Saturday, 28 April 2012

Swansea City 4 - 4 Wolves: "The Sloppy Swan - a cautionary tale”

I'm not sure what result Mr Rodgers was hoping for when he put his new look 3-4-3 side out against Wolves. I guess it wasn't 4-4. Still, safety was basically secure, so trying something new was worth a go...wasn't it?

If you saw the game, you know what happened and can miss out the following paragraph (unless you want to relive the horror...):

Kick-off. 22 seconds and Orlandi heads past de Vries. 1-0! Allen makes it two within four minutes. 2-0! Dyer grabs the third. 3-0! Game over! No, Wolves claw one back through Fletcher. 3-1. Graham puts the game to bed with Swansea's fourth. 4-1! Or does he? Jarvis soon makes it 4-2. Half time! Restart, Edwards makes it 4-3. A comeback is on. Nope it's already here - Jarvis makes it 4-4. Wolves should really go onto win the game, but it ends 4-4.

A thriller - Amazing. Entertaining. Annoying. Frustrating. Sloppy.

From 3-0 up in 15 minutes to 4-4 at the final whistle. Swansea haven't really self-imploded like this all season... not since... well, that game against Wolves in October.

In a match they were expected to win quite easily, Swansea could have done just that. Not many teams who are already relegated find the will and energy to stage a come back. But Wolves had nothing to lose and, sensing a vulnerable Swansea defence, come back they did.

The formation certainly contributed to Swansea both scoring and conceding those total six goals in the first half. The additional man in midfield gave the Swans plenty to work with. Orlandi, that extra man, really put in a good display and scored the quickest Premier League goal this season, before he was subbed at half time. It's a shame he wasn't on in the second half as you feel Swansea might have clung onto that lead.

It was Swansea's defence that lost it today. Very sloppy from all involved. Having three at the back in the first half saw too much pressure when Wolves decided that they actually wanted to come away with something. Bringing on Taylor should have made things more solid, but Caulker was forced to play as a makeshift right back. This wasn't the reason for the draw though – letting Wolves score even one goal was too much of an error.

Some have put Swansea's unravelling down to tired legs and tired minds, but we must remember Wolves have played the same amount of games. It's no excuse really.

The result means Swansea drop a place to 12th, where the win might have propelled them to 9th. I think a dream top ten finish is now out of the question. A shame, but survival was more than anyone hoped at the start of the season.

A few positives to end this blog post:
  • Swansea scored four goals 
  • Andrea Orlandi looks to be a decent player again 
  • Swansea recorded the quickest Premier League goal this season
  • De Vries didn't have a great game (or save a penalty like I predicted)
  • We witnessed Terry Connor smiling. It was heart-warming.

See you in Manchester!

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