|Perspective is Critical|
Written by BarneyLW on Tuesday, 1st Dec 2015 18:02
It says an awful lot for where the club is that a narrow defeat at Anfield yesterday was met with disappointment. It is understandable, the visitors came away hugely unlucky not to pick up a point after a debatable penalty converted by James Milner put Liverpool ahead, and they eventually held out for a 1-0 win.
So, what of the big picture then? Since it seems to be very doom and gloom feelings around the club in recent weeks. In fact, it seems to be the last time there was a real buzz around Garry Monk's side was the home win against Manchester United, the last game in August. Monk himself seems to be a key part of this discussion. There is no question that the team are behind him and played for him yesterday, but frankly it seems quite bleak that the team now has to be seen playing FOR the manager, just to emphasize the idea that his position remains under threat.
Firstly, I'm not a naive fan, this is football in the modern context. Results have not been good enough, performances have not been good enough. Plus, and it pains me to say it, but Garry Monk is wrong, there is a chance the team could indeed be brought into a relegation fight. I also have a few retorts to this claim. The most relevant point in terms of big picture, in terms of perspective, is that a relegation fight does not mean relegation. The fact is, as fans, we have been spoiled by our own success. In the last five years we have graced the top flight, I believe the first season was the only one where the club was truly realistic in its ambitions. Because several years ago, I don't believe any fan would take issue with being a club in a relegation dogfight. Fortunately, and indeed against all odds, the team under Brendan Rodgers finished 11th. Under Michael Laudrup, an even higher finish and the first ever major silverware in Swansea's history. Since then, we have seen highs and lows of a poor domestic season and an eventful run in the Europa League, followed by last season's record breaking and history making year. Yet I am going to have to bring everyone back down to earth, we are not too good to be drawn into a fight for survival. We have seen this arrogant mindset come back to bite supposed 'big clubs' like West Ham and Newcastle in recent years. It may still be the case with Aston VIlla.
To the club's credit, the majority of fans agree with me on this one; and if you disagree, I apologise, because I am by no means infallible.... But with things going the way they are going, there is no greater man than Monk to get us out of it.
In fact, what kind of message does it send out if after a record breaking season, the young manager who went from being tipped as a potential successor for the England job to a front runner to be the next managerial sacking after six defeats? The whole idea is frankly ludicrous. As well as this complacency the fans (myself included) are guilty of, there is a more accurate feeling many of us share: It is the idea that as a club we do things the right way. That our board is cautious, yet hugely ambitious. That every decision, even if it may seem poor in the short term, is made with longevity in mind. If we sack Monk, Swansea become like any other Premier League club.
Results have not been acceptable for a team that wanted to build on last season's success. With difficult fixtures coming up it may not improve for a little while. But if we are finally going to be drawn into a fight, a real fight, for our Premier League status, there is no one more adept to the challenge than Monk, in my eyes anyway.
We are not too good to go down. But we are too good, as a club, to forsake a man who has brought such success at the first sign of any danger.
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When Saturday Comes #15 by wessex_exile
When Saturday Comes, and finally the U’s return to the league programme after what seems an age as a result of our international break. The Forest Green match has been rearranged for 21st December, the last Tuesday before Xmas, and it will no doubt be a chilly night on top of the hill overlooking Nailsworth. Originally billed as a 7pm kick-off, it seems to have been pushed back to 7.45pm now – better make sure before I set off on the short drive for that one. Talking of short drives, bravo to our U18s winning 2-0 at Swindon in the FA Youth Cup midweek, to set up a mouth-watering home tie against Arsenal in the 3rd Round.
When Saturday Comes #14 by wessex_exile
This week, When Saturday Comes the U’s find themselves on an international break and a weekend off for the WAGs to get in some Christmas shopping. Just as well too, given the U’s have inconsiderately eased past AFC Sudbury to deny them the customary FA Cup Second Round break in December to do likewise. We wait to hear who our opponent will be at the JobServe – it’ll be either top of League One Wigan Athletic or Cameron Coxe’s National League parent club Solihull Moors, who replay at Damson Park on Tuesday evening. Incidentally, Solihull Moors may be part of history being made today, with their match at Meadow Lane already expected to easily top 10,000, and may break the record attendance for that league, which currently stands at 11,083 when Bristol Rovers faced Alfreton Town in 2015.
When Saturday Comes #13 by wessex_exile
When Saturday Comes…will we still be in the FA Cup? I heard somewhere during the week that the U’s have been eliminated from the FA Cup by non-league opposition more times than any other league club! Remarkable really when you consider that many non-U’s associate Colchester United with the greatest FA Cup giant-killing of all time. Following tonight, we travel to Portman Road on Tuesday night to see if we can stay in the Pizza Slice Trophy. Regardless that it is a much-maligned competition these days, surely that’s motivation enough for our tractor boy contingent?
When Saturday Comes #12 by wessex_exile
A relegation six-pointer already, seriously! Grim news so early in a season which had such promise, but that may well turn out to be the reality when the dust settles in May. On the eve of All-Hallows Eve, I’m wondering whether the U’s will have served up Trick or Treat by 5pm this afternoon. Plenty has been written over the last week by supporters, the press, even the Chairman about the protests during and after the Sutton United rocky horror football show, and whilst everyone has the right to voice their opinion on the club’s fortunes on and off the pitch, that doesn’t give anyone (even the Chairman) the right to be abusive – it’s not big, it’s not clever, and if anything it undermines the validity of that opinion.
When Saturday Comes #11 by wessex_exile
This blog is a little earlier than usual, to give me and Alfie time to load up the car and sally forth for our first awayday of the season together, on the road to Vale Park – “[i]He who would valiant be, 'gainst all disaster, let him in constancy follow the Master[/i]”. Not quite sure who the master is in that analogy, but let’s hope it’s Hayden Mullins on Saturday. All being well, I’m looking forward to catching up with fellow U’sual boarders ([b]Noah[/b], [b]Durham[/b] maybe?, anyone else) when I get there. I won’t be meeting up with Clampin (Covid) or Judge (calf injury) who will miss out on making the trip, nor of course Tchamadeu (see below).