Swansea City are a team that are only going one direction at the minute. The Welsh side are currently bottom of the Premier League table and five points away from safety.
The Swans recently sacked boss Paul Clement a few weeks ago. However, the Welsh club have now found a replacement in Portuguese boss Carlos Carvalhal, who has signed a contract until the end of the season.
The 52-year-old was in charge of Championship Sheffield Wednesday until Christmas Eve and a 2-1 defeat at Middlesbrough saw him leave the Yorkshire club.
No Premier League experience no problem
Carlos Carvalhal has no Premier League experience. However, that is not always a bad thing. The likes of Garry Monk, Michael Laudrup and Brendan Rodgers all enjoyed relative success in south Wales with the Swans. They all had no previous managerial experience in the top-flight.
Too many clubs are going for the English safe option in recent years. Even in recent months, Premier League clubs have hired Sam Allardyce (Everton), David Moyes (West Ham) and Alan Pardew (West Brom).
All three have enjoyed mixed managerial careers in the top-flight. However, clubs seem to trust them with their top-flight futures. In Allardyce’s case, at least it seems to have been a shrewd move on Everton’s part.
Top-flight clubs seem to be scared to take a risk on an up-and-coming boss. There is too much money involved in maintaining their top-flight status for gambling on bosses.
One head coach with no Premier League experience Marco Silva has impressed in the English top-flight at both Hull and Watford. Top-flight experience is not necessary to be a success in the Premier League.
Carvalhal has experienced mixed fortunes so far
During his managerial career, Carlos Carvalhal has experienced mixed fortunes. At Sheffield Wednesday, he managed the Owls to the play-off spots in consecutive seasons only to be sacked with the team in 15th position in the Championship.
Prior to his spell in Yorkshire, the 52-year-old enjoyed something of a nomadic managerial career, managing the likes of Vitoria Setubal, Maritimo, Braga and Sporting Lisbon in his homeland. He also managed in Turkey with Besiktas and Istanbul BB.
It is fair to say he has been around the block a bit. His early success at Wednesday will have been a major part of the reason the Swans appointed the Portuguese boss. When he arrived, the team was not in the best of shape. He built a team that played football in a decent style, while also sorting out the defensive organisation.
Hot favourites for relegation this season
There is no way to sugar coat it, Swansea have been woeful this season. The fact that the Swans are favourites to suffer relegation at 1/6 is not massively surprising considering the Welsh side’s performances this season.
To most teams, five points from safety is not a lot with 18 Premier League games remaining. There is still time for the Swans to escape the drop. However, such is their current form it seems highly unlikely they can pick up enough points to escape the drop zone.
Swansea have no doubt taken a gamble with the appointment of Carvalhal. However, in truth, they had very little to lose. They needed a new permanent boss in place to have any chance of staying up.
The Swansea hierarchy probably realises that the team were heading for the Championship anyway, so appointing a new boss will do very little harm to their survival chances.
Carvalhal showed his managerial acumen at Wednesday in his first two seasons at the Championship club. Things went south this season, but the Yorkshire club were by no means in a hopeless position when he left.
The Portuguese boss faces a massive challenge to keep the Swans up this season. If he does then his managerial stock will only rise. If he does not then his reputation is unlikely to be affected due to the team’s poor position on his arrival.
The Swansea board have a history of getting their managerial decisions right more often than not. The likes of Roberto Martinez, Brendan Rodgers, Michael Laudrup and even Garry Monk all experiencing periods of success with the club. Maybe Carlos Carvalhal could prove to be a shrewd appointment for the Swans.
Can Carlos Carvalhal save Swansea from relegation?
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