Date:Sunday August 23 2009
What a difference a day makes, the saying goes, and it certainly proved that on Saturday, a new signing and our first win of the seasons means everything is rosey again at Swansea City.
Well to most of us anyway but the negative fans will still find plenty to moan about though I'm sure, 'We didn't score enough goals at Coventry', 'We still need more players', 'our strikers can't score'.
The doom and gloom merchants were predicting a long hard struggle this season after just 3 games, whilst the worst of them even had doubts about our new manager Paulo Sousa, yes you couldn't make it up.
The club has experienced significant change this Summer. We lost our most successful manager in two decades leave along with the whole backroom staff minus Reserve team coach Colin Pascoe. Not only that, but the Spaniard took with him our top two goalscorers last season, Jason Scotland and Espanyol loanee Jordi Gomez.
Paulo Sousa's new managerial job in the English Football League couldn't have been made much more difficult really. He was missing key backroom staff, no fitness coach, no assistant manager, no scout and together with that he had to deal with trying to convince our star players to stay at the Liberty Stadium. Jason Scotland was strongly linked with a move at the time and Ferrie Bodde's future was also in doubt as Bolton Wanderers were keen to sign the Dutchman and they began making bids for the midfielder. And I haven't even mentioned the players he's had unavailable due to injury. Bodde has been injured since November, Darren Pratley is out following a shoulder injury, Joe Allen suffered an injury at Leicester and new signing Jordi Lopez has been out with a dead leg. Therefore we've been struggling in midfield somewhat, and have had to rely on youngsters such as Kerry Morgan, Jaz Richards and Casey Thomas as back up - players who were nowhere near the matchday squad last year.
You have to give credit to Paulo Sousa for getting the youngsters involved. He's even started some of them when he didn't need to. Chad Bond made his full League debut yesterday after Kerry Morgan made his on Tuesday night at home to Reading.
Our Portuguese manager has had to deal with all those changes and hinderances in just a couple of months, as well as assessing his squad and to make decisions on who he needed to sign to strengthen his team. Saying that he's had a difficult start to his spell here is an understatement I think you'll agree, and yet three games in, two defeats and one draw, already some fans, although a small minority, were asking for his sacking!
However, Swansea City got their first victory of the season yesterday thanks to Ashley Williams second goal of the campaign, firing in a left-footed shot to give us 3 points away at Coventry City and things are beginning to look a lot brighter.
Chairman Huw Jenkins has received his fair share of criticism from the fans too. A lack of signings in the Summer transfer window has added to their concerns about the season ahead and some wonder whether or not we'll be able to compete at this level with our tight wage budget. Transfer fees aren't the problem said Jenkins, but attracting players to put pen to paper on a Swansea deal when they could get improved personal terms elsewhere. Roberto Martinez and Jason Scotland's departure have, or should I say will, put around £4m or so in the bank, but we won't get it instantly as it's being paid to us in instalments - therefore we can't spend anywhere near that figure on new recruits.
Despite our difficulty so far in bringing in new players, both Jenkins and Sousa are confident that another 1 or 2 signings will join Austrian Besian Idrizaj at the Liberty Stadium before the transfer window closes at the end of the month.
Things should look even better going into September as well. Potentially we could have a good week this week with two home games we'll be confident of winning, on Tuesday in the Carling Cup second round against struggling Scunthorpe and we're back in League action on Saturday against Watford. Two wins there would be superb and soon we'll be boosted with the returns of Joe Allen, Darren Pratley and Ferrie Bodde so results should continue to improve.
UP THE SWANS!
Date:Sunday August 23 2009
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