Showing posts with label Fabianski. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Fabianski. Show all posts

Monday, 1 September 2014

Lukasz Fabianski - Has Swansea's gamble paid off?

Three games down and just one goal conceded, with Lukasz Fabianski deserving much of the praise for Swansea City's solid defensive performances. But as JUSTIN AGTAV discusses, signing the mistake-prone Pole was a bit of a gamble. So has it paid off?

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By Justin Agtav

When Swansea sold Michel Vorm in the summer and were left with new recruit Lukasz Fabianski as his replacement, I was a little nervous.

I had seen Fabianski play almost every season during his spell with Arsenal and in that time I noticed that he was constantly misjudging crosses and had certain problems catching the ball. He even made a mistake in the FA Cup final last year which almost cost Arsenal the trophy.

But it seems he is not making any of those errors with the Swans and has been one of their best players over the three games so far this season.


The key man for Swansea this season?

Considering that Swansea got him for nothing he is the very definition of a bargain signing. Arsenal shelled out around £3 million just to get backup goalkeeper David Ospina, while Southampton spent £10 million to get Fraser Forster.

Based on past performances one may have said that Fabianski may not be as good as these two keepers, but after seeing him with the Swans we now know he is certainly capable of becoming a Premier League star.

In the first three games he was outstanding, keeping a clean sheet against plucky Burnley and West Brom and conceding just one against Man United. Of course every time the ball came towards him I still had the lingering feeling that he was about to make a mistake, but he actually dealt with cross after cross superbly.

Meanwhile, his height (6ft 2in) makes him a much better aerial presence for Swansea than Michel Vorm (just on 6ft). His distribution was excellent as well which suits Swansea's game perfectly. And he communicated well and looked generally very confident.

And confidence is why I think Fabianski will be a star for Swansea this season.

He always made excellent breakaway saves and was excellent at shot stopping for Arsenal, but at the same time he always looked nervous. He may have been afraid to make mistakes, because it was likely that he wanted to be Arsenal's number one keeper so much.

But now that the Pole is the undisputed number one at Swansea, he should have no problem with confidence and could end up being one of the goalkeepers of the season.

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.


Wednesday, 4 June 2014

Swansea City: a procrastinators weekly summary

I've been away on holiday, then I spent a week procrastinating. So, without further delay, let's have a brief and sketchy look at what's been happening in the world of Swansea City over the past week or so!


Fabianski

For a change, the Swans have been very quick to nab a player in the transfer window - Lucasz Fabianski signed last week on a free transfer for four years. Great business to bring in a decent Polish international.

While he's not been Arsenal's first choice, he has been solid enough at times during his 32 appearances, even though he's made his fair share of mistakes. He's a capable keeper though - check out the video post on him from last week, highlighting his top ten saves. Whether or not he'll be first choice keeper next season will depend on...


Vorm

...Michel Vorm. One of the reasons Swansea excelled in their first and second seasons in the Premier League. But oddly the Dutch shot-stopper didn't look himself last season, conceding soft goals and making several uncharacteristic mistakes.

I'm sure most Swans fans would be happy to keep him next year, but rumours have been rife that he's heading off, with Liverpool showing interest. This seems to just be paper talk at the moment, with the man himself telling Dutch reporters there is little in the way of news on his departure. Watch this space.


Why always me?

Ashley Williams vs. the World

I'm not completely certain what has been happening with Ashley Williams. While I was away on holiday a brief look on Twitter showed he was having some sort of battle with everyone's favourite ex-Cardiff fat striker Michael Chopra. Who knows what it was about (most of us can probably guess), but it touched a nerve with the defender and he deleted his Twitter account.

Around the same time he was photographed at the Emirates Stadium. Maybe he was just having a tour? It didn't bode well with Swans fans with the apparent interest from Arsenal. QPR now seem to be the prime candidates to get his signature, though £4million seems a little cheap if Swansea were to let him go.

However, it seems the club are starting new contract negotiations today, so we'll just have to see what happens. I reckon he will stay, with a plumper wage packet.


Leon Britton

On the other hand we have Leon Britton, who has been nothing but professional in his ten or so years with the club. The good news today is that he has signed a contract extension to keep him with Swansea City until at least July 2017, which is nothing short of great news.


Luc Castaignos

Finally on the subject of transfers is the acquisition of Luc Castaignos, for £6.5million from FC Twente last weekend. Another Dutch international (albeit at U21 level), the 21-year-old scored 14 goals in 31 games last season and looks set to make more of an impact than the past few years of new strikers (Bony the exception). He still needs to complete his medical and agree personal terms, but it's another positive move for the Swans this summer.




World Cup Watch

There's not been any action yet, but already one of ours in injured. Jonathan de Guzman is now a doubt for the World Cup after suffering a hamstring injury in a training session for Holland. While there's still a chance he won't be with the Swans next season (he's still a Villarreal loanee, lest we forget), it's not great news. Let's hope Wilfried bony stays in one piece.

I have a £5 bet on Ivory Coast (as well as £20 on Italy of course...). While they aren't favourites by any length, they've got some quality including the big man. And with online betting odds of around 125/1 them winning will see me pick up a nice sum! (I've jinxed it now, haven't I?)


Thursday, 29 May 2014

Swans On Film: Fabianski's Top Ten Saves

I've been away in America for ten days and have returned to news that Swansea City have signed Lukasz Fabianski on a four-year contract as a free transfer!

Still jet-lagged and having fried food withdrawal symptoms, I am in no state to write much about the new keeper. However it's pretty certain that the 29-year-old will start the 2014/15 season as Swansea's number one, with the departure of Michel Vorm looking more and more likely.

So here's a video I've pulled from YouTube highlighting the Polish international shot-stopper's best saves. Let's hope he can prove as effective for the Swans next season!