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Strategy for rest of this season

Well that was depressing yesterday but as an optimist I have considered what is the best way forward for the rest of the season, rather than bemoaning yesterday's performance

Some observations

Clearly RM realises that with Laird leaving, we have no obvious WBs on our books to play the role both going forward AND defensively and more importantly no money to get them Hence the change to 4 at the back

Realistically we can only hope for about two permanent players coming in, probably Fisher and O'Riley

Following on from this I think we have to adopt a strategy to see out this season finishing mid table at best Actually I accepted this as soon as RM was appointed and I'm sure he will be here for at least two seasons. Whatever RM plans for next season, with the current players I suggest we would be most effective with 4321 for the rest of this season

My starting XI would be


Latibeaudiere Cabango Cooper Manning

Downes ORiley Grimes

Ntcham Patterson


These players need to be coached to play the 4321 system effectively and given a run of games to gain confidence

If RM wants to revert to 3 at back and WBs next season then recruit the right players in the close season

Onwards and hopefully upwards COYS


  • Just keep signing more central midfielders I'm sure that will solve our problems...

  • We would get relegated with that defence in my opinion.

  • With due respect Jasper, one GK and one CMF, and the appropriate coaching

    What would you do?

    Rhydian, we have so little to choose from. I have lost faith in Bennett and RWilliams. The other FBs we have are Naughton and Bidwell, who would be in your back four or three?

  • We bought three midfielders in the summer. Two of them look very good. Grimes didn't leave. There's youth at the club in those areas. But there's no width in the squad.

    I can't see us being successful playing as narrow as we did yesterday.

  • Thanks for the response Jasper

    I presume the three are Downes Ntcham and Patterson not Walsh If so I agree, three good signings that I included

    The only youngster I feel could currently step up is Dan Williams and again I agree and would be happy to see him in MF instead of ORiley if we're not going g to buy anyone

    You're point about width is a good one Unfortunately RM doesn't seem to want to play wingers, I'm sure Whittaker would have done better than Cullen yesterday, who fair play is not a wide player

    What XI would be your first choice for the rest of the season and in what formation?

  • Benda

    Naughton Bennett Cabango Manning

    Grimes Fulton

    Joseph Paterson Obafemi


  • If Joseph can play wingback we can try him as a conventional winger. Obafemi more of a conventional inside-forward (not sure what his pace is like) but worth a try out wide.

    I would have included Downes but we are talking survival here so Fulton and Grimes get my vote. Once we have enough points to stay up I’d like to see what Downes can do in a less defensive role and maybe try Dan Williams too

  • Interesting choice Cadleigh

    Surprised that you included Bennett, I think his pace has gone but respect that he has experience Naughton the same

    I think Ntcham has to feature somewhere because he is one of our most creative players

    I have a lot of time for Fulton who has always given 100% but prefer Downes, who is only going to get better

    Interesting to see how others rate our current players and just wondering, where would you strengthen in January if it were possible

  • @RGD I would go with 4, 2, 2, 2


    Naughton, Bennett, Cooper, Bidwell

    Downes, Grimes

    Ntcham, Paterson

    Piroe, Obafemi

    Strong bench of Hamer, Cabango, Manning, Fulton, Smith, D.Williams, Joseph, Cullen,

  • I've gone for that CB pairing as I feel Brandon Cooper would thrive next to the experienced Bennett, let's not forget Bennett is a class CB when he's not knackered. He has a lot to teach Cooper.

    I also think Rhys Williams could do much better in a back four, but I think his Swansea days are finished.

  • Can't really argue with your choice of front six and I understand you looking at experience in defence

    I posted a week or so ago about how 4222 might besr suit our players, but it's not an easy system to master and maybe needs more time to introduce ie next season

  • Ahh I knew someone had suggested 4,2,2,2 before me, didn't realise it was you.

    I agree, and I think it could work with the way Martin wants us to play. Also allows the midfield to remain unchanged from Martin's preference, while giving him the two striker formation he stated he may switch to.

  • Hi RGD

    As we’re in the realms of fantasy, here’s my never-to-appear-side, acknowledging we’ll never really be limited to a straight XI.  I'd prefer a team that varies between 4-2-3-1 and other formations according to the players best suited to deliver to them.

    Belotti (OK kidding, but anyone other than the current options – I’d even give Webb or Searle a go at some stage)

    Naughton, with Harry Jones to succeed – Bennett – Cabango / Cooper – Bidwell, with McFayden to succeed

    Downes Fulton (I know, I know)

    Joseph Ntcham (to be replaced when he typically tires by blooding one or more of our bright U18/23 prospects – perm any one of 4 or 5 including Tarrelle Whittaker and Dylan Morgan) Patterson


    Given the structural shift over the Summer, this was always going to be a transition season for us.  We are going to lose more games.  Touch-wood we're unlikely to go down.  We might as well recognise that and plan for the future, as painful as that might be in the immediate term.

    I wouldn’t let the first team squad players I’ve not named anywhere near the team going forward, including the current captain - but I accept these are choices that've already been made, so that won't happen.  Not sure who we'll pick up in the transfer window, but I expect there won't be anything phenomenal.  There you go!

  • @niallo11 Good team sheet, nice to see you put so much emphasis on youth.

    Who's this Harry Jones then? Is he any good and do you know if he's a fan? Here I am praying for another Connor Roberts 😪

  • He came to us from Arsenal the summer before last, having spent 9 years in their startup teams. He's been capped at U19 level for Wales. I've only seen him play first hand for the Swans this season (for obvious reasons), but he strikes me as a decent 2 footed player and he has a presence, enough to have him play in central positions for the U23s. Sometimes you have to give a player a chance.

  • Well done Niall some good shouts there

    It probably won't happen soon as you realise but we really must have a succession plan right through from the U18s at least. This is why the coaching quality at academy level is so important At U18 level we also have some fine young Welsh players coming through in Ben Lloyd Joel Cotterill and Cameron Congreve as you will have seen

  • Would be a big surprise if RM goes away from his 3 at the back other than the odd experiment. So being realistic, he will seek to stay with his preferred formation - as even when been missing key players previously he has stuck with it.

    The defensive problems with our set up are well documented; but I do personally feel we are light / unbalanced going forward. I think part of this is because Downes and Grimes (both of whom I really rate) are occupying similar deep territory and which is ultimately causing a big hole / lack of threat in the number 10 position behind Piroe. I can literally picture the gaping hole now.

    If we persist with the 3 at back; I think (as others have said) Manning at left centre back, and Bidwell at LWB (shudder) is best option we have. A good New right wing back is obvs a big priority now.

    But the other priority for me is a true #10 with a bit of creativity / magic to play just behind Piroe - this would help us have bigger threat / speed when attacking and I don’t think we have one at the club.

    In the other attacking Mid positions - I think Pato and Ntcham are both more than decent on their day, but a more pacy alternative who is at their level is also needed to compete in those positions.

    So - to make us competitive for rest of season, a Minimum 2 or hopefully 3 new (good quality) outfield players in above positions are needed in this window.

    But - can we get rid of enough of our squad players (either via perm or loan) in order to fund even this….

  • McFayden has a chance this season. Seems to have adapted to what Martin wants from a left wingback. If Bidwell leaves this month then there could be an opening. Wasn't highly-rated by Preston and spent about a year without a club before we picked him up.

    Harry Jones looks like developing into a rugged, defensive fullback/wide centre half. Maybe not the type Martin would like hugging the touchline, or stepping into midfield. Still 18. Not a Swans fan afaik, England-born and 9 years at Arsenal.

  • If you want to see a 4 - 2 -2 - 2 being played Man Utd playing that formation by the Professor.

  • So it's 4-2-3-1 for me and in the 3 include Garrick to the right and a loan signing to the left

    Somebody like the Wolves Giles

  • If RM thinks that Korey Smith is a better player than Fulton we have no chance.

    Fulton done more in 30 mins on Saturday than Smith has done all season.

    Heaven help us under RM.

    But there again I suppose Fulton is the last candlestick in the silverware for our useless owners to sell.

  • edited January 11


    I don’t think there would be many if any who would disagree that Fulton is better than Smith.

    truly bizarre that Fulton hasn’t had a look in this season.

  • Adrian Akande and Kieran Petrie released. Two young wingers signed for development sides that no longer play with wingers. It's why Akande left Chelsea for us in the first place, he saw no opportunities for him in their wingbacks system. Has had injuries but interesting to see where he goes next. A lot of big clubs wanted him on scholarship, came here for the guaranteed pro contract, and because he enjoyed playing in the system we used during his trial.

  • fulton out of favour from the off, rightly or wrongly

    not as good as SC thought or as bad as RM thinks

    yes better than Smith but poorer than Downes and Grimes

    Can't play AM so where does he fit in?

    in SC world you don't sign Downes, in RM world you sell Jay

    Take your pick but signing Downes and Oba meant selling Connor

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