The defeat last night had the “boo-boys” and the “I told you so” people rubbing their hands and typing as fast as they could on any forum and lists related to Swansea City that gave them access.
From the outset, I would like to say that I was one who applauded Flynn’s appointment and although I would have preferred someone like Corny as his assistant, I also admire people like Flynn who are loyal to their right hand men.
My reasons for my delight were his promises to use his connections to find talented players, his Wrexham teams were quick and fit and he had great experience in the bottom Divisions (culminating in 3 great seasons for Wrexham fans when they nearly got into the 2nd Div play offs on poor gates and small budgets).
Lots of fans wanted Addison to stay/come back but these were the same ones who, as soon as Addison’s tea cup had been dumped in the washbowl, were screaming as loud as they could that Cusack was the man and no other manager could be considered. How wrong they were.
It’s now almost exactly the same people who are shouting for Flynn’s head and touting names like…..wait for it……Molby (succeeded but then failed with us before he was fired), Corny (I respect the guy to pieces but he’d be a No 2 here until he had another 3 to 5 years experience), Burrows (sacked for failing here and hasn’t been a Manager since 1995) and last but not least, Andrew Melville.
Why Melville I asked? The reply – he was a cracking player, tough as nails, loves Swansea and has played at the top level.
So, if that’s a qualification for being a good manager, why’s Tony Adams (who played at a far higher level and under far better Managers/coaches) failing to inspire Wycombe?
Why wasn’t Chopper Harris appointed instead of Ron Greenwood? Why wasn’t Vinnie Jones chosen instead of Mark Hughes?
I’m sorry but we’ve gone down the road of “he loves the Swans so should be great, mun” and it doesn’t work. It didn’t just fail but it almost cost us our League status. Is this the sort of risk we should be taking?
Also, 10 years in the Premier and Div 1 is hardly great preparation for Div 3 football is it? It’s like asking someone who’s driven a Mercedes all their lives what it is like to drive a Toyota!
If you look at the managers that are available, there are a lot of managers whose names stand out but what can they offer SCFC and what do we need anyway?
We need someone who can build for the future. I’m only 34 but I’m already looking forward to a period of stability for the Swans. The Board understand this and are showing great ambition whilst at the same time, investing in the present. I looked at the managers who’ve lasted the longest at their respective Clubs last night and Dario Gradi (Crewe), Fergie (ManUre) and Sir Bobby were there at the top.
All of them were failures at one point with their present Clubs and had their boo-boys had their way, these managers would have been gone a long time ago. These managers (and more on the list) are good managers and their Board have been intelligent enough to give them more time when results went against them.
Now, before you start typing in messages to the Guestbook slagging me off, take a look at the names below of the Top 16 Managers (based on length of service with their present Club) and you might get the picture.
When Flynn came in, he stated that he wanted to keep us up. After that, he said he would build for the future and the Play-Offs were where they hoped to finish at the end of this season.
Now, when you consider the RUBBISH that he inherited and got rid of (most of which are near the bottom of the League of Wales now), you have to understand the building job he had to do. It’s not as simple as Championship Manager 2 where your players gel immediately or injuries are kept at an average, this is real life and luck can be with you or against you.
I think every one of us will agree that our superb start to the season finished when Martinez got injured, then Maylett, Connolly, then Trundle and also, to a lesser extent, Thomas. Trundle was banned, then injured again. Players of massive potential (Wilson and Nardiello) failed to cover the gaps, although their pedigree suggested they would be a success.
This break in form was hard to recover from and although Martinez, Trundle and Maylett returned, they weren’t the players they were and the rest of the team was lacking in confidence. Also, the initial surprise that the Swans were good again wore off as other teams took notice, gave us respect, did their homework and didn’t expect 3 points every time they played us.
Had we been luckier and the injuries come at different times, I’m convinced we would be in the Top 7 now. But we weren’t lucky and that’s football….that’s life!
Please don’t misunderstand me – I don’t think Flynn’s perfect. Why he chose a lop-sided 4-3-3 formation week after week (very predictable) baffled me. Why the players look a yard off the pace is something I can’t comprehend either but have you thought who we’d have playing for us now had Flynn not performed a miracle last season?
I simply cannot emphasise the size of the task Flynn had. To get rid of 20+ players and then bring in 20+ of a standard guaranteed to give us Play Off form at the end of last season was miraculous!
When with Wrexham, he took over a team that was bottom, finished mid table the season after and then finished 2nd behind Card**f the season after that.
Were their fans grateful? Is this failure? Would failing to go up or get in the Play Offs this season be a failure after the previous 7 years we’ve had to endure?
We had SHARPEGATE – Doug Sharpe’s asset stripping.
Then THOMPSONGATE – Michael Thompson’s period of insanity.
Then SHARPEGATE II – the return of the bankrupt BFD!
Then SILVERGATE – 9th Floor (Silver Shield) promising 5 years of promotion.
Then ADAMSGATE – the Mickey Adams debacle.
Then CORKGATE – the boring Cork era.
Then HOLLINSGATE – Hollins took us to new lows of entertainment. (I know…his team was promoted but he was barking mad!)
TWATGATE – Mike Lewis (80k a year plus a Jaguar in Div 3!!!!!) destroying anything left from the previous attempts to kill us off.
SCUMGATE – Tony PETTY – that’s enough to set a Club back 10 years!
BOGATE – Bo Eklund trying to take control!
HE’S-A-JACK-GATE – Cusack’s nightmare at the helm!
Finally, the ship has been steadied and although I think the Board have made mistakes, I don’t think any of us are in a position to criticise considering the above list of disasters. If short term risks to try and get promotion were taken (without personal guarantees from Directors) then it would have been mad considering the financial position we’d previously been in.
The long term picture for me is far more encouraging as I believe that Flynn’s only halfway through his building process.
I’d get rid of Connolly (who could have done well if not always injured), Thomas, Nugent, either Coates or Johnrose (or offer them pay as you play contracts) or both, Murphy, Freestone (coaching job if there’s really need for one and he’s qualified to do it – otherwise it’s thanks but bye bye), Hylton (too injury prone) and Byrne. I’m undecided about Maylett.
I would bring in an experienced keeper and maybe a local youngster (low wages) for cover.
I’d bring in a hard, tough tacking centre half to play next to Tate and give Izzy something to think about. O’Leary’s had a far better season than usual and been far more consistent so he’d be given another year by me.
I’d bring in a solid, experienced 25+ right back and the same for the left. Howard can cover.
I’d bring in a Martin Thomas (but with more skill) tough tackling type into midfield next to Roberto. Johnrose might have been the man 3 or 4 years ago.
I’d bring in a NATURAL left winger.
I’d bring in two experienced strikers to push Trundle and Connor.
So that totals about nine out and nine in to join Tate, Izzy, Jones, Howard, O’Leary, Robinson (Player of the Year for me), Martinez, Leon, Stu Robs, Trundle and Connor. Again, I’m undecided about Maylett.
When you add fringe players like Rewbury and others, this might just be enough to win promotion but maybe more depth is needed if Flynn can pick up some crackers (he’s good at that!) who aren’t looking for big money.
Now’s the time to see what the fringe players can do as they won’t develop unless they’re given the chance to impress. The chance of promotion this season is almost over now and given the performance last night of several regulars, I’m sure the youngsters would do no worse.
So, we’ve come a long way in one year but it hasn’t been for f-all. We’ve got more of a backbone to the team and although Flynn’s made mistakes, I can’t think of anyone better who could do his job and willing/able to manage in Division 3.
Fellow Swans fans, our next game is going to have a gate of less than 5,000 and I’m sure that we all expected more after our superb start but PLEASE, like we did last season, get behind the players from the kick off. No booing, no screaming but genuine encouragement for the team and manager. If it fails to spark a win then at least you can say you tried once more.
We all love Swansea City – much more than most of the players will ever do – so let’s support them until the end of the season and see what the Board decide to do.
If you’ve ever written Swansea Til I Die, you’ll be there on Saturday.
If you’ve ever written Swansea Til I Die, you will back the team and management for 90 minutes.
We’re Swans fans…….we’re special…….let’s not forget that.
Thanks to those who took the time to read this.