|Derby County 2 v 0 Swansea City|
Wednesday, 16th December 2020 Kick-off 19:45
Slow and Lethargic Swans lose to Derby
Wednesday, 16th Dec 2020 21:17 by Keith Haynes
To prove how bizarre and hard to predict the championship is the high flying swans went to Derby County tonight as everyone's favourites. And true to form, they went down in a toothless display as Rooney's Derby won their second game of the season under his guidance.
Its not as if the writing wasn't on the wall, Derby under new caretaker management with Wayne Rooney at the helm had not lost for five games, and Swansea albeit on a high after an impressive display last weekend beating Cardiff, something was going to give. And give it was, we know its Christmas but presents should be given to friends surely ? However the swans were the gift givers of the ball time after time from an extremely tired and lost looking collection of players. Colin Kazim-Richards set the tone for the evening by putting Derby ahead from close range early on and a thumping first Rams goal from Poland international winger Kamil Jozwiak doubled the hosts' lead before half-time. It was just what the rams deserved, Swansea showed nothing, the constant misplaced passes and poorly timed reading of the game by Smith and Grimes in midfield meant nothing was on offer because nothing was earned.
It was a second win in the dugout for former England captain Rooney, and will have done his chances of landing the manager's job on a permanent basis no harm. This was a meeting of the side who began the evening as the meanest defence in the EFL - Swansea - and a Derby team who were the lowest scorers in the Football League's three divisions going into the game. However, many of us know that Swansea City's trips to Derby very rarely end happily. History repeated itself tonight and even massive second half changes by Cooper saw little response. Okay, maybe a quicker passing game, but most of them ended up at the feet of the opposition and rarely threatened.
It didn't happen for Roberts tonight
There are positives, Cooper explained quite eloquently in midweek that you can only know what is going wrong if you know what the game plan is to start with. Easy to say ? Well, I once had a chat with a chap we all know called Frank Burrows, he looked at me glaringly and said " Pass the ball to someone you came up on the bus with" He went on to say that football is simple and something to be relished when you have a plan and everyone knows what it is. Tonight, as ever the swans had a plan, but the executors of that plan were tired, they couldn't manage the extra fizz required after such an energy sapping game on Saturday. The replacements in the second half looked no better, and that will be the concern. Cooper as a student of the passing game will be ready to digest this ninety plus minutes and rectify the issues that he see's. Thats his job, but that's the part of his job he enjoys immensely. As he said, I know what to put right, because everyone is playing to the same game, its easy to see.
Well, so will we this weekend. No game is easy and it doesn't matter who the swans play there will be little in it.
Rooney afterwards commented - "It's a fantastic win for us over a very good Swansea team. I am delighted for the lads. They worked really hard today. First half was very good, we played some good football and maybe we could have scored one or two more. Second half we dug in at times but I felt Swansea didn't really look like scoring. We got a little bit nervous, we sat back a bit, but I am delighted we saw the game out and got three points. Tonight was a big game for us. Last season we didn't win against any of the top six. Swansea are a very good team who will be fighting for promotion so it's a big win for the lads in terms of confidence as well."
Steve Cooper stated afterwards -"We had a really poor start to the game, didn't do anything well starting with the basics and the fundamentals of what makes a good performance. In the end we got punished for it and gave ourselves too much to do. I don't care about what went on in the past. Okay Saturday was an important day, but they played as well. That's not an excuse and if we look for excuses I don't think that's the right mentality. We have got to take it on the chin. The players know they fell short, I know they fell short and it ended up being a really disappointing night."
Losses like tonight are easily forgotten if a side bounces back quickly and the swans will need to this weekend home to Barnsley, who as we know are no mugs and only five points behind fifth placed Swansea going in to the weekend.
Subs not used: Roos, Forsyth, Bird, Evans, McDonald, Hector-Ingram.
Goals: Kazim-Richards 4, Jozwiak 37
Subs not used: Benda, Cabango, Routledge, Gyokeres.
Yellow card: Ayew 67
Referee: Gavin Ward
Photo: Action Images
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