Sunday 12 February 2012

Swansea 2 – 3 Norwich: a game best forgotten

It's not often a team will out-Swansea Swansea. I expect it to happen when Swansea eventually make it to the Champions League and play Barcelona, but I didn't expect it yesterday against Norwich.

I had heard a few Swans fans were a little pessimistic before the match, but I honestly couldn't see it going any other way than three points to the home side. Yet Norwich came out and really did a number on the Swans and deserved their win. They had us sussed from start to finish.

So who didn't turn up? Literally Joe Allen, but he was injured so it's forgiveable. I can't say I was overly impressed with his replacement – Josh McEachran was a little too weak in an area that needs strength. Leon Britton needed someone more physical next to him and unfortunately McEachran didn't offer it. It's a shame Kemy Agustien was also injured as it might have been a different game with a stronger ball winner in the middle.

Angel Rangel was uncharacteristically disappointing. Too many times we saw a Norwich goal-scoring opportunity come from an attacker in too much space on that left wing. The rest of the back four all had a poor game in my eyes, although Steven Caulker showed some attacking talent with a few decent headed attempts at the other end.

Neil Taylor scoring a second consecutive home own goal was just bad luck, but own goals are only scored when there is pressure on the defence – and there was plenty of pressure on the defence yesterday! Elsewhere, Nathan Dyer and Scott Sinclair weren't allowed their usual space which resulted in both being rightly subbed.

On a positive note, Leon Britton, Gylfi Sigurdsson and Michel Vorm had decent games, but the performance by the whole team was very under-par.

The Liberty is a hard place for visitors to score (we actually have to go back to 2009 – Paulo Sousa reign – for the last time three away goals were scored there), but Swansea lacked the composure, style and accurate passing we have been spoilt with so regularly this season.

The worrying thing is that there doesn't seem to be a plan B for these situations. It's good for football that Swansea won't just hoof it long up the field, even when under pressure, but what can they do when their Barcelona-esque passing isn't an option?

The bench offered little in the way of impact subs – Mark Gower is fine to float a few balls into the area, and is a nice player to air-out when ahead, but he's no game changer. The introduction of Leroy Lita and Wayne Routledge seemed more out of desperation than a well thought out plan.

Let's get this right – Swansea will secure safety this season. I'm confident. At risk of jinxing it, there are too many other teams that are destined for the Championship and I can't see Swansea being one of them. But to continue and grow in the Premier League, Swansea need more of an idea of what to do if they aren't allowed to play their usual game.

It would be nice to see this experimented after safety is secured. It would be interesting to try a new formation or a new system. This experimentation could end up ruining a game for the Swans, but it would be worth it for a clearer idea of what is needed when teams come looking for trouble.


  1. jog on swalolnsea

  2. As a Norwich fan I went into this game feeling that a point would be an excellent result. I knew Paul Lambert would have a cunning plan, he always does but for us to take a 3-1 lead was beyond my wildest dreams.

    no offence but we in Norfolk have been getting a little irritated with the Swansalona jizz fest that the media have been having.

    You are right about having no plan B and that is something you will need to have by the start of next season before the rest of the league susses it out.

    Swansea and Norwich will meet again next season in the Premier league. QPha may not be so lucky.

    1. The Swansea jizz fest will continue.
      On MOTD even tho norwich beat the Swans they didnt make too much of it. it seems they are just happy to say that norwich will stay up and that is it!!

      If the Swans had won they would have gone into every detail of how the goals were scored.

      It has to be accepted that as far as the media are concerned norwich are a non-discript team

  3. you are giving norwich way to much credit there.. out swansea swansea? no way, we had a bad day and we didnt play to our normal strengths. that is all..

    norwich are just another stoke and utimatly another blackpool in waiting, just using their muscle and riding their luck.

  4. Is this Swans fan for real. Norwich played football on the deck...did Stoke in their first season??...yes a bad day at the office for Swansea but when Hoolahan was about to make it 4-1 but for Vorns spectacular save as Norwich cut the back row apart again did you think "Stoke/Blackpool"?

  5. Excellent game, both clubs should be really proud. But Swansea need to realise that teams will work them out very quickly and with no plan B as has been said, the second half of the season could be harder than the first.

    I hop e both survive though, both have the potential to become solid members of the EPL

  6. swans left it late but at the death they pushed hard and nearly pulled back the draw and if it wasnt for the ref missing a blatent hand ball we would have equalised anyway.

    throughout out the match the swans actually had more chance on goal than norwich did and were very unlucky not have made it 2-0 in the first half so think on

    1. 'swans actually had more chance on goal than norwich did'

      apart from the fact they didn't this is spot on.

    2. you cant argue about the other points though which does mean norwich had a lucky win

  7. So many anonymous comments I don't know who I am replying to, but thanks for the comments - glad it's stirring debate (even if it is pissing people off).

    I had heard from a few Norwich Twitter users that they were getting fed up of the Swans media attention recently, so bet they are glad of the win.

    I'm a big supporter of the Swans attractive passing, but a back-up plan is needed (even if it's never used). Saying that, what happened yesterday could be seen as a back-up plan - play with three strikers and get towards goal. It almost worked, but Norwich ultimately deserved all three points yesterday.

    Both will stay up. I reckon QPR will too, but we'll revisit this in a few weeks...

    1. "I had heard from a few Norwich Twitter users that they were getting fed up of the Swans media attention recently, so bet they are glad of the win."
      jealousy is a powerful motivator.

  8. More or less spot on again Chris. Plan 'b' is needed. Cardiff had the same problem last season. Still see us staying up tho!

  9. agree on josh few good passes but not strong enough looks like a little boy in a mans world

  10. didn't get up for it, lack of bite and energy, switched off at the back, 'it was only Norwich' etc. We will beat Stoke though

  11. Let's face it... Swansea lost at home, it was good while it lasted. But that pressure is off their shoulders again, and it's time to start over.

    Mceachran was out of his depth yesterdau, and was brushed aside by the norwich midfield.

    People seem to br quick to blame Taylor again. Probably sounds like a stupid thing to say, but at least the odd own goal shows he's getting in the right places. And, besides someones got to beet Vorm.

    Swansea will turn it back on again, and I wouldn't put it past them getting something out of the man city game. They'll comfortably survive this year, they are less points off liverpool than they are the relegation.

    It would be nice to see a game get refereed at the liberty tho, as officials don't seem to turn up. Most of the firt half yesterday the two Norwich wingers were living about 10 yards offside but nothing was given over and over. And the hacking again yesterday was shocking.

    Nevermind, swans will keep flying high!!

  12. BR has used the extra striker before when we have had our backs the wall, it might need a bit more than that at times but agreed it nearly worked yesterday.

    Norwich have a strong attack but poor defence we should have exploited that earlier.

    1. We started with a right back playing centre half and the other centre half was playing his first game after being injured in pre-season training. If you couldn't exploit that it's not our problem (but might explain what you describe as a "poor defence" - yours still conceded more goals than ours!)

      The author of this article is right, Swansea need a Plan B. Blackpool didn't have one last season, and while I'm certain the Swans will stay up (I'm glad to say), they will need options next season when other teams are used to them and see how they can be beaten.

  13. I totally agree with your assessment of the Norwich game. My only additional comment would be that we need more agression when opposing teams dish it out. Norwich like many other teams have realised that we can be a soft touch when it comes to hard tackling. We should give as much as we get without being dragged into a kicking match. Plan B is definately needed. I'll give the manager the benefit of the doubt and concede he did have a plan but bad luck (deflections) became too much to overcome.