Graham Potter’s assistant Billy Reid has this week uttered the words that will be music to the ears of all Swansea City fans as they aim to re-establish our footballing identity and get us back to the Premier League.
We once had an iconic footballing identity and philosophy, but as a club we have lost our way as well as our Premier League status.
A style of football adored by many and envied by others, established by Roberto Martinez and evolved further under Brendan Rodgers and Michael Laudrup, we were once the model that Championship and newly-promoted Premier League clubs took inspiration from, but poor management and careless decisions have seen that model and philosophy completely disintegrate.
The Swans now appear to be desperate to get that back and have done the right thing in appointing Ostersunds manager Graham Potter as the man to do that.
Reid told the Scottish Sun:
“We have spoken about getting Swansea’s identity back in terms of the structure of how the team plays.
“Our philosophy is a possession-based, attacking game. That’s the way we got our success at Ostersunds.
“I think that is why Graham was approached by Swansea. We like to keep the ball and control matches.
“That should fit in with what Swansea want to do going forward.
Reid had the opportunity to take the manager’s job at Swansea City back in 2010 when chairman Huw Jenkins approached Scottish outfit Hamilton about acquiring his services, but it was a job he turned down. The job went to Brendan Rodgers instead, who, of course, guided us to Championship play-off winning glory in his debut season.
‘We Will Assess The Squad’
Reid also explained that they will now ‘assess the squad’ and ‘want to take Swansea back to the Premier League’.
You could say that it’s ambitious to aim for an instant return to the top flight. After all, very few clubs achieve that but you want coaching staff coming in and looking to achieve success. They’ve been used to that in Sweden and they’ll be hungry for more in the Championship.
“We will assess the squad, look at what we do and hopefully get time to put the building blocks in place.
“The Championship is a very tough league and this is a big step for us but Graham is a fantastic up-and-coming manager and he has ideas on how he wants the team to play.
“It’s British football, so it’s a new challenge but the experience of the last four and a half years will serve us well. We want to take Swansea back to the Premier League where they belong and we will be working to get there.”
Graham Potter was well known for his off-the-pitch work with Ostersunds and the local community to achieve success on the pitch. From art exhibitions to a theatrical performance of Swan Lake, Potter used plenty of unorthodox methods to improve the players and help them to express themselves and ‘be braver’ during games.
However, Reid says they haven’t considered any of that yet, and are simply concentrating on the football first and foremost:
“Team bonding is important but we aren’t looking at that kind of thing yet. We just want to get to know the players and build a squad to get out the league.”
Graham Potter, Billy Reid and scout Kyle Macaulay will have their work cut out when they officially start work next week. A number of players’ futures need to be decided either way. The Ayew brothers, Lucasz Fabianski, Alfie Mawson, Jordi Amat and Roque Mesa are all likely to leave and there’s also the likes of Oli McBurnie, Kyle Bartley and Wilfried Bony whose futures are also in doubt.
With Ki Sung Yueng and Angel Rangel leaving after their contracts expired and Leon Britton retiring, Potter could be very busy re-building the squad in the transfer window this Summer.