Other viewpoints are available – Williams talks up poor Rotherham performance

Sunday, 14 April 2024, 8:52
3 mins read

Luke Williams certainly gave the impression he was watching a different game to me yesterday afternoon as he talked about “intensity and aggression” on an afternoon when the Swans needed an own goal from a poor corner to defeat the bottom side of the division,

Many will tell you that Rotherham were one of the worst sides to play a league fixture in SA1 in the last fifteen years or more and it was hard to disagree as, despite being almost twenty points adrift at the bottom, they seemingly came here to set up for a point and we know that this Swansea City team struggles to break down any side with eleven behind the ball.    Even one as bad as Rotherham were.

The Swans kind of started brightly but soon faded into the tedious football that we have watched so much for the past few years.   This isn’t a Luke Williams problem (although as the manager he is the one who has to deal with it) it is the result of many years of dreadful recruitment from a group of people who are probably still stunned that relegation from the Premier League is a thing.   And getting back there isn’t that easy.

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The simple fact is that, no matter what way we address it, we largely now have a team of very average footballers and our trading model of a big sale every summer to keep the finances alive is broken.  Very broken indeed.

The simple facts on yesterday are that the Swans won and the more simple fact is we should have won.   Rotherham have not won away from home all season, they have won just four games this term and after yesterday they have now picked up six points from fifty-four.  Make no mistake they are dreadful but we managed to achieve a level at times yesterday where they competed with us very easily.   Even the SwansTV commentator said at the end of the game “we only have two more minutes to hang on to win the game”   Hanging on against a side with a win ratio of worse than one in ten.

Thankfully we did win but there was nothing to celebrate although Luke seemed happy with the performance in the main although he said we ‘could have made it easier’.   Well, yes.

“I think we could have made it a bit easier for ourselves, but our application was excellent again,” he said.

“The aggression was there, the intensity was there and a small amount of more quality actions in the box would have made it more of a fun day for us all.

“But, ultimately, we kept a clean sheet and we won the game, it’s back-to-back wins and two performances with the correct level of application and that is a really important for me.

“We had a really short turnaround, I trusted the players who played in the Stoke game to go again after a short recovery, and they did that.

“That has to be part of our identity as a minimum, that we will sacrifice everything for the shirt, but let’s improve the quality.

“We made a lot of crosses and had 12 shots in the box, but it would be nice if we could score a few more goals and create more excitement and good memories for people to leave the stadium with.”

And in that last sentence he sums it up in a nutshell.   There is no excitement in watching the Swans play this kind of football.   All too often yesterday we turned the ball backwards when faced with good opportunities to go forward and our final ball into the area was largely dreadful.    Even from the goal it was turned in under no pressure from a Swansea player.   It was a dreadful corner that got us the biggest stroke of luck we have had this season.

Andy Coleman, Paul Watson and Luke Williams have a massive summer ahead of them to generate the recruitment that we need and to get across to so many of our players that wearing the shirt is a privilege that they should put themselves on the line for every game.   But it seems those words fall on deaf ears.

A win is a win but there was nothing pretty or exciting about it.

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

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.

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