A thousand days – the entire length of the Kennedy presidency – had elapsed since Borja Baston last scored for Swansea City, but manager Steve Cooper believes history moves on without so much as a backward glance.
“Ask not what your country can do for you – ask what you can do for your country,” declared John F. Kennedy at his inauguration.
After scoring the equaliser in Swansea’s 2-1 opening Championship season victory at home to Hull City, it was case of Borja doing for his club, rather than them doing away with him as seemed to be the case for much of the summer.
The Spaniard had last scored for Swansea – his only goal for the club since his record £15.5m transfer – in October 2016 in a Premier League defeat to Arsenal.
That was 1,022 days before his header found the net on Saturday, but after Mike van der Hoorn followed up with a winner, Cooper is ready to wipe the slate clean with Borja, who has been through four managers and two loan spells since his last strike.
“I’ve only been here six weeks but Borja has been here longer and I’m very much looking forward,” said Cooper.
“He’s in the team, he’s got number nine on his back so let’s look forward.
“I think he’s very committed to scoring goals and the team are going to be creating chances for him. He was in the right spot at the right time today which showed his instincts.
“We will look to get another forward in, we’ll have information over the next 24 or 48 hours. It’s a process we’ve gone through over a number of weeks.
“I’m obviously delighted to get the three points. Going 1-0 down at home is never an easy scenario, especially in the first game of the season. But I thought the fans were brilliant after that goal.
“Everybody has told me since I joined the club how supportive the fans are, if ever there was an example of that it was today.”
Borja still has pace that could trouble any defence and if his confidence levels can be restored with some more early season goals, then the rejuvenation of his career at the Liberty Stadium could be one of the stories of the season.
But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. If any club, anywhere in the world offers to take his wages off Swansea’s bill, then the American owners are likely to have a cab at the Spaniard’s door quicker than you can say, ‘Adios, amigo’.
Hull manager Grant McCann watched his side undo their first-half good work in two second-half minutes, but he believes they can learn from their mistakes.
Daniel Batty got the faintest of touches to a Kamil Grosicki shot to edge Hull ahead after only three minutes but Swansea turned the tables with a pair of goals in two minutes after the restart.
More than two years on from his last outing in a Swansea shirt, Borja showed his poacher’s instinct to lift a header over goalkeeper George Long and into the net after Jay Fulton had flicked Nathan Dyer’s cross into the air.
The Swansea supporters were on their feet again one minute and 47 seconds later when Van Der Hoorn stooped to head them in front.
Jake Bidwell’s cross clipped the crossbar and fell to Dyer, who hit the ball back into the ground for the Dutch centre-back to dive in and head home.
McCann said: “I thought we were excellent for 45 minutes. We executed everything we worked on going into the game and the game plan was working really well.
“We were making Swansea play outside us and they weren’t causing us any problems.
“We spoke about denying them space and not letting their wide players drift into space and then two minutes into the second half we conceded because of it. We just switched off.
“It was a crazy three minutes. We switched off again on a second ball when the ball came off the bar. Defensively we need to work smarter and harder.”
“Our first-half display was very good and then for 15 minutes in the second half I thought we were very good and we pushed. But we need to get better and keep learning and we will do that.”
Hull lost defender Jordy De Wijs to illness in the second half, with the Dutchman having been down at one point in the first.
McCann said: “Jordy was ill, he’s been ill all through the night. He wanted to play but it took its toll on him in the second half. Being the person that he is, Jordy wanted to play.”