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Derby win brightens Swans' season of slog - Oppo profile
Sunday, 31st Mar 2024 08:42 by Clive Whittingham

With the usual problems with recruitment, and the gamble on Michael Duff not paying off, it's been a drag of a season for Swansea... until Cardiff came to town that is. We spoke to Keith from The Swansea Independent and Phil from

Strange old season for Swansea one way and another - how would you assess it overall?

SI: It’s been poor. The new chairman came in cold in the summer and he nor his sidekick had any clues about running a football club in this country. They made numerous errors and their decision making for us on this website was made without any experience whatsoever. They talk too much and haven’t learned when and when not to make a noise. The trust rating towards the majority ownership is low, and at a recent fans forum they were given a rough ride. The chairman, Andrew Coleman, dominated the fans forum talking and talking but actually said nothing. The main issue for us is there is a Swansea City LLC in the USA, and investment money (apparently) goes in to that fund. They refuse to talk about it. Nobody knows who is in the fund, how much is in it, what is the purpose of it, who has invested and how much. The continued silence is of course ensuring their lack of transparency causes suspicion amongst the supporters.

JA: Exactly as your opening statement said, its been a strange old season. And a very wasted one through a poor managerial decision last summer. Relegation seemed to be a threat a while back but a horrendous run of fixtures didn’t help that. The word for me is definitely “wasted”.

Swansea’s league games so far…
Swansea 1-1 Birmingham Yates 76 – Dembele 43
West Brom 3-2 Swansea Ajayi 18,Rushworth og 50, Swift pen 64 – Darling 74, Wood 80
Swansea 1-1 Coventry Yates 41 – Godden 39
Preston 2-1 Swansea Hughes 67, Holmes 79 – Ashby 33
Swansea 1-2 Bristol City Cullen 10 – Sykes 48, Bell 59
Cardiff 2-0 Swansea Tanner 71, Ramsey pen 86
QPR 1-1 Swansea Ginnelly 7 – Dykes 90
Swansea 3-0 Sheff Wed Lowe pen 28, Yates 64, Patino 67
Millwall 0-3 Swansea Lowe pen 23, Grimes 57, Kukharevych 79
Swansea 2-1 Norwich Lowe 3, Humphreys 83 – Sara 22
Plymouth 1-3 Swansea Cundle 18 – Yates 56, Cooper 68, Key 90
Swansea 1-3 Leicester Grimes 20 – Vestergaard 44, Fatawu 63, Iheanacho 87
Swansea 0-1 Watford Sema 82
Blackburn 0-1 Swansea Cullen 28
Swansea 0-0 Sunderland
Ipswich 3-2 Swansea Taylor 17, Chaplin 22, Hirst pen 53 – Fulton 7, Lowe 90
Swansea 2-2 Hull Paterson 17, Yates 23 – Philogene 48, Morton 68
Leeds 3-1 Swansea Piroe 4, Rutter 45, James 61 – Paterson 1
Swansea 1-1 Huddersfield Patino 90 – Cabango og 3
Rotherham 1-2 Swansea Nombe 64 – Patino 45, Yates 73
Stoke 1-1 Swansea Johnson pen 70 – Darling 89
Swansea 1-2 Boro Lowe 49 – Greenwood 43, Silvera 78
Swansea 2-1 Preston Paterson 60, 90 – Miller 67
Southampton 5-0 Swansea Aribo 17, Edozie 48, Fraser, 74, 87, Adams 90
Coventry 2-2 Swansea Wright 10, Simms 65 – Walsh 7, Cullen 90
Swansea 1-0 West Brom Cullen 55
Birmingham 2-2 Swansea Dembele 38, James 90 – Darling 36, Lowe 58
Swansea 1-3 Southampton Paterson 40 – Adams 6, Smallbone 20, Downes 45
Leicester 3-1 Swansea Dewsbury-Hall 3, Mavididi pen 69, Akgun 72 – Allen 90
Swansea 0-1 Plymouth Whittaker 18
Hull 0-1 Swansea Cullen 11
Swansea 0-4 Leeds Summerville 8, Piroe 10, Gnonto 35, 72
Swansea 1-2 Ipswich Yates 31 - Broadhead 13, Chaplin 35
Sunderland 1-2 Swansea O’Nien 77 – Ronald 19, 28
Swansea 2-1 Blackburn Allen 7, Paterson 19 – Szmodics 67
Watford 1-1 Swansea Porteus 57 – Andres og 18
Bristol City 1-0 Swansea Dickie 73
Swansea 2-0 Cardiff Cullen 34, Lowe 90
Sheff Wed 1-1 Swansea Cadamarteri 41 – Lowe 76

I had high hopes for Michael Duff but that didn't work out at all, what were his main failings?

SI: He isn’t a Championship manager for a club who wants to play football in the way the Swans like to do. He really didn’t get it. He didn’t get the fact a whole country has an interest in a handful of clubs, he didn’t get the derby game at all and that really was his downfall. He didn’t inspire the fans, and had he stayed the club would most certainly been in League One next season.

JA: He was just a poor fit for Swansea. His philosophy didn’t meet that of the club in general and there were so many things he just didn’t seem to get. His comments ahead of the first derby of the season summed it up and his fate was probably effectively sealed at that point. I have to admit I didn’t expect the owners to make the change when they did but it was absolutely the right decision.

What have you made of Luke Williams so far?

SI: He plays a style of football similar to Russell Martin. However, his determination to retain possession can become extremely frustrating. A good example is the Good Friday game against Sheffield Wednesday. It wasn’t good at all. When you know what your team can do and they don’t even look interested that’s annoying.

JA: He came into the club at the start of a tough run of fixtures but we can see steps in the right direction. In recent games we have slipped away in the second half of games but in the first half we have looked good and vastly improved on anything his predecessor served up. Our performance against Cardiff in our last game was the best of the season (by some distance). We are starting to see what he talks about (high press and high intensity) and he added pace and width to the team in the January window. It really is that simple.

Player recruitment seems to have been an issue with your board/owners for a while - how's it been this season?

SI: We have made two excellent permanent signings in Josh Tymon £2.2m from Stoke and Ronald £1.2m who was playing in Portugal’s top flight. The loan signings couldn’t be questioned in Charlie Patino, Bashir Humphreys and Harrison Ashby, all will be well known players in years to come. In Patino’s case he is out of favour in as much as he comes on late in games which many are now saying is down to whatever agreement the Swans had with Arsenal.

JA: More misses than hits. We made some good signings last summer but in the main it was a disappointing window with some very strange decisions made (not helped by the fact our manager wanted to change the way we did things) but some players have come good and we made two good signings in January (and a seemingly pointless loan signing as well) – we have a huge summer ahead of us though.

Summer Ins >>> Jerry Yates, 26, ST, Blackpool, £2.5m >>> Josh Tymon, 24, LB, Stoke, £2m >>> Mykola Kukharevych, 22, CF, Troyes, £1.8m >>> Nathan Tjoe-A-On, 21, LB, Excelsior, £300k >>> Josh Key, 23, RB, Exeter, Undisclosed >>> Josh Ginnelly, 26, LW, Hearts, Free >>> Krystian Pedersen, 29, LB, Koln, Free >>> Nathan Broome, 21, GK, Wimbledon, Free >>> Charlie Patino, 19, AM, Arsenal, Loan >>> Bashir Humphreys, 20, CB, Chelsea, Loan >>> Jamal Lowe, 29, CF, Bournemouth, Loan >>> Harrison Ashby, 21, RB, Newcastle, Loan >>> Carl Rushworth, 22, GK, Brighton, Loan

Summer Outs >>> Joel Piroe, 24, CF, Leeds, £12m >>> Michael Obafemi, 22, CF, Burnley, £4m >>> Morgan Whittaker, 21, CF, Plymouth, £1m >>> Steven Benda, 24, GK, Fulham, £800k >>> Ryan Manning, 27, LB, Southampton, Free >>> Joel Latibeaudiere, 23, CB, Coventry, Free >>> Kyle Joseph, 21, CF, Blackpool, Undisclosed >>> Oliver Ntcham, 27, AM, Samsunspor, Undisclosed >>> Kyle Joseph, 21, CF, Blackpool, Undisclosed >>> Andreas Sondegaard, 22, GK, Released >>> Brandon Cooper, 23, CB, Orient, Loan

Winter Ins >>> Ronald, 22, RW, Guarani (Brazil), £1m >>> Przemyslaw Pacheta, 25, LW, Norwich, Free >>> Charles Sagoe, 19, LW, Arsenal, Loan

Winter Outs >>> Brandon Cooper, 24, CB, Orient, Undisclosed >>> Krystian Pedersen, 29, LB, Sheff Wed, Loan >>> Nathan Tjo-A-On, 22, LB, Heerenveen, Loan >>> Nathan Ogbeta, 22, LB, Bolton, Loan

Player of the year candidates?

SI: Josh Tymon or possibly Jamie Paterson. Carl Rushworth who is on loan from Brighton could come close.

JA: Carl Rushworth (on loan goalkeeper) has to be the leading candidate but we have to give shout outs to Josh Tymon and Josh Key as well.

Weak links in the side?

SI: Up front has been a problem. We bought Jerry Yates in for nearly £3m and he has had an exceptionally poor season. Off the ball it’s a mystery as to what his role is. He spends most of his time running up to players and a few yards before he gets there he stops and that’s it. He doesn’t gamble left or right and for a natural goalscorer he is rarely in the right position to score from the chances made. In his last 18 appearances he has scored one goal, some from the bench but that sort of sums up his season. Teams who press the Swans will get some value from that tactic. We have Matt Grimes and Jay Fulton who despite their quality slow down games and prefer a safety pass when options ahead of them are clearly on for a pass.

JA: Yet again we are weak up front (and have been for several seasons) – for what we paid for him last summer Jerry Yates has to live up to the billing.

Expectations for the rest of the season?

SI: Just to complete the remaining games, pick up a few wins and go again next time around. It hasn’t been a good watch at times.

JA: I think when we did the reverse fixture I said I expected mid table at the start of the season. I expected it at that time and I expect it now. We are a mid-table team pretty much in every way.

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TacticalR added 19:41 - Apr 1
Thanks to Keith and Phil.

It seems strange that Michael Duff didn't get it. He must have known about Swansea's style.

Despite everything, at least Swansea haven't had to contend with a relegation battle.

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