Now that Garry Monk has finally been put out of his misery, attention will turn to who Swansea City should replace him with in order to revive the clubs fortunes.
For me our biggest problem is that we seem to have lost our identity. We have moved away from the triangles, short sharp passing and expansive game that helped make our name in recent years and we need to get it back.
Therefore we need appoint a manager who will re-implement that philosophy. That immediately rules out the likes of David Moyes because he wouldn’t suit us although I do believe he’s a good manager and would probably keep us up.
So we need someone unemployed who will ensure we return to the Swansea City we know and love. There’s only one man to do this for me – Brendan Rodgers. There are a lot of myths surrounding our former manager in my opinion and over the course of this blog I’m going to attempt to shoot them down.
There’s a saying in football that says “you should never go back” but look at the likes of Leon Britton and Alan Curtis. They returned to south Wales after spells away and were arguably even better the second time around. If you still believe that person is good enough to do the job then there’s no reason why it can’t be as good as before.
We now have a much better team on paper than when Rodgers was in charge and look how well we did then. A promotion at Wembley followed by an 11th placed finish beating the likes of Arsenal, Manchester City and Liverpool whilst playing fantastic football that wowed everyone. If you’ve forgotten just how good we were back then just look at Bournemouth’s display at the Liberty the other week, when you saw the team sheet it wouldn’t have worried too many of us but they completely outplayed us just like we did to superior sides with Rodgers at the helm. The only reason they didn’t win was because they were incapable of defending, something that wasn’t true of us under the Northern Irishman.
It can’t be denied that Liverpool were poor at the back under him but we had an excellent defensive record during his previous two year stay here so he can set up to be more conservative. 21 clean sheets in 2010/11 followed by 14 in our first Premier League season is a fantastic record, especially for a newly promoted side. Surely that was at least partly down to him and his staff?
Another perception of Rodgers is that he was only close to winning the league because he had a world class striker in Luis Suarez. But the Uruguayan only scored 15 in 44 league games under Kenny Dalglish compared to 54 in 66 under Rodgers. I assume he takes no credit for getting the best out of him either? Without him Suarez would not have been sold to Barcelona for £75 million. He most probably would either still be at Anfield but not firing like he did under Rodgers or they would’ve got rid of him. They wouldn’t have put up with his antics if his strike rate remained at 1 in 3.
Admittedly after he left Rodgers did find it hard to replicate what he had achieved the year before but that was always going to happen. Finishing 2nd was a huge overachievement plus it wasn’t just Suarez he lost, it was Daniel Sturridge too because he was rarely fit. They’d scored over 50 between them the year before; anyone would have struggled to replace those goals straightaway.
The now infamous transfer committee is another thing that’s gets brought up. This myth might be a bit harder to dispel because no one knows for sure who were his choices and who weren’t , although it’s likely that Joe Allen and Fabio Borini were his as he had both players at the Liberty. Another is likely to be Sturridge who was linked with a move to us a few times. If true these are a mixed bag but all managers have good and bad signings. If he returned to us he’d probably have the last word on players and that wasn’t the case at Anfield.
Look at his record in the transfer market here last time. There were one or two duds like every manager has but Michel Vorm, Scott Sinclair, Wayne Routledge, Danny Graham and Steven Caulker were all shining lights for us. The likes of Caulker and Graham have done nothing since either but Rodgers had them performing at the Liberty.
His man management is renowned for being outstanding (sorry couldn’t resist that!). Steven Gerrard described it in his recent autobiography as “excellent, generous and imaginative.” The ex-Liverpool captain also said his training sessions were “among the best I had ever experienced” and who’s going to argue with a player like him?
These methods really got the best out of our players. Nathan Dyer for example played the best football of his time at the club under Rodgers stewardship. Mark Gower went from underperforming winger to the “most creative player in Europe” for a spell something I still can’t get my head around even now! And if you want to look beyond Swansea he has to take credit for the way he has developed Raheem Sterling from a player no one had heard of to a £50 million pound man.
There will be some members of the Jack Army who don’t want him back purely because he left us the first time around. In his defence though when Liverpool come calling we couldn’t realistically expect him to say no. Managers like players want to test themselves at the highest level they can, plus he made no secret of this desire at all. It’s not like he said he’d have to be kicked out of the club and then moved somewhere like Wigan is it?
No doubt you won’t all agree with what I’ve said and that’s football. One of the reasons it’s the best game in the world is because everyone has an opinion.
But what isn’t in doubt is we have a better squad of players than our league position suggests. For the reasons above I believe Brendan Rodgers is the man to get the best out of us again. He gave us our Premier League dream and he’s man to keep it alive.