Wednesday, 4 January 2017

Back on Track

Well, I hate to say I told you so but I definitely did. Renewed optimism thanks to Paul Clement's arrival not only brought a more confident performance out of the players but it also brought three vital points that drags us off the bottom of the Premier League table.

Granted, three points only moves us up one place to 19th but we are now only one point behind Sam Allardyce's Crystal Palace who gifted us the win. What kind of side sits back having equalised? Zaha's goal should've encouraged Palace to attack our back line but they let us in at the death!

However we win, I'm just glad that we do.

There's still a lot to be done but Alan Curtis praised Paul Clement in his post match interview for his support ahead of the game. He didn't interfere with Curtis' team selection and he didn't interrupt the gameplan in anyway - he was happy to watch on as the boys did the business.

I'm really pleased to see Alfie Mawson getting himself on the scoresheet and picking up man of the match - at 22 years old he's got a bright future but he's already looking the real deal. It was a shame that we had to rely on two defenders for our goals but they all count no matter who gets them.

Did Fernando Llorente's mind look elsewhere? Not as far as I could tell. He seems focused on the job at hand and doesn't seem unsettled in the side - we just need to supply the right balls for Llorente to capitalise on!

Are we going to survive? Time will tell. There's nothing to say we will and nothing to say we wont so I think its best to give Clement a few games to settle in and we'll assess his progress over time.

Tuesday, 3 January 2017

Palace Swansea Preview

Who doesn’t remember the reverse of this fixture from November? It was a key moment for Bob Bradley as he somehow coached the side into a 5-4 victory over tonight’s hosts Crystal Palace. If anything, it was the beginning of the end for Alan Pardew and now we’ll be travelling to meet Sam Allardyce with Paul Clement no doubt in the stands watching on.

Palace were a very different side in November and injuries have taken their toll since then. There are potentially eight first team players out tonight for the Eagles but that doesn’t stop them fielding a pretty intimidating starting XI that will include Christian Benteke, Wilfried Zaha and Andros Townsend.

Closer to home, only Jefferson Montero is injured and will be until next month unfortunately but Jordi Amat is suspended thanks to his antics against Bournemouth. Most media outlets are reporting that Fernando Llorente is doubtful for tonight’s game but no-one can confirm as to why – it is possible that the rumours surrounding his Swansea future are true but it remains to be seen.

SkySports have suggested Llorente picked up a knock against Bournemouth but he didn’t look in too much pain when he was substituted. I could be wrong but I would’ve thought he’d have shaken any complaints off having only played an hour.

To say this game is over before it’s started is cruel and the pundits are doing us a great disservice at the moment. Alan Curtis will likely take charge of the game tonight before Clement takes over formally but that doesn’t mean Palace will walk all over us. Let’s not forget that we beat them earlier in the season and there will be renewed optimism thanks to the confirmed appointment.

I just think pundits are too quick to judge these days, especially when they have no idea what they’re talking about. Bear in mind these are the same group of ‘experts’ who said Zlatan was too old for the Premier League, Aston Villa would be at the top of the Championship by now and that tonight’s opposing manager, Sam Allardyce, would never work again!

Don’t get me wrong, I can predict the future but tonight’s game will be well worth watching if you’re attending or even if you know how to stream the footage. It was a brilliant game last time around and I’m confident it will be this time too.

Introducing: Paul Clement

It’s about time a decision was made but it’s something of a surprise name given the initial media coverage. Even I didn’t consider the prospect of Paul Clement leaving Bayern Munich to manage the Swans but a four and a half year contract is on the table for him to sign when he arrives at some point on Tuesday morning.

So Pardew is still without a job. Ryan Giggs has once again been ignored for a Premier League job (surprise surprise!) and both Steve Clarke and Gary Rowett must wait their turn for a place in the top flight – but there are some concerns.

The length of the contract offered to Clement worries me. It’s almost as though the club have conceded to relegation and want Paul to come in and coach the existing squad without spending in January. Very brave considering we are all expecting results and survival this season never mind heading back to the Championship for god knows how long.

Equally, Paul Clement has just one full time manager’s position on his CV and he lasted 33 games – that’s it! He has worked very closely with Carlo Ancelotti at some of Europe’s biggest clubs but as an assistant or as a coach; not exactly what we were after if I’m honest.

I think that most of the fanbase will be happy enough with Clement for the timebeing but things could go sour very quickly if he doesn’t get some points on the board by March. He doesn’t stand too much chance of securing funds for this transfer window but might be awarded some money in the summer if he manages to keep the club in the Premier League.

Time will tell but at least we have a manager to take us into 2017!

Friday, 30 December 2016

Swansea v Bournemouth Preview

Heading into the New Year’s Eve game against Bournemouth without a manager is a strange thing for Huw Jenkins to permit as far as I’m concerned. Who exactly is going to lead the side to victory and three points we desperately need? Can you ask Britts to take on the responsibility? Not while he’s sat on the bench you can’t!

Bradders’ sacking came early enough in the week that we now know the club’s first choices are both ignoring the chance to take over at the Liberty. Ryan Giggs and Chris Coleman are obviously looking elsewhere for their employment future – perhaps Giggs believes Mourinho will cock up enough that United will give him the job and Coleman would’ve been foolish to leave the Welsh national side!

So that leaves us with Paul Clement, currently assistant manager at Bayern Munich under Carlo Ancelotti and Gary Rowett who was recently dismissed from Birmingham City thanks to their new owners disliking him for no reason whatsoever – brilliant.

Even more from the media, APPARENTLY Antonio Conte’s Chelsea are interested in signing Fernando Llorente in January as back up to Diego Costa. Given Llorente’s seemingly permanent position on the bench for us; he could do worse than making the switch for a bit more pocket money but it remains to be seen how much truth there is to the rumours – Chelsea are also linked to former Man Utd striker Javier Hernandez so you can’t believe everything you read.

In brief, Ki and Taylor might be available for the game but there’s no information coming from the club at present to confirm their availability and Montero is definitely unavailable thanks to a hamstring injury that’ll keep him out until the end of January at least – better than usual on the injury front!

Are we in the midst of turning a corner? Can we see off Bournemouth to start 2017 on the right foot? Or are we destined to slump to defeat yet again at the hands of a side we are more than capable of defeating?

I can’t give any answers right now because I just don’t know – all I do know is we need a manager ASAP to save a sinking ship.

Thursday, 29 December 2016

Who's Next?

It’s unlikely we’ll see a replacement appointed before Saturday’s game with Bournemouth but the bookies already have some ideas as to who will be replacing Bob Bradley – here’s an assessment of who’s in the running and my opinion on whether or not they’re right for the job.

Ryan Giggs
We’re all very aware of Giggsy’s talents as a footballer; on his day he was unstoppable right up to his slightly premature retirement thanks to David Moyes’ failings as Man United manager but does that make him a good choice?

Sadly not. Even though he’s Huw Jenkin’s preferred choice to fill the vacancy, he hasn’t actually got any experience of managing in the Premier League nor any other league. A few games at the end of a season that yielded little success is not enough. 6/4 to take over according to SkyBet but the wrong choice as far as I can see.

Chris Coleman
The only way Coleman will take over Swansea City is if he can maintain his role with the Welsh national team – spinning plates whilst juggling balls if you ask me; basically it’s too much for him to do.

8/1 say SkyBet but I don’t think there’s any chance of this Swansea lad dividing his time between Premier League strugglers and International successes.

Alan Pardew

The only real candidate as far as I can tell. Plenty of experience and the charismatic character we’ve been lacking since Rodgers/Laudrup – I see no reason why we shouldn’t offer him a contract this second to save our season.

11/4 makes for a tempting bet too. Pardew all the way for me.

Gary Rowett
It was sad to see Birmingham City sack Rowett but it was more infuriating that it wasn’t even his 
fault. The new owners wanted Gianfranco Zola and made it so.

The Premier League relegation battle might be too much for Rowett to handle but 5/1 with SkyBet is rather intriguing – he stands a chance.

The No Hopers
Klinsmann and Hodgson – two managers who’ve left international roles this year. Would either of 

them have the ability to drag us out of the nosedive?


My Opinion?
Giggsy is the frontrunner but he isn’t good enough to keep us up so I’d back Pardew – even on a short term deal.

Wednesday, 28 December 2016

Bob Gone, Next Please!

We knew it was coming. An entry was posted earlier today detailing how little we would trust Bradders with funds and how Alan Pardew is waiting in the wings to assume the role. This isn’t confirmed, of course, but it seems the most likely outcome.

It can hardly be a surprise to us all that, yet again, we are without a manager.

Are we so incapable of finding a suitable character that we are destined to invite a former player again? Someone no-one has ever heard of? Or a person who only understands football on an international level aside of domestic football in a country that believes a watered down version of rugby should be given such a name?

We are better than this. Brendan Rodgers is not the greatest manager of all time but we desperately miss his influence. He is currently showing Scotland that Celtic aren’t just the biggest fish in a disappointingly small pond – they can also contend with bloody Barcelona!

Laudrup? Raking money into his account somewhere in Qatar.

Garry Monk? Currently managing Leeds and leading them quite capably towards AT LEAST the playoff places.

Guidolin? Who cares! We’d have been relegated already!

In brief. Bob Bradley is no longer managing our club and we are glad for it. However, if Pardew or someone else suitable isn’t appointed within the next 48 hours we will go into January without a manager nor any money to reinforce an ailing squad.

Essentially, we would take Pardew, accept Ryan Giggs and permit Gary Rowett an interview. Just appoint before January 1st.

Tuesday, 27 December 2016

Bradley Out, Pardew In?

A hefty 4-1 defeat against a side who have been struggling for most of the season really isn’t good enough. There were flashes of brilliance when Bradders finally allowed Fernando Llorente some game time but it just wasn’t enough – when you consider how utterly useless Andy Carroll is as a footballer; you start to see just how bad we actually were.

It’s small wonder Bob Bradley has shot to the top of the odds for ‘Next Manager Sacked’ given Crystal Palace have freed up the services of Alan Pardew. Pards has been heavily linked with the Swans job this morning and the story will break across the newspapers later today or early tomorrow morning – it looks like the Star Spangled Banner is heading back home.

Since Guidolin departed; we’ve looked a sorry state and there are a few excuses that keep doing the rounds. Yes, we miss Ashley Williams and we probably should never have let Michael Laudrup go but we did and we have invested poorly since then as a generalisation.

Bradley can’t be trusted with what funds we have to spend in January but then again neither can Pardew really. He’s a typical English manager who has his favourites that always seem to follow him from club to club – get ready for Yohan Cabaye to arrive in Swansea folks!

Our American manager looked stunned when the chants rang out around the Liberty. ‘We Want Bradley Out’ couldn’t have been a clearer message and there is now an alternative that will meet with the board’s expectations for experience and most of the fans will accept.

I say bring it on. Pardew needs a job, we need a manager who understands English football and perhaps we’ll finally see some cohesive football that produces the results we need to maintain our Premier League status.

The last thing we need is a return to the Championship – look at Villa and tell me that we’d romp that league. I don’t think we would somehow – Newcastle had to invest heavily to top that league and Brighton are breathing down their necks! We need to survive relegation this season and Bradders is not the man for the job.