A case of careful what you wish for

I have kept my opinion on hoping a club like Crystal Palace would take Steve Cooper off our hands along with any compensation involved in recent weeks, mainly down to many weeks of ruminating over and over again what I believe would be the best solution for the club as far as maintaining stability and progress is concerned, and the facet of longevity that all football clubs crave for but very little get. The nature of the beast unfortunately in this instant ‘fix’ world we live in that includes short term thought processes for so many fans.

With no parachute payments next season there is no doubt that players, whoever they may be, Roberts, Cabango, Lowe etc., will be offloaded, while even though the salary of the departed Andre Ayew will no doubt help the monthly wage bill, that lack of investment in a proven goalscorer last January yet again indicates the lack of any real investment from our owners. There are very few guarantees in football recruitment and that can be seen in the Hourihane loan which at first brought success but soon frittered out.

Losing a player let alone a head coach to a club further up the football chain, even when financial compensation is involved is very little a club our size can do about, while retaining the same coach, who on paper has had remarkable success with limited funding or backing from the club’s owners is the easy decision to make. But do we honestly feel that keeping somebody you know and hoping that gaining more experience would be more beneficial than stepping back into the recruitment minefield to be the better option.

Julian Winter possesses a fair number of years experience as a Chief Executive when it comes to manager / head coach recruitment is concerned and was involved with the hiring of German David Wagner during his time at Huddersfield Town and although he gained the club promotion via the Play Offs to the PL his style of playing the game will not the suite the call by many of our fans to a return of the Roberto / Rogers modus operandi.

While Cooper’s tactics, tactical decision making continued to be puzzling, let alone the ‘shithouse’ method of defending what you have through to the final whistle, the underlying situation the club is in, especially bearing in mind how much the financial side will take a large hit next season (no longer any parachute payments, would it be more of persevering if you can, with what you have rather than wishing you can get somebody in who will return the club to a far more aesthetic style of play that not only created an identity but drew plaudits from fans across the football pyramid.

Comparisons with John Hollins’s style of play are spot on and it didn’t take long for the rot to set in during that era after a championship winning season was followed by very little investment. Extremely fine margins exist between success and failure and whilst the Hollins era initially brought success what followed was a downward cycle that was only resolved via a final match victory that preserved the club’s Football League status and a CVA that enabled the club to operate as a financial company. Far bigger football clubs than ours have fallen foul of believing that a change in manager / head coach or even its owners is the answer to it’s many problems.

I am not a fan of our owners let alone Steve Cooper, far from it, but having been a part of the Jackarmy for many decades, witnessing so many rollercoaster moments, I have tried to look at both sides of a discussion had by many clubs’ fanbase when opinions are given over what they felt was best for their club.  



  • The margins are very fine Colin, you're right. Although, I'm a firm believer that if you approach every match with a goal threat and the intention of creating 10 good chances a match, you'll win more games than you lose.

    Cooper has his own way of doing it, there's no doubt about that, but imo the way he does it makes those margins even tighter. When you are reliant on one player (Ayew) to score the bulk of your goals and keeping clean sheets, then it doesn't take much for those margins to start going against you on a more regular basis. Guehi has already gone back to Chelsea, Cabango is one of only two or three saleable assets, he could go. Ayew, as we know, has gone.

    All of a sudden, Cooper's gameplan starts to look very wobbly.

    Of course, we can't rule out Cabango staying, and you never know, we might get Guehi back again, and sign/loan a 20 goal striker. I seriously doubt all that will happen, but you never know.

    What I do know is if that happens, then we can just expect more of the same. Some people will be ok with handing over £20 a pop for that. Some people - myself included - will say no thanks, I'd rather watch paint dry.

    I'm still hopeful someone out there is dull enough to part with the compensation cheque for him, and all parties can move on. I'd give the job to Rangel with Leon as No 2, and back them as much as we can in the market. At least we'd have some fun, and God knows in these times we could all do with some of that.

  • I’d back any manager or player who wants to be brave on the ball get it down and entertain.win some lose some that’s always been my philosophy.without investment we’re never going to compete for top 2 so let’s get young hungry athletic players in and manager who wants them go out and express themselves and I for one would be back paying my money happily to watch them.

  • gary,

    we can only summize what actual financial / decision making our owners dictate to Julian Winter whether it be player budget or other expanses, but the one thing we know for a fact when Birch was our CEO is that he wouldn't travel to the US a second time for a meeting with our owners after an initial meeting saw a failure of our owners to actually turn up!

    Leon will be well versed in our owners actual intent / input and who is to know that the real reason he walked away from his role on the football side was a perceived failure by our owners to be on the same wave length as Leon in the manner in which the playing side of the club was addressed.

    There is no doubt a Leon and Angel partnership would be a dream in many fans' eyes while whoever is employed after Cooper will lean heavily on Winter's philosophy of how the game should be played.

  • SC has earned the right to make his decision on staying or going, but as I have said it just must be made by mid-June. If it delayed after that date I personally will be very critical of SC, the owners and Mr Winter, because we will never really know why a decision was delayed, but they all must know that is as long as the club can wait for an absolute commitment for next season.

    So whether SC is staying or going, do it know and say so publically, we really can't afford to mess up this off season and be late to the party again for signing players. Something we cannot realistically do until our manager for next season is absolutely certain.

  • edited June 2

    The eternal quandary.Like Colin I have spent decades as a follower,but I suspect not so many years as regular attendee at games when I spent the time following the kids in their sporting and other competetive activities.Also at times the football didn't warrant the cost when resources were needed for other things.

    Over these years for me there have been four ,for want of a better phrase ,'lightning strikes' where the Club was on the crest of a wave both on the pitch and in it's reputation as a football club.

    The Toshack,Martinez,Rodgers and briefly Laudrup eras did this for me,although throughout my years the Swans were always regarded as a'footballing' side,these particular periods were obviously exceptional.

    Most of the disappointment here this season over playing style has been directed back to the recent times we so enjoyed starting with Martinez.The question is given the rarity of these happy times over the years,how feasible is it expect another such period any time soon,and how easy will it be to recapture it.

    No choice really--you have to go for it,and not necessarily by excessively splashing the cash in a way that puts the Club at risk.The enthusiasm for that can only come from the Owners,as it did,giving them their due, from Jenkins and his co directors,and Malcolm Struel in the '70's.

    No confidence at all from me that our current owners are in that bracket.Echoing Colin's thoughts, significant to me was Trevor Birch moving out rather unexpectedly, and Leon also moving away .

    We were at Wembley on Saturday,no presence by the Owners,and I read no statements from them before or after.The conclusions are pretty obvious to me,the Club appears to be just another part of a portfolio,and a minor one at that.

    Hopefully I will be proved wrong.

  • The thing is £10m was put in by Jake Silverstien which was to be matched by Kaplan, pretty sure Levien doesn't have that type of money, this was put in as convertible equity and at the time when the value of the club would have been about £20m, if my theory and maths is right then Silverstien owns roughly 40% of the club, Kaplan similar and the rest, including the Trust perhaps as little as 10% between them, I know the Trust are looking at the legalities but without JS's lumper, we would have been screwed.

    I have always said I'd prefer us to be sustainable, most others call for investment but there is no such thing as a free lunch.

  • So do you think that Coopers request for a forward in January (which was refused), was Cooper’s fault? The same copper that managed to get a goal a every other game from Brewster? So maybe it’s not Cooper that’s the issue, or his style... it’s him having his hands tied when we could all see what was lacking. And the CF he wanted? Well he would have cost us £2.5 million... but owners refused and flew in 2 American unknowns. Their gamble didn’t work, And now it’s come back to bite them. But that’s the problem with spread investors... they gamble on one big win. They will be okay losing money on us as long as another investment pays dividends

  • Silverstein is someone we need to keep an eye on with this our club. In a positive way

  • Great post @Colin_swansea - and I think you lay out very clearly the horns of the dilemma we are currently facing - do we stick or twist?

    Not wanting to be a Richard - but I couldn't figure out from your post whether you personally are a twister or a sticker?

    For the record I am a twister (like we do most summers)!

  • @chatz - see what you are saying - but a couple of issues.

    First we did sign a striker for this season Gyokores - who is from a premier league club and full international for a proper football nation. unfortunately it did nothing of what it said on the tin - Who identified this one? Cooper, Scott, the owners? if Gyokores had been half a player and stayed for the whole season things might have been very different.

    Also (I know I am the other side of the pond and have more access to the MLS) but Morris and Arriola are not unknowns in any sense of world football. Morris has 39 caps and 10 goals and Arriola 35 caps and 8 goals for the USA National team, who are ranked 22nd in World football and have got out of the group stages at world cup finals multiple times.

    The issue was that they were players of the exact type we already had and were a big gamble to fit culturally and adapt to the competitive nature of championship football. I think it is clear that the ownership have to take responsibility for this ill fated venture.

    On a general note we have seen big teams play very successfully without a striker through choice. Bear with the comparison - because we are plainly NOT Manchester City OR Barcelona. However, they have set up very well with a false 9 (Ayew?) and passed the ball with pace and accuracy through the thirds - with the attacking midfielders and fullbacks causing overloads in attacking areas.

    What they did not do was put David Silva or Messi up top and play like you have Keiffer Moore.

    In a nutshell my biggest beef with Steve Cooper.

  • @Jackareme

    the difference in being a twister this summer is that we have a new CEO involved with manager / head coach recruitment who would no doubt recommend a replacement for Cooper should he move on to our owners. I can remember him as a player for Huddersfield Town but what we don't know is what his philosophy on the way the game should be played and what our actual identity was that brought the club success.

  • Copper did not ask for or want the two Americans... he give his target and his request was refused.

  • Still cant figure out whether you are a sticker or twister @Colin_swansea ?

    Yes @chatz I agree - just pointing out that the two Americans were not unknowns as per your original post.

  • @Jackareme ,

    my huge concern revolve round an unknown in the guy(Winter) regarding his capability in replacing Cooper effectively. A number of managers' names have been bandied about already and while we don't have the finance perhaps to engage Eddie Howe, would we pay compo for likes of Martin, Appleton or Robinson or engage somebody not attached to a club. Sadly, only when names are announced officially will we have an inkling of Winter's brief.

  • Iff Morris hadn’t got injured things might have been different.that was just jolly bad luck old bean!

  • If you'd cared to read several of my recent posts properly Chatz, I've been very critical of the January window. I believe the owners interfered there, not for the first time, by landing Cooper with 2 players he didn't want, presumably because they wanted to help out an old mate back in Uncle Sam.

    That said, Cooper has been afforded far more backing in general terms than Potter was. He's had loan after loan after loan - good quality loans, for the most part, from PL academies - ushered through, and he was allowed two years of working with a £90k a week forward playing a division below his ability. Potter was afforded nowhere near the same level of resources. Yet delivered far better football.

    On balance, Cooper has very little to complain about, and there's certainly no excuse for the regular eyeball-bleaching performances he's served up over 2 seasons.

  • Let’s be fair sc has done a fantastic job and has enhanced his reputation.but so has Sam alladyce nei warnock Tony pullis top top managers but would you want to watch their football week in week out!

  • Sc could be another aidy boothroyd time will tell

  • Wow a future in politics awaits for you @Colin_swansea - would you personally stick or twist given what we know right now?

  • What does Mr Winter know about the history and requirements of Swansea, nothing. He may well have his own views which he doubtless rates highly, but so do all people in his position, however the reality is that is very different from what Swansea requires and demands as a club.

    Its very easy to sit on the fence, 12 days and counting before a final decision is required and then we will see if Mr Winter can choose a real manager for Swansea or will just find someone he knows and the owners approve of.

  • i just hope he doesn’t go for the cheap option and give it to Alan Tate!

  • I think the cheap option is Toshack and Waggy - and NOT necessarily the worst decision either if you want to connect an academy with a first team.

  • @Jackareme ,

    "Its very easy to sit on the fence, 12 days and counting before a final decision is required and then we will see if Mr Winter can choose a real manager for Swansea or will just find someone he knows and the owners approve of."

    This is what really concerns me as I have seen it happen many times when managers leave and the replacement turns out to be worse than what we had. We don't know Winter's philosophy and until then for me it's the devil(Cooper) you know, despite my many criticisms of him.

  • Isn’t David Wagner out of work,could be a good shout

  • edited June 3


    Regarding the 'devil you know' stance , I can't see the argument that it's because we don't yet know Winter's philosophy. We will never know Winter's philosophy until he is involved in appointing a replacement and, even then, we may not know how much the USA have interfered or contributed to the decision. Also, the proof is in the pudding and , whatever the club say about the new manager's favoured style of play or his philosophy, it's only a while after the event that we really find out.

    I hate the term 'be careful what you wish for' in any context, and I don't go along with the devil you know approach either, it's like accepting second best. Life's too short and my personal philosophy on football is not to play things safe - let's have some innovation, excitement and adventure in the way we play.

    If Steve Cooper leaves, let's make an appointment which will put smiles on our faces, and I'd favour going continental. I really don't mind a risky appointment. I'm in that kind of mood.


  • to a certain extent I tend to agree with you but we are entering a season with no parachute payments, hence little finance, and despite my reservations about much of his decision making and tactics, for me there is more of a gamble to bring in a replacement than what there would be in keeping him.

    Extremely fine lines between success and failure in sport and yes we all want to come away with a smile on our faces but perhaps your dislike in accepting being second best can be attributed to the owners of the likes of Forest, Derby, Sheff. Wednesday and look at the mess they have made in their quest for a return to the Premier League over the last dozen seasons.

    If we had the same mathematic modelling methods inside the Liberty as Brentford or Barnsley possess when appointing relatively unknowns like Thomas Frank, Valerian Ishmael or Gerhard Struber that unknown quantity would be looked at in a different light but until then we will have to wait to see who Winter engages should Cooper leave.

  • Thomas Frank wasn't relatively unknown when he was appointed head coach , he had been at the club for some time after being joint assistant coach to Dean Smith .

    He had time as Brondby manager where he was successful .

    He had a lot of experience of coaching and management , was a good fit for Brentford .

  • edited June 6

    The question is what process did they follow to appoint their manager. I can reasonably predict they already knew who the were going to appoint, otherwise why was he assistant coach already?

    Who is our assistant coach ready to take over?

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