Vital Swansea Fan Interviews - Danny Cosker
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1. We'll have to start at the Play-off Final. Firstly, were you there, and how confident did you feel that Brendan Rodgers and his team would guide us to the win and ultimately promotion to the top flight?
Sadly, I was swamped with work at home and I couldn't make Wembley. I did however watch it on TV, cheering and screaming, much to my wife's dismay.
I had full confidence in Brendan setting us up right and playing attacking keep-ball and dominating territory, which we did well. Second half was very much itchy-bum time. A great day.
2. Not many people would have expected a play-off win last year when Brendan Rodgers first arrived to take over from Paulo Sousa. What were your expectations for last season before it started?
I expected us before the season kicked-off to get in the play-off places. However, come Christmas time, I was half expecting us to kick on another gear and maybe clinch an automatic spot. Delighted with securing third spot on the last day to finish ahead of those people down the M4.
3. Darren Pratley's future was in doubt for most of the season and he later told that he felt he wasn't wanted, saying chairman Huw Jenkins showed little interest in arranging him a new contract. What are your views on this? Should the club have shown more effort to keep him last year or will we cope without him?
The club will always have the clubs best interest at heart, so if Huw Jenkins together with Brendan Rodgers thought that Pratley didn't feature in the clubs long term plans, then that's fine with me.
My opinion is that of, if Darren really wanted to stay, then of course he should do everything in his power to secure a new contract with the club.
Sadly though, it appears that the idea of joining Bolton with a bumper pay deal and one can only suspect a nice signing on fee, is easier than going the extra mile. Good luck to him.
4. Another player to leave was our number goalkeeper Dorus De Vries. Can you blame him for joining Wolves, a team who have survived relegation in two consecutive seasons, or has he done it just for the money, as he could face a long time on the subs bench?
Surprised by this, Dorus has been a great servant for Swansea City and to leave for a club - which in truth will have the same season objectives as ourselves, seems a little odd to me, especially if he isn't going to play 38 games next season. Again, bumper pay deal and he deserves it.
5. Neil Taylor looks likely to be the next player to leave. The young left back has frustrated a lot of the fans with his desire to leave after just one season with us. How has your opinion changed on Taylor, would you like him to stay and do you feel a move away could damage his career?
Strange one this. Here you have a promising, young player who until recently has been playing way down the football pyramid, suddenly wanting a move away before he has even kicked a ball in the Premier League.
You really need to learn how to walk before you run and by moving to Newcastle United he may find it being a step too far, too soon. Huw Jenkins is right, if he plays regular for Swansea in the Premier League and he can deal with the pace and plays well, then a move to a bigger club is fair.
If he leaves as it stands, it could backfire badly and he could soon find himself back in the depth's of the football echelon's. Francis Jeffers anyone?
6. Angel Rangel and Andrea Orlandi have stayed though which delighted manager Brendan Rodgers after they both signed new contracts. How important do you think this is to the club for the new season?
Experienced Swansea players in the dressing room is going to be just as important as glorious attacking football. There will be extremely difficult times in the coming season and having good characters around on the training ground and locker room will be vital, just as much as the ability on the field. Strength and depth will also play a role. There will be injuries, suspensions and the need for flexibility at the highest level is also needed.
7. Brendan Rodgers has done some work to release the 'dead wood' in the squad as Albert Serran, Cedric Van Der Gun, Jamie Grimes and Kerry Morgan have left. Who else do you think we should get rid of to allow more room for new, better signings?
It's difficult to start throwing around names, we don't know the contractual situation with some of the fringe players and as such, it's hard to say 'clear them out to create further funds for future signing's and wage demands'. What I will say is, come January 2012, we'll have a better understanding of those that just can't cut it at the highest level.
8. Rodgers' first signing of the Summer was the £3.5m capture of Danny Graham, not surprisingly from his former club Watford. Are you happy with his arrival and are you confident he can be our main goalscorer next season?
A very strong and gifted striker who had a terrific season with Watford last year. Brendan likes what he knows, he isn't leaving many things to chance, so I think it's a great signing. I'm hoping he can hold the ball up well for us this year as ball retention is so important. He will score goals, if he is given the opportunity.
9. Rodgers says he wants another 3 or 4 new players. Is this enough and in what positions do we need to strengthen in?
We still need another striker in my mind, not to mention some more strength and pace at the back of the park. It's a long and difficult season in the Premier League, you have to allow for injuries and suspensions. A striker, two crentral midfielders, a utility defender and another goalkeeper.
10. Swansea had an amazing season last year, one of the best ever, but they still had weaknesses in their play. Can we still be successful if we keep to our attractive style of play. And what weaknesses do we need to improve on to have more of a chance of avoiding relegation?
Ball retention is something I'm not losing too much sleep over, however, 90% of the Premier League teams play the same way, so being able to be disciplined we we haven't got the ball will determine if we stay up or not. We will find ourselves chasing shadows for lengthy periods in the Premier League, so keeping our shape and pressing the ball collectively as a team is vital.
11. What's your prediction for the opening game of the season away at Manchester City?
The players will be itching for that whistle to blow in Manchester and will be just as psyched up as the fans. They'll be chasing the ball down and playing at a very high tempo fuelled by adrenaline. I see this game featuring plenty of goals and a positive result, either an away win or a draw.
12. And your prediction for where we will finish in the League next year?
10 home wins and 3 draws, 5 away wins and 5 draws = 53 Points. Going by that total with recent Premier League standings, I put us finishing 10th.
Thanks to Danny Cosker for answering our questions.