Who’s to Blame? Part 2

Sunday, 1 April 2001, 0:00
2 mins read

More to the point, if a different man had been in charge of the same group of players, would he have done any better?

As it happens, the answer is probably yes, Hollins is not getting the best out of the players we’ve got, although the players have to take their share of the blame for not putting in the performances that are expected of them.

So imagine if you will (or if you can) that this season had been one of decent performances by the team, 100% effort and at least an organised attempt to beat the opposition every week. Even then, is this team good enough? On Saturday, after about 60 minutes somebody on the North Bank yelled at JH to haul Jason Price from the field. The bloke behind me shouted out “And replace him with who?” He had a point, we stand there and complain about those players who are not doing the business on the pitch, but those who are sitting on the bench waiting to come on are exactly the players (Watkin, Coates) who we would usually be calling to be subbed themselves!

So it’s partly down to an inadequate squad. The board can be blamed for not providing sufficient funds to strengthen it, but JH can be criticised for not spending the money he has been given wisely enough. Just look at Wrexham, they paid peanuts for Lee Trundle, a striker who has hit the back of the net several times, propelled the Robins away from the danger zone and set up a nice pay day when Mr Trundle chooses to end his stay at the Racecourse. Ok, Savarese was a good signing, but can the same be said about David Romo, Mattias Verschave and Nicholas Fabiano? True, all three of those look like decent players, but how much have they contributed towards the Swans Division Two survival campaign?

There you have it then, the squad is not good enough – the fault of John Hollins. And the players are under-performing, that’s also partly John Hollins’ – fault regardless of whether they did the same last year – he took the plaudits when we won the Championship, now he has to take the blame for a side that is second from bottom.

So JH is picking the right players then? Well, no. Over the season, many of his decisions have been completely baffling and inexplicable, such as bringing off a striker and replacing him with a full-back after we have gone a goal down. But my point is, even if he did pick our best eleven (and even managed to put them in the right positions on the pitch), it still wouldn’t be good enough. The fact is, we are playing against better opposition this year.

It has been commented on the messageboard of how little pride in the white shirt this team has. Who’s fault is that? Some of our own players may be under-achieving compared to last year, but if the problem is that JH can’t motivate the players, how come it wasn’t a problem last season? After all, they were playing under the direction of the same manager. The answer could be that they were never particularly motivated in the first place, it was just that we could perform to a level of 60-70% against the likes of Lincoln and Exeter and get away with it.

Basically then, it’s all John Hollins’ fault. No, of course it isn’t. As I said, the players won’t come out of this season with anything to be proud of and the board… well don’t get me started on them. All that then and I’ve come to the fantastic conclusion that none of what has happened is entirely the manager’s fault, but that everything that has happened is partly is fault. The solution? Carry Mr Hollins off to the Funny Farm before they come to collect me.

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Images courtesy of Getty Images, Athena Picture Agency and Swansea City Football Club.

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