Usually every summer the off-season is famous for the transfer merry-go-round of players. Within a fortnight of the season ending jobs were vacant at Aston Villa, Chelsea, Liverpool and at West Brom.
As so often when top-jobs become available, other clubs often feel the brunt of it wondering their manager will leave to take up a better offer or in some cases resign costing them a compensation-package.
Then those clubs have to work quickly to find their new manager and that sets of a chain of events where more clubs and players are and can be brought into the mess leaving plans for next season in thin air with fans confused and nervous about what the end-result will bring for them.
Very quickly after Kenny Dalglish’s departure from Anfield, Brendan Rodgers was immediately linked along with Wigan’s Roberto Martinez with the vacant hotseat at Liverpool. The Northern Irishman originally declined talks whilst his predecessor at Swansea had talks with Liverpool’s owners only to not accept the job.
Liverpool then came back in for Rodgers last week who became their new manager on Thursday signing a three-year deal. Swansea it seems have quickly lined up their former assistant manager Graeme Jones who spent two years at the Liberty Stadium as Martinez’s assistant before following the Spaniard to the DW Stadium in 2009.
Losing Rodgers is a major blow for Swansea who finished 11th last season and would have secured a top-half finish had they not lost 5 of their last 9 games. In going in for Jones, the club are going in for someone who knows the club and who the fans should be confident with. His mission will be very simple, keep the Swans in the Premier League. If that means finishing 17th next season and securing their place on the final day, then so be it.
Norwich City finished 12th last season, which was a tremendous achievement after back-to-back promotions. Alike Swansea, they too played a great brand of entertaining football that won over neutrals and didn’t flirt with relegation once.
Paul Lambert has never been far from success. If it’s been winning the Scottish Cup with St Mirren aged only 17, to winning multiple trophies with Celtic as well as winning the European Cup with Borussia Dortmund, he has learnt and played under some great managers most notably Otmaar Hitzfield and Martin O’Neil.
Lambert has kept a lot of the Norwich squad that got promoted from League 1 back in 2010 firmly in his plans and was instantly made the favourite to take over at Aston Villa after the departure of Alex McLeish. It looks likely that the Scot will be joined at Villa Park by his star striker Grant Holt who put in a transfer-request last month.
So have Norwich and Swansea paid the price of a successful season. Yes but it shows a great compliment to both clubs that clubs the size of Villa and Liverpool are in for their managers. Both sides would have taken that 5 years ago as it would have meant that they would have had to be doing well as a result of their managers being up for a top job.
As for the fixture-computer pairing Swansea at home to Liverpool and Norwich at home to Villa on the final day of last season, well that’s just a coincidence . However with both Rodgers and Lambert coming out victorious, there’s no doubt that both results did neither manager any harm. Hopefully both will get the time needed to become successful in their new roles and that their old clubs will survive without them, otherwise critics will say last season for both clubs and their managers was simply down to overachieving.
By Adam Dennehey @ADennehey87