Brendan Rodgers is in the reckoning to be named Premier League manager of the season but I think the hype surrounding him is getting over the top.
Swansea have managed to steer clear of a relegation scrap which is a major positive for their first season in the top flight. They play neat, passing football which at times has been very easy on the eye but having witnessed it up close recently when they lost 3-0 to QPR at Loftus Road, when there is no end product it’s very dull, with the back four playing the game among themselves and the goalkeeper.
The Northern Irishman has been praised by pundits for getting the team to play in a European style and while they certainly operate in a manner which is more akin to La Liga than the Premier League it is not new to the club.
Previous managers Roberto Martinez and Paulo Sousa laid the foundations for the success which Rodgers has enjoyed. A philosophy started to develop at the club when Martinez came in as manager in 2007 on how the game was to be played, with Martinez bringing in a host of Spanish players as well as switching the system from the traditional 4-4-2 to the now popular 4-5-1.
Although Sousa’s tactics were more negative the basic set-up of the team was the same as the formation favoured by Rodgers, so when he took on the job in 2010 his ideas did not mean a major overhaul to the squad that had played under both Martinez and Sousa, such as Angel Rangel, Nathan Dyer and Ashley Williams who have excelled in the Premier League.
Clearly Rodgers has gone on to improve the team further with signings such as Danny Graham and Michel Vorm but seeing him linked with the Spurs job, should, as speculated, Harry Redknapp, end up becoming England manager would be a step too far at this stage.
Tottenham are a massive club looking to get Champions League football on a regular basis. Not only has Rodgers little experience managing in the top flight, and no European experience, his previous managerial roles away from the Liberty Stadium were not huge successes.
Following his time at Chelsea where he finished up as reserve team manager, when Jose Mourinho was in charge of the first team, Rodgers’ stint at Watford is best remembered for his departure from the club when Reading came calling just seven months into the job.
His methods did not work at the Madejski Stadium despite it appearing to be the perfect fit for him having previously been on the books of the club as a player and then coaching in the academy. The players could not adapt to the new approach and as a result he lasted just six months there.
One decent season managing in the Premier League needs to be built on before Rodgers should be considering a move elsewhere. Having previously left both Watford and Reading after such a brief amount of time it wouldn’t do him any harm to stay loyal to the three-and-a-half year deal which he signed with the Swans in February.
A £5 million release clause was included in that deal which would be a significant outlay for a club such as Spurs to recruit a manager who has yet to show consistently that he can win matches in the Premier League and challenge for honours in the other major competitions.