Showing posts with label Rangel. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Rangel. Show all posts

Monday 8 September 2014

Rangel's last ride?

After giving a quick round-up of the summer's main business dealings at Swansea City, MATTHEW JACOB discusses Angel Rangel's role with the club and who is around to cover him if he is no longer up for the task.


By Matthew Jacob

Now that the dust has settled on another summer of transfer dealings at Swansea City, we have the opportunity to reflect on what has actually been achieved.

First and foremost we kept our goalscorer, Wilfried Bony. Some may say against the odds, given that the big Ivorian is considered to be one of the hottest strikers available in the market place, who won't be cup tied in a European competition come January.

Allegedly carrying a release clause in his contract I, along with the rest of the Jack Army, held my breath as the deadline day clock ticked down to 11pm. Would anyone test our resolve with a bid in excess of £20 million? (Think about that for a second, twenty million pounds for a Swansea City forward... how times have changed!). Thankfully that bid didn't come. He remains our number ten, and personally, I believe that to be our best bit of business.

Additions have come all over the pitch though, and have significantly improved the squad. Lukasz Fabianski looks to be an absolute steal, while Gylfi Sigurdsson has given our midfield not only additional flair but a focal point to channel all our good play through.

The jet-heeled Jefferson Montero offers another option in the wide areas, while we also sorted a new deal for Ki Sung Yueng, and recruited Bafetimbi Gomis, again on a free - more shrewd business by the club.

However, despite all this success, there were areas that, for me at least, were not addressed. Hands up if you honestly feel we have competition for Angel Rangel in that squad?

Still a crucial part of Swansea City?

The Spaniard is arguably the club's most loyal servant following the likes of Leon Britton, Alan Tate, and the boss himself, Garry Monk. It is almost certain that he has given us the best years of his career and at 32 it wouldn't be unfair to suggest that this season may be his last as a real quality option at right back.

That is not to suggest that Rangel hasn't been a superb servant for the club, and the way he has started this season has more than confirmed he still has what it takes to compete effectively at the top.

The question still remains though: where do Swansea City go when Rangel cannot bomb on past the winger and put a cross in? Or when he can't beat a winger for pace and cover?

This leads me back to the transfer window, and probably the only disappointment for me was the club failing to land a right back to first and foremost challenge Rangel for that spot, but also to provide effective cover for the former Terrassa man.

Dwight Tiendalli could be forced into action should the need arise but is naturally a left sided defender, while another summer recruit in Stephen Kingsley has also been earmarked for left back, and is seen as a firm development player for the time being.

Neil Taylor, who has shown signs of getting back to his best following his start to the season, has played at right back for Team GB but again is a more natural left sided player. For me, this leaves us with Jazz Richards as our only solid right back after Rangel.

Does Jazz have what it takes?

Jazz Richards has been at Swansea City a considerable time. Following his professional debut in 2009 he's had loan spells with Huddersfield and Crystal Palace before signing a new contract with the Swans last year (one which will take him up to June 2016).

The local boy is seen as a brilliant deputy right back and nothing would give me greater pleasure than to see him step up and become first choice in that role once Rangel eventually starts to wane. Having players come through our youth system and into the first team is something Swansea City have had considerable success with in years past, namely Joe Allen and Ben Davies who both moved on to bigger clubs, while Josh Sheehan is slowly breaking into the first team.

Now is the time for Richards to really push on. If he is to be Rangel's successor, it has to happen soon or it won't happen at all.

For me, this season and next could see Rangel's time as a first team player come to an end, but for the time being I see no better option. Frankly, we're very lucky to have a player of Rangel's considerable talent in our team already, and I hope he continues those overlapping runs for a little while yet.

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.

Monday 10 February 2014

Swans On Film: The South Wales Derby as told by the players

Monday morning hasn't hit us that hard this week after that incredible 3-0 crushing of Cardiff on the weekend! What a win!

While Cardiff fans are rightly licking their wounds, Swansea City fans are still celebrating!

And to keep the celebrations going I've collated the official Swansea City player reaction videos into one convenient blog post so you can see how the players felt they performed, starting with the manager...

Gary Monk (Press Conference):

Nathan Dyer:

Angel Rangel:

Pablo Hernandez:

We'll be back with more Swansea City blog posts very soon! For now check us out on Facebook or Twitter.

Tuesday 19 March 2013

From Oldham to Old Trafford: The Rise of Angel Rangel‏

He's my favourite player. No, not Alan Tate - it's Angel Rangel. And MATTHEW JACOB, in his ForzaSwansea debut, profiles the Spanish defender who continues to dominate the wings of the Premier League.

By Matthew Jacob

Swansea City have been on an incredible journey in the last ten years, and many have played their part in the meteoric rise of the club. Were you to ask the Jack Army who they think has been a standout performer you may hear names such as Ashley Williams, Leon Britton, Scott Sinclair, Michu... only a few might immediately suggest Angel Rangel, but the Spanish full back has been a stalwart since his arrival from Terrassa in 2007.

I remember my initial reaction being one of incredulity - I mean, Angel Rangel?! Who is he?! I learned soon enough. For a mere £10,000 Rangel was brought to Swansea from the Segunda B outfit on a performance-based deal by Roberto Martinez, and quickly established himself as a first team regular as Swansea stormed to the League One title.

Rangel continued to perform well as Swansea's passing style drew admirers from all corners of the football world, culminating in a Wembley showpiece and promotion to the Premier League. An extraordinary rise then for a player plucked from obscurity in the lower echelons of Spanish football.

Rangel has had an exceptional six years at Swansea City, forging an excellent understanding with the likes of Nathan Dyer and more recently Pablo Hernandez. His rampaging overlapping runs from fullback cause havoc for opposition defences and allow the midfield even greater freedom when the Swans get into an attacking flow.

Defensively Rangel has proved himself time and again. The likes of Eden Hazard, Nani and Aaron Lennon have had little or no joy against the man from Catalonia, and his recently penned three-year deal is just reward for a string of high quality performances.

So what makes him so important to Swansea City?

First and foremost Angel Rangel is an intelligent footballer. In modern football it's as much about positional play and how the game is read that make good defenders great defenders. Rangel knows when to get tight to a tricky winger and knows when to stand his ground. As good in the air as he is with his feet Rangel has developed into one of the most highly rated fullbacks in British football.

When Rangel gets into attacking positions his ability to pick a pass and set up scoring opportunities for the forwards is another important commodity for the club. And that really is one of Rangel's greatest quality is that he's not 'just another defender' he's a winger, a fullback, a leader and a team player.

If I had to choose a Rangel moment in the last six years it would have to be his goal at Doncaster Rovers in the Championship. With the clock ticking down the Spaniard rescued a point for the Swans to keep their promotion push on track as he controlled a pass from Kemy Agustien before firing into the top corner on the volley to the joy of the travelling fans behind the goal.

Brendan Rodgers actually referred to that point as "the most important to date" at the time - a superb goal from an unlikely source, and he's chipped in with a few more since!

Rangel's influence extends beyond the pitch. The Spaniard, who recently referred to himself as 'feeling like a Welshman' is a model professional and a role model for the younger players, while recently he took to Twitter to request help from his followers to find a charity shelter where he and his wife could make food donations. The story spread and even attracted national press coverage.

Angel Rangel sums up everything that's good about Swansea City at the moment; hard work, pride, passion and belief. I'm looking forward to watching his rampaging runs for a few more years yet.

Friday 2 December 2011

Bite-size Blog: Swansea City vs Blackburn Rovers

The bite-size blog returns! A short, swift kick of opinion, for those who don't have the time to read pages of endless drivel.

This Saturday Swansea City take on Blackburn Rovers: a team at the very bottom of the Premier League.

The opposition:

With just seven points to their name so far, things are not looking too hot for Steve Kean and his men. They've won just one game this season (a frenetic 4-3 win against Arsenal), and have 16 games separating them from their last clean sheet.

Their last match was against Cardiff in the Carling Cup on Tuesday, where they lost 2-0. Steve Kean admits he essentially forfeited the game, keeping players fresh for Swansea – a game Kean believes will “kick-start” Blackburn's season.

There aren't too many players to fear, though Nigerian international Ayegbeni Yakubu will keep Ashley Williams busy enough (probably).

Swansea focus

So is this a must-win game for the Swans? Yes, I think so.

A loss to Blackburn, who are suffering a terrible run, will not make for happy fans. If a draw at Liverpool seemed like points thrown away, a draw or less on Saturday will be an incredible waste!

I would have put my savings (all £94) on Swansea winning on Saturday, but injuries are standing in the way of pure confidence. Jazz Richards will fill in for the injured Angel Rangel, but his finesse and confidence is off the mark.

Danny Graham is also likely to miss the match, which is worrying as he has stepped up in recent games, even though the goals are still not consistently flowing. Leroy Lita is likely to stand in, though I'd be happier seeing Sinclair take the lone striker role, with Routledge and Dyer on the wings. It won't happen, but it's an idea that hasn't been explored enough.

What results mean:

Currently 13th, a win could technically see Swansea move to 8th in the table, providing the five teams above all lose, but it's unlikely (isn't it?). Let's say a good win should see Swansea back in the top ten.

Betting on the game?

Despite me, and most other fans, feeling the away win, the bookmakers are looking to Blackburn to take the points. Swansea aren't likely to score many away from home, but if their Rangel-less defence stays solid and Lita can muster up more than a few nice attempts, I think Swansea to win 1-0 (at 9/1 on PaddyPower) is a realistic bet!

A 'scorecast' on Swansea to win 1-0 with Sinclair scoring the only goal is a generous 45/1. That's worth a pound!