Swansea City manager Graham Potter spoke about the frustrations over a lack of signings after his side’s 1-0 home win against Preston North End as supporters continue to show their understandable frustration over a lack of signings after seeing something of a player exodus this Summer.
There were false rumours posted on social media towards the end of last week that the gaffer had “walked” following a lack of signings and his own frustration about that, but judging from these recent quotes from the boss, that couldn’t be further from the truth.
Not only has his recent tactical flexibility to guide to two wins in our first two games impress the Swansea City faithful, but his interviews and his words too.
When you listen to Graham Potter speak you get the impression that he's lived and breathed the last few years here as a fan. Talking about wanting players who actually want to be here and fight for us. Almost turned things on its head given the players' application and attitude.
— Vital Swansea (@VitalSwansea) August 11, 2018
He’s barely been here a month or so but already he appears to have a full understanding of how the fans feel and what we want us to get back to. Not only the style of football we’re all longing for again but the sense that the team is something we can all be proud of again. We’ve lack that team unity that we once had under the likes of former managers Brendan Rodgers and Michael Laudrup, but so far it looks like it’s on its way back.
After the club sold Federico Fernandez to Newcastle United and Jordi Amat to Rayo Vallecano on Thursday’s transfer deadline day – leaving Potter with only one senior defender – Mike van der Hoorn – this of course angered the fans. The Graham Potter exit rumours soon followed but these were quickly rubbished.
Potter says he understands the frustration, but also makes the point that you have “make sure that you’ve got the players out that don’t want to be here”:
“I understand frustration,”
“I can’t control too much of what’s happened over the past, and you understand in that context there’s disappointment. I think the club has spent money in the past and money in itself doesn’t necessarily solve the problem. We have to solve it in a good way, in a sensible way. In a way with an idea, and we have to make sure that the principles – in that the money is spent – are solid.”
“There’s a point in every window where you have to make sure that you’ve got the players out that don’t want to be here,”
“Otherwise, players can’t grow and develop that are here. So I understand the frustration around, they want the external solution, and I get that. But for me I just try to focus on the group that we have. Focus on the solution internally. And we’ll keep working because there is a [loan] window that’s still open.
Potter also wanted to focus on the positives, yes we were left short in defence, but it allowed us to see Joe Rodon in action and make his superb debut alongside van der Hoorn:
“There’s a chance we’ll get some players, but again they have to be the right ones. This time last year there were two loan signings, big loan fees, big transfer fees and players. Everyone’s excited, but they don’t turn out as everyone would like. It’s about the right people, the right profile of player, and then working with the group.”
“Sometimes the timing doesn’t fit,”
“Sometimes the sale comes in, but you know you can bring someone in a bit later so you’ve got a bit of time – it doesn’t all fit in together. If you bring in a centre-back then Joe [Rodon] doesn’t play. Joe doesn’t have his debut and suddenly there’s not that development process going on. So we’re always aware of the internal solution.
“There’s also some good players here, and there’s an academy we spend a lot of money in, and we try to develop players in. And I think it’s important that they get to feel that there’s an opportunity to play rather than externally keep looking for a solution.”
This is certainly a different way of looking at our current predicament and it’s good to see that Graham Potter appears to be on board with what’s going on so far.
That last point he makes is a very valid one too. There were worries during the Summer that some of our under-23s players – most notably Oli McBurnie, George Byers and even possibly Joe Rodon – may have looked for opportunities elsewhere – but they all seem to be very much on board again here. In the Premier League, it was obvious – maybe with McBurnie as the only exception – that they wouldn’t get near the first-team, but there’s every chance now that any of the under-23 players could get called up.