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Swansea City 0 v 1 Queens Park Rangers
SkyBet Championship
Tuesday, 20th April 2021 Kick-off 19:00
Swans lose at home again : The harsh truth for Steve Cooper
Wednesday, 21st Apr 2021 00:33 by Keith Haynes

Frustrated Swansea City fans watched a nonplussed and wretched performance by Steve Cooper’s swans at the Liberty on Tuesday. So much so, even the most ardent of Cooper admirers were beginning to think this was some sort of sick joke as his players started in a defensive formation against a QPR side who had no reason or need to win, lose or draw this game.

We can’t be subtle about this performance, we can’t even be apologetic about the overall benign and wretched style of play that Cooper set his team up to implement. Requiring three points to keep the momentum building on second paced Watford, at least, and at best it was abject and completely bereft of tactical guile and positivity. That’s the best summing up we can give you. Starting with Wayne Routledge as the main striker when two hungry, young and proven goal scorers were on the bench was just the starter on the menu for a pitiful and lost main course Swansea City.

With all that said the swans hit the post in the first half, Routledge had two, maybe three glorious opportunities to score - and defensive midfielder Korey Smith, when in on goal fluffed his lines, it still had some hope that things could get better. Ryan Bennett at the back for the swans with the much criticised Freddie Woodman kept QPR out, how that happened we will never know, as they too hit the post twice.

Let’s face it, one win and the swans confirm a play off spot, some swans fans still believe this is a side that will finish in seventh place, however, even a loss on Saturday against Reading and at least a point at home to Derby could seal the swans in to a knockout place. The issue here is if that happens Swansea City are by miles the worst side in the play off run in. No need to analyse that, it is a clear fact. Nobody is saying that the swans won’t go up, but we only have to look at the last ten games to see they are rank outsiders. If Wycombe Wanderers were to replace the swans you would give them more hope.

Swansea City need to score goals, so against QPR Steve Cooper decided to start without any proven goal scorer. And let us say this, nobody is fooled by the fact this side needs a goal scorer. Cooper had a striker in Liam Cullen, if presented with the chances that Routledge and Smith had against QPR he would have scored. It’s not even open to debate. Routledge was literally gifted opportunities that a hungry local lad like Cullen would have eaten up without a thought. And so it goes.

To see Conner Roberts time and time again throw his arms up in dismay as negative pass after negative pass excluded him was pure frustration. As he continuously showed his frustration to the swans bench he was met with indignant and blank expressions. He was a player in complete torment. Another local lad whose total commitment to his home town club was ignored. Whilst Cullen continuously ran the touchline warming up the carnival of missed opportunity continued.

We have solidly and without any hesitation supported Steve Cooper on this website. When he has been ridiculously undermined we stayed together. Whenever there has been dissent we remained one hundred per cent behind a man who has thrown himself in to a life of football discovery by learning and development. However, at the Liberty against QPR, as Preston and Birmingham away, when this side had to win, just simply to deliver, he chose once again to be defensive and negative. When you need to score goals you don’t leave your best and only hungry, proven goal scorers on the bench.

It’s almost as if it’s two fingers in the direction of anyone who cares about the club, an indignant response to the obvious. We need to score goals but those that can will not be involved. QPR deservedly won this game, they shouldn't have, but once Charlie Austin was introduced it was inevitable. QPR stepped upon another notch, they saw the weakness at the back, the open spaces and ease at which they could win the game. The second half brought nothing, once again the misplaced passes, the lack of confidence on the ball, the inability to see the obvious pass were all on display. Jamal Lowe has pace, but he can’t beat a man, and that’s the other issue. It could well have been that Jordan Morris or Paul Arriola, those seriously questionable January signings could have made things better. Maybe so, even Morgan Gibbs-White or Kasey Palmer ? Unfortunately there hasn’t been any serious succession planning this season at Swansea. Cooper is used to picking a squad and having it left alone. That doesn’t happen in the football league. Loans are recalled, players get injured and options are limited. The reaction is what counts not the complaints.

It’s almost certain that Steve Cooper has enough stock for another club with money to gamble on him. The swans have a history of producing quality managers, some clubs won’t let that be ignored. A couple of million pounds would do it. Sadly if he does leave ( for him ) like Potter you can guarantee he won’t be allowed near the Swansea sweet jar with his new club. However, Cooper knew the brief, he had to win four games and hope the results worked out for him. Of course this was never were going to be the case. You won’t score goals with no goal scorers on the pitch, and no leadership to make it happen. It’s utter madness to think otherwise.

The goal that won the game was Freddie Woodman’s fault, much the same as was Wycombe’s second goal on Saturday. We have no doubt when he returns to Newcastle he will either secure a second place jersey or get a transfer to a club who will quickly find him out. He has too much to learn for a keeper of his age. He will most certainly end his football career in serious financial benefit but it won’t be with world cups and European trophy’s. If we are wrong, then so be it, Freddie Woodman owes us nothing except the fact nobody has really watched him when the swans had the best defensive record in the league. Nobody watches statistics.

All the swans need to do now is win a game of football. Then it’s the play offs, what they do next is anyone’s guess, or It could be anything, or nothing at all. It really doesn’t matter, the season that could have been so memorable has finished - to be replaced by the season that promised so much but delivered nothing. Steve Cooper wont fail as a football manager or coach, some would say he has already achieved, unfortunately achievement to some is failure to others. We won’t go in to the histrionics of the benign defeat to QPR it’s pointless, only one man knows the answer, and he will move on to pastures new. Martinez, Sousa, Rodgers, Laudrup, Potter et al, they no longer flush the toilets in the Liberty. They are history. Let’s just hope that Cooper just uses them for a number one only, nice and easy, because when the swans tried to get to number two during this last month it all got a bit clogged up.

And that just leaves a nasty smell.

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