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Swansea City - Happy But Not Happy

Swansea City - Happy But Not Happy
Today was a much needed win over an unbeaten Sheffield United side tipped for promotion. Many had said before the match that it doesn't matter how the three points came as long as we get them. Well they had their wish, we got the three points without playing particularly well, but I am deeply concerned about what I saw.

First, I don't understand why Sousa persists in selecting an out of sorts/out of form Pintado when there are other options. Agreed I am an armchair manager like the other 14000 other supporters and we must make allowances for injuries, players with their minds needing sorting out and the tactics needed to counter a strong and well-organised Sheffield United side. But Pintado has not been cutting the mustard for me despite working hard and with a record signing Beattie who himself needs a run in the side on the bench I am finding it hard to make allowances.

Second, I thought the formation a clever one with Ashley playing as anchor between the defence and the midfield and with any other line up in front of him I would have given Sousa full marks. But again Sousa's selection was odd to say the least, unless there are mitigating circumstances I am not aware of. Where was Britton or Allen? Is size a consideration against a physically strong Sheffield side? But that has never been a problem in the past as Britton and Allen are tenacious tacklers who work hard over the whole pitch tracking back all the time to give the defence a hand when needed.

Third, Gower needs to be dropped. I found it hard to remember one pass from him that reached its intended target. His confidence is rock bottom and although dropping him may not help too much we can't afford to carry a player who seems to be getting worse not better.

Fourth, the fitness levels of the team seem to be poor. The whole team seems tired and it's only nine games in. Who trains them? I'd heard a rumour it was Sousa but I can't verify that. If so he needs to hand over those particular reins to someone who knows about these things.

Fifth, is Sousa operating a rotation system? The team changes every game. Each I am not a big lover of such tactics and would point to Burnley (and us last season) as examples of a team that got to know each other and how each other played.

Sixth, something is not right about the morale. I don't now what it is but my wife who is season ticket holder with me has picked this up and (yes it's in writing dear) is usually very perceptive about these things. And looking at the body language today I agree.

Seventh, I am not sure Lopez is a good acquisition. I get the feeling that he doesn't 'fit'. One of Martinez's strengths as a manager was his ability to buy or select players who were able to click with one another on a personality level. I get the impression - I may be wrong - that Lopez does not fit in this way and may be the cause of disharmony in the team.

Eighth, where on earth is the discipline? Two players off and others booked for piffling offences like time-wasting or kicking the ball into
the crowd.

Lastly, I am all for giving managers time to settle in and get the team, staff and style of play the way he wants it, but will these things really get sorted out in time or is Sousa's overall approach wrong on several levels?

To close. Positively it was good to see magic-daps score even if he looked a little slow and his first touch a little poor. Dyer was immense proving that its not the size of the player with a heart but the size of the heart in the player. The defence is solid - although Bessone scares me with his positional play. And de Vries is playing consistently well.

I won't be crying out for Sousa's sacking just yet - he still deserves more time - but I will be watching more than the way we play. I will be looking at body language, how the players interact, who plays and whether the fitness levels improve more.

Up the Swans!

With big thanks to Vital Swansea member 'Vicar' for sharing the article with us.

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Date:Sunday September 27 2009
Time: 6:06PM

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The article is I'm afraid full of speculation and maybes. Fact Britton Orlandi and Allen all injured. Pintado ran his socks off for the cause. Gower wasn't at his best but is taking a lot of unfair critisism. Watch any match and he puts in more crosses than any wode player we have FACT check it out.
27/09/2009 18:17:00
Fair comment sbulby as I have since found out that there were plenty of injuries and so I withdraw my criticism of the midfield choices. I did point out that Pintado does work hard but I still fail to see why Beatie isn't given a chance. Maybe the 'body-language' point is speculative and subjective but, for whatever reason, these is something not quite right. I hope I am wrong and I hope Sousa succeeds.
27/09/2009 19:34:00
Hi Vicar. We won 2-1. Re your regurgitation above, 1. Pintado worked his socks off both in attack and, open your eyes vicar, in defence. 2. Injuries you should know about, most other Swans fans seem to. 3. Foolish comment, go and watch a game yourself instead of jumping to unfounded conclusions. 4. You definitely didn't see the game. The team as a whole were intensely competitive for 90 mins and were no more tired than any other hard working side. Sousa assists in training, again as a 'fan' I think you should know this, its common knowledge 5. See injury list, no comment 6. Where are you getting this from, now I know you don't go to the games. My Wife, Mother, Brothers, Uncles, Aunts and Sons are all season ticket holders and we dont see it, and neither do those around us at the Liberty. All we see is a new team being built from the ashes. 7. Lopez, agree, he hasn't clicked. Your comments re Martinez, who cares about him, he's gone. He didn't have the problems Sousa does as he is the one who decimated us without consideration or thought for SCFC. Our scout found the players not Martinez. Lopez = disharmony, oh please, pinpoint examples, silly comment in my book. 8 You said it, bookings and sendings off for PIFFLING offences. One game our discipline did go. Saturday, Lopez trying to play more aggressively and attacked the ball like any tenacious midfielder. Mistimed challenges not a break down in dicipline. Dyer kicked ball back to where the free kick should have been taken from, he didn't boot it into the stands. Many others do this without any attention from the Ref. Piffling offence, see petty ref. 9. Sousa sacking. Well, we're all entitled to our opinions but for me you've lost the plot and any respect you may have gained from your post. This is so far off the mark it smacks of someone who really doesn't get the game at all. Now looking at your comments they appear to be a regurgitation of comments from our friends up the road. Sorry Vicar but we did win the game against a top 6 team so your comments are very strange to say the least. Particularly as you didn't even mention Bodde going off after 9mins. Hmm mm Me thinks you protest to much
28/09/2009 10:44:00
Vicar, if you watched Beattie for the reserves last Wednesday you would understand why he was left on the bench, no way fit enough as yet. As has been mentioned, Orlandi, Leon and Joe were all injured so Paulo had a difficult task to put out a decent side and to his credit I thought we did enough to win even if we were not at our fluent best by a long way. Sheff Utd are a big, strong side yet I feel they never really took advantage of our weaknesses and rarely threatened our goal. Positives for me were our defence plus the clever role of Williams and had we had Ferrie as our play maker then I'm sure we would have looked a better side. All credit to our team and manager I say, we got the three points and despite the body language you talk about, I thought the team played for each other and were as one. It is a difficult transitional time for us, I just wish some of our doubting fans would show more patience and back our team 100%.
28/09/2009 20:54:00
I was going to write a comment but after reading stumpys post; who i also believe is on 606, there is nothing left for me to say.
30/09/2009 22:08:00
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