So here we go again. It’s been the shortest summer I can remember and August 4th does seem very early to start the new season, but the greatest game in the world is officially back as the Swans play their first Championship game since 2011 at Sheffield United on Saturday.
Until the last few days I haven’t really felt that excited for it, which is very rare for me. A combination of enjoying the World Cup (apart from every time England got mentioned) and the fact we’ve been very slow in the transfer market were probably the major factors behind that but now we’ve added a few players I feel a bit more optimistic about the next nine months.
It was always going to be a slow transfer market thanks to the goings on in Russia as well as the fact that we were going to have to reduce our wage bill before we made any major moves. It was beginning to get frustrating until we added a couple of players this week and I’d be surprised if we’re not busy up until the transfer window shuts next week.
This will no doubt help us going forward, but make no mistake about it, this is a long term project. As fans we have to be patient this season and not expect an immediate return to the Premier League. So much damage has been done over the past couple of years that it can’t be corrected overnight.
It will take a few transfer windows for Graham Potter to have the squad he wants. The most encouraging thing we should take at this stage is that he is in charge of recruitment and is targeting the positions that have needed strengthening for some time and is looking to fill those voids with young and hungry players.
We still have players to ship out, Jordan Ayew Sam Clucas and Fede Fernandez have been linked with moves and with us now well stocked in the wide positions there will hopefully be a couple of departures there.
In terms of weaknesses in the squad we need reinforcements in central midfield, centre back, left back and up front all we look light in terms of numbers and I have my doubts that we have a goalkeeper of sufficient quality between the sticks.
I doubt we will do all the business we want but that’s fine. The most important thing is I believe we are moving in the right direction again and after the short term approach of recent seasons it’s refreshing to see us change tack.
For me there’s plenty to look forward to in the Championship. The novelty of the Premier League has worn off since we started to struggle. This term we can look forward to visiting grounds we haven’t been to for a while, the club to their credit have kept away ticket prices at £20, there’s more to play for rather than playing for 17th every year and the league as a whole can be refreshingly unpredictable.
Speaking of predictions which is always a dangerous game, I think we’ll be in mid-table which won’t do us any harm and I will happily accept that. I just hope we see more entertaining football as it’s become very boring at the Liberty. We only scored 28 goals last season, that total needs to be more than doubled this term.
So here’s to the next nine months of joy and despair. See you at Bramall Lane on Saturday!