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.