New Swansea City manager Graham Potter says that they’ve already been “working hard behind the scenes” at recruitment as he quickly gets to work on preparing for the 2018/19 season in the Championship.
Potter’s official unveiling as our new manager was made today (Monday), just over two weeks after it was first reported that he would leave Swedish side Ostersund to take the vacancy at the Liberty Stadium.
Potter’s holiday to New York and agreeing on a compensation package with Ostersund were the main causes of the long delay, but the long wait is now finally over and we can all look forward to another era under the leadership of Graham Potter, assistant Billy Reid and recruitment analyst Kyle Macaulay.
One of the main concerns amongst the fans ahead of the new season under yet another manager – a fifth in 19 months – is whether he’d have the freedom to rebuild the squad. Ever since Michael Laudrup’s departure in early 2014, chairman Huw Jenkins has been acting as de facto Director of Football.
But Graham Potter says he’s already been working hard behind the scenes on recruitment:
“While the managerial process has been going on, we’ve been looking and working hard at recruitment behind the scenes,’’
“There will be a bit of a reshuffle along the way; there always is when a new manager comes in.
“Firstly we need to look at what type of people and footballers we want to bring into the club. Then once we’ve identified them and aligned them with the values of the club, it’s how we can also improve them as players.
“Recruitment isn’t always the solution or problem, but the signs have been positive and I’m confident we can make good additions to support the good players we already have here.’’
An eighth-place finish in 2014/15 papered over the cracks but it was the following season when the poor recruitment and decision making really took effect. It caught up with us that season, and constant fire-fighting and attempting quick-fixes just made things worse, meaning that relegation was always a matter of when not if.
We could, and probably should have survived this season, having been safe by a gap of four points before a sudden decline in form in the final 11 games or so. But if we did avoid relegation, then it would simply have been another long struggle against the drop once again in 2018/19, as we simply had no idea what to do to get out of a rut.
Like Potter said, hopefully, this relegation will be thought of in a few years’ time as the best thing that happened, he said:
“It’s a chance to start again. We know how frustrating the last few years have been, but hopefully the relegation will be seen in a few years’ time as the best thing that ever happened to the club.
“We will try our best and work hard every day to give the supporters a team they can feel proud of; they can connect with and see are trying to improve.
That chance has to be taken. Our way of working just hasn’t delivered results for years now and we have to re-assess every aspect. Continuing as we are would have been simply stupid and resulting in possibly a similar situation that Sunderland now find themselves in.
Potter is a manager who was heavily involved in the rebuild job at Ostersunds and he has to be given the same free reign here as well.
You saw the results in Sweden when that happens.
— Vital Swansea (@VitalSwansea) June 5, 2018