Ah the age-old question (not really) that I will look to answer after outlining what went so wrong in last night’s game, vs. Millwall. I find it’s always easier to give my thoughts on a match when it has been a complete shambles and luckily, for blogging sake, last night was just that!
The game saw Swansea slowly fall apart after another fantastic opening goal courtesy of defender Angel Rangel. Soon after the goal though the Swans began to look like a lower league side and seemed unable to cope with being ahead so early on. Nearing the half hour mark a terrible defensive blip led to the Millwall goal. Panicky clearances and a chaotic few seconds in their own box, where many Swans were unable to hack the ball away from the goal mouth, allowed Mkandawire to slam home the equaliser.
The general defending by the whole team was poor in my opinion, with Williams and Tate looking shaky at times and the whole team casually giving the ball away. It seemed hard to get the basics right. Most players appeared to already be figuring out how they’d create a goal scoring opportunity before they actually had the ball. Millwall intercepted endless loose passes, and throw-ins weren’t getting to intended targets.
Going forward and Scott Sinclair, despite a few flourishes and a great off-target shot, was kept quiet and seemed to lack the confidence he needed to make many surging runs. On the other wing, Nathan Dyer showed why he hasn’t yet been signed by a Premiership club – absolutely fantastic pace and mesmerising runs, but the total lack of shooting ability stops him being the all round player that we need. I recall him waltzing past three defenders into a perfect shooting opportunity, but instead of having a go himself he looked for someone (eventually no one) to pass to and the opportunity petered out. If he learns to shoot consistently on target, he could single handedly get us into the Premier League! Elsewhere in attack Beattie was nonexistent.
After halftime, the introduction of controversial signing Jermaine Easter was no help to the Swans attack, barely touching the ball and I don’t recall him shooting once. Darren Pratley was the second sub, though his stint on the bench didn’t help kick his form into gear and once again showed a lethargic display. When Dobbie came on he was as nonexistent as Beattie.
So then, after that, any positives? Well the draw, which Swansea probably didn’t actually deserve in the end, is a point and a good point to walk away with. The Swans are currently sitting third (there is no such thing as joint second) just below Cardiff, which is still a fantastic position to be in. Other positives? De Vries showed how solid he can be at times and stopped a hammering, rightfully claiming the Man of the Match award. Brendan Rodgers also showed he has the intelligence to throw on attacking players when things are getting static.
So back the question: to boo or not to boo?
If you are a diehard fan of a team, no matter how much they hurt and disgust you at times, no matter how much you pay for a ticket, you shouldn’t boo them. It’s like booing yourself. How many times have you argued with rival supporters, trying to get across that YOUR team is the best? What would they think if they saw you on national television booing your own players? How they’d laugh.
On a national scale, I support Italy and would defend them with my life. However, during the 2010 World Cup they shamefully bowed out of the tournament after two lacklustre draws and a loss. I shouted, I threw things at the TV, I held back a tear, but, had I been in South Africa, I wouldn’t have booed them. They are basically an extension of me, and that is what the Swans should be to those fans who booed last night (fair enough, the few at the front who gave the team a standing ovation could probably have held back so much praise). At the end of the day, Swansea City are in the best position they’ve been in nearly 30 years, and that’s nothing to boo about!
So next home game is a festive 28th December fixture against Barnsley. I’ll be summing up Swansea’s mid season performance in a blog soon, so stay tuned for that!