Swansea City were promoted into the Premier League under Brendan Rodgers and they quickly earned plenty of plaudits for their possession-based identity which refused to abandon its principles when faced with the challenge posed by a superior opponent.
Refreshing, exciting, brave; these are just some of the words which were used to describe Rodgers’ Swansea side on their debut campaign in the Premier League. Roberto Martinez planted the seeds of the new identity pre-Rodgers during his 2-year spell between 2007 and 2009 before he opted to take the reigns at Wigan Athletic.
The success of Swansea managers became something of a recurring theme as Rodgers accepted the Liverpool job in the summer of 2012 after leading the Swans to an 11th place finish on their debut campaign in the top-flight.
Michael Laurdrup was brought in to replace the departing tactician and the Danish manager actually managed to emulate Rodgers’ achievements by carrying the club to a 9th place finish, albeit with one less point than the previous season.
But Laurdrup’s second season in charge was cut short in Feburary 2014 following a 2-0 home defeat against West Ham which left them just two points above the relegation zone.
A moment in time: Michael Laudrup dismissed by Swansea
Laurdrup became another victim of the boardroom mentality in the modern game as the fear of suffering a financially-crippling relegation forced the board into a bold decision with just a few months remaining in the season.
His dismissal may have seemed like the right thing to do at the time, but ultimately things haven’t quite been the same at Swansea ever since.
The final embers of an aesthetically appealing identity have all but burnt out at the Liberty Stadium and their recent relegation became something of an inevitability as the years went by.
Laurdrup’s replacement, Garry Monk, did a fantastic job in the 2014/15 season as he led Swansea to a club record 56 points in the Premier League and an 8th place finish, but a poor start to the following campaign caused the trigger-happy board to panic once again and sack him in December 2015.
And since Monk left things have truly gone downhill for Swansea with Francesco Guidolin, Bob Bradley, Paul Clement and Carlos Carvalhal all coming and going in recent years.
It’s clear from looking back in hindsight at Laurdrup’s dismissal that Swansea’s decision signalled the beginning of a toxic culture of sacking which has ultimately tarnished the identity of a club which once prided itself on it’s progressive style of football.
Whether Graham Potter is able to end the growing trend at Swansea and restore a refreshing identity to the club remains to be seen, but if recent history is anything to go by then he won’t be able to afford many, if any slip ups along the way.