OK so we lost today. It hurts. The performance was under par. However, we should look at the positives. We have our playing style back (even when it doesn't quite come off), we are not sliding down the leagues, we have a good chairman (imho) who has wisely endorsed investment in our academy/status, and our young players have responded and propelled us to the upper end of this tough league. I think the future looks good. Our new rookie coach will learn from today and previous near misses.
I heard and saw some booing today at the end of the game. We are 4th in the league, and I think we'll probably end up flirting with the play offs - too early for automatic promotion for me. This is a marathon and not a sprint, and we are building very nicely, hopefully having learnt mistakes from the past. This is a great club to support, and has aspirations to entertain us with beautiful football, not hoofball.
To the people who were booing - why not just stay at home and save yourselves and those around you from the negativity. If glory is what you want, go and armchair support Man City/Utd, Liverpool, Arsenal and so on and leave us to it.
In my view, if Potter wanted to simply win matches in the short term, by playing a "stable" team, tried and tested players (albeit we don't have many!), I daresay he could do it. What would happen then? Well, we'd maybe get into the play-offs, maybe even get promoted but unlike last time it would be like a house of cards, no foundation and from my distant Swans memory from the 80's we'd crash and burn. Maybe the only thing that saved us from that same fate this time was that there was an identity hiding in there somewhere, and a progressive coach was identified and appointed to revitalise it.
This way, frustrating as it is to watch sometimes, he's trying to balance "acceptable" results and overall points tally with experimenting, testing players out of their comfort zone, trying different formations etc.. Some work, and some (e.g. first 45 mins yesterday) clearly don't. But he recognised it and fixed it right - other managers may not have? I for one hope he continues this for this season at least, and I didn't stop clapping and cheering yesterday unlike some "fans" who suddenly start booing (shame on you if you're one of them I say - go vent off elsewhere).
The Jan window is fast approaching, and although I think there is much more to come from this squad, GP probably needs to know the likely extent of their individual and collective qualities, and importantly how able they are to adapt to different systems and follow the plan etc., so that he can make a sound case for recruitment in certain areas, along with being certain on who is prepared to do without. He has taken responsibility for yesterday, but also hinted that there was method in the madness but he said something like "maybe it wasn't well communicated", taking responsibility (good management).
Give him time and compare him to the likely remit/expectation (stop the slide>return playing style>entertain>mid table this season>push on next season?), and perhaps judge him NEXT Christmas?
How do we think the game could be further improved? Some examples...
1. Defenders "shielding" the ball out of play should constitute obstruction, and therefore a free kick to the opposition. It's a foul anywhere else on the pitch! 2. When a goalkeeper passes out from a goal kick, if the opposition sense he's played it short and closes the defender down, then all he has to do is step inside the area and receive the ball, enabling the kick to be retaken as it didn't leave the area. Should be an (indirect?) free kick to the opposition perhaps? 3. Enforcement of a yellow card when the ball is deliberately kicked/thrown away once the whistle has blown. This is inconsistent at the moment and frustrating for the paying punter.
To be honest, there's not a lot wrong with the game imho - maybe a few tweaks here and there?
This moment will live with me forever. The ball was heading in our direction, so we started celebrating like never before a few seconds before it went in. We'd been to the 1st leg and that felt great, but nothing like this moment. Anyone who was there that night will be thinking of this tomorrow I'm sure. COYS
I said the same at the game today Frank, it was 50/50 - yjb. The question is - how didn't the ref see it that way, especially given the length of time he had to consider it. Well done today boys, reminded me of the forest game (was gladly there too).
To add insult to injury my motorbike was stolen from the pavement next to Brunel Way outside the stadium tonight. It was parked (and locked) next to the portacabin thing near the south-east corner where people cross from the industrial site parking area. Very upset - had it from new 8 years ago. It's a beautiful blue Yamaha FZ-1 (1000cc). It had an immobiliser so it's unlikely it was ridden away. I've reported it to the police and stadium so any help or information would be appreciated from the swans fraternity. I did ask Alan Tate in reception if he'd been for a ride on it but he said after falling off on one he'd never try that again!
p.s. great effort by our boys tonight - their quality just too much in the end in my view.