First days in the job | Swansea City
Russell Martin will follow in some illustrious footsteps when he strides out of the tunnel at Ewood Park this afternoon to take charge of Swansea City for the first time.
The 35-year-old becomes the 50th person – including caretaker and interim bosses – to lead the Swans, and he is the fourth Scot to do so following on from Frank Burrows, Tommy Hutchison and Neil Harris.
He is the 15th full-time appointment made by the club in the 21st century, and he will be hoping he can get up and running in a similar fashion to a number of his recent predecessors.
Interestingly, Martin will become the sixth Swans gaffer in the last seven to coach his first game away from home, with Steve Cooper the sole exception in that sequence.
In fact, 12 of the 17 people to take charge of the Swans – in a permanent or caretaker capacity – have kicked off their reign with a game away from SA1.
While it should be noted that Martin has had a very quick turnaround to his first game in charge, nevertheless he and his players will be hoping that they can leave Lancashire with a positive result as seven of the previous eight full-time bosses have.
Michael Laudrup started the current trend as he led the Swans to a stunning 5-0 win over QPR at Loftus Road in 2012, with Garry Monk claiming an unforgettable 3-0 win over Cardiff on an emotionally charged night at the Liberty in 2014.
Francesco Guidolin, meanwhile, created a piece of Swans’ history in his first game in charge as he oversaw a 2-1 win at Everton for the club’s first ever victory at Goodison Park.
Bob Bradley is the exception in recent history as he suffered a 3-2 defeat at Arsenal at the outset of his tenure, while Paul Clement tends to be credited with a 2-1 win at Crystal Palace on the day of his appointment.
However, it should be noted that club great Alan Curtis was the man in the dugout from the start at Selhurst Park that January night, with Clement coming down from watching in the stands to take a place in the touchline shortly before half-time.
Carlos Carvalhal enjoyed an instant impact when he got the Swans job in December 2017, seeing late goals from Luciano Narsingh and Jordan Ayew seal a dramatic victory at Watford.
Graham Potter also sealed a 2-1 away win first up, Oli McBurnie and Yan Dhanda netting in a fine victory over Sheffield United at Bramall Lane, while there was another come-from-behind success in Steve Cooper’s first game against Hull at the Liberty as Borja Baston and Mike van der Hoorn turned that game around.
Interestingly, no Swans boss has drawn a first game in charge this century. Should that trend continue today then Martin will hopefully continue that sequence of being on the right side of the ledger on day one.
But, no matter the outcome this afternoon after a busy week for the new boss, there is no questioning the excitement among supporters for what the future may hold as he, his coaching staff and the squad get more and more time to work together.