Glory beckons for Carlos?
Thursday, 29th Mar 2018 20:26 by Planet Swans (follow us on Twitter @swansnews)
Carlos Carvalhal will start his eight match run in to the end of the season on Saturday with every Swans fan hopeful that he can complete one of the most remarkable turnarounds in Premier League history.
I can safely say that when the calendar changed from 2017 to 2018 I thought our Premier League existence was entering its last five months. For so long this season we had looked a hopeless case. A team seemingly devoid of good players, certainly a team devoid of good tactics and seemingly unable to stop the tide that had turned against us for most of the first four months of the season.
Carvalhal has changed all of that with a run of five wins and three draws in the last ten games which takes us into the weekend in fourteenth place and three points ahead of the last relegation place in the division.
To put that further into context eighteen points from ten games is five points more than we got from the first twenty and just highlights the incredible turnaround in fortune that he has overseen in his time here in South Wales.
Manchester United at Old Trafford on Saturday represents probably the toughest (on paper) fixture of the eight games that we have left but we should not just accept that we are about to be beaten as a result of that. It was not a dissimilar time last year that we went to Old Trafford and secured a single point on another great escape run and we know that we have won there before in the Premier League years.
We should also bear in mind that we have beaten both Liverpool and Arsenal under Carvalhal and with just three defeats (two against Spurs) since the turn of the year we should go there with every confidence and belief that we can get something.
For me at this stage we probably need maybe seven or eight points more to secure safety and I am sure that each and every one of us would love to think that we have those points in the bag by the time Everton depart the Liberty in two weeks time. That hope may be just a little beyond us at this point but then again I suspect if anybody had said in January we would be 14th by this stage then there wouldn't have been many takers in the believing stakes.
Carlos' management skills have turned around this club in a massive way and whilst he is only contracted until the end of the season there is surely little doubt that discussions are taking place behind the scenes to extend that stay. Many can point to the fact that Francesco Guidolin and Paul Clement had similar extended stays after remarkable escapes but there is something about Carvalhal that didn't seem there with either of the other two managers.
For me this feels right. He feels the right fit for the club and is just one of those appointments that seem to work. We should remember that we are broadly the same squad that looked so hopeless before Christmas and the change around should be credited solely to the manager. With the right backing in the summer we could turn ourselves into a very good squad indeed (assuming there aren't people ready to sell the family silver) and on that thought I would certainly look to extend the managers contract.
That is, of course, assuming that he completes one of the greatest of great escapes and the first of those eight steps to glory happens on Saturday afternoon.
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