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Swansea City 0 v 3 Blackburn Rovers
SkyBet Championship
Saturday, 6th August 2022 Kick-off 15:00
Swansea City lose in the worst performance seen during the reign of Russell Martin
Saturday, 6th Aug 2022 17:19 by Swansea Independent

Swansea City crumbled to a 3-0 home defeat in a disappointing display that can only be described as a complete lack of effort, endeavour, commitment and desire. There was nothing there to inspire a big Swansea support for this opening home game of the season. And the view is this was the poorest performance since Russell Martin took charge at Swansea City.

It was a first half of frustration and the same old story for Swansea City in the west Wales sunshine against Blackburn Rovers this afternoon. Described as unimaginative, slow, ponderous and lacking creativity before the game by certain swans fans this game endorsed that fact. And the frustration was echoed via the commentators on todays game. An easy training exercise for Blackburn.

Swansea started confidently with little pressure on their defence with Ryan Manning busy and looking a stronger proposition to last weeks choice in Matt Sorinola. Proof of this came after a well worked move by the swans which saw Mannings cross fizz across the Blackburn area. Joel Latibeaudiere just couldn’t reach the ball to finish it off. He really should have launched himself at the ball. Had he done so he would have scored.

Andy Fisher did have some business to deal with comfortably fielding Sam Gallagher shot.

The swans continued with their patient build up with Blackburn’s compact and well drilled defence in front of them. Kyle Naughton had a pot shot on sixteen minutes but it didn’t trouble the Blackburn keeper Kaminski. Without doubt starting Olivier Ntcham and Manning together on the left hand side of proceedings ensured the swans lacked no little effort in controlling and retaining the ball. But as the half moved on it was to come to nothing.

The swans slowed their pace in the sunshine and opportunities were very much at a premium for both sides. Some of the play was static but when Matt Grimes could pull the strings the home side nearly scored through first Obafemi and then Piroe. Manning again heavily involved. On twenty six minutes the swans ramped up the pace. They most certainly looked like the most likeliest side to score.

Joel Latibeaudiere on the swans right had little luck in the first half

With both Piroe and Jay Fulton yellow carded the swans once again saw their opponents committing fouls without any caution, Diaz not winning himself any friends with his dramatics but on thirty for minutes with the game turning dour again Blackburn had their first corner. A reflection on the mundane pace of the game was evidenced by the slow rate from both sides. Any set piece was almost frowned upon. Sam Gallagher was booked which in itself was surprising as rovers contended easily with the swans attack, but the warning signs on the break were there.

It really is a frustration that from any break the swans have to turn back on themselves which led to a defensive Fulton error and Blackburn debutant Sammy Szmodics slid home a pass to put his side 1-0 up.The slow and insignificant build up play by Swansea led to many frustrating goals last season and it happened again. Fulton’s mistake was not the kind of play any side wants from a seasoned player.

It was dreadful.

Ponderous play and failure to be the brave players Russell Martin desires led to Blackburn’s first real chance of the game, and the they went ahead. The swans had nobody but themselves to blame for the 1-0 deficit at half time. They had turned the match in to a slow moving, half hearted bore fest.

The second half started with no changes in front of a solemn and quiet east stand. Tactically things looked similar, the wide banks of four facing the swans and very few gaps to intrude upon towards the away sides goal. It is very clear the swans have no pace which is massively affecting their passing choices, and only three outlets up front wanting to receive the ball and hardly looking competent when they had an opportunity. Going forwards Harry Darling was definitely employed in a more advanced position but the first five minutes were just the same as the last forty five. Proof of a slow thought process and lack of conviction was displayed when a perfect Latibeaudiere cross saw not one swans player even risking, contemplating or attempting to get anywhere near the ball.

As the game passed the fifty minute point Fulton was rightly substituted for Jamie Paterson. Immediately the swans broke clear in a two v one attack and Piroe’s shot was saved. Then within seconds Obafemi again missed an absolute sitter of a chance in front of goal. It was far more encouraging, and far better effort wise. But the score remained 0-1.

With the swans more expansive play and missed chances the game became more open. Diaz skinned Nathan Wood on the break and cleverly chipped Andy Fisher, and that was 2-0 to the visitors. Matt Sorinola came on for Latibeaudiere and Ntcham switched his priorities to the left side of the pitch but the urgency just wasn’t there. Ntcham failed to take a chance of a shot preferring to pass to Piroe who did choose to shoot but it was weak. More good work from Paterson saw his cross come shot cleared off the line when Sorinola looked poised to score.

With fifteen minutes to go the stadium noise increased as the swans for the first time in the half looked dangerous. With Fisher almost playing as a sweeper the misplaced passes and lack of tempo returned. Blackburn were happy to defend as a complete team and clear the danger as and when required. Cameron Congreve came on for Olivier Ntcham the young academy product the final replacement of the afternoon. With more space becoming available rovers sensed a third bringing on two attacking options for the final ten minutes.

You could sense the disappointment and unhappiness within the stadium with the game fast approaching it’s end. Fans leaving early with a silent almost desperate feeling as passes went astray and the lack of commitment continuing within the swans side. The sideways passing continued, the lack of creativity frustrating to see - and the result and game petered out as many expected it to be. Frustration continued on the pitch as well as Michael Obafemi was booked for dissent. Lewis Travis scored a third for Blackburn but it didn’t matter. That’s two games one goal, and a Swansea City side that is currently not good enough. Possibly the most disappointing result since Russell Martin and his coaching team came to the club.

Swansea Independent View
This slow passing and unimaginative style of play isn’t anywhere near the so called ‘Swansea Way’ Today the swans were a team full of passengers, players with a complete disregard for the club that pays their wages. This is ridiculous walking football. The tactics are flawed because the manager is employing the right ideas with the wrong players. He has had a year to manufacture an identity for the swans but it hasn’t transpired. He hasn’t got anywhere near the strength in depth of last season, nor the players to carry out his demands on the pitch. Sleep walking to todays defeat is the best way we can describe the swans. As the days progress more and more swans fans will voice their displeasure, Russell Martin does have time to put it right but another couple of performances like that and he may well be looking for a new job. Such is football.

Swansea City: Fisher; Wood, Naughton, Darling; Latibeaudiere (Sorinola 70), Fulton (Paterson 52), Grimes (C), Manning; Piroe, Ntcham (Congreve 77); Obafemi.

Subs not used: Benda, Cabango, O Cooper, Cullen.

Yellow cards: 🟨 Fulton 20, Piroe 31, Obafemi 86

Blackburn Rovers: Kaminski; Brittain, Ayala, Wharton, Pickering; Travis (C), Buckley (Morton 89); Hedges (Dolan 79), Szmodics (Edun 58), Brereton Diaz; Gallagher (Vale 79).

Subs not used: Pears, Phillips, Dack.

Goals: Szmodics 39, Brereton Diaz 57, Dolan 84

Yellow card: 🟨 Gallagher 35

Referee: Stephen Martin 6/10 Run of the mill but didn’t have any impact on the result.

Photographs licensed from Reuters

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Badlands added 09:35 - Aug 7
It was hugely disappointing and some players looked lost for much of the time but …
We created chances
We made their keeper work.
They scored their first from an individual error by Fulton .. a player onLy here because he can’t replicate his wages elsewhere.
Then two breakaway gaols when doing what the crowd wanted … pushing forward to find an equaliser. Teams that sit deep behind the ball are always difficult to break down for any team. That has always been a problem for us irrespective of who is in the dugout.
What is obvious is Martin doesn’t have the managerial equipment to get the best from his squad in a formation he chooses with the style he is aiming for. Therefore one of two things must happen; either Martin changes his approach or Martin goes.
My preference would be him leaving now but at the international break at the latest.

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