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Swansea City 0 v 3 Blackburn Rovers
SkyBet Championship
Saturday, 6th August 2022 Kick-off 15:00
Russell Martin : We need to find solutions to our problems !
Sunday, 7th Aug 2022 11:50 by Keith Haynes

Russell Martin and his coaching staff took some stick from the opposition bench yesterday afternoon as he saw his side well and truely beaten at the stadium. The game has been described as ‘The worst game under Russell Martin’ in many quarters. The swans were beaten easily 3-0. Comments regards their passing style and in game management were not lost on the swans boss.

There has now been a year where swans fans have put up and of course trusted the rebuilding story leading up to this season. Well, the club have rebuilt to the effect that the squad now looks bizarrely unbalanced and extremely slow with no pace or determination to be the team Russell Martin desires. A system that relies on good wing backs hasn’t got any starting in the first eleven and when Matt Sorinola came on the field he looked lightweight and out of his depth.

Click this link for yesterdays debrief on Call Rob. Swans Indie on from around fifty minutes —> Swans Indie on BBC Radio Wales

I’m not surprised people were laughing at Russell Martin’s tactics. They were poor, slow, ponderous and ineffective. Speaking with Rob Phillips and his guests yesterday evening they all agreed. There are very few swans followers who would disagree. Things are very much not going to plan. It’s very easy to shout ‘Martin Out’ continuously it offers no real help to the situation. But what does help at this point is trying to understand that he is looking for solutions to these problems. And that concerns me as well. After the game Martin said "I really admire the lads sticking to it when it did get a little bit tetchy. I understand that. Expectancy has gone up from last season - we've had more time to work with the players. We need to stick together, work really hard and try to find solutions to the problems we faced today."

How does that make you feel ?

It’s a certainty that Martin will continue with this ideology until it either works a treat or he gets sacked. The latter if he persists in this style of play and the poor displays and results continue I would say at around the ten game mark. I can’t see anything other than him leaving as we stand, the only thing that annoys me with that is the fourteen months or so when we get to that point that have been wasted.

However, we have all seen poor home starts to seasons before, teams have been given a drubbing and then turned it around massively. That’s not beyond a possibility, we are yet to see what Martin is like when his back is against the wall. It’s obvious he is playing the right tactics but as stated yesterday it’s with the wrong players. Is the football so pedestrian because his players have to think too much when they are on the ball ? Or is their football intelligence at a level where that quick and sharp assessment of the game takes too much time ? It has to be something like that because in training we have seen quick and sharp passing and decision making over long periods. So why doesn’t that transfer itself on to the pitch ? Martin almost confirmed this yesterday post match when he said “It can’t happen and that comes down to anxiety and not being able to manage the moment and we were punished.We have to make more of the periods where we are on top. We know what we need to work on, and we have to continue to work hard and improve and keep believing”

In training we have seen a far more industrious and effective plan with speed and pace

Is it fear when Martin asks for bravery ? Is the players excuse something like - I will take the easy pass, I won’t make mistakes that way ? It has to be said if you are looking for a professional footballer to run at teams and be what the current head coach calls ‘bravery’ then you didn’t see it yesterday, apart from some one two positions that actually did produce some excitement. Stating the problems will be addressed seems a little but too concerning for me. The six weeks or so pre season build up to yesterdays first home game should maybe have included addressing particular issues during a match before now. Putting your foot on the ball on the half way line and then looking up and passing it sideways isn’t going to work, but what it does tell us is the reluctance for players to be brave and clearly exposes the teams lack of pace.

The other fact to come out of yesterday is the lack of leadership on the pitch. There is no captain or senior player grasping the game by the neck and leading by example. There’s no fist clenching moments for the fans to relate to and support. Yesterday was a mundane plod through sticky mud and for me displayed a whole team out of its depth with this strategy imposed by Russell Martin. Most supporters of any club will forgive a poor performance if they see aggression and passion in the players employed to west their clubs shirt. It doesn’t have to be all the time but these passionate moments do turn games around.

Sadly we didn’t see that yesterday.

This isn’t the end for Russell Martin by a long way, he has plenty of time to try and ‘sort the problems out’ he has a defined and unique football style which he will stand by until the very end. Now whether that’s his death knell or the catalyst for him to display what he believes in is correct. There are games coming up whereby he can turn these negatives into positives. A cup game at Oxford in midweek and of course the Blackpool away trip next Saturday. Not the happiest of places for the swans to visit so quickly after this result.

It was a sad moment of realisation for many swans fans when the final whistle drew the game to an end yesterday. The boos and very few people left in the stadium a big, big clue. Russell Martin’s whole future at Swansea is now down to him, he has had unilateral support from this website and the only criticism has been justified when flaws are seen.

It’s a shame that so early in the season we are at this stage already, but we won’t give up on a manager who only wants success for our club, someone who isn’t giving up and throwing the towel in, that would be nonsense. But we do want to see some desire and determination this week no matter the opposition because yesterday was an absolute farce.

And paying customers won’t continue to pay a huge chunk of their disposable income to watch it.

Photographs Swansea City AFC

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