As the Owen Coyle revolution continues with arrivals from near and far, we thought we’d re-visit a special feature approach and ask more informed writers about who exactly the club is signing.
Twenty-five year-old Irish midfielder Chris McCann was Coyle’s first signing as Wigan Athletic manager. Here’s a link back to our reaction. But in an effort to gain a more enlightened take on his eight year stay at Turf Moor and the circumstances under which he is joining our club, we reached out to the editors of the fine supporter website, Vital Burnley.
Without further ado, here is Phil Lea, aka Turfmanphil, on our midfielder, Chris McCann:
Chris McCann had been a one-club man since he arrived at Turf Moor from his native Ireland in 2004 from Home Farm. Clarets fans had seen him develop into an exciting midfielder but in recent seasons he just doesn’t seem to have been firing on all cylinders and there are a number of theories as to why.
There is no doubt that McCann’s best season was in our promotion season to the top flight during 2008-9 and of course new Wigan boss, Owen Coyle was Burnley manager at the time so it could be argued he brought the best out of him. McCann seemed to relish playing under Coyle and the ‘old magic’ might return now he as at Wigan under his former gaffer.
It was a disastrous season for McCann in the Premier League though. an unfortunate knee injury and subsequent surgery to his cruciate following the game against Sunderland at Turf Moor in September 2009 sidelined the midfielder until December 2009 In his second match back from injury, he picked up a second injury that ruled him out for the rest of the season!
Following Burnley’s relegation from the Premier League the injury woes continued for McCann although he returned and played in three pre-season friendlies, in the first game of Burnley’s tour of Singapore he was taken of with yet another knee injury. He was sent to see a specialist and faced another long lay-off. Clarets fans wondered whether the injuries had some sort of psychological effect on McCann because he never seemed to reach the dizzy heights achieved under Coyle again following his return. He didn’t seem to be going into the tackle as much perhaps conscious of his knee problems and he was certainly not as influential on the game. Eddie Howe bizarrely made him captain too for the 2011-12 season, some thought to keep him at Turf Moor and it was a total failure. The responsibility seemed to affect his game even more and most fans felt he was not skipper material generally being too quiet and ineffective.
Stripped of the responsibility after Jason Shackell became captain, last season was probably McCann’s best for sometime but again he blew hot and cold and his heart did not seem to be in it! He was no doubt thinking about his next career move and he was not even prepared to consider a new contract this summer.
In summary if Coyle can get the best out of McCann like he did during his time at Turf Moor, you will be getting a very strong and effective attacking midfielder who will also score quite a few goals for you during a season. It might be the new lease of life, McCann needs to get his career back on track and all Clarets fans I am sure will wish him well.
Phil Lea aka Turfmanphil
Vital Burnley Editor