|Swansea City 0 v 1 Preston North End|
Monday, 5th April 2021 Kick-off 15:00
Swansea City fail again. Four defeats on the bounce, play off fight begins
Tuesday, 6th Apr 2021 12:48 by Keith Haynes
It’s always good to take a step back after a major disappointment, as we again saw for the home game against Preston North End. Another fixture where a total lack of quality haunted the swans throughout the game, and yes another fixture where the ball and the back of the net were strangers.
It all looked quite rosey before the game, Steve Cooper has picked an adventurous and attacking line up, many felt this was the best selection he could make to get the train back on the tracks after some very rusty performances. Unfortunately, and we say this with confidence, there was no quality, the Swansea City side looked devoid of ideas, totally unaware of what they had to do, and complete strangers to each other when in possession of the ball. Time and time again the ball was either punted forwards to be headed back by a disciplined and well oiled PNE defence, or the passing game we once recall which actually meant you retained possession was lost. Most of the side couldn’t put a foot on the ball, pass to a team mate without an interception, or see the obvious pass that would retain possession and keep the pressure on the opponent.
Preston were hard in the tackle, and yes they got away with it, but they played a tight pressing game which had keeper Freddie Woodman looking bewildered as to what to do with the ball when he had no outlet. There were a few bright points, Ryan Manning and Ben Cabango battled well but were left isolated by a lack of effort from those in front of them, especially Conor Hourihane. Matt Grimes did get back and yes he did help out a bemused and overawed swans defence. However, going forwards he was seemingly either afraid to pass the ball or couldn’t see a pass to make. Much if this is down to the predictable way the swans line up, all our recent opposition have worked the Cooper strategy out as explained by Lee Bowyer on Friday. Unfortunately Steve Cooper took no notice.
Connor Roberts has completely lost his desire to run at players and cutting in to the box to score goals is now a thing of the past. It no longer happens. Many have said Cooper hasn’t been able to sign a quality strike. Well, think about this. If the ball is ever or is rarely in the opponents last quarter, you could have Pele up front in his prime and he wouldn’t score. How can a team score when it doesn’t have chances to do so. Okay, when the few opportunities were created against Birmingham and Preston, the attacking flair wasn’t there, the ideas were not evident and the desire to match the opponent totally lacking. That’s another issue, the swans have no pace, no flair, no imagination, no ideas, no control and no commitment. And that’s just for starters.
This isn’t a side not playing for the manager, this is a side that now plays with fear, and looks second best against all the opposition they face. Swansea City are trying to play their way in to the play offs but it isn’t working. The Cooper ethic has disappeared. Had this run of losses and under performing been at the start of the season Steve Cooper would be borderline keeping his job. That’s the cold fact facing him this week. He does have another chance on Saturday away to Millwall to get things back, but another loss there and the swans will be on the brink of falling out of the play offs.
The quality of player the swans have is not in dispute, but it no longer looks like a team, they are all evidently unaware of each other. They no longer recognise the games tactics and to succumb to yet another long throw and be unable to clear their lines was a horror story, totally feckless. Carry on like this and Swansea City won’t make the play offs, they will be a few points away from them, and let’s be honest they won’t win them at this rate. So really any false hope will soon be dashed.
Whatever Cooper and Marsh have in their armoury to turn this around is lost on me and those who write for this website. I was left with this summing up, but as harsh as I could be, why bother. This has been creeping up on us for two months. No pace or desire again, and as for excuses I’ve heard enough. How many warnings does a professional team and manager need ? Swansea City will be very lucky to secure the two wins they need from the games yet to come, as harsh as it sounds, and as I have mentioned, it really, really doesn’t matter.
What do you think ?
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