One of the most protracted sagas of the summer is finally over and Bafetimbi Gomis left the club for Marseille on a season-long loan. Nearly our entire fanbase is glad to see the back of him in spite of the fact that we now have no recognised striker on our books. But why was Gomis so loathed by the Jack Army? Let’s remind ourselves…
When he arrived in the summer of 2014 most us were quite happy. Rather than sign a foreign nobody on loan as a backup striker we now finally had someone who could offer real competition to our favoured front man at the time, Wilfried Bony.
Early on Gomis found game-time hard to come with Bony bang in form, but when the Ivorian completed a £25m switch to Manchester City the following January, Gomis had his big chance. Instead of being happy that he now had a clear pathway to the first team, he complained on French TV that ‘…it was planned I would play a certain number of games, that wasn’t the case’, adding ‘I have been approached by clubs. Me leaving? It is possible.’
Not a good way at all of endearing yourself to the fans, but in the end he stayed at the club and professed his loyalty to the Swans on transfer deadline day, although he may have been told he wasn’t leaving and decided to make a grovelling apology on twitter to try and build bridges.
In all fairness, once Bafétimbi he got his head down, he went on a good goal-scoring run at the back end of the campaign and looked like he could be a more-than-able replacement for Bony. Some of his goals were crackers, including an acrobatic strike against Hull City and a late chip as the game approached stoppage time.
He continued where he’d left off at the start of the 2015/6 season, with four goals in his first four games. His link-up play with Jonjo Shelvey was becoming a real highlight as they combined at Chelsea to win a penalty as well as for the opening goal against Newcastle at the Liberty. After that fourth game though, that was it. He was caught offside a crazy amount of times in the next fixture of Watford in what was a lethargic display (in truth he wasn’t the only poor player that day) but from then on, he looked a shadow of the player who started the season so well.
That summer he’d been linked with a move to the Middle East and had even said farewell to the squad before the move embarrassingly fell through. Was his good form in August purely because the transfer window was open and he was trying to put himself in the shop window?
It wouldn’t surprise me at all. His lethargic displays continued from September onwards, and he was eventually dropped. Even in the odd substitute appearance his poor form continued. In one game against Watford he was caught offside twice before even touching the ball, absurd even by his standards.
Things came to a head in the home victory over Chelsea. He appeared from the bench late on after Alberto Paloschi had run himself into the ground protecting a slender advantage. All Gomis had to do was the same, we didn’t need a goal, we just needed to preserve what we had. Yet it was obvious he wasn’t trying and the fans in the East Stand were slaughtering him for it. Gylfi Sigurdsson was even seen ranting at him for the same reason. That was the day I knew he had to leave this summer, no matter what.
At Swansea we can forgive players who lack ability when it’s a case that they’re giving their all for the team. Those who have ability but can’t be bothered are not fit to wear the shirt. Our fans would love to play for the club, but nearly all of us are sadly not good enough. To then see someone not appreciating their ability this makes our blood boil.
Put this with his comments in the press about wanting to leave and the impression he only cares about money (why else would you want to go to the Middle East at his age when your country is hosting the Euro’s a year later?) then to answer my question about us being too harsh, the answer is no I don’t think we were in the slightest.
Good riddance, I hope his Marseille move becomes permanent. He’s not coming back here, ever.