Lobsters, Barbecues and a P45 – Carlos Carvalhal Leaves Swansea City

After being given lobsters instead of sardines and putting all his meat on the barbecue the quips have given way to goodbyes as Carlos Carvalhal leaves Swansea City.

It’s been the worst kept secret in football since Huddersfield’s point against Chelsea effectively consigned Swansea City to the Championship. Carlos’s defiant suggestions that there was still a potential offer on the table were undermined by someone at the club briefing journalists that the manager would be dispensed with.  The club finally caught up today by issuing a statement on the official site to inform the fans that Carlos had left by mutual consent.

You can read the statement in full HERE

Despite his overwhelmingly positive outlook and engaging personality there won’t be many fans sad to see Carlos leave the club; that bubbly character provoked a response in the early days of his reign but the last nine games of the season were disastrous and many people blame the manager’s increasingly negative tactics and cautious nature. It’s pretty hard to gauge what sort of job Carlos has done to be honest…was his early success just a case of “new manager’s bounce”? Could any other manager get a sustained level of performance out of these players? Was he doomed to failure when he lost both Bony and Fer from his line-up for the rest of the season?

Perhaps this difficulty in assessing the job done by Carvalhal is reflected in the worrying U-turn the club made over his position. Let’s remember that just a few short weeks ago the club hierarchy were trying to tie him down to a new three year contract. A couple of months later and he’s considered not good enough. How fortunate we are that Carlos stalled on any negotiations otherwise that would be yet another hefty management pay-off we’d be liable for!

Whilst I think it is the right decision to let Carlos go – I feel we need a real fresh start with an attacking manager that likes width and ball retention – what he didn’t deserve was The Guidiolin Treatment.

Just like with Francesco Guidolin, it seems club insiders were happy to feed information to the local media in order to undermine the manager without the Chairman or owners having the decency to talk to their employee face to face and put him out of his misery. It’s led to an embarrassing and uncomfortable few days where the Press have openly admitted the club advised that it would be parting company with Carvalhal only for the man himself to contradict that after conversations with Jenkins and the American owners. Comparisons can be drawn with the treatment of Sam Allardyce at Everton but Carlos could never be held in the same contempt by Swans fans that Toffees supporters reserved for the arrogant Allardyce.

It’s another entry into the Hall of HR Shame along with firing Laudrup by text, demoting Alan Curtis by the same method and fabricating Board meeting minutes to remove to stubborn club directors!

The removal of Carvalhal from his position marks the latest in a line of departures since the Swans were relegated. Angel Rangel and Ki Seung-Yeung have moved on, Tammy Abraham, Andy King and Renato Sanches have seen their loan spells expire and Leon Britton has sadly hung up his boots. But one man that hasn’t moved on…yet…is Huw Jenkins.

The under fire Chairman has finally come out of hiding to offer some half hearted plaudits to yet another outgoing manager whilst reassuring everyone that “he” is part of the “we” that will be looking to appoint a new manager for the 2018-19 season.

Now that he’s surfaced again Jenkins might also like to explain why he was missing from the last home game of the season and why he’s yet to stand down after admitting in a controversial interview last December that his position would be untenable if the Swans were relegated. I won’t hold my breath though as Jenkins desperately tries to keep his head down and subsequently keep his half a million a year pay packet!

With Jenkins seemingly at the heart of the latest pursuit of yet another new manager it would seem that there is little appetite on behalf of Kaplan & Levien to instigate revolutionary change at this watershed moment. That’s a real shame because there’s no getting away from the fact that Jenkins’ decision making is a big reason for our relegation and his presence at the club becomes an ever increasing divisive issue that’s just not going to go away.

As it is, Jenkins is still in post and the manager that very nearly saved his bacon by pulling off a second successive ‘Great Escape’ is left to look for a new job.

I’d like to wish Carlos Carvalhal all the very best for the future, wherever that takes him…

…ultimately he wasn’t successful but he’ll always be looked upon as a colourful character in our history…

…if only he’d proven to be a managerial lobster rather than a sardine!



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