BRENDAN RODGERS HAS LEFT THE CLUB TO JOIN LIVERPOOL.
Yes, it's official.
It had been speculated for a while, so can we be too shocked? However, Rodger's constant comments, reassuring us that he would not leave, that Swansea was the place for him - it does make it a surprising decision.
Firstly, I fully appreciate his situation. He is a young manager with a great record of success over the past few years. Liverpool is a big club (albeit one struggling a little at the moment), and Rodgers has seen his chance to manage that big club. I accept the situation.
I also recognise what he has done for Swansea: taking them from a mid-Championship team to a mid-Premier League team in just two seasons. His style of football is fantastic and he's brought some superb players to the club.
While I wish him no specific ills, I can't really say I wish him all the best. Or much of the best for that matter.
Whatever spin he puts on his departure (e.g. wiping away the tears), he won't be remembered as highly as he could have been. If he made this move two years down the line he could have gone to a bigger club, and we'd have probably respected him for it.
Hell - I'd have probably respected him more if he didn't try to reassure everyone with false statements of intent.
Let's look at a select few quotes taken from newspapers just a few months ago:
"If I felt in my own mind that I was going to be leaving, I wouldn't have signed the new deal"Blah, blah, blah and so on.
"But I want to complete the job here and, unless the club tell me otherwise, I am very, very happy here."
"I don't know where else I could go and be as happy as I am at Swansea City."
"Hopefully I can see out the contract I have just signed."
"My focus is purely on Swansea City, and on building what we have done here."
"I get the opportunity to manage this club the way I want to do it”
"I've learnt my lesson in my career (at Reading), and that was a defining moment for me.”
"My family love it here in Wales. I'm 39 years of age and I hope to be in the game for a long time, but for now my concentration is with Swansea City."
It was all technically lies... Maybe he meant it back then. Back two months ago.
The whole 'Elvis for Brendan' thing seems a little silly now.
So, most of us are understandably angry at the moment, especially with news that three backroom staff will leave with him. I'm assuming our anger will swell over the summer - as, inevitably, Gylfi Sigurdsson refuses to sign a contract, or Rodgers starts peeling players away from the club. I can't see Joe Allen, Ashley Williams, Michel Vorm leaving, but Scott Sinclair? Nathan Dyer? I'd hate to see it, but you can't help feel something else is on its way to ruin our summer!
The opportunity for Mr Rodgers is a big one, I'll admit. But it's the wrong one for him. I know that a few years later and the Liverpool job may not be there - this may be the only chance he has to manage Liverpool. But who the hell wants that job!?
If he likes a challenge he's found it, that's for sure! If the Liverpool fans were happy to get rid of “King Kenny”, a supposed Anfield legend, how will they accept Brendan Rodgers?
So far, looking at the forums, listening to Liverpool radio stations and, of course, Twitter, the response is mixed, with more emphasis on the 'no ambition in signing Brendan Rodgers' angle from many Liverpool fans. He's off on the wrong foot already.
Even if they are ready to accept him, how much time will he get? He will need time to find his feet - to develop a style of play around the current team - which may take a while.
But Liverpool want Champions League football. They want to win the Premier League. They want all of this NOW. There is no “a few years down the line”. He'll struggle to win over the fans I fee.
So, Swansea - the team we really care about - are left with a massive hole to fill. It's by no means the end of the world. But it is a major setback for a summer where a little tinkering was required, rather than a complete change.
Who is going to fill that hole? There are a number of names being thrown around: Holloway, Di Canio, Zola, Solskjaer, Laudrup, Poyet... Monk.
Monk is an interesting one - he's committed to the Swans, he knows the club, he knows the style of play. However, he's inexperienced as a manager, so is not the answer... yet.
I don't understand those who are desperate to see Roberto Martinez back. While I like Martinez as a manager, the way he left Swansea is much the same way as Rodgers has done. You know he'd jump into the role, stay another few years, then move along when another big club comes calling. Anyway, he has supposedly confirmed his loyalty to Wigan (but what does loyalty mean in footballing terms these days?).
No, Martinez is not the answer.
Whoever comes in, we just hope it's the right guy to keep the club moving forward. Swansea City have the footballing philosophy in place, they have the money, they have the board and the full support of the fans. I am positive the Swans will remain in the Premier League after next season. They just need the manager to make sure of it.