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It’s time to shop a bit more local Russell Martin ‘The Swansea Way’ is right in front of you
Monday, 29th Nov 2021 09:38 by Keith Haynes & David Cornish

The news of Brandon Cooper signing a new deal at Swansea City was excellent to hear on the weekend. A defender who has impressed both the manager and Swansea City fans this season. With that agreement signed and sealed we think it’s time to look a bit more local if this season is to be one of transisition for the swans.

Personally we think Brandon Cooper should be on the next team sheet with Ben Cabango in central roles, with the addition of the cool head of Kyle Naughton, if Martin is to persist with his three at the back system. Transition means these players can do just that, take some pain and learn as the team progresses this season. We do have Ethan Laird out on the right as wing back and either Jake Bidwell or Ryan Manning on the left. It isn’t ideal, but in Ethan’s case he is looking a bit tired, and the club does need to look in to some investment in that position in four weeks time. In midfield we do have Dan Williams who looked extremely promising in pre season games. A local lad who knows what it feels like to play for the club he supports.

It’s clear Jay Fulton, who has been with the swans for a number of years is now hardly likely to play for the club again. He has been overlooked for many weeks. We now understand he is free to negotiate ( via his agent ) his own escape route to get away from Swansea. Forest are favourites. Yan Dhanda is in the same position.

If there is to be a brand at Swansea, the desire to dominate and progress players, and increase their level of learning and development players like Cooper and Williams need to be introduced in to match day line ups. Unfortunately another local product, Liam Cullen has failed to impress this season and he most certainly will go out on loan in January. He has had many chances to stake a claim up front in lieu of Morgan Whittaker sitting games out. it’s pretty obvious if Liam is to remain a swans player he has to get games at a lower level, just like Jordan Garrick and Kyle Jospeh. If he doesn’t the fear will be he will just fall away and his career will suffer greatly.

It’s all good numerous swans watchers agreeing that Cooper and Williams need introducing to the team, but there seems to be a bit of ‘out with old and in with the new’ philosophy with Russell Martin. Fulton is the mystery exclusion. Alan Tate looked confused at times in conversation with Martin before he left, and was gradually frozen out of the coaching role he had become accustomed to. I’m going to give Martin a bit of grace there because the new learning and development role he prides him self on was very likely completely lost on Tate. However for me if there was ever an example of excluding someone then it was the questionable role Tate was given to liaise with loan players. That left a bitter taste in the mouth and was clearly the last straw for Tate.

Connor Roberts left the fold, Jamal Lowe too, a very surprising transfer when you look at his replacement Michael Obafemi. Lowe was proven in this Swansea side, and scored goals. In contrast to Obafemi who came with a recent history of rebellion at Southampton, it now seems he has learned nothing from that phase of his career, and indeed now at Swansea. He has time on his hands, but the reckoning is at the club, not that much, in fact he is slowly sleepwalking in to a season of no first team football. He has to buck up his thinking.

To bring in Williams and Cooper is a risk, but no more than playing Rhys Williams who looks shot as a player when I’ve seen him this season. He will surely return to Liverpool in January. Both swans graduates will get games, they will learn and flourish as players, it’s a no brainer, plus they will save certain amounts of investment in the positions they play in. There has been too much emphasis on clearing out certain staff and players since Russell Martin arrived at Swansea. Well for me anyway. The heart of this club is it’s players raised through a variety of academic levels, and that is so important. It’s the lifeblood of the club and those who have moved on in the past have become obvious picks for the national side.

Another key part in the future of Swansea City, Brandon Cooper

The changes behind the scenes have been rapid as well, plus the development sides and even the ladies team, There seems to be constant change occurring, and in the under23 and under18 sides it’s not showing any improvement. There has to be periods of stability. The desire to move away from local recruitment to bringing in cast offs from premier league sides may be sound in principle, but it hasn’t worked to date. That isn’t the Swansea Way, that’s a way that is foreign to Swansea City fans, and is a complete reversal from a tried and tested graduate system over the past fifteen years.

Williams and Cooper are possibly the last opportunities we have a club to develop home grown talent right through to the first team. There seems to be little else currently on the conveyor belt. And that will continue to be the case with so many players from English clubs being brought in to a system that really doesn’t do it in that way.

We need to keep our identity, our tried and tested graduate system and to prove that this club needs to drop and think. Stop getting rid of players with local attachment, stop changing the personnel behind the scenes continuously, and please start recognising that what went before has its merit, it doesn’t all have to be dismantled.

Photographs licensed from Reuters

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ReslovenSwan1 added 14:41 - Nov 29
Martin likes to talk about development and teaching players new methods and ideas. Revolution is for young men not veterans. It is part of human nature that young men pick up new learning far easier that the old boys that are more set in their ways. Defence is the key issue for Martin so why is he pick three old boys over young talents. Hamer 33 Bennett 31 Naughton 33. Room for one as a leader but not three, Having done the hard yards of Martinball will they still be first choice next season? Benda, Lati Cabango Cooper needs to play and in improve week on week. When its younp player I can m live with days like Saturday. Not chaos with 33 year olds. Allen will point out Benda Cabango and Cooper are under long term deals.

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