It's been a little while since I last wrote, mainly thanks to the time I spent working on the podcast and the international teams selfishly having a kick-about, however I'm back on the eve of Swansea's final leg of their run to the Premier League. Here's some new sketchy thoughts!
What's been happening?
The slightly underwhelming signing of Tamas Priskin from Ipswich almost went undetected by me, considering the mass euphoria of Borini's arrival and his stunning debut. I can't see Priskin making the starting line-up; not with Borini available. In fact there are now four strikers ready to play, all fighting for that one striker position. Unless Rodgers decides to change a winning formation and add a second striker, three men will unhappily be sitting on the bench. Yeah, signing Priskin was an odd move, which was probably no more than Rodgers using him to strengthen the squad. Much like Newcastle did with our friend Kuqi.
Danny Rose was another, more sensible, option. Not that Priskin is a bad player, just more sensible in the sense that Rose would offer relief and options to the wingers if Dyer or Sinclair fall ill, injured or fatigued during a match. The wing play is the core of the team at the moment – Swansea's attack is built from the wings, and I wouldn't be too far wrong by saying well over 50 percent of goals scored have been from Dyer or Sinclairs darting runs. At the moment, without a loanee, Cedric van der Gun is the only real winger replacement, which isn't perfect considering the strength and depth in the rest of the midfield. Danny Rose would have been perfect, though it looks like that isn't happening... or is it? You never know with Rodgers – you think the chance is gone, then suddenly there is a new debutee (debutant?) scoring goals for fun!
While I am on the subject of strength and depth in the midfield, I notice rumours that Ferrie Bodde is on his way back! This is, of course, great news for the team as he has been missed over the last few seasons. But will he fit in is the new question? In a squad where Darren Pratley and Leon Britton regularly start on the bench, will the newly recovered Bodde actually make the starting team? How much has the team changed since he last played? Who will have to make way for him?
This leads me onto another 'dropping' question - the dropping of a defender. As I've discussed with a few fans recently (and also on the most recent podcast... *cough*), one of either Williams, Tate, Rangel or Taylor will have to make themselves comfortable on the bench to accommodate the return of Captain Monk. But who? Originally, I thought everyone would say “Taylor”, though it seems Tate is the popular choice. I hate to admit it, but I can see this. Alan Tate is the one who is most likely to make a mistake (though Ashley Williams has had his fair share recently) during the last part of this season. He is still pretty solid as defenders go though. And very loyal. If Swansea don't get into the Premier League, chances are Williams and even Rangel may leave, but Tate will stay put (and that's not because nobody else wants him). Nobody can sing “we all dream of a team of Alan Tates” if he is left out. I don't know... it's a hard one. But then again it's a good situation to be in. Five defenders competing for four spots – depth again. Thankfully Edgar's loan didn't work out or we'd have a real dilemma on our hands!
So, onto Preston then Swansea! It's another (like they all will be from here on) must win game, especially as Preston are sitting right at the bottom of the table. I know it's an away game, but if you can't win an away game against a bottom of the table side, you have no hope in the Premier League.
All together now: “We all dream of a team of Borinis, Sinclairs, Williamseseses, Monks, Rangels, Gowers, Dobbies, De Vrieseses, Dyers, Pratleys, Taylors... and Alan Tates!”