When Carlos Carvalhal was appointed as Swansea City’s manager in late December with the club bottom of the table with 1just 13 points from 20 games, nobody expected this kind of turnaround. Nobody.
In the next nine games they’ve picked up 17 points and are soaring up the Premier League table.
After Swansea’s 4-1 win against West Ham on Saturday, the Portuguese coach has lost just two of his opening 15 games in all competitions and the Swans have won four-straight home games in the Premier League to lift themselves out of the relegation zone.
They are far from safe, but they are the form team in the bottom half of the table and have the momentum. Carvalhal knows it and the king of analogies was at it again after another big win.
“We moved things around today, rested some players and I am very happy. Our level of intensity is very high and the players are in a very good way,” Carvalhal said. “There are games where you must listen to the music of the opponent. We made West Ham dance to our music and it was rock and roll.”
Carvalhal would have been tapping his feet on the sidelines all game long as the Swans started brightly and never let West Ham settle.
Jordan and Andre Ayew made West Ham’s defense squirm, while the Swans were dangerous from set pieces and solid at the back. Everything was right about their performance.
“We have had some important victories since I arrived but this was the best performance,” Carvalhal said. “We are near to what I want us to do in all aspects of the game.We are progressing, it was an important victory. We lost last week and I said we would learn. It was my fault that we lost last week, we were too open.”
That’s been the key to Carvalhal’s success: humility. He has been laughing and joking in press conferences, dishing out Portuguese pastries for journalists and delivering hilarious analogies whenever he can to try and lift the mood.
When Swansea win, he salutes the players. When they lose, he blames himself.
Carvalhal has been a breath of fresh air and to think he was fired by second-tier Sheffield Wednesday earlier this season, the man himself has grasped a chance to step up to the Premier League for the first time in his career and give Swansea a real chance of survival.
When he arrived nobody gave them a chance of staying up. Now, you’ll find few who will bet against the Swans being in the Premier League next season.