Swansea City 0-0 Brighton
29th September 2007
Swansea City produced yet another disappointing performance at the Liberty Stadium as we were held to a 0-0 draw against Brighton this afternoon.
Things really need to improve if we even want to gain a play-off place this season as we looked very ordinary and predictable going forward.
Roberto Martinez made three changes to the side that lost against Leeds last weekend. Darren Pratley returned in midfield to replace O'Leary, Orlandi was handed his full debut on the left wing and Warren Feeney replaced the injured Darryl Duffy up front.
Rangel - Lawrence - Monk - Painter
Butler - Pratley - Bodde - Orlandi
Feeney - Scotland
Brighton came here in a far less defensive style than previous opponents at the Liberty, and as Martinez predicted they certainly gave us a game in the opening half.
Dorus De Vries was forced into making a few excellent saves early on and had to tip over a lobbed effort from the right hand side. The defence could have easily prevented the Dutchman from making these saves though if our marking was tighter in the final third.
At the other end, Swansea also had a few chances, mostly falling to loanee Warren Feeney but we failed to get the 11,000 fans excited. Thomas Butler crossed the ball in for the Cardiff City player but his header was easily saved by the goalkeeper.
A dull atmosphere inside the stadium said it all after a lacklustre first half performance from the Swans.
Orlandi was a surprise choice on the left wing and he seemed to lack confidence when going forward. He was slow and he still doesn't look ready to start a full game. However, he made a big improvement in the second half and showed us what he's capable of, with some good glimpses of skill.
Brighton really should have been ahead at the break but thanks to De Vries both teams went into the dressing rooms level at half time.
We could only get better in the second half and we certainly showed more urgency from the restart. We finally gave the fans something to cheer about as the noise levels started to increase slightly.
Rangel again was playing well and seemed to be one of very few who was putting in maximum effort. In the first half he was forced to come into the centre to tidy up the loose balls and in the second half he was overlapping Butler and Rangel seemed to lack understanding of each though as errors crept in between their play. Rangel's crosses were usually useless though and Butler preferred to go inside as he struggled to beat his marker.
Ferrie Bodde came closest for the Swans with a fierce drive from 25 yards that struck the post.
His partner in the centre of midfield Darren Pratley again struggled to play some forward passes out wide or up to the strikers as we found it difficult to break down the Seagulls. Our play was predictable, there's no pace to cause problems and our aerial ability is non existent. Long balls were played up towards the frontmen but they were pointless as we were always conceding possession.
Martinez made his first change after 63 minutes as Paul Anderson replaced Warren Feeney.
The Swans were getting to the byeline more and getting crosses in but Scotland in particular was daudling on the ball inside the penalty area when really he should be striking the ball first time.
Despite of this Brighton looked pretty safe at 0-0 and they even had a chance to get all three in injury time when a long shot struck the bar and luckily bounced on the line and out for safety.
It was another performance that could be compared to the last two at home. We are struggling to break teams down and we don't look like we have a game plan out there. Possession is lost far too often, we have no aerial ability whatsoever and we're not getting enough numbers in the box to get on the end of crosses.
A huge improvement is needed and I wouldn't be surprised if we were to get less than 10,000 for Tuesday's game against Swindon.
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De Vries - 7
Rangel - 7
Monk - 7
Lawrence - 5.5
Painter - 6
Butler - 6
Bodde - 7
Pratley - 6
Orlandi - 6
Scotland - 6
Feeney - 6