Huw Jenkins

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Swans chairman: “No firm bids” for Sigurdsson

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Gylfi Sigurdsson saved Swansea City’s Premier League life, and the club understandably doesn’t want to attempt another run at safety without him.

Often linked with Everton, the Icelandic attacker remains property of the Welsh side and Swans chairman Huw Jenkins says the club has yet to receive a proper offer for Sigurdsson.

[ MORE: Man City in for Aubameyang ]

Jenkins says there has not been a “firm bid” for the 27-year-old Sigurdsson, who registered nine goals and 13 assists last season. That’s a direct impact on 22 of the Swans’ 45 Premier League goals, nearly half.

From The Liverpool Echo:

“Our aim is to try and keep Gylfi and Fernando (Llorente), keep our better players and to make sure we can add to Paul’s [Clement] squad.

“It’s hard to suggest what sort of value Gylfi has in today’s market, but to us he is priceless and we’ve got to make sure we do everything in our power to make sure he stays with us.”

Sigurdsson has said he has not plans to leave Swansea, but money can speak loudly to both the players and Jenkins. Given Sigurdsson’s age, perhaps Swans want to see a big number. Given how Sigurdsson’s time at Spurs went, teams may be hesitant to offer one.

It would be nice to see Sigurdsson stay at the Liberty Stadium, but as the window begins to close it wouldn’t be a surprise to see some decent offers come the way of Wales.

Firing Bradley without a transfer window is baffling

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After firing a manager who didn’t get much of a say in their ill-planned summer transfer window, Swansea City went next level with their man management.

They fired a manager who didn’t get a say in his players at all.

Bob Bradley has been sacked as manager of Swansea City after just 11 matches in charge of the Premier League’s Welsh outfit.

Eleven matches.

[ EXCLUSIVE: Bradley issues first statement ]

Swansea seemed forced into keeping Francesco Guidolin after he saved the club from relegation last season. Chairman Huw Jenkins kept the last word in transfers, then let Andre Ayew and Ashley Williams walk without much in the way of proper replacements (Read a take on those errors here).

That was especially true for Williams, the club’s best player last season and a leader in Wales’ surprising run deep into EURO 2016.

Bradley said he was going to “go for it” until the transfer window, and the American did that justice. While Swans defense continued to fail and gave up even more goals, Bradley’s attack doubled its production.

Updating the numbers following Swans’ 4-1 loss to West Ham on Boxing Day, this is the club’s season:

Under Guidolin
1W-1D-5L (.57 points per game)
Goals scored: 6 (.85 per)
Goals allowed: 12 (1.71 per)

Under Bradley
2W-2D-7L (.72 points per game)
Goals scored: 15 (1.36 per)
Goals allowed: 29 (2.63 per)

Guidolin’s feast-or-famine run saw a home loss to Hull City and a home draw vs. Chelsea, and was packed with tough fixtures. Though Bradley’s started with Arsenal, even more short-sighted in terms of giving a coach a good start; Then again, Guidolin was seen by the press in the building just before Bradley was introduced, a bizarre bit of organization.

[ MORE: Pardew fired by Palace

Bradley’s run degenerated in the second half, at least defensively. Swans held Watford to a 0-0 and went to Everton for 1-1 before outlasting Palace 5-4. Though they’d add a blowout of Sunderland, Swans finished their run with Bradley having allowed three or more goals in five of six, thrice conceding four-plus markers.

Bradley’s firing isn’t an alien decision in the Premier League, where older managers are recycled and new names rarely get anything longer than a short leash.

But with the full acknowledgment that this is an American site, defending Bradley is a lot easier than having Swansea’s back here. After all, Swans fired Garry Monk last December and didn’t hire Guidolin until weeks into the January transfer window.

When you look at clubs who’ve made two bonafide managerial changes in recent seasons, here’s what you find:

Aston Villa (2015-16) — Tim Sherwood –> Remi Garde –> Eric Black
Fulham (2013-14) — Martin Jol –> Rene Meulensteen –> Felix Magath
Newcastle United (2008-09) — Kevin Keegan –> Joe Kinnear –> Alan Shearer
Portsmouth (2008-09) — Harry Redknapp –> Tony Adams –> Paul Hart

Of those four sides, only one carrying an asterisk stayed up: Portsmouth lost Redknapp when Spurs bought him out. Pompey finished seven points clear of the drop.

[ MORE: Liverpool batters Stoke ]

Of course, a team has to be fairly miserable to fire two managers in a season. It helps to be unorganized.

Firing Bradley isn’t a massive surprise given the financial dangers of a relegation campaign, but doing it without giving the boss a single transfer window to fix its miserable back line is shocking. Bradley was pried from another club, Le Havre, and given assurances he’d be able to fix the roster.

Change is almost a given in the Premier League, and Bradley really wasn’t given a chance. It’s easy to say that in retrospect, but hiring a man and not giving him a window to fix what ails Swansea is absolutely shocking. Unless we learn of full-scale dressing room hatred, it’s difficult to apply logic to hiring Bradley and firing him within a couple months.

Bournemouth at home and Crystal Palace away are next, and clearly the short-term thinking from the board is that a “new boss boost” could help them take points from perceived relegation opponents (Nevermind that Bradley oversaw “six-point” wins over Sunderland and Palace, losing to Boro and drawing Watford).

But what comes after that, when the fixtures go Arsenal home, Liverpool away, Southampton home, Man City away? With this back line, is life going to get any better?

If so, and it happens without a full overhaul of the defense, then the egg’s on our face. We’re just not expecting to need any towels.

Follow @NicholasMendola

One man takes blame for Swansea’s poor season

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Huw Jenkins has been with Swansea City through the good times and the bad.

He is blaming himself for the recent bad spell.

[ MORE: Ranking the PL superstars ]

The long-time chairman of the Swans — Jenkins was part of a consortium which saved the south Wales club back in 2002 when it was teetering on the brink of extinction — has been at the forefront of their incredible rise from the fourth-tier to the Premier League plus becoming League Cup winners and also competing in the knockout stages of the UEFA Europa League.

Yet, this season Swansea’s progress has stalled as they currently sit two points adrift at the foot of the Premier League table and three points from safety with a massive relegation six-points against Sunderland at the Liberty Stadium coming up this Saturday (Watch live, 10 a.m. ET online via NBCSports.com).

Speaking about their struggles, Jenkins put the blame squarely on his shoulders.

“I fully understand their feelings, being a supporter myself,” Jenkins said. “When things don’t go well somebody has to take the blame and I fully accept the responsibility. But let’s not forget there’s a long way to go this season, and we’ve got a lot of choices to make between now and then to make sure we survive in this league.”

The local businessman has told it like it is, as well as admiting some errors with player recruitment over the summer as both Andre Ayew and Ashley Williams were allowed to leave and you easily argue they weren’t sufficiently replaced at the Liberty Stadium.

All of this has led to current manager Bob Bradley (he replaced Italian coach Francesco Guidolin after the Swans picks up just four points from their opening seven games of the season) reportedly already being under pressure, as a report in the Daily Telegraph suggested that a huge review is currently taking place at the request of American owners Steve Kaplan and Jason Levein who took sole control of the club in July.

Jenkins, who has been left in control of day-to-day matters by Kaplan and Levein, has also been taking plenty of stick from the fans for selling 8.2 percent of his 13.2 percent stake in the club which allowed the Americans to take their holdings up to 68 percent and take full ownership of the club. The local businessman made himself just over $10 million in the process which angered many. All is not well on and off the pitch in south Wales right now.

With Bradley’s team conceding 19 goals in his seven PL games in charge so far, the obvious area where they have to improve is in central defense. If given time, there’s no doubt Bradley can improve that but the most concerning thing for the Swans is the quality of players, especially defenders, they currently possess.

Until that changes (i.e. acquistions in the January transfer window) then Bradley’s hands are tied.

Jenkins believes the club will be able to spend big in the upcoming transfer window and boy will Swansea need to do some shrewd, and extensive, business if they’re going to drag themselves out of trouble and up the Premier League table.

The good news out of all of this is the next six games are pivotal in their season. Between now and Jan. 3 Bradley’s side face Sunderland, West Ham and Bournemouth at home, plus have trips to West Brom, Middlesbrough and Crystal Palace. All of those games are against direct relegation rivals and quite simply the Swans must win at least three or four to give themselves a fighting chance of staying up.

Swansea’s Jenkins says board will discuss Guidolin’s future

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Saying “There’s lots to talk through”, Huw Jenkins seems to admit Francesco Guidolin may’ve just played himself into a job.

Named the manager of Swansea with the club in a relegation battle, Guidolin has led the club to six wins from 10 matches and a comfortable finish.

[ MORE: Ranieri has open offer to coach Italy ]

The 60-year-old former boss of Empoli and Bologna amongst many stops wants to stay at Swansea into next season, something that was not in the plans for Swansea when he was appointed to save the club’s Premier League status.

But now?

From the South Wales Evening Post:

“He has brought in a bit of common sense and a bit of simplicity, as well as experience.

“I don’t think those simple things are highlighted enough in the modern world of football.”

Jenkins says the Swansea board will meet Wednesday to discuss the managerial position, as well as the failures and successes of this season. It’s clear they could do much worse than letting Guidolin have a shot at a season of his own.

Swansea fires manager Garry Monk; Hopes to find quick replacement

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Unable to keep momentum from their hot start and having slid down to 15th in the table, Swansea City is parting ways with longtime player and two-year manager Garry Monk.

[ MORE: Hertha wants USMNT’s Brooks signed, or sold ]

It’s no secret that Monk was under pressure, and chairman Huw Jenkins pulled the trigger on Wednesday.

Monk has presided over a lengthy down-turn that has seen just one win in 11 Premier League matches.

From SwanseaCity.net:

Club chairman Huw Jenkins said, “To find ourselves in our current situation from where we were in the first week of September, and considering the drop of performance levels and run of results over the last three months, it has brought us to this unfortunate decision today.”

The club isn’t doing this lightly, highlighting his achievements as the front page story on its site. Jenkins said they want to appoint a replacement as soon as possible, but who?

Could we possibly see the return of Brendan Rodgers to the Liberty Stadium?