Just over a month ago the Swans found themselves slightly further along the A27 and on the back of a 5-0 defeat at Southampton. Well they will dread this kind of trip after Luke Williams side was unceremoniously dumped out of the FA Cup with the game over as a contest again within twenty minutes and Bournemouth had five before half-time.
The Swans were 2-0 down inside ten minutes, 3-0 inside twenty and 5-0 by the time the half time whistle put us out of the first half misery which frankly was embarrassing to watch as defensive clanger after defensive clanger highlighted just why certain players should be nowhere near our first team.
Nathan Wood and Bashir Humphreys at the centre of defence looked like they were constant mistakes waiting to happen and with Andy Fisher in goal you always know that there are goals in the opposition. Kyle Naughton and Joe Allen have their best days way behind them. And Harrison Ashby can only have been described as the “next Kieron Trippier” by Peter Kaye in his stand up routine. And then you have Jay Fulton and Matt Grimes who we said on Saturday just slow down most things in our midfield. And that takes some doing considering it is static most of the time.
Frankly after that first forty five minutes I could go on but you have to beg endless questions of the recruitment of this side back in the summer. We bang on about signing thirteen players but given one has already left and most of the others can only be described as average then questions need to be asked about Watson and his ability to support Luke Williams in the minor miracle he needs to perform to turn this side into anything resembling a football team.
You can probably say that two or three of the signings were good ones but one of those belongs to Brighton, one from Arsenal is slightly above average and the other one (Josh Key) was wanted by the Swans when Watson was still boiling the kettle at Luton. This is the shambles that our ownership has created and they need to be clear on the fact that this shambles sits firmly with them.
What could Williams do at half time? Well the answer was no changes from our point of view. Bournemouth made a double change with the game won but the Swans started the half with the same shell shocked and shambolic side that played the first half.
Bournemouth started the second half as they finished the first and the Swans could easily have been six down in the early minutes of the half with the presence of Kieffer Moore just adding to the traumatic nature of our performance. The Swans did make a change ten minutes into the second half when they introduced Yannick Bolaise to proceedings at the expense of Charlie Patino despite the Arsenal loanee always looking more effective than either Grimes or Fulton in the middle of the park.
You have to have a level of sympathy for Luke Williams in the middle of all of this. He arrived at Swansea with his hand dealt by a summer of pretty poor transfer activity and a team that had been dismantled in its playing style under Michael Duff. You can question some of his team selection tonight (I’ll start with Fisher but can raise you others) but quite simply this side is not capable of playing the way he wants players to play and that will cause him more problems than it just did tonight.
However, what he needs to do in the coming weeks is to decide which players he feels can play the game and make sure they are in the team week in week out. As we said after Saturday’s game he needs to make some tough decisions and there are some of the loan players who we may as well send back to their parent clubs and use some of our own youngsters to give them game time. As someone remarked on the forum I would rather we didn’t make Chelsea or Newcastle’s decisions for them as to whether certain players are good enough or not.
The transfer window has a week left to run and whilst I am all with Williams that we should not bring in people who do not make the squad better but right now it is almost impossible to envisage us doing anything that can make this squad weaker. But again you have to question Paul Watson and maybe he is capable of doing just that.
Back to the game, Ashby took a yellow card for not necessarily a bad challenge but more a challenge that showed how far off the pace of the game he really was. He wasn’t so much late but if he was a GWR train then he would have been subject to delay repay conditions.
Ollie Cooper replaced Joe Allen but the game by that point had long since drifted into a nothing contest. Bournemouth had done their jobs and were hopeful of a sixth (or more) but were not pressing like they did in the first half and the Swans looked like they were just happy for the rest they were getting from the onslaught.
There was an appearance for Filip Lissah when he replaced Liam Cullen and at the same time Paterson replaced Ashby as Williams went for his final changes. The Swans night was summed up perfectly for me when a dangerous looking free kick with ten minutes to go ended with us deciding not to shoot at goal but to float a poor free kick into the penalty area to absolutely zero effect. How often have we seen that in the past and yet we continue to make the same poor decisions on the pitch.
Despite being well out of maximum gear the only side that ever looked like adding to the scoring. The Swans had an injury scare in the last couple of minutes with Matt Grimes treated for injury but although coming back on we await news on whether that is another addition to our injury list.
This game was over inside ten minutes and the Swans got exactly what they deserved out of it. The first half was as embarrassing as anything that we have served up in our history and there were eleven players on the pitch during that first period that need to take long hard looks at themselves and decide what they can do to put this kind of defeat behind them. It is becoming more and more annoying to watch a group of players wandering slowly around the pitch as sides play around and through them and is just not acceptable on any level. The fact that there was not a single second of stoppage time in the second half tells you even the referee felt sorry for us as he bought to an end our misery as soon as he could.
The problem with that statement above though is we keep saying it and we keep doing the same things week in week out. That isn’t exclusive now to Williams it is a longer term problem for the Swans.
Things won’t get any easier for the Swans when they head to leaders Leicester on Tuesday night but somewhere along the line Luke Williams has to get across to these players that they need to start stepping up and putting effort in. Two games in less than a week have been lost due to pathetic and sub standard first half performances. Play like that on Tuesday night and another humiliation will surely follow.
MATCH FACTS AND LINE UPS
OTHER FA CUP RESULTS
NEXT UP FOR THE SWANS