NEW SWANSEA CITY MANAGER: WHAT IS THE TASK - FANS, TACTICS AND TRANSFERS?
With less than two weeks until the Championship 2021/22 season gets underway, the Swansea City saga continues.
With no manager currently appointed at the club, only two senior signings and no communication from the club to the fans, Swansea are in a bit of a state as of right now. And this is a situation which needs to be resolved and fast. With Russell Martin and Jody Morris looking like the only two main candidates after days of drama, let’s have a look at what either manager needs to do if they become the manager of Swansea City.
STYLE OF PLAY
Swansea’s style of play has always been a huge part of the attraction to the club. The start of this was when Roberto Martinez was manager of the club, getting the Swans to play the Spanish way playing some incredible football and it really was unbelievable to watch. Quick passing play and passing triangles became a very prominent part of Swansea’s game. And the football being played was quickly labelled ‘The Swansea Way’ by the supporters. Over the years the managers have usually played The Swansea Way bar a couple exceptions, with the fans adoring the style of play. However, under recently departed manager Steve Cooper, he changed the football style to a more defensive style which wasn’t so pleasing to watch but was effective. However despite effective, the change in play came at a lot of Swansea fans dismay. The fans were labelling the football ‘boring’ and ‘tedious’ even though the results were coming good for Swansea.
The style of play is exactly why Swansea fans are getting excited about Martin and Morris being potential managerial options. With both managers being known to like their teams to play an attacking style of football and Martin being a manager who loves his team to play possession based football, it fits the bill perfectly as to what the Swansea fans have desired for the last few seasons. It’s a vital part of the club which is an easy way to get the fans on board with your project quickly.
So as we know, with Swansea’s manager saga, they haven’t really been able to make many signings as they are waiting for a manager to be appointed. The only incomings so far have been Liam Walsh on a free transfer, Joel Piroe for a fee around £1.5 million from PSV and Kyle Joseph from Wigan for around £800k. But with their talisman from last season Andre Ayew departing the club and potentially the club captain Matt Grimes also on his way out, Swansea need some serious business to be done to maintain their ambitions of a promotion push again this year. Obviously, with every team there are more problem areas than others leading up to a season. Swansea’s problems lie all over the pitch.
I believe they need to look at a recognised striker, some attacking midfielders, a centre back and a winger. Definitely with the winger and attacking midfielder being the highest priority for the Swans, with only one first team attacking midfielder and a very low amount of wide players too. If Morris was to get the job, he can use his Chelsea links to quickly fill them voids with loanees from Chelsea’s youth ranks. However, the fans will want to see some permanent signings also for the future stability of the squad after a few years with a lot of loan players coming and going under Steve Cooper. With very little time between now and the start of the season. The new manager will have a huge task ahead of them if they’re going to be able to assemble a match worthy and more importantly promotion worthy squad for the start of the season.
GETTING THE FANS ON BOARD
With a lot of people taking the hot seat as Swansea manager over recent years, a key part of managing the club has always been getting the fans on board with your project. The Swansea fans are a very passionate group of fans who will make their feelings known to the club, whether they are good or bad. So if the results are not coming, the fans will be very direct and will strongly express their feelings towards managers and players. This makes a new manager’s role to get the Jack Army on board a vital aspect of their job. One thing Swansea have been slightly deprived of is a good style of football. Obviously, Steve Cooper’s tactics were effective and got results. But the Swansea fans have always loved watching their team play attacking football, the complete opposite to what the fans labelled ‘Cooperball.’ If the manager can reignite the ‘Swansea Way’ it should be an easy way to get the fans on your side. However, you need to start off with getting results. Football is a results driven business and if the team are not performing, the blame usually boils down to the manager and being at Swansea, you do not want the fans to be on your bad side as it can get very toxic very quickly. As long as this new manager can bring in a better philosophy and can get this Swansea team firing again, getting the fans on board should be no problem at all.
Overall, whoever takes the hot seat in SA1 is going to have a huge mountain to climb to assemble a team within a week or even less. They need to make sure that they can appoint a manager in enough time to give them a fighting chance in the transfer window. These next couple of weeks are going to be vital to Swansea’s season. For now we have to wait patiently and hope that the club can turn this situation back into a positive one again with a new manager and a fresh start for the club.