining the club. The move was a natural fit, Cook was born and raised not far from Tranmere and in many ways, he was returning home.

For Tranmere, Cook was regarded as one of the team's best players and he improved the side greatly. After this impressive stint, Cook would move to Stockport County where he would spend almost two years, scoring three times in just shy of 50 appearances. Choosing to remain in the North West, as he did for nearly the entirety of his career, Cook then moved to Lancashire side Burnley.

Burnley was a good match for Cook, his industrious style of play matched the club's ethos and he would have another long and fruitful spell with the Clarets. Over four years, the midfielder played 134 times and netted 11 goals. By the time he left Burnley, Cook was the ripe old age of 36. Remarkably, however, Cook chose not to hang up his boots, instead moving to nearby Wigan, the club where he would of course return as manager. 

Cook continued to play football for three more years, most of which was spent with Accrington Stanley. At Stanley, who Cook would briefly take charge of in his managerial career also, he was part of the team that won promotion to the Football League following their Conference title victory. When Cook finally retired, he was almost 40 years old. He was a well-liked figure at many of the teams he played for and can look back fondly on his 26-year career.

As a manager, Cook first took charge at Southport who were then playing in the Conference. His time there was poor, however, and he was dismissed in January 2007. From there, Cook would make his first and, to date, only venture outside of England. He was appointed as manager of Sligo Rovers in Ireland. Rovers proved to be a good fit for Cook and he enjoyed several successful seasons there, achieving European qualification on more than one occasion and getting his first taste of silverware as a manager as they won the FAI Cup in 2010. He repeated the feat the following year before moving on to pastures new.

Cook would return to Accrington Stanley as the replacement for club legend John Coleman. He did reasonably well with the Stanley minows and, in 2012, Chesterfield would approach him regarding their managerial vacancy. It was after this move that Cook's managerial stock would begin to rise rapidly. With Chesterfield, Cook won promotion via becoming champions of League Two. They then reached the playoffs the following year but were ultimately unable to progress.

Cook then moved South to Portsmouth where again he won the League Two title. Making him one of a limited number of managers to win the league with two different clubs in successive seasons.

Wigan was next. Cook again would oversee a team that went up as champions, this time form League One. Wigan struggled somewhat last season but Cook, a fine manager, will be hoping to reverse their fortunes in the 2019/20 season.

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