Two bookable offences by Lee Trundle against Tranmere Rovers and one Bayo leg break showed just how suspect the lack of strikers at the club was. With the Leongate and departure of Rory Fallon the Swans had only 2 experienced strikers. This time last season we had a plethora of attacking intent in the side but that intent has diminished this season. This however has not been aided by the lack of transfer activity in this area. Indeed we needed to strengthen the defence and the permanent capture of Marcos Painter and the revival of Tommy Williams is extremely positive. There is one area of concern and that is the strikers.
With a Major injury to Bayo Akinfenwa it left Swansea City with only 2 experienced strikers to head the Swansea Attack. This was whittled down to just one striker in Pawel Abbott after the red card shown to Trundle for two bookable offences in the Tranmere game. This left Pawel Abbott the only experienced striker available for the clash vs Chesterfield on Friday night. This for a club pushing for a play off spot is not good enough; with the departure of Rory Fallon to Plymouth for £300,000 in the January transfer window the swans looked woefully short up fount and even the arrival of Abbott from Huddersfield was not enough. A club such as ours should have 4 experienced strikers in the side and due to a major injury to Bayo there are now more than a few concerns about the front line.
The recent performances of our strikers has not been up to scratch, and the majority of the flack must ultimately lie on magic daps himself. Lee Trundle has been far from the player we know he can be; a player who can terrorise the defence and open defences up with sublime passing or a decisive piece of skill. Gone is that swagger of old, he looks like a player with little confidence in his ability and has not kept to the basics of the game. In many a recent game he has tried to pull a trick to turn a game. Those tricks have been learnt by opposition defences and they are now well versed in his magic ways and thus has made his style of play predictable.
This situation has not been aided by the long-term injury of Bayo Akinfenwa who often gave a drive and a purpose to Swansea attacks. His strength and power gave the swans vital time for support to arrive and open up more options for attacking moves. Bayo may get criticised for his weight problems and lack of pace but he offers so much more than that. When he is on the field you know that his presence causes problems and will be missed. This has caused the lack of depth in attack to become very much evident.
Even the arrival of Abbott is not enough; Pawel has not settled into the side yet and it is evident. He is a good player but this has yet to be seen here at Swansea. Abbott, much idolised and in a way immortalised by the Terriers faithful, has a good goal scoring record but he needs confidence and needs to get that extra yard of pace. In spite of this at 24 he has time still to develop, I do believe he can be a good player for us but I fear he will be turned into a Fallon mk 2. Pawel however has one thing Rory did not have - that allusive price tag which will ease some of the pressure that beelined Fallon's stay at the liberty. That and the more expansive attacking style of Roberto Martinez.
Who can also forget Chris Jones, it has been said about Jones that he should be given a chance, however it may not be wise to rush such a raw talent. Indeed he did nearly score on Friday but he needs time to build up his strength and all round game and this will be for next season. Jones should feature more next season and I think he will be a stalwart in years to come for the Swans. His time will come but not now, give him the experience in games by bringing him on as a substitute. Roberto will utilise him correctly I am sure; however he showed he had pace and this is lacking in our striking options. Finding the right balance with young players is always difficult and Roberto must find that balance - not doing so may ruin Jones as a player.
Article by Lisa Higgins