In Huw’s Shoes – An optimistic look at Swansea City

It’s fair to say being a Swansea fan recently has not been the same magical mystery tour of our last five Premier League based years. Look at any of your social media streams, and the conversations and feelings towards the running of our clubs have become vitriolic, and it’s easy to see why. Not only have the Swans suffered their worst league start in twenty-five years, but our once model club is now seemingly becoming “just like any other club”. Amidst all this negativity, we must retain some optimism, so come with me as I aim to combat the worried thoughts running through my head.

 

Guidolin deserved more time

Huw Jenkins must be devastated that the fixture list spat out Chelsea, Man City, Liverpool and Arsenal in the space of five games. Re-watch any game before Chelsea at home, and it’s hard to find positives. A dour ninety minutes at Burnley kicked off the season, with Leroy Fer sparing us an early inquest. Matches against Leicester and Hull set alarm bells ringing, before Southampton away seemingly sounded the death knell for Guidolin and his staff.

He should always retain credit for keeping us in the Premier League, but Guidolin’s tactics can hardly be described as forward-thinking or expansive. There is no indication that Guidolin has ever known his strongest eleven, and his time at Swansea will be remembered for constant tinkering, playing players out of position, and incomplete performances.

The board should not have talked to other bosses before sacking Guidolin

It has been uncommon over the years for Swansea to be tabloid fodder, or to see them linked with managers while still employing their current man. It has felt like Swansea are becoming just like any other club in engaging in the shadowy side of football.

To ease this thought, rewind nine months or so, and remember the carnage that ensued when Swansea binned Garry Monk without planning their next appointment. A spell with club legend Alan Curtis in charge, seemingly for the season, was randomly halted by the appointment of Francesco Guidolin, an experienced but relatively unknown manager. The Swansea job seemed a poisoned chalice, with no top level managers willing to risk their reputation to save a relegation-threatened side.

Compare that to the quick, faff-less (technical term) appointment of Bradley, and the revelations that the likes of Ryan Giggs, Paul Clement and Marcelino were interviewed, and it’s clear that Swansea is a more attractive proposition than late last year. It may seem harsh to sack Guidolin so ruthlessly on his birthday (it is…), but you can’t accuse the board of dilly-dallying, or not knowing what they want.

Bob Bradley is only employed because he is American

The link is an easy one to make: American owners bring in their own man, American manager. The image doesn’t sit well with a fanbase resistant to selling out. But Bob Bradley is not alone in taking the Swansea job with little to no record of amazing success. Roberto Martinez was a rookie to management, with a strong philosophy. Brendan Rodgers had left Reading under a cloud, and would not have been the standout choice in 2010, before guiding Swansea to the Premier League. Michael Laudrup had a patchy record in management, and took us to a cup win and European Tour. Garry Monk? You don’t need reminding that he took us to our standout league season.

Huw Jenkins, for all his failings, has a strong track record of picking the manager to achieve the next goal required. Bob Bradley is the new chosen one. Let’s cut the negativity, get behind him and get behind Swansea City.

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