Swans 1-1 Bury

Wednesday, 1 August 2001, 0:00
4 mins read

Was I right? Well read on and draw your own conclusions.

One thing that was very evident from a small tour around the pubs surrounding the vetch last night was the lack of familiar faces. I arrived at the Builders at around half six to find it nearly empty with only a handful of the usual suspects. There seemed to be a lot of conversations about the supporters trust going on, which can only be a good thing, but it seemed to me that these conversations were only taking place amongst the internet community, only time will tell if our message is going to spread.

Leaving the pub at 7.40pm and heading to the east terrace (the North Bank was closed), It was almost possible to feel quite positive about the game and the coming season (It’s amazing what a few pints can do eh?) And the first thing a lot of you are going to notice on August 18th is the state of the pitch. The club have certainly done a great job on the playing surface and although it appears to be a little bumpy around Roger’s area in front of the east terrace. It certainly is a world away from the dust bowl that we finished last season on. The Swans started the game with the following lineup :- Freestone, Jenkins, Howard, Todd, Bound, Cusack, Coates, Mazzina, Keegan, Watkin, Sidibe. This could well be an indication of his favoured team for the start of the season, but I for one was surprised to see Roberts on the bench and Romo only a spectator.

Now I know a lot of you will have read the match report on the official site where they seem to dwell on the fact that this was a solid performance against higher division opposition. But lets get one thing straight, Bury were poor, so poor in fact, that at times they made us look like a 2nd division team!!! Rather than give you a blow by blow account. I’ll go through the teams performance by position. Goalkeeping has never been a problem position for us, and although he didn’t have much to do last night, Roger commanded his area and didn’t put a foot wrong.

One area which I was particularly interested in last night was our defence. Are we going to be capable of being as miserly in defence as we were when we won the championship? On last nights performance I can honestly say NO!!!. The problem area is still right back and although Jenkins took a good stab at it, we really do need an experienced player in this position or we’re going to struggle. Howard had a steady game but in my opinion he didn’t read the game well and his passing was questionable.

Todd and Boundy really stood out last night, their tackling was spot on. I was particularly impressed with Todd who seems to be incredibly calm and confident for one so young, But he is still far from the finished article, he still needs to work on his distribution, because at times it was terrible. One thing myself and a lot of others noticed is that our defence didn’t seem to know what they were doing at set pieces and I’m sure Roger’s throat is sore this morning, after all the shouting he had to do, especially at corners, not a good sign I’m sure you’ll agree.

So, on to midfield. Have we finally found our saviour in Mazzina? Well the jury’s still out on that one, granted, he certainly put himself about and his tackling is certainly aggressive, but for long periods last night he seemed to go missing and I’m slightly worried that when the season starts for real ,that his temper is going to be tested to the limit. Overall not a bad performance but certainly didn’t live up to the hype. Keegan on the right was pretty ineffective but I’m sure that Stu will reclaim that position next week. Cusack seemed to control midfield pretty well, but to be honest Bury just didn’t look "up for it" and there were no real midfield battles to speak of Coates played his usual game and although I don’t like to slag players off, I really can’t see why Hollins perseveres with him.

Something which was seriously lacking last season was our ability to stick the ball in the back of the net. Surely with our two new signings this is going to change?? Bad news I’m afraid, It ain’t gonna happen. Watkin has lost another yard of pace (any more and he’ll start going backwards) and as for the glowing reports I’ve read of Sidebe from last night, I was obviously watching a different game. What I saw last night was a French version of John Williams 10 years ago, fast, strong but with the legs of a baby deer. He seemed to spend more time on his backside that his feet, and after one shot from 8 yards ended up in the east stand, just like John Williams, he couldn’t hit a cows a e with a banjo. As for Williams himself, if Sidebe ever reached a testimonial year with the Swans this is what he’d be playing like. The same gangly legs that put him on his backside every 5 minutes but about 3 yards of the pace. Don’t get me wrong, these two can definitely cause headaches for defenders, but we then need somebody to stick the loose ball in the back of the net, this is where Savarese would come in, but sadly that is not going to happen. My only hope is that Sidebe is deadly with his head, if so, with Roberts supplying the crosses, it could be a very different story. So was it worth breaking the "picket line" after all???

I’d have rather stayed in the pub to be honest. We’ve got 10 days until the start of the season and if we play like this, granted we won’t get hammered every week, but we certainly won’t win many games either. Forty-six draws anyone?

P.S. To the two students in the Bank Statement who commented "God You must be desperate" when I told them how I’d spent my evening… I Agree with you lads I really do!!!!

P.P.S.See you all on the 18th,you’ll love it I promise. 😉

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