Swansea City are ‘all in’ with Russell Martin but for how long ?
Monday, 2nd May 2022 10:07 by Keith Haynes
It’s been a tumultuous season for Russell Martin and his coaching team, the ups and the downs have been so far apart at times, and even over the ninety minutes of one game as well. During that time alone Martin has seen upheaval behind the scenes with the departures of Andy Scott and Mark Allen, key figures in his plans for the swans. And of course his right hand man Luke Williams who seemed an integral part of his Swansea City dream.
Julian Winter as CEO of the club remains but the departures of people who could have aided Russell Martin this summer is of some concern. And of course new people coming in have new ideas and those ideas can sometimes not include what went before. It’s clear the current set up will be given plenty of support to add to the changes made this season over the coming two months. That’s not in question. What is will be the amount of financial support, and which players will remain when the new season begins in July.
It seems as if we are to see at least one of the clubs prized assets leave, you can read the undercoating of this in many of the clubs narratives when asked. Even Russell Martin. There has to be a balancing of the books and to date it’s been managed well, but even the latest disclosure of small losses will need reeling back. That means players leaving, or some seriously careful maths applied.
Of course the prized assets ‘could’ be retained if Ryan Bennett, Jay Fulton, Liam Walsh, Yan Dhanda, Korey Smith, Ben Hamer and Josh Gould are able to be moved on. Possibly, and that isn’t a given. Then there are decisions to be made on Cyrus Christie and Hannes Wolf. The former may happen, but for the latter to be a success there needs far more flexibility from his parent club Borussia Mönchengladbach. Fulton, Walsh and Bennett have contracts until 2024 and don’t need to go anywhere of course.
Asset one. Flynn Downes
But all these players need to leave for Martin to get exactly what he wants and to ‘possibly’ retain Joel Piroe. His first season in English football has been a success, but as we warned recently not every team has the style of play he is receptive to. Flynn Downes is the other prized asset, and he too - we know would prefer to stay at Swansea, but the lure of the lucre has an incredibly odd effect on people.
The poor results we can disclose to you now do concern the USA majority ownership, the difference in the positive and the negatives of Martin’s first season are so far apart there is a right to be concerned as well. But they do see progress. This won’t stop them supporting the manager as the majority of the fans want, it’s generally the noisy minority that are heard most in these circumstances. And of course there were actually no motions towards discontent at Nottingham Forest on Saturday, not one word was heard to that effect.
Certain fans have to accept it.
Russell Martin doesn’t have big plans for the summer but he does have clear plans for the swans going in to next season. What we do know is he has until the World Cup break in November to display and encourage further support from the USA. And most of the World Cup break will include more planning for the January transfer window. We believe, and to an extent understand that the swans will need to be in contention or close to the play offs for further support to be forthcoming. We all know how quickly these things can turn, so the difference between fifteenth and sixth can sometimes be six or seven points.
It’s that competitive.
Asset two, Joel Piroe
Russell Martin didn’t have the funds of Steve Cooper, and in certain areas clearly doesn’t have the playing ability to choose from, but he has shown real glimpses of success. One loss in ten games, albeit that damaging five goal demolition on Saturday is progress. Within those games there’s signs of real positivity. Again though real negativity in the games against Reading and Bournemouth and of course the flatness of the Barnsley performance. However, and we include Forest in this - all these sides were fighting for something tangible, and the swans were not. Talk of the play offs was hopeful at best, and blinkered too. They would have been most unhelpful and a distraction. Not least as this team and the club just isn’t ready for a return to the premier league, it could have had drastic long term consequences. And I don’t mean financial for those with their eye off the ball.
The rumours will circulate again in the closed season, the stories will be evaluated and written with a fair eye and careful test of the sources. That’s what we do here at Swansea Independent, and that’s what you get. It hasn’t been the worst of seasons that’s definite, but of course it hasn’t been the best, but as the ship docks after the Queens Park Rangers game on Saturday there has to be some pause for reflection and not least some sensibility.
The man that is Russell Martin has asked for some time, and has displayed his ability to deliver his vision for Swansea City. If anyone didn’t see the double defeats of Coventry, Cardiff, Bristol City and West Bromwich Albion then okay you haven't got the whole picture. The same could be said for the losses home and away to Forest, Fulham and Stoke, the battering at Sheffield United as well. But when analysed and looked into the positives for us do outweigh the negatives.
Twenty six points have been gained since the defeat to Stoke on February 8th. That’s sixteen games gone that included the Fulham and Sheffield United matches. And the loss at Blackpool. Those sixteen games could have brought forty eight points. Those twenty six points is borderline top play off form over a quarter of a season. Some would argue automatic promotion, but it’s slight. That’s the positive effect the Russell Martin strategy is having. It’s excellent when it works and can be viewed by some as drastic when it doesn’t, it depends on your glass.
We will see how it goes for Russell Martin and his dream, it could well go far better than some predict, especially if the past seven weeks are to be analysed performance and results wise. Yes there is a lot of hope and there will be a lot of caution, that’s football. But don’t think at any point that the USA isnt watching carefully, they see the improvement, and also note the defeats.
Photographs licensed from Reuters
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