Showing posts with label Gomis. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Gomis. Show all posts

Sunday, 9 August 2015

The Triumphant Return of 'Cup o' coffee and the Swans' (Sunday Catch-up)

Let's make it a decaff coffee - we're all still catching our breath after yesterday's blistering match at Stamford Bridge.

More on the game in a bit, but for now I formally announce my return to Forza Swansea, after a summer of... well, no blogging action.

(*Pause for applause*)

Of course, I am genuinely sorry for the lack of content on this blog over the summer. It's a combination of me focusing on other projects, while being a little lazy at the same time.

But let's face it - there's enough Swans speculation, rumours and filler without me further cluttering up the internet. Yes, I could have covered the good-looking (not in that way) acquisitions of Andre Ayew, Kristoffer Nordfeldt, Franck Tabanou and Eder; the 'will he, won't he' surrounding Leon Britton; or the mild panic because Mark Lawrenson thinks we'll do well this season.

But, with so many other blogs, news sites and social media streams around, I decided to let others do the hard graft, while I sat back with a beer and watched the rain ruin everyone's summer.

However, for this new season, I'm back and will carry on with my Sunday morning catch-ups, and perhaps a few nostalgic articles here and there. On to the match...


Chelsea 2 - 2 Swansea City

What a great season opener for Swansea. Apart from a win, no-one could have asked for better.

It's standard now that the Swans produce something of note in the first game of the season, and they almost surpassed themselves yesterday.

The 2-2 draw at Stamford Bridge gave us a chance to see the squad put together the things they were working on over the summer, in the most entertaining way possible.

Ayew was exciting - his goal in particular was thanks to a touch of quick thinking and plenty of talent. He'll undoubtedly be a pleasure to watch this year. Gomis had a good game, which peaked in the 55th minute when he both won and scored the penalty, reducing Chelsea to ten men in the process. Overall he looked much sharper and stronger than last season, even if he dragged his heels with a few chances.

Montero was part of every good Swansea move going forward, while Shelvey was up for it all match, scaring Courtois with some nifty attempts direct from his corners! Ashley Williams and his defensive team were solid enough, with the two goals the only blemish on a good game. Overall Fabianski probably came off the worst yesterday, but still produced some fine saves.

I guess the only disappointment was that Swansea didn't go on to win the match. Still, away to the champions, an opening day draw works pretty well... we'll take it!


The Swansea City Miscellany

Finally, I've written another Swansea City book, which is being released at the start of September (i.e. next month). It's called the Swansea City Miscellany, and is a hardback encyclopedia packed with stats, facts, trivia history and stories about the Swans.

It is officially endorsed by the club and the legendary Huw Jenkins has written the foreword. I will make a more detailed announcement on this in the next few days. But for now, you know why my Swans content on the blog was perhaps lacking over the last year!


Sunday, 12 April 2015

Cup o' coffee and the Swans (Sunday Catch-up - 12th April 2015)

Another Sunday, another cup of coffee, another Swans catch-up.

Here we go!


Swansea City 1-1 Everton

Swansea were certainly the better team in the first half of their second home match in a row; probing Everton and almost coming away with a couple of things.

We saw a stunning shot from Bafetimbi Gomis which was tipped away by Tim Howard, although it caused an unfortunate hamstring pull, with the striker leaving the field soon after. Shelvey had his own excellent half-volley goal, which was disallowed due to an apparent foul in the build up by Wayne Routledge.


Shelvey's adept penalty (image: South Wales Evening Post)

Unfortunately it took just one smart move from Everton to conjure up their first real chance and - with it - their first goal, coming from Aaron Lennon in the 41st minute. Their confidence grew tenfold after that.

In the second half Swansea managed to equalise from the spot through Jonjo Shelvey with 20 minutes to go, after Seamus Coleman handled the ball while on the floor in the area. Gylfi Sigurdsson saw his well struck free kick punched away by Howard in the latter stages, but the game finished 1-1. Still no league win against Everton, but an entertaining match which probably ended fairly. (Find a full minute-by-minute round-up here).


Taylor misses two

After his 10th yellow card of the season in yesterday's match, Neil Taylor will miss the next two matches.

With Tiendalli out on loan (see below...), who will fill his boots for the away games against Leicester and Newcastle?


Europe bound?

I read an interesting article that essentially says if Arsenal are in with a shot at the title, surely Swansea are in with a shot at a Europa League place. And it's true - the Swans are currently in 8th place, seven points behind Spurs.

With six games left in the season and Spurs well off form, there's no reason Swansea couldn't catch up. Of course it'll take a great run from the Swans and, while a top six finish is almost certainly out of the question, this season - providing Liverpool finish 5th place and win the FA Cup - 7th place in the league would be enough to grab a Europa League spot.

Although this brings up the question: do we really want to be in Europe next season?


Tiendalli's unfortunate debut

It seems Middlesbrough fans now understand what Swansea fans feel when watching Dwight Tiendalli. He made his debut for Boro on Monday, when they lost 2-0 to Watford. Boro fans weren't pleased with their new acquisition, taking to Twitter to vent their frustration over his positioning mainly.

The defender was subbed after 63 minutes in that first game, and didn't feature in yesterday's 2-0 win against Rotherham (not even on the bench).

I'll leave you with some comments from a Tiendalli Twitter search...



Sunday, 15 March 2015

Cup o' coffee and the Swans (Sunday Catch-up - 15th March 2015)

I was away last week so we had to miss our regular Swansea City catch-up, but here's a bumper Mother's Day edition (it's not really that bumper...) to make up for it!

Swansea City vs Liverpool 

The Swans have had a nice 12 day break since their thrilling 3-2 loss against Spurs, so they should should be well rested and up for getting something out of Liverpool at the Liberty tomorrow night (8pm).

It's a really hard one to call, not helped by the fact that Swansea are so inconsistent. As we've seen this season, sometimes they'll grind out a brave win and shock everyone, and sometimes... well, sometimes they just don't look bothered. Thankfully in the last few games the effort levels from everyone seems to have increased so we can hopefully look forward to a good performance and maybe even a point.

Let's hope Swansea can make him this wound up on Monday...

Of course recent history doesn't bode well for the Swans, who have lost four of their last five meetings with Brendan Rodgers' side, losing 4-1 at Anfield in December. But, like Swansea, Liverpool are an unpredictable team when it comes to consistency, so it really could go either way.

Bafetimbi Gomis, following his collapse against Spurs, was back in training during the week and should be fit to start. With a pretty much full strength squad it'll be interesting to see if Monk goes for the relatively successful diamond formation he's tried out in the past few matches. Either way expect Jonjo Shelvey to start and score a goal for both sides.

I'm going for a 1-1 draw, a result most Swans fans would happily take it think.


Rangel forever

...well, for the next two years at least. The longstanding right back has signed a contract extension that will keep him at the Liberty until 2017. An important part of the team in the rise to the Premier League, Rangel has felt his importance slip slightly in the last year and his recent form has been shaky at best.

An extended Rangel

Still, he's a stalwart, and an important dressing room figure, so it's good news he's sticking around. Hopefully he'll be around to end his career with the Swans, going on to become a coach or even a club ambassador (although it may be tough to wrestle the job from the hands of Lee Trundle, who's embraced the roll to the highest order!).

As an added bonus, Jordi Amat has signed a one-year contract extension to keep him with Swansea until 2018. He's not the starting choice for Garry Monk at the moment, but Amat has shown time and again that he's more than capable of playing in the Premier League and he'll provide good competition and cover for Fede Fernandez.


Barrow gone (but not for good) 

Young winger Modou Barrow has temporarily left Swansea to sign for Nottingham Forest on loan until the end of the season.

The speedy Gambian has been brilliant when making appearances for Swansea and it's actually a shame because - although he's a little raw - he has proved he has the skill and speed to keep up with the rest of the side.

Of course I understand the decision - Swansea are safe and he'll get much more game time with Forest, but in a way he could have had a few more starts with the Swans between now and the end of the season? What have we got to lose?

Anyway he'll be back in the summer and hopefully he'll stick around for the 2015/16 season.

Sunday, 25 January 2015

Cup o' coffee and the Swans (Sunday Catch-up - 25th Jan 2015)

Hungover? Good - it serves you right for drinking that final beer last night.

Anyway, it's Sunday morning so grab a cup of coffee and settle your stomach by catching-up with some of the Swansea City news from the last week.


Blackburn Rovers 3 - 1 Swansea City

As always we'll start with the most recent game, which was an FA Cup fourth round tie against Championship side Blackburn Rovers at Ewood Park.

Unfortunately after just six minutes every Swans fan was shouting 'are you f****** joking?!' as Kyle Bartley was shown an early red card - not so much for the referee's decision, which seemed correct, but because it was another red card for Swansea, leading to yet another uphill climb from the off.

Gylfi Sigurdsson uncorked a beautiful shot in the 20th minute to give Swansea the lead, but that was quickly cancelled out by an equaliser from Chris Taylor, who capitalised on poor defending in the box.

In the second half, the home side extinguished any suggestion of a Liberty Stadium replay with a second and third goal (from Rudy Gestede and Craig Conway respectively). Then Sigurdsson was sent off for a stupid foul, leaving nine man Swans side to see out the final few minutes. Makes for grim reading doesn't it?

Garry Monk had called for a reaction from the players after the Chelsea hammering, but that clearly didn't help. Everything looked sloppy and a couple of players didn't seem like they wanted to be there, which brings me on to my next section...


Bafetimbi Gomis vs Swansea

It's been a while since Swans fans have been this riled up at a player. Yes Itay Shechter was dreadful and Michu was moody, but no player has been quite as full of themselves as Mr Gomis.

Sort it out Gomis
And it seems to be unjustified arrogance from the striker who hasn't particularly shone in a Swansea shirt, scoring just four goals in 23 appearances. He's 29-years-old, an infrequent international and - although capable of being good - he's not backing up his talk with any action.

Gomis wanted to be the starting striker but, due to Bony's great form and the fact Swansea only ever play one striker, it wasn't going to happen. Of course, no-one knows what promises were made to him originally, but now - with Bony gone - the Frenchman has his chance to impress.

Regardless of his disdain for the club, it seems that Monk has seemingly warned Gomis that he won't be leaving Swansea this month anyway, so he might as well settle in, keep his head down and try to score some bloody goals!


Hello Kyle

Kyle Naughton is now officially a Swansea City player. The surprise move resulted in a £5million bill from Spurs, and a right-back who hasn't particularly wowed during his time at the Premier League top six side, leaving a few Swans fans scratching their heads.

However, he will provide a new option at the tricky right-back position. And he's competition - not just cover - for the likes of Rangel and Richards, which can only be a good thing. Naughton didn't feature in the FA Cup match at Ewood Park (lucky him), but no doubt we'll see him on Sunday against Southampton.


We're in the money!

Earlier in the week it was reported that Swansea City are now in the top 30 wealthiest football clubs in the world. The Swans ranked an impressive 29th in the list, with a revenue of £98.7m during the 2013/14 season, making them the first Welsh club to make it into the top 30. It's nice to end this article on a positive!


Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Swansea City 3 - 0 Everton: A brief report

After Swansea finally saw off their bogey team Everton in last night's Capital One Cup match, Forza Swansea's newest blogger JUSTIN AGTAV briefly shares his opinions on the game with a focus on Jefferson Montero, Bafetimbi Gomis and Jazz Richards.


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By Justin Agtav

Swansea City bounced back from their two Premier League defeats on Tuesday to beat Everton 3-0 at a rainy Liberty Stadium. The Swans made five changes to their starting eleven after the game against Southampton (with the inclusions of Gerhard Tremmel and Tom Carroll), while Everton made seven switches.

Nathan Dyer scored the first goal in the first half, before Gylfi Sigurdsson nabbed the second in the 64th minute, followed by a late goal by second-half substitute Marvin Emnes.

Montero of the match!

But the man of the match for me was speedy Jefferson Montero, who terrorized Everton’s right back Tony Hibbert throughout the game and set up Nathan Dyer's goal. The Ecuadorian winger has looked lively in every match he has played and it may not be too long before he finally gets a Premier League start. He hasn’t so far probably because the Swans have two excellent in-form wingers, Dyer and Routledge, but if either of them suffer a dip this season we know that the former Morelia player can step into their shoes perfectly.

Another player who performed really well in the cup match was Jazz Richards. Forza Swansea writer Matthew Jacob recently wrote a great article about how the only real cover Swansea have at right back is the 23-year-old local boy. In the match against Everton, Richards might not have been spectacular but put in a solid performance and was rarely caught out of position.

One player who also put in quite a good performance was Bafetembi Gomis. The Frenchman held the ball up well at times, but it would be nice to see him get on the score sheet soon. He has been excellent so far with his strength and speed, and bringing other players into play, but he is a forward and I want to see him score at some point!

At the back Swansea were pretty comfortable all night. Federico Fernandez was relatively untroubled but did misjudge tackles a couple of times. Thankfully whenever he did he was able to regain the ball. I may be being a little harsh on Fernandez as he is just getting used to playing with Swansea and he is already showing signs that, in time, he will be an excellent addition to the club.

Overall, the Swans were comfortable throughout the match so there’s not too much to dissect, which is always a good thing! I will say that Montero played outstandingly, and that Richards was solid - Monk may be wise to start giving him a little time in Premier League games. I'd also like to see a little more from Gomis - especially some goals!

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Thanks to Justin for his opinions on the match. You can follow him on Twitter and follow Forza Swansea for updates.

Monday, 4 August 2014

Swansea City Summary: A month of pre-season friendlies

For those who didn't see them or who haven't been keeping an eye on the scores, here's a recap of how the Swans have fared in their pre-season friendlies:


vs. Chivas Guadalajara (16 July) - Drew 1-1
Many first-team players were involved in the opening friendly against the Mexicans in America, including Angel Rangel (captain), Leon Britton, Bafetimbi Gomis, Jonjo Shelvey and Nathan Dyer, who scored Swansea's only goal in the 57th minute. Chivas proved tricky opponents and found an equaliser through a last-minute penalty. There were two red cards in this game, including one for Neil Taylor.

vs. Minnesota United (19 July) - Lost 2-0
The first loss of the season, courtesy of two first-half goals from Justin Davis and Greg Jordan. Again the Swans showed off several first-team players including Chico Flores, Gerhard Tremmel, Bafetimbi Gomis, Neil Taylor and Angel Rangel. Swansea enjoyed most of the possession, but failed to turn it into anything worth celebrating.

vs. Plymouth Argyle (27 July) - Won 4-0
Back in Britain following their short American tour, Swansea finally claimed a victory in their pre-season campaign. The game saw the return of Ki Sung-Yueng to the team. Rory Donnelly scored first within ten minutes, followed by a rare goal from Jordi Amat in the second-half. Then came two goals for Gylfi Sigurdsson on his return to the club. A very comfortable afternoon for Garry Monk and the travelling Swans fans.

vs. Exeter City (29 July) - Won 2-0
Another comfortable game for the Swans against League Two opposition, which saw a number of first-team players out with injury. New striker Bafetimbi Gomis scored his first goal for the club in the first half, before Josh Sheehan made it two in the 78th minute. Wilfried Bony made his first appearance following his World Cup campaign, and set up Sheehan's goal.

vs. Bournemouth (1 August) - Lost 3-1
Garry Monk started with quite a young and inexperienced team, which probably explains the 3-1 loss to Championship side Bournemouth. The most experienced players to start for the Swans were Gerhard Tremmel, Nathan Dyer and Angel Rangel. Swansea's speedy new winger Jefferson Montero grabbed the only goal for his new side.

vs. Reading (2 August) - Won 3-1
The Swans second game in two days saw a much more experienced starting eleven and it showed with a convincing 3-1 victory against Reading. Wayne Routledge was in great form and scored two of Swansea's goals in the first-half, before Bafetimbi Gomis made it three in the second-half with a nice chip. Wilfried Bony also missed a penalty (but we'll forgive him this once).

vs. Villareal (9 August, 3pm) - Lost 3-0
A pretty poor return to the Liberty Stadium for Swansea who looked pretty clueless in their set-up against the Spaniards. Monk selected pretty much his complete first-team, but they were torn apart by an average Villarreal. A little worrying a week before the season kicks-off, but at least it's exposed some problems before it's too late.


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.