Despite his previous insistence to the contrary, rumors still abound in certain gregarious football circles about Swansea City coach Brendan Rodgers meeting with Liverpool officials to discuss being the replacement for the recently dethroned Kenny Dalglish. While Wigan’s Roberto Martinez was reported to have climbed to the top of Liverpool’s shortlist, some have suggested that aspects of the vacant post—notably, having to work under a director of football—are inimical to Martinez’s style and sensibilities.
I will admit that I’m not terribly familiar with Roberto Martinez nor with Wigan Athletic, despite their meteoric rise out of the relegation zone in April and May (they ended up 15th in the table overall, with late wins over Manchester United, Arsenal, and Newcastle, after being 20th, off and on, for 14 weeks). Nor do I remember when Martinez was the standard bearer for a Swansea side that rose up the ranks from League One to England’s second tier division, paving the way for their eventual climb to the English Premier League. I don’t know if leaving Swansea was the right move for him then, as I’m not sure leaving Wigan is the right move for him now.
But what I do know is that leaving is the wrong move for Brendan Rodgers. Why he would want to leave a club where he has the utmost respect of his players, who executed his game-plans to near-perfection this past season, to enter the lion’s den at the helm of a turbulent and uncertain Liverpool club is beyond me. Yes, Liverpool has the history and tradition, making the coach’s spot quite a prestigious one, but Swansea has something that few teams will have going into the 2012/2013 season: a solidified system. Even City and United, who occupied the top two spots all last season, will go into next year with drastically different strategies and rosters. Swansea will (or could be) one of the few teams with most of the major pieces in place, putting them in a position to make a run for the top half in only their second season in the EPL.
Furthermore, Swansea City are very redeemable with Rodgers in charge. Their style is measured, their passing precise and patient. They aren’t ostentatious or imprudent. In short, they play respectable, pretty football. Why fix something that’s not broken?