So we’ve finally been put out of our misery this afternoon as Graham Potter has been confirmed as Brighton’s new manager, leaving the Swans behind after just under a year in charge.
It’s difficult to look at this news and think it’s anything other than a disaster for Swansea City.
The manager’s remit over the last year has been to bring through youngsters while the club sell off all assets, ensure the team remains competitive and to bring back the style of play that brought us our success in the first place.
Potter managed to do all of this, and there was a feeling that while he was in charge, we would be able to still compete regardless of any obstacles that had to be overcome.
We can’t be too sure that will be the case now.
As for Potter I have to admit I understand his decision whilst of course being extremely disappointed. Any manager would have been tempted to go and work for a far better owner than what we have, probably on more money, in a better division and with significantly more funds to mould his own team.
The club say they offered him a new deal and gave him certain assurances over squad strengthening but after the way we conducted ourselves on the previous two deadline days he can be forgiven for having doubts on whether that was true or not.
With a £30 million shortfall to recover it is inevitable that players will have to be sold, and if we continue to do so without replacing any of them, then this club will be struggling at the wrong end of the Championship next season.
Potter’s stock wouldn’t be as high if that was the case and has he decided it wasn’t a risk worth taking.
Who replaces him is an enormous decision and one we can’t afford to get wrong. There are questions that need answering, will Trevor Birch now be responsible for drawing up a shortlist and ultimately deciding who that is or will Jason Levien and Steve Kaplan be calling the shots? Will the philosophy of the manager even matter anymore? Will it be all about results rather than style of play? Most importantly can we trust them to get it right? I can’t be the only one who has doubts on that one.
There are no names that stand out for me. Cameron Toshack isn’t an exciting appointment, but if we want to keep the style of play which runs throughout the club then there are worse moves than promoting from within. Especially as he’s coached many of the players currently in the first team set up. It would be a gamble though.
Chris Coleman will inevitably get linked because he’s out of work but that one is unlikely. He’s always said he doesn’t want the job and his stock is considerably lower than it was 18 months ago.
You can rule out anyone who would require a large salary, so the likes of Tony Pulis will thankfully be nowhere the thoughts of those that count at the Liberty.
I’d like to see us go down the obscure route like Norwich did with Daniel Farke. Find a manager who shares our philosophy and is looking for an opportunity, who in turn will know certain overseas transfer markets well, allowing us to steal a march on our rivals.
It’s easier said than done to find that person and Huw Jenkins was very good at identifying the right man for this club. This is the one thing we will miss now he’s gone, but for those who say “better the devil you know,” don’t forget it’s because of him and the others that we are in this mess in the first place. The numerous bad decisions of the sellouts and hedge fund have done huge damage to our club and we will be paying for it for years to come.
If we’d not overspent and left ourselves with such a gaping hole in our finances there’s a possibility we may have been able to back Potter in the transfer market and that may have been enough to convince him to stay.
But instead we’re searching for yet another manager and hoping that any chance of success in the short and long term future of the club hasn’t departed with him.