Carlos Carvalhal is currently making sizable waves in The English Premier League with Swansea City.
Since the diminutive Portuguese coach took the helm, Swansea have enjoyed an incredible turnaround.
Carvalhal left struggling EFL Championship outfit Sheffield Wednesday on Christmas Eve but made a quick-fire return to management just a few days later with Swansea City.
The move came as a surprise but The Swans are now reaping the benefits from the latest Premier League left field appointment.
Since Carvalhal arrived, Swansea have lost just once in The Premier League, to the divisions inform side, Tottenham. The impressive run includes victories against Liverpool and Arsenal.
King of the analogy
Carvahal’s analogies have got the mainstream media fawning over him, it’s not hard to see why.
“I said to my players that Liverpool were a top team, they are really strong, but they are a Formula 1 car. If you put a Formula 1 car in London in traffic, the Formula 1 car will not run very fast,” Carvalhal told Sky Sports.
“That is exactly what we had to do to play against Liverpool – stop them playing the way they like. We had the fortune to score and after that, playing against a strong team, we held on.
Just seven games after Carvalhal’s arrival and Swansea City have moved from the bottom of the table and out of the relegation zone. The former Besiktas boss has now won more points than Paul Clement managed in 20 games.
Carlos has been a hit with the press and his new players but are we seeing the real Carvalhal?
Swansea are Carvalhal’s 17th club in just 19 years. A startling total for even the most well traveled of managers.
Carvalhal’s capricious start to management was littered with dismissals but also some success, at Leixões he oversaw a cup run that ended with an appearance in a final and a UEFA Cup spot, his next job with Vitoria Setubal ended with promotion but Carvalhal didn’t stick around leaving for Belenenses.
Short term manager?
Belenenses, Braga and S.C. Beira-Mar all relieved Carvalhal of his services before another short stint back at Vitoria which was much more successful ending in a European place.
Again Carvalhal didn’t stick around, instead heading to Turkey as Beisktas’s interim manager via Greek side Tripoli and more short spells at Maritiomo and Sporting in his native Portugal.
13 clubs in 10 years would send alarm bells ringing for most club owners.
The Wednesday years
Three years of nothing and then out of the blue an offer from Sheffield Wednesday who were sitting 15th in The EFL Championship at the time.
Thai tuna tycoon Delphan Chansiri had just bought the club, spirits were high at Hillsborough, for the first time in years they had money to spend, real money that could make a difference in a competitive division.
Carvalhal took full advantage clearing out the squad and spending huge amounts (for The Championship) on full transfers and loans. Most fees were undisclosed but estimates on spending suggest at least £30 million was spent on fee’s and wages.
With Chansiri providing the backing and Carlos endearing himself to the Wednesday faithful, times were good at Hillsborough, a 3-0 victory over Arsenal in The League Cup helped build confidence that carried the team all the way to the play off final.
40,000 Wednesday fans packed Wembley and created an unbelievable atmosphere said by pundits to be the loudest ever, unfortunately it was all in vain as a lackluster Owls side lost 1-0.
Much of the fanbase felt Wednesday had bottled it at just the wrong time but overall the season was a success.
During the summer , something changed, Wednesdays attacking threat was lessening in favour of a tight defence, the fans weren’t happy. During the pre-season a few questionable signings were made and given huge contracts even though many of the players didn’t have the best injury record.
Wednesday were nowhere near the team of the previous season but a late surge saw them finish a very respectable 4th and secured a play off semi final with Huddersfield Town.
Again a poor display devoid of attacking intent meant no trip to Wembley this year.
The fans start to turn
Many fans were at this point sick of the dire football on offer and many wanted Carlos Carvahal’s reign to come to an end, some, including Carlos, sighted injuries for the poor end to the campaign.
The chairman stuck by him even taking Carvalhal’s advice to sack the entire physio team and employing a team recommended by the coach.
This season has been a disaster for The Owls, instead of solving the injury problem, it got worse, much worse, at one point 14 first team regulars were out for long periods. The fan-base was getting increasingly frustrated with the results but more so the performances which were nothing like the first few months of Carlos’s reign.
When asked, Carvalhal insisted they were playing the same way, blaming injuries and referees for the teams woes without ever taking any responsibility himself.
During a press conference Carlos lost his cool with his famous £20 rant. A stark contrast to the jovial fellow we have seen in recent weeks.
By November most Wednesday fans had seen enough.
Same old negative boring football week in week out #CarlosOut
— Daniel carvahal (@daniel_carvahal) December 24, 2017
— Jason Barefoot (@JasonSwFc) December 9, 2017
On Christmas Eve Carvalhal was finally relieved of his duties, much too late according to most Owls.
Carlos walked into a Premier League job soon after to the surprise of everyone except Carlos, it has since been revealed that Carvalhal was already talking to Swansea and had been for some time.
When Carvalhal took over at Sheffield Wednesday they were 15th with a wage budget to match, when he left, the team were in much the same position league table wise, but with a comparatively humongous wage bill, an injured squad and little money left for transfers due to financial fair play rules.
During his Hillsborough stint Carvalhal has spent somewhere between £50 -70 million, a figure that is hard to substantiate due to undisclosed transfer fee’s.
Rumours emerged of badly treated players and poor training regimes. By the players own admittance, they weren’t fit enough, apparently fitness work was unheard of and poor discipline ran throughout the team.
Despite a sour end to life at Sheffield Wednesday some fans were sad to see him go but the vast majority were relieved.
A few words on Carlos Carvahal: I don’t understand all the adulation + gratitude. His legacy should be one of underachievement + turgid football. Poor recruitment, when we had the budget to compete with the top spenders. Frankly, he’s left us in a right mess. Good riddance. #swfc
— John Hiley (@JohnHiley) December 31, 2017
Even so Carlos walked into a lucrative Premier League contract just days later.
Replacing Paul Clement with Carlos Carvahal is like replacing the captain of the Titanic with the captain of the Costa Concordia #SwanseaCity
— Chris Durning (@rtisantraveller) December 28, 2017
Carlos Carvahal to Swansea was an appointment I never saw coming. Talk about falling upwards. Prep for relegation I think but let’s see what happens #Swans
— Glen Naylor (@Glen_Naylor) December 28, 2017
Swansea’s recent form has made these comments sound ridiculous but can Swansea continue that form?
Swansea sit just one point above the perilous Premier League drop-zone. The recent run has been slightly subdued due to recent injuries to three key players, has the Carlos injury curse followed him into Wales?
Carvalhal seems to be a confidence manager, when things are going well his teams will fly, but when his teams are out of sorts and out of confidence the same seems to happen to Carlos. His media persona can quickly change from glorious analogies to £20 note screwing, a side to him that Swansea are yet to see.
You can forgive Swansea fans and the mainstream media for thinking The Premier League has a new ‘special one’ but does his record suggest that?
Here at The Football Report we think the jury is still well and truly out.
In the grand scheme of things, Carvalhal achieved nothing at Sheffield Wednesday, and spent a fortune doing it.
He won’t get the comparative fortunes to spend at Swansea and when the impressive run ends can Carvalhal keep them up?
Post a comment and let us know if you think Carlos can keep Swansea in The Premier League.