Our player review piece continues and today we look at how the defenders fared.
Over the last couple of years Rangel has started to look a little bit shaky but has never found his place in the team under threat due to the back-up options not being at the required standard. However the arrival of Kyle Naughton has restricted his appearances since the turn of the year. Rangel’s main problem for me is that he can be caught out of position on occasions and due to his excellent understanding with Nathan Dyer on the right flank finds it trickier to link up when he isn’t playing. Despite him no longer being first choice there’s no reason to think he’ll be on the move anytime soon
Best moment – Making Sergio Aguero look stupid after feigning injury at Man City
Worst moment – West Ham away, a very bad off day
One of a few recruits in the transfer window, Naughton has made a good start to his Swansea career. He dislodged Rangel at the start of the February but a nasty injury picked up in the home win over Hull City ended his season abruptly. Naughton returned for the final game of the campaign at Crystal Palace and will be hoping to hit the ground running when the new season starts in August.
Best moment – Signing for us
Worst moment – The injury v Hull
The Swans and Wales skipper has once again been on top form this term and looks considerably happier than he did during the latter part of Michael Laudrup’s reign. As ever his leadership qualities have been immense along with his tackling and reading of the game and his partnership with Federico Fernandez has to be considered one of the most reliable in the Premier League. Has been a key part of the defence which has kept 13 clean sheets this term and was once again in the running for player of the year.
Best moment – Immense display in the win at Southampton
Worst moment – The 0-5 defeat by Chelsea
After arriving for the second highest transfer fee in our history there was big pressure on the Argentine defender and he hasn’t disappointed. After a tricky baptism of fire in the second half at Chelsea on his league debut he has looked very assured and composed alongside Williams and is a big upgrade on the at times calamitous Chico Flores. His timing of tackles is immense and he has continued to get better as the season has progressed. All he has to do now is start contributing a couple of goals from set pieces at the other end.
Best moment – Amazing tackle on Christian Benteke when he was in on goal at Villa Park
Worst moment – Being on the wrong end of a refereeing howler at Anfield in the League Cup
It all started so well for Amat. He was chosen to start the season by Garry Monk and after three wins from three and only conceding one goal was looking set for his first prolonged run at centre back since his arrival 12 months previously. However injury in the next game at Chelsea curtailed his progress and once he’d recovered from his spell on the sidelines Fernandez was now the manager’s first choice. Since then he has had to make do with appearances in the cups and will rightly feel as if he’s been a tad unlucky this term. Having recently inked a contract extension he will be hoping to have more luck in 2015/6.
Best moment – Starting and winning at Old Trafford
Worst moment – Being forced off with an injury at Stamford Bridge.
Having been deemed surplus to requirements by Laudrup, Bartley was given a second chance to forge a successful career by Monk once he took the reins. He was given an opportunity to impress when injury forced Fernandez out of the side for the visit of Arsenal in November and he duly took it. He then began a run of seven successive league starts in which he mainly excelled although he did struggle to deal with Andy Carroll on a bad day at West Ham in December. But his worst moment came when he was sent off for a clumsy foul at Blackburn in the FA Cup which contributed to our exit. In truth Bartley has done a reasonable job, but has to step it up if he wants to become a regular.
Best moment – Starting the win over Arsenal
Worst moment – Red card at Blackburn
The Welsh international had looked set to leave the Liberty last summer in search of regular first team football but after Ben Davies left for Spurs he regained the left back berth on a regular basis. It took him a while to get up to speed in all honesty but as the season has progressed there’s no doubt he has returned to similar form as before his nasty injury. He does need to be pushed more though as he retained his place in the side earlier in the year mainly down to there being no good competition for his place which needs to be addressed over the summer.
Best moment – Regaining his place in the team
Worst moment – Newcastle at home where both goals were conceded from his side
He made his debut for the club over half a decade ago now and in truth he isn’t up to the required standard for the Premier League. He gives his all but unfortunately he’s he’s not quite good enough as shown by a few shaky performances including recently when he came on as a sub at Arsenal. At 24 he now needs to be playing regular football and a move to Fulham where he recently had a loan spell would be a good move for him to kick start his career. I wish him all the best but it’s time for him to go.
Best moment – Assist for Bafetimbi Gomis v Manchester City
Worst moment – Giving the ball away which lead to Spurs scoring a late winner at the Liberty
The Ballon D’or elect for 2015 I hear you say? There’s very little to say here other than he’s completely out of his depth but Garry Monk surely already knows this as he’s very rarely featured all term. In one of his starts we were trounced 0-5 by Chelsea which does nothing to help improve my opinion of him although most of the team were awful that day. Michael Laudrup royally screwed us over here. He still has a year to run so we could well be stuck with him for another 12 months.
Best moment – Joining Middlesbrough on loan
Worst moment – Being sent back by the same club as he wasn’t needed