Wednesday 28 December 2011

Swansea 1 – 1 QPR: Fair

I have a mammoth Swansea City 2011 yearly review on its way in the next 24 hours, but I have taken time out of compiling that to write a few thoughts about Swansea vs QPR.

Football returned to the Liberty Stadium on 27th December for a very entertaining game between Swansea and QPR. Both promoted last season, both in need of a win to repair a slight dip in form. Both, probably, felt they would have won it on paper and should have won it at the end of the game. But they didn't – it was a draw, and a draw was a fair result.

Swansea deserved to win from their first half performance. Again, very slick, easy-on-the-eye passing which resulted in the opportunity and goal for Danny Graham. Was it a handball from the striker? To be honest, it looked like. Should it have been disallowed? Probably, but, as you know, the ref wasn't having the best of days.

Graham had a good game overall, as did Leon Britton, while Kemy Agustien was strong in the centre (until he moved to right back). Michel Vorm had a few good saves and Joe Allen looked good, if slightly flustered.

However, Neil Warnock seemed to transfer his anger to his players and the second half became QPR's to win. The point that turned Swansea from 'cruising' to 'stumbling through' appeared to be the joint substitution of Dyer and Moore for Rangel and Routledge. No sooner had this happened, a flick backwards from Britton saw Mackie outrun Williams and draw level. Swansea looked disjointed from this point onwards and QPR could well have scored another two.

A stonewall penalty appeal was turned down by Mr Probert, cancelling out his earlier mistake which allowed the Swans goal. Probert seemed to have an odd game. The ref is said to have done a good job when he tends to keep out of the limelight, but Probert was all over the place – frustrating both teams in equal measures. As mentioned, he allowed Graham to handball, but turned down a clear penalty. He wanted throw-ins retaken and allowed players to talk back too often. He even got in the way of a Joey Barton run, which nearly ended in a Swansea goal.

Though a point is obviously better than a loss, the game against QPR was one Swansea should've grabbed by the scruff and put away before half time. However, like we've seen a few times already this season, they've let the opposition get back into it. With Spurs rampant anything more than a loss on Saturday will be an exceptional result. Then again, Swansea seem to perform better when they are expected to lose, so a point or three isn't that unlikely.

At 14th in the Premier League table, Swansea are in a dangerous place, but it's not time for panicking yet. At halfway through the season they're looking like a team that are “almost there”. Some tweaking with the final third – maybe another capable striker – in the transfer window and I'm still confident of a top ten finish this season.


  1. Think that is the most honest comment on a game I have seen from a non-neutral! Summed the game up perfectly........

  2. Very good. So pleasing to see blogging with such an unbiased view except.....the game turned before dyer and young came on. Felt that goal was coming before that but yes agustien's switch to defence lwd to the goal. By the way, he looks a great signing, very strong in physique and in the ball. Could do with him at loftus.
    Again, well done
    Irish R - Galway

  3. Handball? Nonsense. You need to brush up on the rules of the game, as any aspiring football journalist should.

    Like most pundits on TV, and most managers, they fail to understand the rules, because they don't study them. In my book, all players and journalists should take the ref's course, so they can be in no doubt what is a correct or bad decision - although Warnock is a qualified ref, and he doesn't understand them either judging by his post match comments.

    In Fifa's Laws of the Game 2005, Law 12 says a free-kick or penalty will be awarded if a player "handles the ball deliberately (except for the goalkeeper within his own penalty area)".

    A hand ball foul should not be called if: (1) a player is instinctively trying to protect himself from injury or (2) the player did not deliberately touch the ball but the ball hit his arm & he did not move the arm toward the ball (however, if the player's arms were in an unnatural position such as above his shoulders or sticking out to the sides, then he should be called for a handball).

    If you watch the footage, the ball bounces up off Graham's knee as he is trying to control and it bounces up hitting his arm. He did not move his arm to the ball. His arm was not in an unnatural position or pushed out wide from his body.

    It is the one decision Probert got right all night. His performance on the whole was pathetic, and is not good enough to ref at this level.


  4. sorry mark but it's you who can't interpret the rules. Graham did not deliberately move his arm in the way no1 is saying that. however his arm is clearly held out in the manner described in the rule book, causing the ball to hit his hand not once but twice. a clear handball. a fair point. you guys are seriously dreaming if you think it's a top ten finish. you barely got promoted last year though i'm glad you did. you'llbe lucky to finish where you are.

  5. Mark, I note how keen you are to quote the rule book on handball but neglect to clarify the position on penalties. Why? I'll tell you why. Because the same principle applies!

    Traore had no idea Graham was behind him when he attempted to clear the ball so the trip was not deliberate. Consequently the referee made the correct decision in not awarding a penalty.

  6. Thanks to the QPR fans who enjoyed the blog.

    Peter - I think a top ten finish isn't that unlikely to be honest. It's only the final third Swansea stutter in, and can push the best teams to draws. Just need a more consistant goal scorer. I also don't feel you can "barely get promoted" - you're either good enough to get promoted, or not.

  7. "Traore had no idea Graham was behind him when he attempted to clear the ball so the trip was not deliberate. "

    You are having a laugh aren't you? Jesus wept! Even Colin Wanker agreed it was a certain pen!

  8. All im going to say is if you try to play that fancy 1 touch football against Spurs you will lose....they do it better than anyone in the league and only lose if you physically bully them (see stoke) and even then you need to have a very biased referee.

    Norwich tried to out play them and never touched the could be a cricket score unless you adapt your game for them........and Caulker missing is a huge blow as he is your best defender