Match Discussion: Swans v Sheffield Wednesday - Championship 2020/21



  • Nobody touched their goalkeeper. 2nd time this season being denied 3 pts by a crap decision ala Bristol City

  • Par for the course is to get crap referees in the Champ

    It's supposed to work out over the season

    Did Bennett handle v Rotherham?

    Did ref get it wrong at the end last night? looks like

    So over 2 poor games by us maybe the luck balanced out

    Either way nowhere near as good as our Norwich performance and bang average mid table performance


  • This is what Cooper said after a previous time we had to suffer this referee

  • Matty Grimes has immense talent - so I am not piling on. However (like all Championship players) there is room for improvemnent.

    Specifically Matty needs to get video out of the maestro Leon Britton. In contrast to Matty, Leon was perpetual motion, always making an angle to receive the ball and releasing his passes simply to a white shirt at incredible speed 1-2 touches max.

    Watching Matty take 5-6 touches while he evaluates his options is killing us as opposition defences are quick to get into defensive banks.

    Credit to someone earlier who made this point - Grimes has a similar level of talent to Barry Bannon, but if we had allowed Bannon the space that Grimes had last night we would have been shredded.

    For me we call Leon down to Fairwood and take Matty out for a couple of games to work on the above. Ultimately it would transform his career trajectory.

    In the meantime we have Smith Fulton Manning and Palmer who can play in that role.

    On a side note I have had a bad feeling about Woolmer for a while - and some of thee decisions last night looked "personal" the FA MUST keep him away from us until he retires. Appointing him again would be asking for trouble. I cant help but feel that a packed Liberty stadium with the Jack Army breathing down his neck might well have got some different decisions.

    credit to Cooper for proactively contacting the FA and for making his views public - also for some good in game management. The only thing I think he missed was to put Fulton on for Grimes - Jay is capable of breaking the lines and getting into the attacking third.

  • I havn't seen many matches where Smith and Grimes have played in the same midfield this season but from last night's dismal 1st half I seriously wondered if they could both play in the same team.

    As much as we can applaud Cooper's openness in criticising Woolmer the only outcome I feel will be a fine or warning off the F.A. over a referee that along with Tim Robinson(referee in last season's match at Fulham) should be nowhere near officiating in the Championship.

  • Jackareme

    Whilst I absolutely agree with the sentiment of using Leon, surely that is SC's job along with Mike Marsh? If they can't see what is wrong with Mat's game and have the nous to coach that themselves, then they shouldn't be managing/coaching at this level.

  • Looking back at the goal mouth scramble the ref basically let it go for a while and as it kept going he basically put an end to it by blowing up. Issue was that at the point of blowing we then put it in the net.

    We will never know if we had scored five seconds earlier if he would have let it stand or not.

    But there definitely was no foul on their keeper

  • I didn’t catch the 1st half but tuned in for the 2nd. Seeing that we were a goal behind to a well worked free kick from a Pulis side was disappointing but I was hopeful for the remaining 45mins feeling that the only blemish must have been simply conceding from a set piece. Clearly that wasn’t the case judging by the comments so it is concerning that the 1st half was marred by yet another poor performance. The 2nd half was entertaining enough and it could at least be argued that we were the better side. What can you say about the Ayew goal other than it was exceptional. On the day that Maradona died he seemed to have channeled his skills to bring about the equaliser. The most frustrating aspect to the game was undoubtedly the goal that was ruled out at the death. What I am interested in knowing is what the referee has against the Swans? Is there anyone in the know that can shed some light on this?

  • From video

    • No foul on GK as ball came in ( no whistle from ref)
    • No pushing in lead up to Palmer overhead ( no whistle from ref )
    • Missed handball where most refs would have given a pen
    • No foul on GK as ball put in net - nearest Swans player yards away
    • So if ref is saying foul on GK then why didn't he blow as ball came in?
    • Answer refereeing howler
  • The issue is @deekay that Cooper is responsible for coaching the entire squad - we use specialists to work with individual players on specific weaknesses. Cooper does not coach the keepers or potentially work with the strikers on finishing - we bring in specialists with the bandwidth to work 1:1.

    if we could make Matty more mobile and quicker in the pass the sky would be the limit for him. I hate to see him stationary and taking slow touches on the ball

  • Jackareme

    I'm not disagreeing with you on this. I understand that specialists are used, but with the possible exception of goalkeepers who are usually best coached by ex goalkeepers, any coach worth his salt should be able to pick out glaring weaknesses and work on them with the player in question. Specialists should be utilised to 'fine tune' skills and not to teach them the basics. It could be argued that if Grimes doesn't have that basic skill set at his age, it is too late now.

    If you listen to SC's after match interview, he states that we we were too slow in tempo and needed to move the ball quicker. I can only assume that he passed that message to the players at half time. Despite that, Grimes continued to do the same throughout the second half. So, if SC wasn't happy with the tempo and one man was clearly the main culprit, why wasn't that man hooked for someone who has been particularly good at it recent games ie Fulton ?

  • I'm still not budging from my contention that although we have improved compared to our performances from last season, the bar was so low that it doesn't really count for all that much.

    We still concede sloppy goals. We still go sideways and back too much. We lack penetration, often.

    There is much more to like about this side then there was in November 2019, but I struggle to see why anyone would get too excited beyond acknowledging that.

  • First half was appalling, Grimes and Smith do not compliment each other and one of them should have marked Reach coming in from outside the box.

    Naughton was the best player in the first half and was surprised he took him off but the change to a back four made very little difference, what did make the difference was the introduction of Ayew.

    It is now evident, without him we are very ordinary, Rotherham and first half against Wednesday we were dreadful, Defensive wise we are OK, Up front we are OK provided Ayew is playing but midfield we are huff and puff apart from Dhanda who is basically an attacking midfielder or number 10.

    Smith and Fulton looked quite good together before the International break but after 13 games I cant see why Grimes is back in, his long passing is awful, his tackling poor, fails to get back quick enough and to make him captain on top of that amazes me. Roberts even takes corners better than him.

    I don't like criticising players and do accept his effort but anyone who thinks he is a fantastic player and due automatic selection is not watching the same games as me.

    For me the keeper and back 3 or 5 takes care of itself no matter which ones he picks, they all look comfortable on the ball, Ayew and Dhanda look good, Fulton has been playing well. So until GW is fit, I would say Smith and Lowe to make up the starting line up. Subs, Gorky, Routledge, Manning, Palmer, Cullen, Grimes Benda.

    We have conceded 8 goals which is fantastic, we just need a driving force in midfield to supply Ayew and Low to improve on our poor 15 goals, I think Dhanda will also get a few with a good run of games because he looks the only one prepared to shoot from outside the box

  • I still feel that there's too much emphasis being placed on Grimes' performance. I'm not arguing that he was great - he wasn't. But much the same accusation of being slow and indecisive in possession could be laid at the door of the likes of Bennett, Cabango and Smith, to name but three. We were pedestrian throughout the team, and that points to a more systemic failure.

    Just remember how Grimes performed under Potter. He's improved his defensive work under Cooper, but offensively he's not half as effective as he was. It's pretty clear that the team generally is given far less license to express themselves creatively. Results-wise the outcome hasn't been bad, perhaps even positive, but it's costing us offensively.

  • Nobody mentioning the high boot to Ayew’s head before the fiasco, lucky it did not make contact but the stupid ref was looking straight at it.

  • Looking online today this particular ref seems to have riled several clubs over the years, interestingly with NOT giving stone wall penalties.

    With exception to his howler at the end which I still think was basically due to him putting an end to an unbelievable scramble, I thought he was even handed and managed the game well. Although he forgot his prime responsibility of protecting the players when Smith was clearly hurt under his nose.

    Alot of people are moaning that he kept delaying our corners by checking the ball placement - what I would say to Roberts and Grimes is to bloody put the ball clearly on the line rather than behaving like school kids trying to gain a bloody millimetre. I can sort of understand messing about if we are in front but not when we are trying to win the game at a high intensity.

  • Wyn

    Not sure how to do the paste thing but nail on head re how Grimes was under Potter. The amount of balls from him back then that not only went forward but released someone giving us advantage. And often on his first or second touch. His ability to do that hasn't changed. His mentality has. Does he need reminding of what he uses to do when he was our player of the year? Does he need a Bothamesque removal of captaincy? If so we signed a clear captain CH in the Summer.

  • Seems to run out of ideas at time then passes to a player that’s surrounded who then losses it to easily because they don’t control the ball as they don’t appear to be expecting the pass or they have no out pass. What was evident last night was the amount of possession lost due to a lot of players having to heavy a touch on recite of the ball and not getting it under control.

  • Indeed. Mike Marsh played in Grimes position, and came through the Liverpool Academy. If he cant teach him what he needs to do, then...

  • What Grimes is great at doing, is to always manage to find space to receive the ball, that in itself is working hard off the ball to create space.

    His problem is what to do with the ball after, making short safe passes sideways and backwards is fine if he then gets himself forward to receive it back but that's where he fails, or trying long passes across field that either get intercepted or go into touch. Also its easier to get the ball in space at home when he isn't pressed so hard.

    He doesn't shoot enough either, considering he has a powerful boot on him, even his goal was a fluke as it was going nowhere near the goal without deflections.

    He needs someone else to take the captaincy, perhaps then he can concentrate on his game, I still say, Smith and Fulton are the best partnership and Fulton will always bag a few goals, we also have Byers coming back who also scores goals, to get out of this league our midfielders have to bag 15 between them

  • I think it is a unfair to see all this criticism of Matt , interesting to hear Trundle speak of attacks on Matt on social media with supporters like that who needs enemies.

    For me Matt is a confidence player , under Potter he was the midfield general who played deep received the ball from the keeper and central defenders and started the attacks , different role with Cooper , he has the ability , always finds space , needs to be braver with his passing and be confident .

    Brilliant corner from Matt at the end of the game , right on the money , who came up with that particular play 20 players inside the 6 yard box , never seen that play before ,

    I think the ref saw a handball by Ayew , pity that brilliant overhead kick , and too see Pulis spit his chewing gum out made me laugh .

  • WynWyn
    edited November 2020

    It's also only fair to look at the full picture, defensive as well as offensive.

    As a team we have the second best record in the league (intriguingly after Brentford, but better than Middlesbrough) for shots conceded per game (9.4):

    I would argue that a lot of that is down to how Cooper sets the team up (kudos to him for that), but with the protection that the back 5 getting from the likes of Grimes, Smith and Fulton being an important component in that defensive record.

    If you look at Matt Grimes' record on it makes for very impressive reading. He has no statistical weaknesses, but the following statistical strengths:

    Passing: Very Strong

    Taking set-pieces: Very Strong

    Through balls: Strong

    Key passes: Strong

    Ball interception: Strong

    Blocking the ball: Strong

    Tackling: Strong

    No player is above criticism, but the stats don't lie - Grimes is contributing more to the collective effort than most. He just needs to be given a bit more license to express himself by Cooper, especially against weaker opposition. We need to be thinking more of how we can impose ourselves on the opposition as opposed to the opposite.

  • Those are strong stats for Matt Grimes Wyn and I seem to remember they were as impressive over the whole of last season when the 46 game totals were compiled.

    Any player can have a loss of form ,and generally most come through it and return to their normal standard.

    Having groaned myself recently at a few misplaced passes, I can still remember the overwhelming majority of incisive play and covering play and ninety- minute running that is the norm from him .

    He has a lot of credit in the bank as far as I can see .

    Seems too easy to jump on a bandwagon and slate players when they have a poor spell,

  • Its not jumping on the bandwagon from me, more of a deep disappointment to see his form drop in comparison to his overall game since becoming an intrinsic component of the Swans midfield post relegation from the PL.

    The stats from can be quite confusing but two of them - taking set pieces and tackling from what I have seen are both in the can do better mode when you consider how corner kicks have improved since Connor was introduced and the number of times he has easily been knocked off the ball that led to goals being conceded.

  • Matt Grimes has the best pass completion of any Swansea player this season. The most telling thing about that stat is that it's only 81.2%, placing him 70th in the pass completion Championship table. Even Cardiff's Marlon Pack (86.2%, 16th place) is well above Matty.

    It speaks volumes that we are no longer a team that can legitimately be described as a "passing side", a point reinforced by the fact that our average team pass completion is only 75.5% - 10th in the Championship, well behind those the likes of Blackburn (2nd - 80.6%) and Huddersfield (4th 79.8%) . The days when we consistently hit the mid-80s in pass completion under the likes of Rodgers and Laudrup seem a very distant memory.

    Even more embarrassing is the fact that we sit 11th in the Championship possession table with a meagre average of 50.6%, just one place above Cardiff (50.2%).

    Whatever we are under Cooper, a passing, possession-based team we are not. I wish people in the media stopped peddling tired old tropes asserting that we still play the Swansea Way when we manifestly do not.

  • If he's a confidence player, then he hardly deserves the captaincy, a captain should always be confident in himself and leading by example, he is not doing that this season.

    As for not seeing 20 players in the box before, it was the 95th minute, the last kick of the game, apart from Woodman there should have been 21 players there.

    The corner right on the money, any player should be able to sent a ball to the middle of the six yard box, as it happened not one of the 20 got a clear powerful header on target and it ping ponged and bobbled everywhere before a tidy overhead kick.

    We as supporters have the right to criticise players and if Trundle or Cooper cant see Grimes is under performing, then there is something missing. There again the Swans pay Trundle so he is hardly likely to say otherwise.

    Grimes as stated finds space for himself, normally available ten yards inside his own half, his passing stats for short sideways and backwards is strong, although his corners and free kicks have become terrible, his long passes go nowhere and 2 goals in 100 games is rubbish.

    He is a very average midfielder and it is showing now that we have better players around him, Fulton, Smith and Byers in my opinion are ahead of him at this moment and Dhanda, Ayew and Lowe will be better served by them

  • To much hoof ball off the new players, they need to calm down a bit and look around for a proper out pass, to many balls being kick up field when we have nobody there.

  • I agree wholeheartedly with the comments about Matty's abilities - and the stats do indeed bear it out.

    HOWEVER - my issue with Matty (particularly this season) is that my eyes tell me a different story.

    Stats for interceptions, tackles, passes made, completion rates etc. are all well and good - but when you are taking 5 touches before making a pass it SHOULD be near 100% accurate, and the amount of movement off the ball to accept a pass is not measured - I see too many static players in midfield - not making angles for quick 1 and 2 touch passing.

    There is a player in there - but Matty needs to take a quick passing option and create space to get it back rather than be like a quarterback dropping back into the pocket, surveying the field and then taking the simple option that was available to him 4 touches ago, and then standing and watching what happens next.

    Keeping the opposition moving and stopping them forming their defensive shape is critical to our success. Things that Matty needs to work on - that is all I am saying!

    Jay Fulton (by contrast) is nowhere near as good on the ball - but looks to move it quickly and then "get on his bike" , and is actually causing more problems for the opposition by doing so

  • I agree with some of what you're saying here, although I wonder to what extent Grimes is being given the license by Cooper to do some of the things you're asking of him. Perhaps he's playing under instruction to sit deep and play conservatively. One thing I can't see is that the likes of Smith and Fulton are doing much more, if anything at all, than Grimes. Yes, Fulton has had a couple of good games recently, but over the piece he's been a solid and reliable option for us, nothing more.

    To my mind our lacklustre displays against Rotherham and Wednesday (after a couple of very satisfying performances previously) were as much down to our central defenders as the midfield. It's interesting to see that all four of our remaining centre backs have pretty much identical passing completion figures: Naughton: 79.9%, Bennett: 78.9%, Guehi: 78.8%, Cabango: 78.7%. That's about 10% down on the sort of figures that Ashley Williams was posting under Rodgers and Laudrup.

    Although Bennett and Cabango are excellent defenders at Championship level, they're no better than average when it comes to the creative aspects. Naughton has more to offer, although we haven't really seen that of late. I would say that probably the biggest single reason for our lacklustre displays in the last couple of games has been down to the absence of Guehi. Without him only Roberts has been showing assurance in possession, so it's unsurprising that collectively we've been poor.

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