The Real Football Man: Swansea Roll The Dice Again

The Real Football Man

Last week I promised a not so Christmas special and you get the feeling that it is not going to be a very special Christmas for Paul Clement as his tenure as Swansea comes to an end after less than a year in charge of the South Wales outfit.

There seems to be a neat symmetry to this news and this is the third time in which Swansea have sacked a manager in December, Garry Monk was unfortunate enough to be given the boot in 2015 while Bob Bradley short stint in charge would not manage to see out the end of 2016 after his sacking 12 months ago.

Maybe it is the fact that Swansea chairman Huw Jenkins does not like paying Christmas bonuses that sees another manager being shown the Liberty Stadium exit door at this time of year, then again if that was the case then surely it would cost more in severance payments than it would to send out a Christmas card with an extra £20 inside.

But ultimately there is more than £20 at stake for Swansea to beat the drop, a lot more to be precise and once again the Swansea hierarchy have pulled the trigger in a bid to beat relegation. To be fair to the club it is a tactic that has worked twice already but you get the feeling that lightning will not strike thrice.

Quite simply because any real talent departed in the Summer and although their bank balance is looking relatively healthy after the transfers of Gylfi Sigurdsson and Fernando Llorente it is not harsh in saying that the replacements of Renato Sanches and Wilfried Bony have been well short of the mark.

When you look at the fact that they have scored just 10 goals in their first 18 Premier League matches then that pretty much tells you all you need to know, if you were to extrapolate that goals to games ratio until the end of the season, they would end the campaign with just 21 goals to their name.

A shocking return I am sure we will all agree and one that whoever takes charge of the club will have to improve otherwise this Swansea side is very much in danger of sinking like a stone and ending their seven year stint in the English top flight.

The thing is they have not been the worst side defensively it is just that their lack of goals is so stark that they are really feeling the pinch. Tammy Abraham has been the only shining light in this team, scoring four Premier League goals but it is a lot of weight on such young shoulders.

But the big question now is who will be the next person to step into the Swansea hotseat? When a managerial vacancy comes around a lot of it is down to timing and unfortunately for the Swans a lot of the usual firefighters are already assigned to their now annual heroics.

They may have lucked out in terms of who is available but there is perhaps one candidate who could be ready to roll his sleeves up and get to work straight away. That being none other than Tony Pulis who was recently given the boot by West Brom.

However the Swansea board will have to ask themselves a big question do they go with pragmatism over style in a bid to beat the drop. In years gone by the Welsh club were very easy on the eye and although they have lost their way slightly as of late these are still ideals and principles that they will want to stick to.

Therefore if they were to call on the fourth emergency service otherwise known as Tony Pulis then those footballing principles will go out like the baby in the bathwater, at the same time though this is a man who has never got a team relegated in the Premier League.

Can Swansea be choosy when there is so much at stake, they can’t keep rolling the dice until they get the answer they like. Quite simply they either bite the bullet and play it safe in the way of Pulis or they take a gamble but if that gamble ends in relegation it will turn out to be a very expensive one.

Until next week – pending on the fact I have not contracted Gout (ask Henry VIII)