Cooper is the Man
by Nigel Davies
Hands up if you got excited when the name Steve Cooper was added to the mix for the vacant Swansea City manager’s job last summer…
…nope, my hand has stayed firmly by my side and I suspect the same is true for most readers, if they are being honest.
True, there weren’t many, if any, exciting names being thrown around as the club sought to replace Graham Potter; the likes of Gus Poyet and Michael Appleton didn’t exactly get the pulses racing.
But even amongst the low key list of names thrown around by Press and bookies alike, Cooper barely raised an eyebrow never mind a pulse, until he quickly emerged as the man likely to take over…
…and then pulses went into overdrive as sections of the fan base complained; “he’s a Cardiff fan,” some shouted, “he’s the cheap option,” screamed many more whilst a daft percentage decided that the man was “too ugly” to do a good job!
Of course, everyone’s on board with the Steve Cooper appointment now as we currently sit joint top of the Championship after the first eight games.
Positive results right from the start have bought Cooper the credibility he craved and spared him the crushing pressure he’d have been under had he lost the first few Championship games.
There’s a lot of respect and goodwill towards Cooper right now due to his achievements with a young squad that was stripped of two of its best assets – Dan James and Oli McBurnie – before the season started.
That respect and goodwill MUST be retained for the long term, no matter how the season plays out from here.
I’ll be honest and say I’m a little worried that Cooper might become a victim of his own success.
In the aftermath of Graham Potter’s defection to Brighton and the loss of James and McBurnie, many fans would have gladly accepted a mid table finish over the course of this season. Given the continuing financial burden we are under that’s a view that is only right and sensible.
However, Cooper’s raised expectations with the start we’ve had and it’s been hard not to get carried away.
The last minute victory at Leeds to take us top outright for the international break felt like “one of those moments” but it’s the overall sum of our games that suggests we could play a part in the promotion race.
We’ve shown a number of the characteristics and attributes required for success; we’ve been clinical in front of goal, we’ve been resolute at the back when needed, we’ve worn teams down and we’ve hurt them on the counter attack.
It’s a long, long season though and I just hope and pray that fans won’t turn on Cooper should we start to fizzle out of the promotion picture.
As a club we’ve not just been on the treatment table for a few years, we’ve been on a mortuary slab, all but killed off by the greed and incompetence of Jenkins and the Americans.
Signs of life have been spotted though thanks to the care and attention of Trevor Birch and the patient has been moved to Intensive Care.
Our lofty place in the table right now should not disguise the fact that we are still grossly injured after our tumble out of the Premier League.
What we need is a period of stability under a manager that has clear ability, an affinity with young players and a desire to play flowing football…
…Graham Potter could have been that man if he’d stayed…
…Steve Cooper IS the man.
There’s plenty to admire about Cooper, from the way he sets up his side, to his unquenchable thirst to win every game. From his man management of players (young and old) to the way he treats the staff at the club (which is excellent, I’m told).
Cooper will only get better too as he gains the experience he’s craved at senior level.
As fans we have to back Cooper irrespective of results over the rest of this season.Let’s carry on getting behind the man whilst he has us at the top, but back him even more should the bigger budgets in the division start to overhaul us.
For the first time in a long time it feels like we have the right men in the Boardroom and in the dugout at the same time. Birch is the right call for Chairman. And for the dugout?
Cooper is the Man!