Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Sacking Clement the last throw of the dice for Swansea

David Nugent in Editorial, English Premier League 21 Dec 2017

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Probably the least surprisingly sacking of the Premier League season so far came on Wednesday, as Swansea fired boss Paul Clement. The reason for the lack of surprise is that the Swans went through a ridiculous amount of bosses last season, while the team are routed to the bottom of the table.

The sad truth is that the former Bayern Munich assistant boss had to go in order for the club to have a chance of survival.

Offering very little threat

Paul Clement went into Swansea in January and saved the club from relegation. The Welsh side have been dodging a bullet of the drop for the last few years after a relatively stable period in the top-flight.

However, this season seems just one season too far for the Swans. The summer sale of star players Gylfi Sigurdsson and Fernando Llorente really was the final nail in the coffin of their survival hopes.

As I wrote in my editorial on Tuesday, the Swans offer hardly any attacking threat. The whole team lacks creativity. They struggle to create chances for the main striker, be that Wilfried Bony or Tammy Abraham.

If you do not create chances, you are always going to struggle to win games. A league-low tally of ten goals is awful for any team.

The team’s struggles should not just be laid at the door of Clement, though. The clubs owners have been negligent in not replacing the team’s star players. They thought of their wallets before the team’s needs.

The Swans need fresh ideas

A run of nine defeats in their last 11 outings in the Premier League has seen Swansea cut adrift at the bottom of the table. I am sure Paul Clement tried his best to get the Welsh side out of their slump. However, at the end of the day, he could not improve things.

From what football insiders say about Clement he is a bright young coach. Managerial icon Carlo Ancelotti would not have taken him around Europe’s biggest clubs as his assistant if he were a useless coach.

In truth, the Swansea squad is just not good enough to survive. Pep Guardiola, Jose Mourinho or Antonio Conte may not have done a better job with the current players.

I can understand the decision. Swansea needed a reaction from the players to have any chance of survival this season. The first thing clubs do to get a reaction from their players is sack the manager. That is football owner 101 that.

The team is struggling, sack the boss. A new boss with new ideas comes in and the team achieve an improvement in fortunes because of the new manager factor. It does not always work, but more often than not, it does.

It has worked for the Swans for the last two seasons. However, Clement walked into a squad containing Sigurdsson and Llorente, two very big attacking threats. The next Swans boss will not have that luxury.

Swansea the favourites to go down

The fact that Swansea are favourites to suffer relegation at 2/9 will not come as a surprise to many considering their recent form. The Welsh side are bottom of the table and unlike some of the teams around them do not look like they are moving in the right direction.

Unfortunately, for the Swans fans, the same old names are being linked with the vacant job. Former Everton boss Ronald Koeman and former West Ham chief Slaven Bilic are amongst the mooted candidates.

Premier League clubs have already sacked the pair this season with their teams struggling near the bottom of the table. Would they really be able to do any better in south Wales? For me, no they would not.

Former West Brom boss Tony Pulis and former Crystal Palace boss Frank de Boer are also reportedly in the running for the job. Yet again, two bosses that have already been shown the door due to poor results in the Premier League.

Sacking Paul Clement in December was the last throw of the dice for the Swansea hierarchy. The team were only heading for the Championship anyway, so it was worth a gamble.

Veteran midfielder Leon Britton has been appointed as caretaker boss for Saturday’s massive home game with Crystal Palace. However, whoever gets the role on a permanent basis will have a massive job on their hands turning things around at the Liberty Stadium.

Who will be the next Swansea boss?


David Nugent

David is a freelance football writer with nearly a decade of experience writing about the beautiful game. The experienced writer has written for over a dozen websites and also an international soccer magazine offline.
Arguably his best work has come as an editorial writer for Soccernews, sharing his good, bad and ugly opinions on the world’s favourite sport. During David’s writing career he has written editorials, betting previews, match previews, banter, news and opinion pieces.



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