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Home Opinion The summer we didn't imagine but the one that we were delivered...

The summer we didn’t imagine but the one that we were delivered – how was it for you?

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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

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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.

 

 

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3 COMMENTS

  1. Generally balanced analysis but a disgraceful, even poisonous perspective of Cooper’s role. ‘We are paying the price for Cooper’s two play off defeats’. Make no mistake this ‘failure’ last season was entirely due to the owners completely bonkers decision to bring in two unproven, unfit and crocked American players when what we and Cooper desperately needed was a proven centre forward. Cooper did remarkably well to reach consecutive plays-offs with a pretty average squad helped by the quality input from Ayew. And I should add that Steve Cooper is today still held in very high regard at Liverpool FC.

    You are also placing an awful lot of faith in Russell Martin and his ‘playing style’. Let’s face it he achieved only modest success with MKD and at his age is very much on a steep learning curve. I desperately hope he succeeds and is given the time to do so, before he inevitably moves onto bigger things. Gone are the days of Laudrup and the likes at SCFC – now we pin all our hopes onto a League One rookie manager and distant, wilful owners who demonstrate time and time again no ambition for the club other than to be a business practice which generates income for them and their shareholders. This is where your ire should be directed – not at Steve Cooper.

    • I think on this one Blyuswan you need to read it again but with a slightly different mindset. The article isn’t and wasn’t a dig at Cooper. We lost two play off campaigns that we would have wanted to win. Ergo they were failures. The season’s were not a failure as we spent most of them in and around the top six but ultimately we didn’t get the desired result. The desired result would no doubt have left us in a different position not just with the loan players maybe wanting /able to stay but with the pot of money that we needed as we owned a threadbare squad. It was a gamble tactic used by manager/owners to get us back in the Premier League whilst using the parachute payments to balance the books. It failed.

      That’s no dig at anyone just a simple fact of life. We did have an average squad you are right for two years but you want to absolve the manager of blame for that in the same way you are asking me not to. Everyone is culpable, collective blame for a gamble that didn’t work. Or in other words, it failed.

  2. Steve Cooper was a good coach/manager for Swansea, but the bottom line is that he didn’t want to stay – he wanted to move to ‘bigger things’ while his stock was high. We also have to ask, did he have enough confidence in himself to re-build his squad? There was far too much reliance on loan players and Ayew, who, although a good player, was bleeding the club financially.
    A rookie from league one? Remember, Roberto Martinez was a rookie player/coach at Chester City when he took the Swansea reins – and started a project which culminated in Michael Laudrup, Premier League, a major trophy and Europe! It’s all about belief in a project, and the desire and courage to stick with it (unlike the alternative of trying to buy success – short termism)
    Time will tell if this is the right move for Swansea, but with the belief, courage and patience of the fans, I think the outcome will be good. I remember, in Roberto’s early tenure, losing 6-3 at home to Blackpool in a cracking game of football – all of our successes with the Swansea Way followed.
    So, Swansea City is on the right track, in safe hands with Russel Martin and Mark Allen. And the fans can assist the process with patience, courage, patience, belief, patience, desire and more patience – and we WILL reap the rewards. STID

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Phil Sumblerhttp://www.planetswans.co.uk
Been watching the Swans since the very late 1970s and running the Planet Swans website (in all its current and previous guises since the summer of 2001 As it stood JackArmy.net was right at the forefront of some of the activity against Tony Petty back in 2001, breaking many of the stories of the day as fans stood against the actions where the local media failed. Was involved with the Swans Supporters Trust from 2005, for the large part as Chairman before standing down in the summer of 2020.

Swansea City v Hull City, EFL Championship

 

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