Swansea City: Our Strikeforce
Going into the first pre-season game, Martinez had assembled a formidable strike force that many fans believed would fire the club to promotion at the third time of asking. Already well known to the fans were fans favourite, Lee Trundle & Darryl Duffy, who had been banging them in on loan the previous season. Then there were new signings Jason Scotland, who had an exceptional goal scoring record in Scotland & Guillem Bauza Mayol, who had a good reputation having played at several youth levels for Spain.
Since then Trundle has departed for rivals Bristol City in a £1millon move. This was a big blow to Martinez & Swansea, Trundle had scored over 20 goals in each season as a Swan so far, and his ability to produce goals from nothing would be missed. He has already proved a hit at Bristol and has shown no problems in adapting to Championship football.
Duffy has as yet failed to score or find the form that made him a threat last season. Bauza has been limited to rare sub appearances & starts as a lone striker in cup games, and has looked far from the finished article.
Scotland has been more of a success, having already netted 4 goals, making him joint top scorer in League 1. Although he has also come in for some criticism from fans as him partnership with Duffy has failed to gel.
With only three strikers on the books going into transfer deadline day, Martinez was looking for another striker to bolster his forward line. Last ditch reinforcements came in the shape of Northern Ireland striker Warren Feeney on loan from arch-rivals Cardiff, and versatile Spaniard Andrea Orlandi, who is capable of playing at left back, left wing & as a support striker.
Orlandi looks like a class act, having played & scored at the highest level in Spain. Feeney however has been greeted by a less than enthusiastic reception by many, with several reports that he 'couldn`t hit a cow`s arse with a banjo.`
However, if we compare the situation now to at one stage last season, when our only decent, fit striker was Trundle - we are in a much stronger position.
We know Duffy can score goals, and I`m convinced once he gets one he`ll be scoring regularly again. He looks like a confidence player and at the moment he doesn`t have much of that. Bauza is still young & will maybe take some time to settle but he works very hard, and if he`s given a chance in a front two he may well provide the perfect foil for someone like Duffy. Scotland`s already proved he can score goals, as well as being strong & powerful.
Feeney should be given a fair chance & shouldn`t be written off before even playing a game. He`s an international striker and has played at Championship level so he can`t be quite as awful as some Luton & Cardiff fans are making out. Having not had much of a chance at Cardiff he may have a point to prove while here as well. Orlandi looks like a very good player, and provided he can settle quickly he should become an important part of the team in whatever position he is used in.
We have 5 good strikers and all we need is to be patient while partnerships gel - give everyone a chance, it`s still very early in the season! There`s no way everyone`s going to stay fit & available for the whole season, and also with cup games to experiment in, we`ll soon find the right combinations & understandings to fire us to promotion.
Up The Jacks!
(Thanks to Murton_Jack for the article)