So much changes over a week during the post-season/pre-season/void, especially when you combine the search for a manager and a handful of new players. It's hard to keep up. Some are able to; some are not, and ultimately crack under the pressure of trying to take in all the rumours, gossip, chatter and inevitable sightings of José Mourinho and Paulo Sousa at Morgan's Hotel.
Let's at least try to digest some of the past week with Swansea City with a Pepto Bismol-coated blog post.
Most recently - who saw Brendan Rodgers' open letter to the Evening Post? It was heart-warming. Well, not really. In fact, it was as you might have expected and can be summed up like this:
Thanks. Mission. Legacy. Thanks. Love Swansea. Thanks. Forever a Jack. (Wait... what?)
Don't get me wrong - he didn't have to do it, nobody forced him. In a way, it's better than nothing. I guess he felt it would be nice to explain himself. But, as one enjoyable tweeter wrote after reading it: “The Rodgers letter; a bit like your wife leaving you and then sending you a letter to say how good you were.”
It's also very similar to the Martinez open letter, written just before he nabbed a few players for Wigan.
Anyway, I'll be mentioning the new Liverpool manager as little as I can now, because Swansea City must move forward! The Swans need a manager, back room staff, players and a new focus for next season.
Before I leap into possible new managers, it's worth mentioning that the Sigurdsson move is off. Two weeks ago he was about to have a medical and sign, then... he wasn't. Sigurdsson is one of the best loanees to have worn the Swansea shirt in recent years, but he certainly was not the sole reason Swansea survived last season. Yes, he scored vital goals and created reassuring chances, but to be honest, maybe the massive price tag would've seen him do a Torres/Carroll and flop? Who knows. Maybe Liverpool will find out.
Besides, Swansea are not lacking midfielders and at least the new manager will have £7million to spend on a different player or two.
Moving on, and Swansea are without a manager in case you hadn't noticed.
There has been nothing in the way of concrete moves so far - a few talks here and there, a few rumours - but nothing that justifies the bookmakers suspending bets.
Huw Jenkins has recently been holidaying, so to expect a new manager by now may be a little premature. Reports says that the club are expecting to have the new man (or at least a good idea of who he will be) within the next week.
Good. Though it shouldn't be a rushed decision, it needs to happen sooner rather than later. The existing players (not to mention the eventual new recruits) need a good enough chunk of pre-season to 'gel' and decide what the best strategy is for survival come August.
We've seen several names thrown by the media and fans alike – some shrugged off easily, some sticking. The names we've heard the most of seem to be Michael Laudrup, Graham Jones, Dennis Bergkamp and Ian Holloway. Not to dwell on these too much (there are plenty of others who can give pages of why it may, or may not happen), let's quickly look at them.
First up is Graham Jones, who saw the bookmakers halt bets at one stage last week. In fact there was a small window when even I was certain he would be announced. It seems that Jones initially decided against it, but the press has recently reported he is back in the running, after a second bid will be made by the club.
Jones clearly knows the club and the style of football well, and would be welcomed back by a number of senior players, but does not have first hand experience of being a sole manager. While it could be another Brendan Rodgers in the making, I feel someone with a little more managerial experience would be better.
Michael Laudrup's odds have recently fallen from around 22/1 (when I put my £1 on him), to 8/11 where he currently stands as favourite. Hell of a player and has the managerial experience, as well as a similar style to what Swansea have been impressing everyone with over the last few years. According to the Mail, he is keen to take over and would welcome interest. Watch this space.
Dennis Bergkamp was another big name associated with Swansea. His odds fell rapidly within the last week, but it has come to nothing so far (nothing new there then). He has experience as the assistant manager at Ajax, but is he holding out for the Arsenal job. His odds are back at 12/1 - don't rule him out, but don't bet your life (or £100) on it.
Finally in my little round-up is Ian Holloway. I would say Holloway is one of my favourite choices. He's a colourful character and knows how to play attractive, attacking football. He's done well with Blackpool over the last few seasons and there's no reason he wouldn't continue his success with Swansea.
Some say, under Holloway, the defence wouldn't be up to scratch, but providing Swansea can keep Williams, Taylor and Rangel, and add another one or two solid defenders to the list, I think there is little to worry about. However, Blackpool say there has been no formal approach. He's currently third favourite after Laudrup and Jones. It's another 'watch this space' I think.
Right, that's quite enough from me. I'll be back soon with a post about the new players we need to get in. Let's hope a manager is sorted by then.
(I fear as soon as I click 'publish', this blog will already be out of date...)
I would personally welcome laudrup with a can of tizer and a packet of skips where he to join. He was a wonderful keeper and pulled off some cracking saves, and saving us from the clutches of Ian Holloway could be his best yet. Listening to colleagues of his talk about him is exciting too. They say his fanny wrangling was second to none and some of the penis puppetry in the changing room is mesmerick. Come on Huw get us Michael laudrup.ReplyDelete
Laudrup is not a keeperReplyDelete