Showing posts with label Emnes. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Emnes. Show all posts

Thursday, 3 July 2014

Swansea City: A Midsummer Night's Update!

Firstly, I'm very sorry for the relative silence on the blog. This is partly down to it being the summer and not having loads of material to write about, while I've also spent so much of my time finishing off my new book, Swansea City's Greatest Games (more details on this in the coming week or so)!

But for now, let's have a brief catch-up!

(Free) Transfers

Garry Monk and Huw Jenkins have been uncharacteristically busy in the transfer market this summer and have accrued four new players already, paying next to nothing for some top talent (nothing new there then!).

At the start of June we saw the applauded arrival of Lucasz Fabianski. The Polish keeper joined from Arsenal on a free transfer for four years which was great business. Then came the most exciting addition in Baf├ętimbi Gomis from Lyon. A long-standing target for the Swans, the 28-year-old formidable French international striker was out-of-contract and is another to arrive in South Wales on a free transfer. He'll make for exciting watching next season, hopefully pairing up well with Wilfried Bony (if the big man is still around!)

Gomis!

Marvin Emnes has also joined the club for the third time - this time a permanent fixture! He wasn't free (although we don't know the price) but we don't mind splashing out a little on an attacker who knows the club and can score/create enough from the bench to make it worthwhile.

Then comes the signing of young left-back Stephen Kingsley from Falkirk (another undisclosed fee... if they don't want to tell us let's assume it was £35million!). The 19-year-old is probably another one for the future, but may make more of an impact if Ben Davies does leave.


Toffee throwing and spoiled bets

"I prefer Werther's Originals"

Ki Sung-Yeung and his South Korean team-mates were pelted with toffees thrown by angry fans when they arrived back home after their disappointing World Cup group stage exit (the video of this incident is here). Harsh on Ki, who actually played some brilliant football throughout his games.

Wilfried Bony, meanwhile is also back home following Ivory Coast's failure to make it out of the group stages. Bony scored two goals, but their early exit from the tournament means my bet on 'Bony to be top Premier League goalscorer' at 50/1 was essentially spoiled there and then! Gutted.

From a Swansea perspective both Jonathan de Guzman and Michel Vorm are still in the cup with Holland, who face Costa Rica in the quarter-final on Saturday at 9pm. I expect de Guzman to feature again in the tournament, especially with Nigel de Jong ruled out, but seeing Vorm may be limited to quick flashes of him on the bench.


Back to the action

Swansea are back in training which means the new season is just around the corner! Not before the team head off to America first for a series of friendlies. On Wednesday, 16 July they'll take on Mexican Lega MX side Chivas Guadalajara, then will travel north to face Minnesota United (North American Soccer League) on Saturday, 19 July.


Friday, 22 June 2012

A very brief Swansea City news round up!

Welcome to a very (very) brief round up of this week's Swansea City news!

The Michael Laudrup press conference
As some have said - you know you're a Premier League club when your manager is unveiled live on Sky Sports, and yesterday afternoon Huw Jenkins spoke to the world to introduce Michael Laudrup as Swansea City manager.

The Dane (Laudrup, not Jenkins...) came across very well, as we expected. He spoke about the club matching his own philosophy, the now unlikely move for Sigurdsson, and how changes to the club won't be made for the sake of it. However, he did say they will be looking to make signings.

It seems his big ideas are more about developing the club than about winning trophies. When first hearing this I thought 'no ambition...', but on reflection it will be a while until Swansea are contesting a league title and any shot at glory in Europe, so his aspiration to build the club instead of chasing trophies should please most Swans fans. 


Gylfi Sigurdsson
I'm getting really bored with this, to the point that even if Sigurdsson does come to Swansea the news will be received by little more than a shrug of the shoulders from me. Mainly because he's spent too much time waiting to see if a bigger club will come along and snap him up for more money and higher wages. Selfish.

Controversial as it may be, I'd rather Swansea say - "you know what Gylfi, forget it!". The Swans should use the £7million on something a little less fickle. Don't get me wrong, he was superb for the club in the latter stages of last season and would be a fine addition to any team (apart from Liverpool), but the current situation is just putting a bad taste in everyone's mouth.


Marvin Emnes 
Rumours have appeared this week that Marvin Emnes is being pursued by Swansea for around £3million, though the club have been quick to say that it is just old talk resurfacing and there are no new developments.

Emnes, while able to work hard in several roles across the forwards, seems to be a very good Championship player, but it's hard to speculate how he'd make the step up to Premier League again. He's had a few games at that level, but I can't help feel he'd spend more time on the bench if he signed for Swansea.

I'd be happy to give him a go - maybe another loan deal? - but £3million seems a little steep for a gamble.


Dobbie to Celtic?
Stephen Dobbie has been linked with a move to Celtic today. But, with no idea if he will be used more frequently under Laudrup, it would be best for him and Swansea if he waits to hear the plans.


Jack Army membership scheme
I had a little rant on Twitter about the scheme last week. You all know my thoughts on the many, many flaws, but I've heard a rumour that a new scheme may be announced soon.

Whether it is completely new or just an adaption of the existing one, I guess anything would be better than what is currently available. Very briefly, here are just a few things that would make it more Premier League and less Blue Square Premier in my eyes:

  • A rule that season ticket holders would not be able to purchase additional tickets to home games (they already have a home ticket, why on earth would they need another one?!) 
  • A new website where it is easier to log in and see your points
  • A membership card (just something physical to hold, to justify the £10/25 you've spent) 
  • A clearer points system, where points are known in advance (i.e. QPR away = 3 points, Sunderland away = 10 points)
  • Most importantly, a clearer system in general, where questions like “if one person has 15 points but doesn't have a season-ticket, does he have priority over the season-ticket holder with 13 points?” would not have to exist! 

That's the round up for this week. Look out for my review of the new Swansea City home and away shirts coming up next week! In the meantime, if you enjoyed this blog, why not follow me on twitter - @ForzaSwansea

Friday, 25 May 2012

Swansea City: Hello Sigurdsson? Goodbye Tate? Stay there Dobbie?

It's been just under two weeks since Swansea City last took to the field. Brendan Rodgers has barely opened his bottle of SPF 30 and the summer rumours, links and signings are already in full flow.

Too many rumours begin and end on Twitter and, with no attribution, it's barely worth taking notice of most of them. However, some may have legs...

Let's briefly catch up with what's been going on:

Gylfi Sigurdsson
I began writing several posts on Sigurdsson, but as soon as I went to publish them we heard of another twist in the story. It seems Huw Jenkins is opening his wallet wide to grab the Icelandic midfielder, who played such a key role in the latter stages of the season. He filled the centre of the pitch nicely, netting many goals in style for the Swans, so it's no wonder everyone wants him to stay on.

The latest news seems to be that Swansea have agreed a £7.2million fee with Hoffenheim after Huw Jenkins flew to Germany. Sigurdsson must now agree personal terms and decide if he wants to make the switch permanently.

Let us hope it's all sorted soon and £7.2million is the limit. Though he is clearly a quality player, the whole budget shouldn't be spent on one man. You never know - he may have his own bout of 'second-season syndrome'! But I'm almost certain that won't happen. A decision is coming soon though; an announcement we all anticipate highly.

Tate and Monk Released?! 
No... at least I don't think so. But I bring this up as I recently overheard someone say 'I don't believe they've released Tate and Monk from their contracts!'. Thankfully a quick internet search proved it to be another nothing rumour, and rightly so.

While they are struggling in the Premier League they should never be forced out, for two reasons: one being Swansea are severely lacking defenders at the moment. If Taylor and Rangel take a knock, it's Tate who will step in. We don't even have the luxury of two fresh, young centre-backs at the moment with the departure of Caulker, so Monk is currently first choice along with Williams.

The other reason should be obvious - they are Swansea City. Despite being somewhat past their prime, both Monk and Tate are key figures to have on the bench, in the dressing room and, when it's called for, on the field. I'm sure they'd take pay cuts if needs be, but to be released just like that? No!

Stephen Dobbie
Still on the Swans books, but will he play again? Watching the play-off semi-finals it was clear to see why the Blackpool fans love him. His touch, his vision... he is the complete player. For the Championship. Yes, I fear Dobbie is a very good Championship player and that is his limit.

Is it worth keeping him? With the probable signing of Sigurdsson, Dobbie is even less likely to start for Swansea next season, so I think now is the time to let him go (for a nice lump sum of course - £1million is the current price tag). Naturally, he won't be forgotten easily, after what he did for the team in the promotion winning season, but I think most would be happier to see him make the switch to Blackpool permanently.

Marvin Emnes 
Swansea were linked with Marvin Emnes last week, but that little rumour did the rounds and died. Like Dobbie he seems to be a fantastic Championship player and will always be remembered for his goal against Cardiff, but I can't confidently say he'd make an impact on the Premier League.

Rodgers to Liverpool 
He wasn't first choice for the Liverpool job and didn't want to upset the Swans players and supporters, so his decision not to get involved with talks was clever and ultimately the correct choice.

And the rest...
Rodgers to Roma, Emile Heskey to Swansea, Allen to Liverpool for £3million - none of these are happening! I can't decide which one is the most absurd and which I dislike the sound of the most...

Sunday, 12 June 2011

Swansea City: All Change!

One thing is certain: the Swansea squad we enjoyed watching last season will be considerably different in August. After a quiet blogging week (apart from the podcast), here is my little catch up on who's in and out, and what still needs strengthening.

Let's face it; with Borini gone, Swansea have limited quality striker options. I guess you could class Dobbie as a good striker, but he does too well in the attacking midfield role to change back now. This leaves Beattie, Pintado (he's back!) and Moore and none of these can confidently do the job. Rodgers clearly understood that a new face up front was needed, with the capture of Danny Graham for £3.5million last week (my mini blog on him is here). Being the top scorer in the Championship with Watford last season is proof that he can score goals when needed, and I am sure he will make a great addition to the team.

There are refreshed rumours of Marvin Emnes possibly coming back. This seems a decent move, as Emnes spent time with Swansea last season (scoring the goal against Cardiff... did you need reminding?). He knows how Swansea want to play and would fit in well I'm sure. Middlesbrough won't be keen to let their front man go, but it's definitely worth a move for him.

In midfield, Darren Pratley has left the club (with an alleged eye for Bolton). It seemed inevitable that he'd go after the season he had with the Swans. The whole “refusing to sign a new contract” situation was one massive hint that his future lied elsewhere; a case that saw him booed by some Swans fans earlier in the season. I always liked Pratley, with his keen eye for goal and solidity on the field (and impact from the bench in the later stages of the season). Good luck to him, but with good depth in the midfield already, he won't be too much of a loss.

Brendan Rodgers has already been looking to fill Pratley's position with Marcos Senna. Even if nothing comes from the talks, it's great for club spirits to be linked with a player of this quality. Leon Britton and Marcos Senna in the centre – a wonderful (if slightly unbelievable) pairing. The Spanish Player of the Year 2008 and Euro 2008 winner (… it seems 2008 was a good year for Senna) would be a big star signing for the Swans; one which would really cement the fact that Swansea have made it to the big league.

However, at 35 (when new season starts), his age is a big factor. Ultimately Brendan Rodgers will be signing Senna with experience in mind. The La Liga veteran has played with Corinthians and, of course, Villareal and had 28 caps for Spain. He may be a little too old to feature as a first team player week-in, week-out, but his big game ability is what he will be used for, on and off the field.

Another midfield idea going around is Eidur Gudjohnsen. The attacking-midfielder is a free agent, though has played with Barcelona, Chelsea and Tottenham in the past and would be another massive experience signing. At 32 he, like Senna, would be useful for his big game experience. I'm not sure if having both Senna and Gudjohnsen would be ideal as the wages would be massive and they probably wouldn't both be needed. Still, I'd rather both than none.

Ryan Harley has been with Swansea since January, though remained with his old club, Exeter, on loan until now. I haven't seen much of Harley, though I understand he is a great attacking player with a keen eye for goal. Stepping up from League One to the Premier League will be a massive change in pace and quality though, so we will have to wait to see how effective he really is on the big stage.

Midfield seems close to sorted now, with the likes of Harley, Britton, Dobbie, Allen and, quite possibly, Senna and Gudjohnsen all likely to play first team football next season.

The wings need strengthening. With one injury to Sinclair or Dyer, Swansea's wide game is effectively buggered. With Van der Gun gone, the Swans are relatively short on wingers, which is worrying as their game relies heavily on the wings. Tom Butler is one option, with Luke Moore another. I'd personally dislike seeing either of these warming up next season, so a winger should be the next big thing on Rodger's list.

The biggest area Swansea need to look at is defence. Monk and Tate did wonders last season, though fresh legs and a little speed at the back is now essential against some of the best forwards in the world. With Ashley Williams staying put for now, obtaining another centre back and possibly a left back is more essential than finding a winger and striker. If Taylor stays the left-back is less crucial, but depth is needed with only a handful of quality defenders to actually choose from.

De Vries is already Premier League quality and will easily retain his starting spot next season, after a spectacular 2010/11 season, but MaKalambay is not up to the high standard required in the top tier. A new replacement keeper is needed (not Cornell), with MaKalambay staying as a third keeper possibly.

There is plenty more to talk about as the transfer window remains open. Watch this space!