Archive for January, 2016

A Dog’s Dinner

Wednesday, January 6th, 2016

Gary Monk was sacked as manager of Swansea City on December 9th having been in charge for 22 months. He replaced former incumbent Michael Laudrup who appeared to have lost interest in the club and apparently had his eyes set on a sexier club. Monk successfully steered the Club from any dangers of relegation, and secured a credible 8th place last season.
It’s now nearly a month since Monk’s sacking and Swansea legend Alan Curtis has held the precarious title of caretaker manager ever since. But why haven’t we hired a new manager?
Alan Curtis was a great player, and has served the Swans in several capacities, but by his own admission he isn’t a Premiership manager. Curiously he wasn’t one of Monk’s assistants either all of whom were shown the door following Monk’s dismissal.
If we believe reports, Swansea Chairman, Huw Jenkins, scoured half the globe searching for Monk’s successor. Before jetting off to South America, he made the rounds of Europe looking for Mr. Right. However this is not the Swansea way. Several managers have come and gone over the past few seasons; Roberto Martinez, Paulo Sousa, Brendan Rodgers, Michael Laudrup and Gary Monk. Every time a manager left for greener grass or was shown the door, Jenkins had a ready made replacement lined up
Rumors suggest that Monk was instructed to sack his backroom staff, but his refusal led to his reluctant dismissal by the Board. Another rumor suggested that Monk had “lost the dressing room.” Player power raised its ugly head which according to Rodney Marsh on “Grumpy pundits” is on the increase. Jose Mouhrino, formerly “The Chosen One” was recently a victim of similar tactics by his players at Chelsea.
However, Chelsea acted quickly and appointed Gus Huddink for the remainder of the season. Huddink has worldwide experience and enjoyed a previous successful spell in the second half of the 2009 season with Chelsea winning the FA Cup.
I’m watching some of the Swans’ games from 4000 miles away in Atlanta with one eye closed, biting my nails and sitting on the edge of my seat as we chalk up yet another defeat and hover precariously over the relegation zone.
It’s fairly obvious to anyone with an iota of football sense that a number of players are not performing to the level they achieved last season. Jonjo Shelvey is a head banger and should never have been signed in the first place. Gomis admittedly is a French international but just doesn’t cut it as a striker at the Premiership level. Jefferson Montero began like an express train during the first few games of the season but has unaccountably regressed to a being a bench player.
We have now entered the January transfer window and it is crystal clear that the squad needs strengthening sooner rather than later. But does Alan Curtis have the acumen to sign the right players to steer the ship to safety. Does he have the confidence of the Board to spend serious cash on new players?
It appears to me that the pace of the Premiership has intensified even more this season and veteran players such as Williams, Rangel, and Britton are struggling to cope. Liverpool under the regime of Shankly, Paisley and Fagin, were masters of knowing when to replace players who had been fantastic servants to the club.
I’m afraid there is too much to fix with only 18 games remaining, and the club reeks of relegation. It makes me quite sad, because if they drop into the Championship its unlikely I will see them again in the Premiership in my lifetime. Just look at former big clubs (Leeds, Notts Forest, Ipswich, Wolves, Birmingham) languishing in the Championship desperate to return to former glories.