I’ve wanted to write that headline all season so I was pleased to read Phil Cadden’s piece in the Independent on Saturday, “Are Swansea City the best-run club in the top flight?”
Phil makes a number of very good points about the club and how it’s run. In my opinion he is right to declare them a model for other clubs who make it to the EPL promised land. Not only have they achieved success they have turned a huge deficit into a substantial profit.
What I think is remarkable is that this isn’t the whole story. It’s not just the ownership structure and balance sheet they’ve got right. They have also defined the style of football they want to play and the type of manager they want to lead the team.
Unlike any other team in the premiership they appear to search for a manager with inspiring qualities. So many clubs look at track record and experience. My club Aston Villa have a good owner, he is genuinely a supportive and takes a long term view. But he and his Chief Exec have selected the uninspiring trio of Gerard Houllier, Alex McLeish and now Paul Lambert. All three have impressive successes on their CV and their tactical acumen is in no doubt. But there is no consistency of footballing philosophy and all of these men exhibit a pessimistic language style which in the eyes of many Villa watchers have failed to get the best out of the players
Contrast this with the last three Swansea Managers, Roberto Martinez, Brendan Rodgers and now Michael Laudrup. These three men not only produce skilled footballing teams they are three of the most inspirational managers in the Premiership. All three regularly feature as impress Coaching Manager of the week and consistently unlock a level of performance from their players never released by the Villa trio.
Laudrup’s comments after this game are typical. As quoted on BBC Sport he described this win as the biggest of his career. which is not a bad thing for his players to hear, this from a world class player who’s trophy cabinet includes a European Cup, five leagues titles in Spain – with Barcelona and Real Madrid – and an Italian league win with Juventus.
In typical style he described his sides performance in impress Formula language
The players did great, played with a lot of confidence, patience. Winning was the most important thing, but the way we did it was a great performance.
Swansea’s 5 – 0 win over Bradford City is a fascinating story on so many fronts and is well covered in the media. Their rise from the brink of ignominy ten years ago; that Gary Monk and Leon Britton have played for them over that period in every professional division of the Football League and their appearance in next years Europa League all justifiably filling the headlines. And great stories they are too. But for me, it’s the behind the scenes management, financial, structural and what they seek in a manager that is the biggest news. Swansea are a model for other clubs all right and this success will not be a one off. They are here to stay and will get stronger and stronger. Barcelona look out!impress Inspiration Survey
I would estimate a score of four for Michael Laudrup on our Inspiration survey questionnaire. Try it for yourself and see what this means and measure your own innate inspirational qualities.Sign up to our free Newsletter
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