Firstly, let’s talk about the fans. When things go right, when we start winning or getting positive results, the fans have little to complain about and usually start bickering. Although pre-season results weren’t exactly perfect, there was still a positive feeling and the bickering started with the “mine’s bigger than yours” between the fans of this Site and Jack Army. Nevertheless, all fans the united on Saturday to back the Swans with a surprising crowd of over 6,300.
Now, unless Doug Sharpe’s presence in the Director’s box also influenced the crowd count (how DID he get away with it for all those years, eh ?!!?) this was a show of support for the Board, Trust players and management that I haven’t seen for years (excluding high profile matches of course).
I had predicted a larger crowd than most (most said 4,500) simply because the local league football season hadn’t started and that normally drags them in for their first taste of REAL football.
Cusack and Co certainly didn’t let them down.
You’d have to go back to the Molby days to find a Swans team that was capable of scoring 4 goals in two games (but conceding 4 was also a bit of a habit in those days too) so it brings us to think of the team’s tactics.
In the Molby days, it was obvious that we had the ability to score – almost at will – but sadly, we usually were a little bit suspect at the back. With some decent defenders in the team at the time, it’s quite possible that the midfield lacked the spine to control the flood via midfield and that put too much pressure on the defence – that’s my theory anyway !
This time around, I think we’re experiencing the same problem except that it’s quite obvious that Paul Reid and Gareth Phillips have the “tenacity” to put the tackles in when needed. There is one name which has stood out in all the fans the match reports that I’ve read and that’s Matt Murphy. Now, I’m not going to judge and jury as that’s not my reason for writing, but if you read into the Match reports, you’ll see lines such as “needs to up his workrate” and “didn’t seem to want to know”.
Maybe Mr Mumford should get his “arris” around the training park for an extra few minutes each day and stop entering pie eating competitions. He’s got the class and if he can get himself fitter, I’m sure Cusack will chose him. He can tackle, distribute and has a wicked free kick – let’s hope his attitude is equally as impressive coz if it is, his inclusion in the team might make the difference between a 2-1 win and a 2-2 draw. What a buzz there would be if we’d won those 2 games and were sitting top of the League !!!!!
My next point is regarding Cusack’s management – as the advert used to say, WHAT A REFRESHING CHANGE.
I will be totally honest here and say that I didn’t greet Cusack’s appointment with open arms – Brian Flynn seemed to be a better act in my opinion (where is he and his ManUre connections now anyway ???)
I know we haven’t won yet but there are so many things done differently to Hollins that I really find it impossible to believe Cusack’s claims that Hollins was better than Fergie.
After 70 minutes last night, we brought on a striker for a defender and played three up front – Hollins wouldn’t have made a change until the last five minutes and probably still would have taken OFF a striker and replaced him with a goalkeeper.
If what the fans have seen in the last 5 days have been Cusack’s style of play then we’re in for an entertaining season…..even if it won’t always be successful. Until we have played about ten League games, it would probably be unfair to judge the players, tactics and management but nevertheless, it’s given me more cause for optimism since Mr Molby graced our wonderful club.
Sitting on my computer in Moscow listening to commentary on Pal Talk (free of charge, by the way!!) last night was a real football fan’s evening. Early lead (could we win) followed by a quick equaliser (let’s not concede another) followed by killer goal which seemed like a winner for Darlo. STILL, the fans from Bermuda, Coventry, Denmark (or was it Belgium !) and other places kept praying for the Swans to do something – WE KNEW WE COULD. Some thought we’d score two – others were more content with an equaliser.
As Williams and Jenkins missed good chances in the dying minutes, up popped Steve “I could hold up a bank” Watkin to send the chatroom fans MAD ! We hadn’t won, but it felt like it. Last Saturday, Rushden’s late equaliser left us feeling like we’d lost but the opposite feeling gripped us harder than a Roy Keane revenge tackle. Credit must also go to Anthony O’Connell who’s commentary on Swansea Sound last night was absolutely superb – he had us on the edge of our seats all game.
Finally, we’ve got the squad with more depth and quality than last season but the “Never say Die” attitude which got us promoted – that is something Mr Cusack should be applauded for. There are going to be highs and lows this season – that’s one thing football can guarantee you – but I’ve got a feeling that there’s something about this team that’s got the strength to take us up.
Hopefully my prediction will come true and we’ll go up – this is be the best squad we’ve had at least since the Molby days……..Probably !