Louis van Gaal isn't the right man for Swansea, writes Paul Parker. And anyway, he has bigger fish to fry...
Swansea only sacked Paul Clement on Wednesday night but already there's been talk about Slaven Bilic and Ronald Koeman possibly coming in. The most eyecatching name, though, is surely that of Louis van Gaal.
It would be a huge coup for a struggling Premier League but I'd be very surprised to see him end up at Swansea. With all due respect, it is a job which is beneath his level. Van Gaal isn't a manager who wants to be fighting a relegation battle. He doesn't have that kind of profile. And in fact, as we learned last week, he has other motivations on his mind.
Van Gaal spoke openly this week about how he wanted to "get one over on Manchester United" if a "big English club" offered him the chance. The convention in football is to never admit that you want revenge, but Van Gaal doesn't care who knows it. He feels bitter about the whole situation and who could blame him?
United treated him badly and the way he ended his tenure there should be a real cause of regret. He was holding his press conference after winning the FA Cup and news of his departure had already been leaked. It was a very poor way of dealing with things by Manchester United. It would never have happened with David Gill in charge.
Regardless of whether he deserved the sack or not, you just don't treat someone like that. It was terrible, what they did to Van Gaal.
Clearly he wants the chance to set the record straight and I think most people would be happy to see him back in England. His style of play was a bit exposed at United and he would need to show some flexibility in changing his approach. But I think Van Gaal deserves another opportunity in the Premier League.
But as he mentioned, if he comes back it will be at a big club where he has the chance to win medals. Swansea cannot offer that. Yes, there were issues with his time at United - concerns about the playing style and its suitability for England - but Van Gaal is a guy with Ajax, Barcelona and Bayern Munich on his CV, it would be a huge, huge step down.
It would also be the wrong path for Swansea.
They need a manager who has experience of the Premier League. In fairness, Hull went for a novice in Marco Silva last season and it almost kept them up, but the safer option is to get someone who knows the league and is familiar with that kind of challenge.
Van Gaal isn't necessarily the kind of coach who goes into a club and immediately wins all the players over with a friendly word and a warm arm around the shoulder. At the moment, Swansea need an immediate pick-me-up. Van Gaal isn't the man you look to for that kind of lift.
Time to stop living in the past
Sometimes you have to go back to basics. The progressive, passing football of the Roberto Martinez and Paulo Sousa era has gone. It's time to forget all that and focus on preserving their top-flight status. They need to earn the right to be in the Premier League and earn the right to try and play that more expansive football. They need a manager who has done the hard grind.
Too many of the players are living in the past and the club are living in the past too. It's time to forget all that and live in the real world. It's time to get back to 'good old Swansea', when they had the likes of John Toshack and Alan Curtis. That's the kind of identity they need to rediscover.
It peaked when Michael Laudrup won them the League Cup in 2013 but ever since his team started sliding, Swansea have regressed and regressed. It's now three seasons in a row that they have sacked a manager in December: Garry Monk, Bob Bradley and Paul Clement. It points to a larger problem at the club, rather than just a succession of bad managers.
Clement is known as a terrific coach, but I played under two terrific coaches in my career who didn't become good managers: Ray Harford and Bryan Kidd. Their man-management skills were impeccable, two wonderful people who could get across what the boss wanted from you. But when it came to managing clubs, they just couldn't do it. It wasn't them. And I think the same thing maybe applies to Paul Clement.
Van Gaal is quite the opposite. He is a born manager. Just not the right one for Swansea.