The most interesting thing in any managerial departure is to watch the bookies odds the moment a departure is reported and that leads to some rapid movements in the odds.
I know this from personal experience as someone who has been twice listed in the odds for next Swansea manager and was actually reduced in the betting once as someone actually backed me (yes, that really did happen)
Yesterday’s movement though was a clear one and suggests that the reports of us having a replacement lined up were indeed correct. The name of John Eustace saw his odds shorten very rapidly yesterday (Swansea City can be an incredibly leaky ship when people are scrambling for tips like this) and he ended the day as short as 1/5 with some bookies to be named as the Swans new boss.
I will add to this that the very same person who told me about Steve Cooper on Saturday also told me the very same name before I read it elsewhere. And when you read it in the local press then you know it is a story that the club are probably happy to have banded about. So all things point to John Eustace being the next Swans manager, possibly even as soon as today or tomorrow.
41 year old Eustace is currently assistant manager at QPR and has a previous managerial spell at Kidderminster as well as a caretaker spell at QPR under his belt. Rather than reinventing the wheel his managerial career is summed up on his Wiki page
“Following his retirement as a player, Eustace moved into coaching. On 21 April 2016, he was named manager of National League side Kidderminster Harriers, signing a one-year contract until the end of the 2016–17 season. While at the club, Eustace transformed the side’s style of play, with the Harriers being dubbed the “non-league Barcelona”. Eustace led his side to the play-offs in two seasons, as well as the First Round Proper of the FA Cup.
“He left the club on 25 May 2018 to join former manager Steve McClaren at Queens Park Rangers as assistant manager. At QPR, he had a brief spell as caretaker manager in 2019, helping the club avoid relegation from the Championship with 7 points from his 7 games in charge. Following Mark Warburton’s arrival as manager in May 2019, Eustace remained as his assistant and began studying for his UEFA Pro Licence.”
It’s been said that the name of Eustace was on the list when we appointed Cooper and it would be – in some ways as Cooper was – a typical left field appointment from a club who has done the same thing multiple times over the years.
His credentials to play football appears to be there (although it is at non league level) and he did keep QPR up with that run at the end of the 18/19 season. His appointment will come with cries of “us doing the cheap option” or “would have preferred Eddie Howe” but we have to have some level of acceptance as to who we are, where we are and also just how much money we have available in our proverbial pot.
A few weeks back I talked about some synergies with our last promotion winning teams. We had three years in the Championship, a nice pretty one under Roberto where our defensive frailties were plain to see, one where we tightened up under Paulo Sousa where we were dull to watch and one where Brendan – a left field appointment – led us to the promised land.
We know about Potter, we know about Cooper, maybe John Eustace is just the man who can put it all together? Time will tell if, or indeed when, we appoint him to take the helm.