Date:Tuesday July 7 2009
There was a discussion on the Vital Swansea forum a few weeks ago about what we'd like to see new manager Paulo Sousa change in the way we play the game.
We witnessed some fantastic football under Roberto Martinez for the past 2 years, our strengths substancially outnumbered the weaknesses, but what things do you want us to get rid of in our game under Paulo Sousa in the Championship next season?
The new boss is looking to continue the good work that the Spaniard has done over the past 27 months or so but he says he will be installing his own ideas as to how his squad should play. Huw Jenkins was particular in choosing Roberto's replacement, he wanted someone who keep the team entertaining the fans with a slick passing game. That got me thinking, what weaknesses do we need to cut out of our game? Every team has them and we showed ours particularly towards the end of last year's campaign.
Our domination of possession was sometimes enjoyable, but on other occasions it became frustrating when we struggled to convert possession into goals, and goals into wins.
I've never known the Swans to draw so many games in a season, we drew 20 last year and a number of those you felt as though we should have won. There was a period through November and the whole of December when we drew 8 consecutive games, the spell that saw us lose an opportunity of finishing within the play-offs. A poor end to the season also ended our hopes of a top 6 finish.
We also found it difficult, especially at home, to break down teams sometimes who played to defend and hold out for a draw, sometimes we were too patient in our build up play and we needed to be more direct in our attacking game.
Just to add before I go on, this is by no means a way of picking out Martinez's weaknesses in his methods and his management style because I'm bitter in the way he left the club, just a look at how we can change and yet again surprise people in the Championship next season.
For me, Blackpool on the final day of last season proved that we were becoming quite predictable. Although the Seasiders were not a brilliant side to watch, tactically they were excellent and the manager obviously had done his homework and limited our threat. We struggled to break them down throughout the 90 minutes and they held on well to their 1-goal advantage. Jason Scotland was our main source of goals and in a 4-5-1 formation, the emphasis on the midfield was to get the ball to the consistent goalscorer. Blackpool targetted the striker and made it difficult for him to get even close to scoring.
Something Paulo Sousa could bring to the club is his willingness to try out different formations and systems during a season. Some fans didn't like our constant use of a 4-5-1 line-up and thought 4-4-2 could see us improve further. Martinez was a huge fan though, and hardly ever switched to 4-4-2.
What aspects of our play would you like us to cut out of our game next season and what do we need to improve on under new boss Paulo Sousa? Share your thoughts below and in the Forum here
Vital Swansea is a fansite made by the fans, for the fans and we're always looking for people to help run the site with their own articles. If are interested in writing a column like this with your thoughts on the Swans, then please get in touch and email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Date:Tuesday July 7 2009
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