Luke’s ways are starting to shine through – Swans have turned that corner

Sunday, 3 March 2024, 10:00
36
3 mins read

Luke Williams arrived at Swansea City with a pretty tough run of fixtures to start him off.   Early league fixtures in his time in SA1 against Leicester, Southampton, Leeds and Ipswich did not help neither did a trip to Bournemouth in the FA Cup but we have seen over the past two weeks just what his sides are capable of doing.

Credit has to be given to Williams for adding pace to the squad in the January window and whilst it was not the window that we probably needed in its entirety the addition of Ronald and Placheta to the squad has made a massive difference to the way that the Swans play.

In both the first halves at Sunderland and yesterday at home to Blackburn we have seen the benefit of a team playing with width and pace and with every passing game the team are utilising that more and more.   On more than one occasion yesterday we saw the other players looking to play the ball into space for the wide men to run onto and there was no doubt that it caused the Blackburn defence concern each time it happened.    As the game pattern changed in the second half it was noticeable that the wide men were used less and less and Blackburn’s confidence increased – there are lessons to be learned there for certain.

Luke Williams has talked plenty about wanting his side to play with a high press and this is becoming  more evident as the players get used to the style with which they are playing.   The most classic example of this yesterday was the Swans second goal which came from Matt Grimes winning the ball back very high up the pitch and his perfect tackle fed through to Jamie Paterson who scored the second goal.   It was not the only example though of the high press and certainly something that Williams is imposing more in his teams.

Then we look at the midfield.   The re-introduction of Joe Allen into the midfield is making a difference.    Not only does Allen have an ability to read the game more than most of our midfielders, his presence is creating a naturally more attacking intent within the team.  The biggest beneficiary of this is Matt Grimes.   The Swans captain has been given a new freedom in the midfield having been stifled a little in the early days under Williams.   All of a sudden we see him playing a much more forward role and as a team we are benefitting as he picks up and creates space for others to work with.   There is definitely something more about Grimes in recent weeks as well and yesterday it was also noticeable that he was showing more direction on the pitch and talking to his team mates in breaks in play – again something he has been criticised of not doing enough of in times go by.

Credit must also go to Williams for sticking with Wood and Cabango as his central pairing.   It would have been easy to bench either of them at the height of the criticism but Williams has shown faith in the players and they have started to repay that.   There were still some worrying moments in the Swans defence yesterday but Wood and Cabango are also vasty improved and far less exposed as the play in front of them is getting better.

The Swans are far from a finished article though and I am sure that Luke Williams knows that he has a big summer ahead of him to build the squad that he wants to be able to seriously compete in the Championship.   However, he is starting to get a tune out of the squad that he has and this just intensifies the belief that I have held that we will not be relegated this season.   All of a sudden there is a time again where the Swans are good to watch and that means we can look forward to the remaining games of the season as the manager stamps his style on the squad more and more.

Williams can now take the progression of his squad and build on it even more which should see us heading to Watford and Bristol City in the next wee with a renewed confidence knowing that more wins and we will lift ourselves closer to the middle of the table.   There is no reason why there cannot be a good return from those two games with both sides just two points ahead of the Swans at this moment in time.

Credit has to go to Williams for his work in a relatively short period of time and there is every reason to believe that things will continue to get better the more time he has to work with his squad.    What we are seeing now is the early stages (we hope) of the transition into his style of play an with the addition of width, attacking intent and pressing the Swans are good to watch again.   And it has been some time since we have been able to say that?

Long may it continue.

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

Loading new replies...

N
Niigata Jack

Roger Freestone

5,117 messages 72 likes

Really? I thought we were hopeless in that 2nd half. Yates couldn't hit a cows arse with a banjo either

Reply Like

Avatar of Pegojack
Pegojack

Alan Curtis

3,327 messages 57 likes

Yes, far too soon to say that. There are encouraging signs, but we're still only four points clear of relegation with some tough fixtures next. And as the bottom clubs are showing, every game until the end of the season will be a battle.
Very glad to see Lowe fit again, if he's not going to play the Ukranian boy, we need to find a way to keep Yates uninvolved.

Reply Like

Avatar of Swanjaxs
Swanjaxs

Roger Freestone

10,382 messages 225 likes

Now we have a run of games against teams more our level we should be able to dominate the ball more, we now have plenty of pace out wide and Joe playing alongside Grimes seems to be working, Joe reminded me of Leon yesterday dropping deep and doing the housekeeping in front of the back four and getting moves going, also our quick press is mostly working a treat.
The biggest downside is having to introduce Eddie at some point, surely time to give Kukharevych a go as Yates offers absolutely nothing, indeed his needless barge into the back of a Blackburn player resulting in a free kick out wide deep into injury time could have cost us a valuable couple of points...

Reply Like

click to expand...
R
Ringwood

First Team Player

208 messages 35 likes

Our second half performances last 2 games coincides with the subs LW makes. Fair play he split the Grimes/Fulton pivot but reintroduces it second half. Fulton needs to reinvent himself and move away from Russball

Reply Like

Avatar of PSumbler
PSumbler

Administrator

7,311 messages 180 likes

"turned" a corner says it all

The two first halves tell me enough to be able to say that with confidence.

Its not as if the article says "we are Brazil 1970 reborn" but fuck me that was far more enjoyable than anything served up for about four years in the first half

Reply 2 Likes

N
Niigata Jack

Roger Freestone

5,117 messages 72 likes

Far to early to say we have turned the corner, we came out in that second half with lead in our boots, then he decides to take off both our out ball players and with that the pace out of our game, my head dropped when he brought Yates on, been better off giving Oldjack a pair of boots and sending him on,😂

Why didn't he put Darling and Key on? if they're not ready they shouldn't have been on the bench!

Reply Like

Avatar of PSumbler
PSumbler

Administrator

7,311 messages 180 likes

Darling I agree

For Key we have three games in two weeks and Naughton was doing more than an adequate job - dont risk him when we dont have to.

There is no doubt our performances are improving, no doubt at all

Reply Like

b
bakajack

Alan Curtis

3,463 messages 81 likes

For me I would say we can see the corner rather than turning it at the moment.

Dominant first halves and getting the goals that dominance deserves but both games we took off the spine of our midfield and gave up both a goal and the momentum almost immediately. The failure to keep sides out (just one clean sheet in 11 so far?) will be a real problem as soon as as we fail to get the goals that our dominance in a game deserves.

Reply 2 Likes

N
Niigata Jack

Roger Freestone

5,117 messages 72 likes

I had to read that twice. I thought you was referring to me with your "Darling I agree" strewth that was a near miss 😂

Reply Like

Avatar of PSumbler
PSumbler

Administrator

7,311 messages 180 likes

Maybe I was... :eek:

Reply Like

Phil Sumbler

Been watching the Swans since the very late 1970s and running the Planet Swans website (in all its current and previous guises since the summer of 2001 As it stood JackArmy.net was right at the forefront of some of the activity against Tony Petty back in 2001, breaking many of the stories of the day as fans stood against the actions where the local media failed. Was involved with the Swans Supporters Trust from 2005, for the large part as Chairman before standing down in the summer of 2020.

NewsNow

League Table

Next Up

Forum Latest

Threads: 15,319

Messages: 234,309

Members: 2,300

Latest member: beverlyelphinsto

Latest from Blog

Swans TV: Swansea City v Rotherham United | Extended Highlights

. . .watch all the key moments from the Swans' Championship clash with Rotherham at the Swansea.com Stadium. For more information, as well as all the latest Swansea City AFC news, log onto the club's official website at http://www.swanseacity.com Subscribe on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/SWANSPLAYER Like us on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/SwanseaCityFC Follow us…

Swans TV: Swansea City v Rotherham United | Highlights

. . .watch some of the key moments from the Swans' Championship clash with Rotherham at the Swansea.com Stadium. For more information, as well as all the latest Swansea City AFC news, log onto the club's official website at http://www.swanseacity.com Subscribe on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/SWANSPLAYER Like us on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/SwanseaCityFC Follow…

Swansea City 1-0 Rotherham United – Your player ratings

The Swans picked up three more points at home against rock bottom Rotherham this afternoon in what was a very forgettable game and one that just sums up the reasons why the two sides are where they are in the league. An own goal from a Liam Walsh corner was…

Swans TV: Luke Williams on Rotherham United | Reaction

. . .Luke Williams talks to Swans TV following the 1-0 win against Rotherham United. For more information, as well as all the latest Swansea City AFC news, log onto the club's official website at http://www.swanseacity.com Subscribe on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/SWANSPLAYER Like us on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/SwanseaCityFC Follow us on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/swansofficial…

Don't Miss

Swans TV: Swansea City v Rotherham United | Extended Highlights

. . .watch all the key moments from the Swans'

Swans TV: Swansea City v Rotherham United | Highlights

. . .watch some of the key moments from the