A blip is a good way to describe what happened in tonight’s game. On an icy cold night in the Liberty Stadium (a night that I really should have worn a hat), Swansea began the game as usual. But just 6 minutes in, Bristol snuck a goal and things went downhill from there.
A usually solid defence seemed less so than usual, with Tate letting defenders get by him too easily, and Monk and Williams arguing over various defensive positions. At one point in the second half Campbell-Ryce (Bristol) ended up with the ball deep in the Swans half. Williams and Monk both pointed at the attacker but neither moved, until the 14,000 Swans fans in unison screamed “someone get him!”, leaving Rangel to eventually clean up the mess. A poor night for usually the best defence in the league.
Defensive issues aside, the midfield was no better. Pratley was rightly subbed at halftime – perhaps missing the Cardiff game made him rusty as opposed to rested, because he looked unsettled and unable to get his first touch right or to keep possession. Agustien looked strong initially, but towards the end of his game was tackled much to easily and sent numerous long balls up field with no accuracy, resulting in, again, a loss of possession. The appearance of Gower and Allen certainly sparked the Swansea attacking game, but still made no real dent in the Bristol defence.
So, to the attack. Sinclair was decent, with a couple of good runs creating a few of Swansea’s chances. Emnes didn’t show his quality and took too many bad touches, a poor final game (...for now?) in a Swansea shirt. Dyer, however, was fantastic, showing unequalled pace and great control. Had all the team played like Dyer we would have won, no doubt. Annoyingly, before the game, I bumped into Nathan Dyer in the car park, where I asked him if the Swans would win. He said yes. Now, I feel like my question jinxed it. Sorry everyone – my bad!
Positives? Nathan Dyer, but otherwise not that much tonight. But worry not – it is only a blip. Luckily with Cardiff only picking up a point tonight, Swansea’s position in the table has not changed (still 3rd, above Derby and below Cardiff). However, it could have been so much better as a win would have taken us within a point of the Bluebirds.
Roll on Sunday, where every player will be looking to redeem themselves against Middlesbrough! Right, I’m off to eat a Cherry Bakewell and defrost in front of my fan heater!