Fulham

#22
A suicidal backward pass (not the first one this season) and lack of clinical finishing prevented us from taking all three points from Fulham. If we continue to play like this we'll be ok. A big if.
Agreed fully and that's why I'm so annoyed right now. We all know that this squad has the ability to be (and deserve to be) in the top 6 and fighting for promotion but when we play our best in 1 out of 5 matches then it's impossible to say we deserve to be in the top 6. Why can't we turn these performances in against Barnsley, Wednesday, Milwall etc.

I'm not annoyed we lost but more annoyed that the performance today would've won us 3 or 4 more games had we decided to turn up on that day and actually play. That defeat to Milwall was a disgrace to the shirt yet today they put in an attacking performance than deserved at least a draw against a good Fulham side. It's the inconsistency in our play and the way we go from relegation fodder one match to promotion contenders the next.

I know we are still somehow in the mix to the top 6 and we shouldn't be that disappointed with our position given the dross we have served up on some occasions but what I want is consistent effort for the full 90. This lies on Cooper; we are setting out, like Clement, to test the waters each match. We don't try and win them from the start, we see if we can get to 60 minutes then knick a goal and defend it. It's awful and negative; we need to get back to getting after teams and from the first whistle to the last trying to actually create and win rather than prod and poke.

All this talk about playing the "right way" well I'm sorry but the "right way (or Swansea way) is a dead style, it's been sussed out; you beat the passing game by pressing and forcing mistakes at the far end of the pitch. There is no point in having possession for it's sake and I'm tired of trying to adhere to the method which worked 10 years ago but not now. Today we gave up on having the ball for the sake of it at home. We actually tried to move it forward and if we started the first half like the second we would've had a better result.

Moving on to a bastard of a match vs WBA is going to be a good test for us. We are good away from home and can use a counterattacking style that suits our younger players. A win there and we can use that momentum to push us through the Christmas period into the window. But that's just the beer talking now...


Edit: Also I want to mention Fulton. Why is he not getting in? He's got everything that Grimes and Byers have but with physicality. He can actually control a midfield battle whereas the others have no chance. I just cannot understand why he's rarely getting a look in. He fights for every ball and he is a quick passer, someone who actually wants the ball to move instead of holding onto it. Why he came off over Byers is beyond me.
 

ivoralljack

Grizzled Veteran
Staff member
#23
Still shaking my head at how we lost this. Upon reflection though, a fortunate bounce off the bar for Mitrovic to score a goal my granny wouldn't have missed and a ridiculous backpass that only reached Mitrovic via a mis-kick. Some stats:

POSSESSION: 47-53 SHOTS: 18-10 OT: 7-4 CORNERS: 6-0 FOULS: 12-18 GOALS: 1-2

Looking at those stats, I ask again, how on earth did we lose that game???? But note the fouls from Fulham - half again as many as us which indicates the pressure they were under.

We are good away from home and can use a counterattacking style that suits our younger players. A win there and we can use that momentum to push us through the Christmas period into the window. But that's just the beer talking now...
Keep drinking the beer, Ian, I'm in dire need of being cheered up right now. :(
 
#24
Still shaking my head at how we lost this. Upon reflection though, a fortunate bounce off the bar for Mitrovic to score a goal my granny wouldn't have missed and a ridiculous backpass that only reached Mitrovic via a mis-kick. Some stats:

POSSESSION: 47-53 SHOTS: 18-10 OT: 7-4 CORNERS: 6-0 FOULS: 12-18 GOALS: 1-2

Looking at those stats, I ask again, how on earth did we lose that game???? But note the fouls from Fulham - half again as many as us which indicates the pressure they were under.



Keep drinking the beer, Ian, I'm in dire need of cheering up right now. :(

Oh I shall, the lady is out tonight with friends long after my bedtime. Beer time for a few more hours yet.
 
#25
Agreed fully and that's why I'm so annoyed right now. We all know that this squad has the ability to be (and deserve to be) in the top 6 and fighting for promotion but when we play our best in 1 out of 5 matches then it's impossible to say we deserve to be in the top 6. Why can't we turn these performances in against Barnsley, Wednesday, Milwall etc.

I'm not annoyed we lost but more annoyed that the performance today would've won us 3 or 4 more games had we decided to turn up on that day and actually play. That defeat to Milwall was a disgrace to the shirt yet today they put in an attacking performance than deserved at least a draw against a good Fulham side. It's the inconsistency in our play and the way we go from relegation fodder one match to promotion contenders the next.

I know we are still somehow in the mix to the top 6 and we shouldn't be that disappointed with our position given the dross we have served up on some occasions but what I want is consistent effort for the full 90. This lies on Cooper; we are setting out, like Clement, to test the waters each match. We don't try and win them from the start, we see if we can get to 60 minutes then knick a goal and defend it. It's awful and negative; we need to get back to getting after teams and from the first whistle to the last trying to actually create and win rather than prod and poke.

All this talk about playing the "right way" well I'm sorry but the "right way (or Swansea way) is a dead style, it's been sussed out; you beat the passing game by pressing and forcing mistakes at the far end of the pitch. There is no point in having possession for it's sake and I'm tired of trying to adhere to the method which worked 10 years ago but not now. Today we gave up on having the ball for the sake of it at home. We actually tried to move it forward and if we started the first half like the second we would've had a better result.

Moving on to a bastard of a match vs WBA is going to be a good test for us. We are good away from home and can use a counterattacking style that suits our younger players. A win there and we can use that momentum to push us through the Christmas period into the window. But that's just the beer talking now...


Edit: Also I want to mention Fulton. Why is he not getting in? He's got everything that Grimes and Byers have but with physicality. He can actually control a midfield battle whereas the others have no chance. I just cannot understand why he's rarely getting a look in. He fights for every ball and he is a quick passer, someone who actually wants the ball to move instead of holding onto it. Why he came off over Byers is beyond me.
Agree with everything you said apart from this:

"All this talk about playing the "right way" well I'm sorry but the "right way (or Swansea way) is a dead style, it's been sussed out; you beat the passing game by pressing and forcing mistakes at the far end of the pitch. There is no point in having possession for it's sake and I'm tired of trying to adhere to the method which worked 10 years ago but not now."

I don't see Swanselona style as a style of possession and passing for the sake of possession and passing. I see it as the best of the best Swansea used to play, and that includes both high pressing, passing with tempo, fast movement, direct passing, dribbles, triangles, quick tranistions and imagination. This is how Barcelona under Pep used to play, and this is how Manchester City under Pep play now. And if you want, it's how Bielsa's Leeds play.
 
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#26
...

I don't see Swanselona style as a style of possession and passing for the sake of possession and passing. I see it as the best of the best Swansea used to play, and that includes both high pressing, passing with tempo, fast movement, direct passing, dribbles, triangles, quick tranistions and imagination. This is how Barcelona under Pep used to play, and this is how Manchester City under Pep play now. And if you want, it's how Bielsa's Leeds play.
This is correct IMO. However ...

Swanselona is dead - RIP. Not because it's a style that reached an evolutionary dead end and become extinct. It's because the life has been coached out of it. Started with Monk. Ended with Cooper. Tonight, when in possession, we lacked patience, movement, tempo, and quality ... and when you lack patience, you hoof it. Too often we would make 3 or 4 passes then somebody - typically Grimes - would attempt a 30+ yard boot down the field most often to our #9 and there it would be lost. Swanselona means you play with patience, you OWN the ball, you make the other team chase shadows and then through quality and movement you create an opening by shifting the other team and wearing down their cohesion and then go through that opening. In 2011/12 we went into Craven Cottage, won 3-0, and strung sequence after sequence of 30+ passes together. We were described as "easy on the eye". We didn't pass for the sake of passing, we passed and moved to OWN the ball. We were poised and patient, created and capitalized on opportunities against a Fulham team that had no idea whatsoever how to combat it - and there were some very good players on that Fulham team and a good manager on the touchline.

Now our patience sucks. The players are far too eager to move forward when the opportunities are just not there. Tonight Fulham showed patience and poise in possession. They moved it around, cycled and recycled, and made our more forward players chase shadows. This created space for Fulham in our defensive third and they then moved and passed efficiently in those areas.

The old adage more haste less speed ... we're too full of haste at all the wrong times and lack the patience and poise, as a result we gift back the ball through unforced errors. And, I have to say we lack the stamina to do the work that tempo requires.

What "we", i.e. Cooper, and Clement before him as an example, try is to attack quickly ... all very well and fine but if you can't pass 5 yards and move to support and create those spaces then you're sure as hell not going to have the quality to pass 30 yards nor the quality required to break and attack with speed. It's simply not possible in a match situation against real competition if you haven't mastered the pass and move over shorter distances.

Swanselona was a platform, not the end but a means to the end. Swanselona was programmed into every player by Martinez and then reinforced and more advanced styles layered on top by those that followed - Sousa, Rogers, Laudrup. It turned players like Gower that we acquired in the lower leagues into short term functional players in the Prem. It allowed us to survive in the Prem during that first season plus the addition of Sig. Laudrup's acquisitions raised squad quality and the likes of Gower that had to work 110% to be sufficient were made redundant.

Swanselona is dead - RIP. We now hoof it ... and we suck at that because we don't have the players for it. And for all of his claims during the interview, Cooper has not resuscitated Swanselona, he has not built on the foundation laid down by Potter, he has created no platform on which to tactically dabble as matches and opposition demand. Potter had a system on which he could tactically dabble ... Cooper ... I give in.
 
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