I, for one, will certainly not be sad to see the back of this transfer window or the summer as a whole from a footballing perspective. A long drawn out managerial saga, the loss of several key players from the past two seasons, a slow start to the season and one of the busiest deadline days I can remember. Put all of that together and it was the summer that we certainly didn’t want.
Would you class the Swans transfer window as a success?
- No (49%, 62 Votes)
- Yes (51%, 65 Votes)
Total Voters: 127
As the calendar turns to September though we can finally take a breather and assess the “storm damage” of the summer and Russell Martin can wake up this morning and take a look around his squad and know that this is the hand he has to play for the next four months at least.
The new manager was always up against it when he was appointed a week before the season started. Much of the damage by that point had been done and he was coming into a squad already devoid of the likes of Andre Ayew, Marc Guehi, Conor Hourihane and Freddie Woodman who had played such a key part in our team for the past two years – or in the case of Hourihane six months.
He was additionally hampered by the injury to Connor Roberts and Jay Fulton’s suspension so is it really any wonder that we have started the season in such poor form. The old manager knew the moment the final whistle was blown at Wembley he was off and that led to a summer of speculation. Cooper knew he was going, Swansea City knew he was going but both parties believed he would be appointed elsewhere, the Swans would get their compensation and we would all move on. However, nobody had bargained for the fact that nobody wanted Cooper. Palace sort of did but they didn’t really, Fulham showed some level of interest but didn’t think he was worth the compensation and eventually we agreed a mutual parting of the ways. Just way too late and the damage was done in terms of the time it gave the new manager.
At the second – or was it third? – attempt we finally got Russell Martin and we knew that this season would be a transitional one. Martin has a clear view on how he wants the team to play and it will take time for us to get there. His additions in his short time here will help towards that whilst he needs to work with the others he has here to make them remember that football is a game about attacking and scoring goals. A tactic we have been devoid of for a couple of years.
The manager will be delighted we have managed to secure some new signings for him in the window – Paterson, Laird, Obafemi, Downes, Williams and the soon to be announced Oliver Ntcham – are all players we will see much of this season. He will be equally delighted that we have managed to retain the services of Matt Grimes. Make no mistake this is what he wanted to happen and he will see that as good as a new signing in his eyes as he was a huge fan of the captain and no doubt he will continue to chip away at an extended stay.
Two late departures yesterday saw both Connor Roberts and Jamal Lowe depart. Lowe – it seems relatively clear – was not first choice in the managers plans and appears to have been potentially upgraded for Obafemi whilst there had to be one notable sale and if it wasn’t Grimes then Roberts was always next in line. Russell Martin knew that and Ethan Laird was already here as the potential replacement and that has been proven to be the case.
The manager now has a ten day window in which to work with his side with an added bonus that the team is not decimated through international call ups. Things could look very different come September 11th when we next play again.
I have to stop short at calling the transfer window a success. We are a considerably weaker squad on paper than the one that was given to Steve Cooper last season. But we are a club paying the prices for Cooper’s two play off defeats and the loss of the growth in income that a place in the Premier League would have given.
We are a club paying the price for the way that the summer materialised and Cooper’s failure to land the jobs he so much desired. A club that pays the price for waiting for the compensation and the change only happening a week before the season starts.
That now though is all behind us and we have to move on. We have a total summer additions that – on top of those above – include Joel Piroe and Liam Walsh making a total of eight additions to the squad, 6 of which were choices of the manager and one who has scored four goals under him already. That shouldn’t be ignored when we look back on our summer of ‘discontent’
For Russell Martin the hard work on one aspect is now complete, he moves solely to the training pitches of Landore and Fairwood to continue his hard work but he now does it with a squad that he was left with and one that he made his additions to and, from here on in, it is the results on the pitch that will judge him as he continues his transition of Swansea City.