The Russell Martin era has started at Swansea City and though we are just 48 hours or so into it, the initial impression is one of excitement.

It is fair to say this summer has been another shambolic one for Swansea, with leading players leaving, a head coach departing in less than ideal circumstances and a recruitment drive that took a number of turns before sights were set on Martin.

Ah well, the king is dead etc.

For the fanbase is abuzz with anticipation again, something which had been missing to a certain extent under Steve Cooper.

His achievements should not be underestimated in any quarter - two play-off finishes in successive seasons should not be sniffed at - but there was an acceptance from most that the football on show wasn't always the easiest on the eye.

READ MORE: Russell Martin's first words as Swansea City boss

Style over substance is something which divides most supporters but at Swansea it is taken to another level because of standards set by previous managers.

Putting his stamp on this team will take time - something that, in the short term at least - he hasn't got much of. So what does he need to do?

Address squad weaknesses

Alan Tate probably summed it up best following the Swans' 3-1 defeat to Southampton at the weekend.

"There has to be strengthening in the squad, 100 per cent," he stated.

"Where we get that from, I'm not sure. Whether it be people we buy, people we loan.

"That'll come down to the transfer strategy that the new manager, Andy Scott, Julian [Winter] and the powers that be, they will dictate what that strategy looks like.

"In terms of squad-wise, the squad definitely needs more players in it because, the plan for people like Lincoln [McFayden], Scott [Butler], Ben Lloyd, Dan Williams and Oli Cooper, all the lads that we ended the game with today which, to be fair, is a fantastic achievement for the academy, but in terms of being ready for first team football, Oli and Dan potentially could be, but the rest are far too young.

"There was a lot of hype around Ben, but we've got to remember Ben is 16. There is a plan for him and his development and being a first team player in the Championship at the minute isn't it."

What do they actually need? A fair bit, in all honesty. The goalkeeping situation is far from nailed down, a right-back to compensate for Connor Roberts' absence, replacements for the outgoing Matt Grimes and George Byers, a creative player, an attacking player with pace and another striker would all be signed in a perfect world.

That won't happen, of course, with a Covid climate hampering most clubs' transfer dealings, especially those whose purse strings are as tight as Swansea's.

But with less than a month to go before the window closes, Swansea's squad needs major surgery.

Sort out Matt Grimes and the captaincy

As mentioned above, Swansea will likely need a replacement for Grimes the midfielder and Grimes the captain.

The 26-year-old has been heavily linked with Fulham of late and it appears a move is close. It's a shame in many ways, because Grimes would be perfect for the way Russell likes to play football.

But finances will always dictate matters and the new man will have to decide whether to include the skipper at Ewood Park against Blackburn on Saturday, should a transfer not materialise in that time and indeed if he can shake off a knock that kept him out of the Saints and Forest Green Rovers clashes.

Who would be in line to take the armband? Roberts would surely be in with a shout if he were fit, but Ryan Bennett is the obvious candidate while Korey Smith is a contender.

Martin has just a few days to decide on that.

Quench the fans' thirst

Swansea supporters have been starved of free-flowing football in recent years, with Cooper's approach being far more pragmatic rather than perhaps pleasing on the eye.

It was effective, however, and it is a manager's eternal quest to find that balance between what gets results and what gets fans and observers purring.

Martin has talked a good game but putting one on is a different matter altogether. That said, his stats from his MK Dons stint point towards a blueprint far closer to what Swansea supporters want and have come to expect in the last 10 years or so.

The fare put on by Roberto Martinez, Brendan Rodgers and Michael Laudrup was a showcase of possession-based, free-flowing football which felt more at home at the ambassador's reception - we were often spoiled by it.

Can Martin bring easy-on-the-eye football back to SA1? It is certainly something he wants to do.

“I know the fanbase and what they expect in terms of the modern Swansea Way, that started under Roberto Martinez and continued under Brendan Rodgers and Michael Laudrup and people like that," he said on Sunday night.

“I am familiar with that, and I played against most of those teams throughout the years and we, as a coaching team, are very much aligned with that. It excites me.

“We really believe in it, and I hope that is an immediate connection and something we can enjoy.

“There is a lot of work to be done, but I feel immensely excited."

Again, encouraging soundbites. A manager trying to play the so-called 'right way' will always be afforded time in these parts, which brings us onto the next point.

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What he must be given in return

Time, from both the Liberty faithful and those in the boardroom.

As stated above, there will be a swell of support for a head coach who goes about things in the fabled Swansea Way and even if results aren't forthcoming to begin with, Martin must be given the opportunity to exert his footprint on this side.

He must also be given financial backing in terms of recruitment too. Big transfer fees are unlikely to be available to him but a worker is only as good as the tools he's provided with. Winter and Scott will hopefully partner with Martin to make sure he has what he wants at his disposal. That will, one would hope, have been discussed during the contract negotiation stage.

The signings made by Fulham and West Brom have already shown what Swansea are up against this season.

If Martin is to take his new side forward, he will need patience - and some pounds for good measure. Neither of those are guaranteed from the powers that be, but he can be rest assured that supporters will give him their strongest backing.