If you’re not seriously alarmed by the form of Swansea City at the moment then you definitely should be. Two points from the last ten games isn’t just relegation form, its complete humiliation. This club looks in serious danger of sliding into the Championship with a whimper and arresting that slide looks a mighty task.
Bob Bradley has had four games in charge since replacing Francesco Guidolin and being brutally honest we probably look worse now than under the Italian. Although the former Udinese manager had his faults he did at least have an idea of how he wanted to play and was fairly consistent with team selection and tactics.
Under Bradley it’s very difficult to tell what on earth we are trying to do and he looks out of his depth thus far. He’s made at least three changes for every game under his stewardship which has included changing the left back in every single match. He’s tried various formations and played players out of position and it just looks like an enormous mess. Fer and Ki in the middle at Stoke is a good example, that was never going to work in a million years, who was going to protect the back four?
While it can be nice to see a manager with the bottle to drop under performing players there does need to be a degree of consistency as well. The players look very confused and are bereft of any confidence at the moment and none of this is helping us.
In my opinion Bradley now needs to go back to the style of football we’ve been used to, as well as deciding on a starting eleven that will remain the same for the next three or four games to see if that can give the players more of an understanding and confidence. I’ve seen more long balls recently than for over a decade and it just doesn’t suit us.
Mike van Der Hoorn is the kingpin of this and he needs to be dropped immediately unless he can cut this from his game.
It’s very difficult to tell what our best eleven is at the moment but when pushed for an answer I would probably say it’s Fabianski, Naughton, Amat, Mawson, Kingsley, Britton, Ki, Barrow, Sigurdsson, Montero, Baston. I’m sure many will think our best eleven is a bit different and to be honest who really knows? We’ve been so poor that you can argue several players aren’t worthy of the shirt.
However what can’t be argued is that Gylfi Sigurdsson is our best player and shunting him out to the wing as what happened against Manchester United is most certainly not the way to get us back on track. We need him in that number ten position behind Fernando Llorente or Borja Baston, hopefully feeding them opportunities which have so far been few and far between.
If we can get some consistency with selection and tactics then hopefully the players will gain more of an understanding of the game plan, and confidence will improve which will hopefully lead to performances results. The key for me now is that we need to see these improvements by the time Sunderland visit us on 10th December. That is the start of a run of games that are more winnable and that spell looks season defining to me.
If we can pick up a reasonable haul of the points from the five games up until the New Year and bring two or three players to the club during the transfer window then we may have a chance of escaping the drop. Fail to do so and the writing looks on the wall. Over to you Bob.