Steve Cooper

As much as I like Cooper as person I have serious concerns about him as a coach.

If you ignore league position the vast majority of this season we have looked a very ordinary football team who had a unique ability to win tight games through a solid defence and ability to nick a goal.

Even during our good periods the football has been very boring to watch and there was always a sense that the tide would turn with results. I’m a firm believer if you are putting in good performances results will take care of themselves. Look at Martinez league 1 title winning season we took a few games for the results to come but you could tell by the way we were playing they would come.

Where we are now is not where you want to be. You cannot build a promotion season when so many results have been essential fortunate. Our 3 most recent wins Stoke, Boro and Luton we were outplayed with no sustained attacking threat relying on luck. It was inevitable when results turned the fans would turn on Cooper with what he is serving up.

The issue for me is with the exception of defending there is no identity to this team and they don’t do anything particularly well. The style of play is just bizarre. The wing backs go up the field and the two strikers almost operate as wingers chasing balls in the channels. It means the middle of the pitch offers no threat as the midfield 3 are so deep they are almost defenders. The passing is poor because there is no option to play through the lines the only option is Lowe or Ayew and they are often chasing a lost cause through poor accuracy.

The lack of intensity and aggression in the team is notable and it’s not a surprise to know they press the ball the least in the Championship. Everything is in front of the opposition in slow motion. We can’t build anything sustained pressure in the opposition third and now teams have worked it out with it easy to play against.

Coopers substitutions have always been an issue but he has run his favourite players into the ground by not picking his moments to rotate or bring them off in favourable situations. His use of subs against Birmingham was a pathetic surrender for a draw and it came back to bite him. To not bring Moran Whittaker on until the 92 minute when we was our only bright spark in the previous two games was poor mismanagement. There’s no evidence to suggest Cooper is a forward thinking coach he’s relied heavily on the brilliance of individual players more than anything he has done.

I also think recruitment has been haphazard and not helped the situation. It was clear we needed a striker but we ended up with Hourihane who was a good signing and a selection of players who Cooper did not fancy with the exception of Morris who we didn’t see anything of. That was still a questionable signing as he hasn’t played for months.

Its a big summer for Swansea with the inevitable players leaving in the summer. I can’t help but think a freshen up on coaching and recruitment might be needed.



  • Broadly correct

    With the exception of Wycombe away and Cardiff away - where we dominated both games - very few other matches showed us in a good light except defensively

    We have been mostly outplayed even when we have won

    Last year it was 4-4-2 stodge and 3-5-2 improvement

    This year they're both stodge cos the players' confidence is shot now

    Last season we fluked a playoff place

    This year we are doing a Forest and have a bad dose of form which is not going away

    Last season we had one brave game - the last league game - and won 4-1

    Then we reverted to stodge

    SC - stodgy Cooper ball

    I was willing to give him a chance too

  • WynWyn
    edited April 6

    "it’s not a surprise to know they press the ball the least in the Championship" very interesting, but not entirely surprising stat charlie10, what's the source? I found this from last season, which had us below average on the pressing stat PPDA:

    The change of formation on Monday was hardly a success was it, because our approach play into the final third was just as ineffectual (if not worse) than it was when we played with wingbacks. The opposition would be stupid not to press us hard and wide, given how we consistently wilt under pressure. I can't see Cooper instructing the team to start playing patiently through the thirds, as that would go entirely against the grain for him.

    Another, more realistic change, would be to adopt the Barnsley approach, namely adopt a high defensive line and press the opposition high. This should be easier to adapt to at short notice than to instill a passing game. I'm confident the players would prefer a more aggressive, front foot approach.

    Chances are Cooper will stick with the only thing he knows, which is the painful variant of POMO that we've witnessed whenever we've played teams that press us hard. It says it all about how our philosophy has changed under Cooper that whenever we get a throw-in in our own half we almost invariably look to toss it as far down the line as possible, regardless of the fact that we almost always squander possession, or gain a few yards at best.

  • The football recently has been poor,and many including myself have said so.In particular the Birmingham game was dreadful .I did notice that even the much envied footballing Brentford side stuttered against Birmingham last evening as well.

    I watched the post match SC press conference on the club website yesterday .

    In the interest of some balance in this whole uproar about the recent performances.In my view, to his credit he took responsibility for the very poor run, four square on the chin.As the leader and public face of the playing side of the Club that was only right and good enough for me.

    It remains to be seen if he can reverse the situation,but hopefully he and the players can dig out a revival .

    Even that would probably be insufficient for those two or three regulars in the Forum who,as is their right, have never had any time for him as the Swans coach, and currently sit on the high ground.

    The next incumbent at the Liberty will probably be welcomed as the Messiah ,and in time be regarded as a devil incarnate .

  • After the awful performance against Birmingham I wanted the boss to play 3 up front , play a flat back 4 , he did that .

    The disappointing fact we created nothing , the basic pass and move was not there , the players need to realise they are only ones who can improve the situation .

    7 games left 3 at home 4 away , last 2 games Reading and Watford away .

    The next 5 games the mindset needs to be these are their cup finals ,

  • Nice post @Wyn - but for the stupid (me) what is POMO?

  • It's one of those situations where us fans don't know for sure whether the issue is with Cooper or the fact he hasn't been given a squad to work with. Often it's a case of a bit of both.

    At this stage I would still like to give Cooper the benefit of the doubt. We simply do not have a squad of players where you can pick out more than 16 players that you feel are genuine top end championship starters. Can you really say the same at any other top championship club?

    Add the fact that of Grimes Fulton and Smith are defensive minded and won't control a game with the ball - hence the disaster of losing Gibbs White and Byers who I can't believe they allowed to leave on loan - I would like to know if the club or Cooper forced that move.

    Up front, Cooper consistently asked for a striker. Didn't get one so is forced to play with that awful 5-3-2 with two fairly slow wide men up front. I think I am safe in thinking that Cooper would definitely choose a different system if he had the players available that he asked for. Again who sanctioned our quickest attacker in Garrick to leave on loan.

    Let's keep going and see what the remainder of the season brings.

  • You don't become a bad manager over night, was only a few weeks ago when SC won Manger of the Month and we remained one of the best defensive teams in the EFL.

    For me its simple. He has a small squad devoid of any outstanding talent. All he can do is tweak things here and there ,and play with formations. What else is there for the guy?

    Cardiff have 3 Welsh Internationals and a few others in their Team that lost 5 nill to a bottom 3 side. all teams get a bad patch

    SC is doing his best with a limited squad . Just Imagine where we would be if he was working for a proper Football team and not a Hedge Fund.

    get of his back , support him and the team , if he keeps us in the play offs he will be in contention for manager of the Season.

    If we don't get Promoted this Season , we all should start to worry for the Clubs Future. Last of Parachute Payments will ensure the owners spend even less next season ( if that's possible) One good thing , they wont hang around too l ong before selling up .

    BTW What ever happened to the Trusts LEGAL Fight?

  • Well we all know what happened when we had the opportunity to get Brendan back and wouldn't spend the money

    You get what you pay for

    Somebody will get Eddie Howe - presumably Celtic and he'll do well

    We could have gone for him if the owners were ambitious enough

  • I couldn't see Eddie Howe coming to Swansea , looks has if he will go to Celtic , thought he might wait for a premier league job at Crystal Palace or Newcastle ,

    If Brendan had come back to Swansea how long would he have stayed , always likely to moved on to a big club , Leicester looks the perfect club for him

  • Blame the owners, defend the manager, wrong type of players etc etc etc. What is not defensible is the garbage football that we have had to endure all season.

    These players can deliver decent football if coached that way and allowed to express themselves that way. Most of us are miserable about the way we are playing, not the results.

  • Brentford, like us, have over-relied on too few players, and over-played them.

    And now that Toney is misfiring and Rico Henry is injured...

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