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Swansea City 2 v 3 Southampton
FA Cup
Saturday, 8th January 2022 Kick-off 17:30
Same old mistakes see Swansea knocked out of the FA Cup
Sunday, 9th Jan 2022 08:53 by Gruff Stephens & Keith Haynes

It’s a regular occurrence. The sun rises and falls every day. Water flows and the air we breath is the essence we need to live. And of course Swansea will score goals and then concede, and to compliment this a loose ball in midfield will lead to another goal. Okay, that’s the best we can do this morning, but it’s right.

That’s Swansea City. That’s what they do. The enormous weakness to do so game after game exposes not only a lack of intelligence by those tasked to ensure it doesn’t happen it also displays a lack of awareness by the coach. Whatever systems the swans tried to employ in play yesterday is down to speculation, a stronger than expected side was fielded by Russell Martin and his Austrian counterpart Ralph Hasenhüttl contrary to their reports to the press on pre match.

However, both sides made five changes from their previous game.

Swansea City last played on Saturday December 11th 2021. That day as per the games before goal upon unavoidable goal were conceded. They same mistakes after the same mistakes were made, and Swansea City’s goals conceded column becomes more embarrassing by the day. This isn’t about getting in new players this is about leadership on the pitch, this is about all the ‘talking’ and ‘training’ being put in to effect. Russell Martin must despair, he continues to explain and offer insight but his players are clearly not listening.

When the swans conceded that second goal within seconds of going ahead they had enough experience on the pitch to ensure it didn’t happen. Too many players were reliant upon too many other players to do a simple job. Get rid of the ball. Within seconds of celebrating a fortuitous second goal the swans were looking at each other in disbelief. Yes, they had done it again. And when you compare that with Liam Walsh’s foolish loose pass for Nathan Redmond’s opener it all sounds very familiar.

Southampton equalise

The real annoyance is that at times, albeit at a slow pace the swans found their players yesterday, they linked play well, and played around Southampton’s rigid defence. Chances were at a premium, but as expected Russell Martin’s side looked okay overall. Again it wasn’t the most exciting watch, and the saints did look far quicker on the ball, more energetic most certainly.

Michael Obafemi needs more game time, although he did well to get in behind the saints defence before being brought down by Valery, problem for him was it was his second yellow and off he went. It looked a straight red to me. It was a more experimental formation with built in flexibility it seems, and personally I’m not impartial to this starting strategy. However, it seems a few players short.

Back slapping all round after the second goal is scored

Admittedly Russell Martin was angry, after all his side had thrown the game away and the opportunity for more money in to the clubs coffers. “We started quite nervously as a lot of the guys have not played for a long time,” he said. “Seven or eight of the guys had not trained until this week and we grew into it. “We conceded and I felt if we did not kick into gear after that it was going to be a long afternoon, but from that point I liked a lot of what we did. “We were dominant with 11 against 10 as we should be, we did not give them many opportunities. We score, Joel has a great chance to win it, but Fraser Forster makes a great save. In extra time we score and our mentality seems to be that maybe we think the game is done, but it’s not done against a Premier League team with the quality they have and were able to bring on. It hurts because we have allowed them back into it, we did not have the mentality to dig in and play with the same intensity and discipline. We have plotted our own downfall which is disappointing because I should be coming out to talk about so much good stuff. I am really hurt by the manner in which we lost the game and I have told the lads it is not acceptable to lose a game like that. It’s the mentality after we score, we think it is done and you could see it in our body language. We got punished for it.”

One bright positive, Olivier Ntcham

I agree, we threw the game away ( again ) and the lack of foresight by those players on the pitch were the reason. Whatever Martin does next it has to be well thought out, he has another week to get his players in to the right mindset, it’s Huddersfield Town next. And it’s away. A strong following will head north to watch the swans for the first time in five weeks. Here’s hoping that their team don’t let them down again like they did yesterday, or maybe Russell Martin will need some anger management sessions ? And of course a football manager cannot go on explaining the same thing week after week because eventually people stop listening, which evidently is what his charges did yesterday. Shocking.

Swansea City: Hamer; Naughton, Bennett, Cooper (Ntcham 61), Manning; Smith (R Williams 114), Downes (C), Walsh (Grimes 61); Cullen (Dhanda 85), Piroe, Obafemi (Fulton 91).

Subs not used: Benda, Bidwell, D Williams, Abdulai.

Goals: Piroe 77, Bednarek OG 94

Yellow cards: 🟨 Bennett 43, Cooper 45, Walsh 59

Southampton: Forster; Valery, Stephens, Bednarek, Perraud; Ward-Prowse (C), Romeu, S. Armstrong (Diallo 65), Redmond (A. Armstrong 65); Tella (Elyounoussi 78), Broja (Long 78).

Subs not used: Caballero; Lyanco, Simeu, Chauke, Olaigbe.

Goals: Redmond 8, Elyounoussi 95, Long 102

Yellow cards: 🟨 Valery 3 & 29

Red card: 🟥 Valery 29

Referee: Simon Hooper 8/10 : A very well run game by the official.


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