Showing posts with label Norwich. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Norwich. Show all posts

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.

Friday 8 April 2011

Bite-size Blog: Swansea vs Norwich

Swansea cannot lose against Norwich. Not if they want to battle for the automatic promotion spot. A win is vital.

With a full strength squad, this would usually be an easy outing, with three points almost certain on a smooth Liberty surface with a sell-out crowd spurring them on. However the loss against bottom of the league side Preston last week has asked some questions of the Swansea defence (“how could you let such a weak team pressurise you?”) and attack (“why could you not put away your chances?”). These questions must be answered by a convincing win over fellow promotion contenders Norwich.

Norwich, on good form, will be full of confidence after thrashing Scunthorpe 6-0 on Saturday. Can Swansea stop their decent run?

What results mean:

A win would probably see the Swans retain their 4th place spot, which is still a great place to be in considering a slightly bad run recently. If Cardiff lose or draw a win against Norwich would see the Swans leapfrog them to 3rd!

A draw would be better than a loss (duh!). If Cardiff lose Swansea would jump into third.

A loss would be terrible. Technically a loss could see the Swans drop to 6th place (if both Leeds and Reading win, thanks to goal difference), which would be one spot away from dropping out the play-offs. Not a good position to be in considering what happened last year.

So you can see: a good result against Norwich now means everything.

Betting on the game?

I honestly don't know these days. Swansea aren't the most predictable of teams at the moment. You don't know who will score at any point! As for score prediction, a 1-1 draw seems likely, though if Swansea really go for it 2-1 is also a high possibility.

This is the time to prove you have what it takes to get into the top tier once again. Don't let us down.