For the first time in a long time, the Jack Army have a reason to be optimistic about the future. The club has agreed personal terms with Graham Potter, the Östersunds FK boss, after both clubs agreed a compensation package rumoured to be around £700,000.
In truth, this was a move that was desperately needed, as it has been in reality at least three seasons since Swans fans had any real reason to shout about – that is besides the anger aimed at the owners and board!
Having spent the majority of the 2017/2018 season near the bottom of the Premier League, it was no surprise really when the club were eventually relegated. What was perhaps surprising was that they managed to stave off relegation for so long, given the club’s managerial merry-go-round and poor transfer dealings.
Understandably, the fans were upset and they took it out on the owners. Many fans have questioned the ambitions of the club and have berated the team from abandoning their expansive, possessive style under Roberto Martinez and Brendan Rogers that saw them promoted to the Premier League via the play-offs in 2011.
The belief is that Swansea City lost its way and in many ways, the club’s relegation result proves the right. But at least with the appointment of Potter, there seem to be a new wave of optimism in the air.
To many, Potter is another unknown manager saddle with the burden of finding what works. However, for those who followed Potter’s work with Östersunds FK, they will realize that Swansea may have found the person capable of restoring them to the good, old days.
He won 3 promotions with Östersunds FK, guiding them from the regional tiers of Swedish football to the top-flight Allsvenskan. He also won the Swedish Cup last season. To whom better will a team needing rebuilding and hoping to bounce back to the elite division turn to?
What makes this even more impressive is the manner in which he achieved this – playing possession-based, expansive, football with great tactical flexibility. That was how Swansea was once described – a model club in so many ways.
True, Potter did not exactly have a spectacular playing career, with Birmingham City, Southampton, Stoke City and West Bromwich Albion being the most highest level clubs he played for, but his career was still decent and we all know that sometimes, the best players don’t necessarily make the best managers.
The fact of the matter is that Potter achieved some outstanding results and performances last season, particularly Östersunds 2-1 win over Arsenal at the Emirates.
They knocked out Turkish giants, Galatasary in the second qualifying round, earning applause from even the volatile Galatasary fans.
They also impressed again in their 2-2 draw against Athletic Bilbao in the group stage, and were only denied a last-gasp equaliser from the Spaniards.
There are other things about him that make him outstanding. His intelligence, a previous connection with Swansea and an unconventional way of doing things.
Having retired at the age of just 31, Solihull born Potter sought further education and earned a Master’s degree in Emotional Intelligence. He eventually started a coaching career and was a regular visitor to Swansea, where he observed Martinez laying the blueprint for Swansea.
During this period, he formed a friendship with Graeme Jones, then Roberto’s first team assistant at Swansea, whom was a personal friend of Östersunds chairman Daniel Kindberg.
Potter was originally offered a role in Swansea’s youth set-up, but decided to take up the challenge of guiding Östersund FK to Sweden’s top division. The rest they say is history.
There is perhaps no better time to appoint Potter than now that the club is relegated. This means he can build a side without the pressure of instant results and create something powerful in the long term.
With such a shrewd appointment, it is little wonder that Bet Bonus Code and many other tipsters are backing the Swans for a quick return to the Premier League.
Of course, Potter has to be given time to create his own team and get the team playing his way, but that will take time so patience will be key with fans and owners alike.
Although the Swans have taken a step backwards with relegation, it is an opportunity for the club to start again and the appointment of Potter at the helm makes the future not so glum.
The Swans may have finally discovered the man to lead them back to playing the ‘Swansea Way’ and a return to the Premier League one day.