Talking football: Wigan Athletic have their man at long last

The King is dead! Long live the King!

Not a particularly empathetic sentiment, but in the case of football – and management in particular – it’s the nature of the beast.

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Kolo believes he can unlock potential in 'talented' Wigan Athletic squad
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So...he's here. Seemingly the longest, most protracted managerial appointment in history is over.

Kolo Toure

Almost a fortnight after being offered the job, Kolo Toure has finally been confirmed as the new manager of Wigan Athletic.

In fairness, from the club that brought you not one but TWO managerial appointments with empty seats (Steve Bruce and Roberto Martinez), Latics have form in this matter.

But seriously, it's great to get it over the line - and the future starts now.

It wasn't the obvious choice.

In fact, he wasn't even the first member of his family to be linked to the post.

But whereas brother Yaya was quick to distance himself from the process, Kolo proved to be the outstanding candidate of the dozen who advanced forward for interview.

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Some, perhaps most, clubs would have gone with the tried and tested model, with the likes of Chris Wilder also on the shortlist.

Latics, however, have opted to take a step into the unknown, on a man whose experience has been limited to coaching under Brendan Rodgers at Leicester City.

It's a gamble, no doubt about that.

Let's hope he's afforded the support - from the stands and also the boardroom - required to be able to do himself justice.

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Despite the process dragging on, Toure has a week and a half to get his initial thoughts over to his playing squad.

The first part of that has been over in Turkey, with the players then having a full week to prepare for their first game back after the World Cup break at Millwall on December 10.

A very important figure will be Rob Kelly, Leam Richardson's No.2, who will be staying on to work under Toure.

Hopefully that will help the bedding-in process, and offer a bit of continuity to what will be an otherwise huge line in the sand.

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The first African to become manager of an English football club...Wigan Athletic continuing to write history.

Toure’s first two backroom appointments also point to an exciting and historic new era at the club.

Ashvir Johal became the youngest Sikh professional football coach when he joined the Category One Academy at Leicester City.

And Kevin Betsy was noted as favouring a 'very fluid possession-based style of play'. during his time with the Arsenal Under-23 side

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Betsy won’t have find recent memories of Wigan, with his side having been beaten 1-0 at the DW last term in the quarter-final of the Papa John’s Trophy.

But the way his young side played that night hint at a very easy-on-the-eye style being introduced on his and Toure’s watch.

January will tell us a lot about both the short and long-term picture at the club.

There's no doubt the squad needs bolstering to be able to withstand the rigours of the second half of the campaign.

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Will money be available to the new man?

Or will we see exactly how strong his links to his former clubs are, in the form of loan additions?

Whatever happens, it won't be dull.

With Latics, it never is.

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We're already more than halfway through the World Cup - and it's already been an absolute cracker.

Who knew how much the nation needed the likes of Cameroon against Serbia on the breakfast menu to - temporarily at least - get the day off to a flyer?

It all gets serious this weekend when the knockout stages get under way.

But I still haven't seen anything to think Gareth Southgate and England shouldn't be quietly confident of what's to come.

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There isn't another country that can leave the likes of Foden, Grealish and Rashford on the bench.

If Harry Kane can stay fit - and the defence stand firm - maybe, just maybe, it might be coming home after all…

Sadly it was a bridge too far for Wales, who can nevertheless feel very proud to have qualified for the first time in 64 years.

The likes of Bale, Ramsay and Allen probably won’t be there in Canada, Mexico and the USA in four years’ time.

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But the production line of talent coming through means the legacy of the ‘Golden Generation’ will hopefully continue.