This is the best part of the festive period – after the hectic build up and the big day itself, the week between Christmas and New Year is usually a relaxed affair, with a lot of good sport to occupy your mind, while the beer occupies your belly. Unfortunately, as we have come to expect from following Swansea, today was anything but relaxing!
Firstly, my condolences go to those who travelled to London to watch the 4-0 defeat to QPR – the return trip can’t have been that pleasant.
Annoyingly, in my own state of turkey and beer saturated bliss, I assumed the game kicked off at 3pm. On realising my mistake I quickly tuned in, joining the action to find Alan Tate had just been sent off and the Swans were 1-0 down. Not a good time, though it seems that QPR’s Clint Hill had also been shown red, so at least it was an eye for an eye. Swansea had the opportunity to go even again and maybe take the lead – if only they could put away some of their chances. However, as most who watch weekly will know, this isn’t easy for the Swans.
I guess we can no longer call this a blip? It’s the word that has been posted around recently, but a blip to me is when a team is soaring high, consistently winning by two or three goals, but then lose 3-0 to a poor team. The week after, however, they continue with their good form. That is a blip. It seems that the Swans are passed the ‘blip stage’ and, having only won one game in the last six, have moved into an extended period of unsettlement.
I’m not saying this is the end of promotion dreams because, as this is such an open league, it will only take a few good wins to see Swansea in the top two, but something still isn’t right. Maybe the midfield is the main problem here. Take Sinclair and Dyer out (they are currently the obvious best wing options) and it leaves three spaces for the likes of Pratley, Gower, Orlandi, Agustien and Allen. Which combination is the strongest? It’s hard to choose correctly. In my opinion, it seems the 4-5-1 option may no longer be the best. Or at least it may be wise to try and change it while there is still time in the season for errors. I wouldn’t mind seeing something like this for the next game in a 4-4-2 formation: De Vries; Rangel, Monk, Williams, Taylor; Dyer, Agustien, Allen, Sinclair; Dobbie, Beattie.
Either way, Rodgers needs to secure a permanent striker in the transfer window to allow options. Failing that a central attacking midfielder would also help.
Next game is very soon: Tuesday vs. Barnsley (this time it is at 3pm!), so there is little time for reflection – the management and players alike need to brush themselves off and get a vital home win. If they fail to do this, the risk of a downwards spiral becomes higher by the game.
What is the current strongest side that should be played? Which new formation would you like to see tried out? Or is this still just a 'blip'? Leave a comment below