Another Iberian by the Mumbles?
Paulo Sousa as a player was a true European superstar of the nineties and a pivotal member of Portugal’s dazzling World Youth Championship win in 1991; although as a group, they were surpassed in achievement at full international level by the Scolari line ups of the following decade. It was at club level that the unhurried and dynamic midfielder gained most success, with back to back European Cup wins in 1996 and 1997 – wearing the foreign colours of Juventus and Borussia Dortmund.
Like many before him, he has subsequently followed the trail of managerial money to Britain. A troubled spell at QPR – where it is rumoured that the manager’s office bears the current incumbent’s name in chalk – ended with accusations and counter accusations. Company secrets had allegedly been divulged and this mini-Mourinho was out on his ear.
So, it’s a little surprising to witness him on the point of signing a deal to replace Roberto Martinez at the Liberty Stadium, Swansea. The purest footballing side this level has seen at this level for many a year, the Swans face a summer of uncertainty, with successful loanee Jordi Gomez on his way back to Español or elsewhere, and several others touted for moves. Principle Number One was to ensure continuity in playing style and it seems that the Swansea board have opted for another Iberian manager to achieve this, rather than the likes of Aidy Boothroyd, also heavily linked to the job. Sousa has a lot to prove – will we see another great importing of talent in the manner of his predecessor?