Friday, 30 December 2016

Swansea v Bournemouth Preview

Heading into the New Year’s Eve game against Bournemouth without a manager is a strange thing for Huw Jenkins to permit as far as I’m concerned. Who exactly is going to lead the side to victory and three points we desperately need? Can you ask Britts to take on the responsibility? Not while he’s sat on the bench you can’t!

Bradders’ sacking came early enough in the week that we now know the club’s first choices are both ignoring the chance to take over at the Liberty. Ryan Giggs and Chris Coleman are obviously looking elsewhere for their employment future – perhaps Giggs believes Mourinho will cock up enough that United will give him the job and Coleman would’ve been foolish to leave the Welsh national side!

So that leaves us with Paul Clement, currently assistant manager at Bayern Munich under Carlo Ancelotti and Gary Rowett who was recently dismissed from Birmingham City thanks to their new owners disliking him for no reason whatsoever – brilliant.

Even more from the media, APPARENTLY Antonio Conte’s Chelsea are interested in signing Fernando Llorente in January as back up to Diego Costa. Given Llorente’s seemingly permanent position on the bench for us; he could do worse than making the switch for a bit more pocket money but it remains to be seen how much truth there is to the rumours – Chelsea are also linked to former Man Utd striker Javier Hernandez so you can’t believe everything you read.

In brief, Ki and Taylor might be available for the game but there’s no information coming from the club at present to confirm their availability and Montero is definitely unavailable thanks to a hamstring injury that’ll keep him out until the end of January at least – better than usual on the injury front!

Are we in the midst of turning a corner? Can we see off Bournemouth to start 2017 on the right foot? Or are we destined to slump to defeat yet again at the hands of a side we are more than capable of defeating?

I can’t give any answers right now because I just don’t know – all I do know is we need a manager ASAP to save a sinking ship.

Thursday, 29 December 2016

Who's Next?

It’s unlikely we’ll see a replacement appointed before Saturday’s game with Bournemouth but the bookies already have some ideas as to who will be replacing Bob Bradley – here’s an assessment of who’s in the running and my opinion on whether or not they’re right for the job.

Ryan Giggs
We’re all very aware of Giggsy’s talents as a footballer; on his day he was unstoppable right up to his slightly premature retirement thanks to David Moyes’ failings as Man United manager but does that make him a good choice?

Sadly not. Even though he’s Huw Jenkin’s preferred choice to fill the vacancy, he hasn’t actually got any experience of managing in the Premier League nor any other league. A few games at the end of a season that yielded little success is not enough. 6/4 to take over according to SkyBet but the wrong choice as far as I can see.

Chris Coleman
The only way Coleman will take over Swansea City is if he can maintain his role with the Welsh national team – spinning plates whilst juggling balls if you ask me; basically it’s too much for him to do.

8/1 say SkyBet but I don’t think there’s any chance of this Swansea lad dividing his time between Premier League strugglers and International successes.

Alan Pardew

The only real candidate as far as I can tell. Plenty of experience and the charismatic character we’ve been lacking since Rodgers/Laudrup – I see no reason why we shouldn’t offer him a contract this second to save our season.

11/4 makes for a tempting bet too. Pardew all the way for me.

Gary Rowett
It was sad to see Birmingham City sack Rowett but it was more infuriating that it wasn’t even his 
fault. The new owners wanted Gianfranco Zola and made it so.

The Premier League relegation battle might be too much for Rowett to handle but 5/1 with SkyBet is rather intriguing – he stands a chance.

The No Hopers
Klinsmann and Hodgson – two managers who’ve left international roles this year. Would either of 

them have the ability to drag us out of the nosedive?


My Opinion?
Giggsy is the frontrunner but he isn’t good enough to keep us up so I’d back Pardew – even on a short term deal.

Wednesday, 28 December 2016

Bob Gone, Next Please!

We knew it was coming. An entry was posted earlier today detailing how little we would trust Bradders with funds and how Alan Pardew is waiting in the wings to assume the role. This isn’t confirmed, of course, but it seems the most likely outcome.

It can hardly be a surprise to us all that, yet again, we are without a manager.

Are we so incapable of finding a suitable character that we are destined to invite a former player again? Someone no-one has ever heard of? Or a person who only understands football on an international level aside of domestic football in a country that believes a watered down version of rugby should be given such a name?

We are better than this. Brendan Rodgers is not the greatest manager of all time but we desperately miss his influence. He is currently showing Scotland that Celtic aren’t just the biggest fish in a disappointingly small pond – they can also contend with bloody Barcelona!

Laudrup? Raking money into his account somewhere in Qatar.

Garry Monk? Currently managing Leeds and leading them quite capably towards AT LEAST the playoff places.

Guidolin? Who cares! We’d have been relegated already!

In brief. Bob Bradley is no longer managing our club and we are glad for it. However, if Pardew or someone else suitable isn’t appointed within the next 48 hours we will go into January without a manager nor any money to reinforce an ailing squad.

Essentially, we would take Pardew, accept Ryan Giggs and permit Gary Rowett an interview. Just appoint before January 1st.

Tuesday, 27 December 2016

Bradley Out, Pardew In?

A hefty 4-1 defeat against a side who have been struggling for most of the season really isn’t good enough. There were flashes of brilliance when Bradders finally allowed Fernando Llorente some game time but it just wasn’t enough – when you consider how utterly useless Andy Carroll is as a footballer; you start to see just how bad we actually were.

It’s small wonder Bob Bradley has shot to the top of the odds for ‘Next Manager Sacked’ given Crystal Palace have freed up the services of Alan Pardew. Pards has been heavily linked with the Swans job this morning and the story will break across the newspapers later today or early tomorrow morning – it looks like the Star Spangled Banner is heading back home.

Since Guidolin departed; we’ve looked a sorry state and there are a few excuses that keep doing the rounds. Yes, we miss Ashley Williams and we probably should never have let Michael Laudrup go but we did and we have invested poorly since then as a generalisation.

Bradley can’t be trusted with what funds we have to spend in January but then again neither can Pardew really. He’s a typical English manager who has his favourites that always seem to follow him from club to club – get ready for Yohan Cabaye to arrive in Swansea folks!

Our American manager looked stunned when the chants rang out around the Liberty. ‘We Want Bradley Out’ couldn’t have been a clearer message and there is now an alternative that will meet with the board’s expectations for experience and most of the fans will accept.

I say bring it on. Pardew needs a job, we need a manager who understands English football and perhaps we’ll finally see some cohesive football that produces the results we need to maintain our Premier League status.

The last thing we need is a return to the Championship – look at Villa and tell me that we’d romp that league. I don’t think we would somehow – Newcastle had to invest heavily to top that league and Brighton are breathing down their necks! We need to survive relegation this season and Bradders is not the man for the job.

Sunday, 25 December 2016

Swansea v West Ham Preview

This was supposed to be a turning point for the Swans. Games against teams in and around the lower end of the table have so far resulted in back to back away defeats and a dire 19th place thanks only to superior goal difference over Hull City – COME ON! What’s going so wrong?

West Ham haven’t come to Swansea and won since 1983 – I’ll be honest, I wasn’t even born the last time West Ham took us down in our back yard – but they are looking for a third successive Premier League win as they make the trip on Boxing Day.

This isn’t great news overall as we’re on a run of consecutive losses and they’re on a run of consecutive wins – the form guide clearly suggests we’re up against it here no matter how history paints the fixture out to be.

We have won our last two Boxing Day games against Villa in 2014 and West Brom 2015 but they were both narrow 1-0 wins. A repeat performance would be good but it would be nice to see a bit more than a single goal – it’s meant to be the season of goodwill not crap shooting.

Good news! Fernandez and Ki are both back having recovered from broken toes – how they both managed to suffer the same fate is beyond me but never mind. Naughton and Cork are probably going to get the nod to start as Bradders finally admitted that change was needed if we’re to develop any semblance of form over the winter period.

There’s a fair few West Ham players set to miss out including Zaza, Sakho, Tore, Obiang and Oxford all out of the running for a spot in the squad. Sadly, Payet remains available and in form so it’ll probably be up to Fernandez to keep him under wraps – he’s going to need to work hard!

The last time we faced West Ham we thumped them 4-1 in one of our most confident performances of the previous campaign but we’ve only won that one game in the last seven against the Hammers. Three draws and three losses make up the rest of the numbers – not good.

January needs to bring three things to Swansea. Confidence, Victories and signings – I’m not sure Bradders is the man to entrust with a transfer budget but it’s better than nothing. Fingers crossed we focus on defence and pace – you can’t buy confidence but a faster, more solid side will go a long way to developing belief!

Thursday, 22 December 2016

Christmas in Swansea

Christmas for Swansea City could be a real turning point. Let’s face it, the two fixtures between the big day and the New Year are against West Ham and Bournemouth – a couple of sides who have been very hit and miss in the league but some how sit higher in the table than ourselves; time for change Bradders.

West Ham might’ve claimed two wins in their last two league games but that doesn’t mean they’re out of the woods just yet. According to pretty much every newspaper you buy; the club are terrified of losing their star players and Slaven Bilic will have to make do with his existing contract as the club have no plans to offer him a new deal – makes for a bad atmosphere around the Olympic Park.

Bournemouth are in the top half of the Premier League and no-one saw this coming. Three wins and three losses in their last six may leave them nine places above us but Christmas isn’t a great time for clubs struggling to maintain lofty positions. The constant fear of failure will bite hard on Eddie Howe’s team – good news for the Swans no doubt.

Seven points from six games isn’t good enough no matter how you try and convince yourself otherwise but there are glimmers of talent coming from the squad. Bradley isn’t going to be given much money to spend in January but he has to consider some defenders – even loan players will do!

If you take Man Utd as an example; they’re clearly going to buy defenders in January and that’ll leave some of their players available either on the cheap or for loan and it’s here that Bradders should be looking to reinforce. If Lindelof does join United; you have to imagine their graduating academy players will want competitive minutes on the pitch.

It’s not just England that Bradders can look at. Low cost options are available in the French Ligue 2 if you know where to look. You can scoff all you want that these players won’t be good enough but, then again, Riyad Mahrez joined Leicester from Ligue 2 and he was nominated for the Balon D’Or.

The club need to release some funds to Bradders and if they don’t trust him with their money then he shouldn’t be in charge at all. 

Friday, 16 December 2016

Boro v Swans Preview

Things will go from bad to worse if we fail to beat Middlesbrough on Saturday afternoon. Three points separate us from them and this is without the most important game of the season so far. We can make up ground on both Boro and Palace even if we can’t escape the relegation zone just yet. Defeat is not an option.

13 minutes was all it took for all our good work in the first half to be utterly ruined on Wednesday night – I can’t imagine what Bradders might’ve said to the boys at half time but it can’t have been all that much; they looked totally lost and confused.

We could’ve picked up so much momentum from last weekend; we were imperious! And yet we’re still scrabbling around for points like blind beggars.

It’s safe to say that Middlesbrough are not a better side than us so all that’s in their favour is home field advantage. If you’re travelling to the game, make sure you get there early because parking near to the Riverside is in short supply and really quite expensive for the afternoon!

We have the better of the head to head having won three to their two (two draws) and the last time we played each other we nicked the game 1-0 in the League Cup, 13th December 2012. On paper they look a decent side but an experienced ‘keeper and a big name striker aren’t enough to do well in the Premier League as Karanka is finding out.

Assuming the spine of our team remains solid (Gylfi, Britts and Rangel), we should be able to control the game for the most part. Boro can’t outpace our widemen and there’s no chance their getting past the depth of our midfield – it’s tough to see where goals might come from for them to be honest.

SkyBet don’t fancy us all that much here: Boro 1/1, Draw 12/5, Swans 14/5. Harsh odds but it makes it all the easier to break with convention and back our own team – it’s okay to do it every now and then!

Swans to win and under 2.5 goals in the game is 6/1 and I think that’ll be my bet for the day – it’s got 1-0 written all over it.