Swansea’s new manager
Brendan Rodgers‘ impending departure to Anfield has heavily increased Swansea’s chances for relegation next season despite the £7 million signing of Gylfi Sigurdsson from Hoffenheim. As chairman Huw Jenkins begins his search for a new manager, bookmakers have made Blackpool’s Ian Holloway the resounding favourite to succeed the Ulsterman at the Liberty Stadium, with Unibet offering the best price at 2/1.
Having steered the Tangerines to their second play off final in three years, Holloway had separated himself from the long list of managers whose promotion to the Premier League was a mere flash in the proverbial pan, a list containing the likes of Adrian Boothroyd, Gary Megson and Tony Mowbray. Holloway’s reputation for advocating and employing a free-flowing attacking brand of football would certainly fit in with Swansea’s Catalan passing tradition, founded under Roberto Martinez in 2007. Furthermore, the Swans are at present, an attractive proposition with a new stadium and a young, talented playing squad. Moreover, having lost this season’s final at Wembley, Holloway may feel that he has done all that he can with Blackpool and seek pastures new in Wales. The only sticking point for Holloway may be that given the success that Rodgers enjoyed at the Liberty, Holloway may be reluctant to take a ob that would effectively leave him on a hiding to nothing.
Brighton and Hove Albion’s Gus Poyet is the second favourite to succeed Rodgers, with Unibet again offering the best price at 7/2. The Uruguayan is likely to be less inclined than Holloway to take the reigns at Swansea, with a project of his own under way on the south coast. To Poyet, Swansea may seem like a sinking ship, and Rodgers’ departure will certainly increase the chances of the sale of their most valuable playing assets, the likes of Scott Sinclair, Lloyd Dyer, and Michel Vorm. Poyet, at Brighton, has a very capable playing squad of his own and the new AMEX Stadium at Falmer. At Brighton, the project is Poyet’s, at the Liberty he would be inheriting what was first Martinez’s, and then Rodgers’ team.
Elsewhere, Sheffield Wednesday’s Dave Jones is third favourite with several bookmakers, with Stan James offering 8/1. Where this has come from is uncertain. Jones has not managed in the Premier League since relegating Wolverhampton Wanderers in 2003. Furthermore, Jones failed to promote a talented Cardiff City squad on several occasions and created for them the tag of perennial chokers that has haunted them ever since. At Wednesday, Jones has won promotion to the Chamipionship with a club of great tradition and may not see the appeal of a project he may feel has had its time in the limelight. The chances are that the Swans will be in the Championship with the Owls for the 2013-14 season.
The smart outside bet may be former Huddersfield Town manager, Lee Clark. Whilst personally I feel that Clark dramatically underachieved at the Galpharm considering the funds he had available to him, the majority of the footballing world does not shre such sentiments. Clark is a young manager with a growing reputation, and at 25/1 with Stan James is an attractive bet. What’s more is that in appointing Clark, Swansea would also get Terry McDermott, who was Clark’s assistant, and one of the most respected in the British game.
Holloway though is the clear favourite, but whoever is appointed, the Swans face an uphilll struggle for survival next season.