Friday, 30 December 2016

Rival Lines: Squad improvements needed, says Swansea Oh Swansea

Rival Lines
Blogger Interview
Swansea v AFCB
28 December 2016
Twitter: @StevenSoS1987

This week, I had the chance to grab a few words with the Swansea Oh Swansea Fanzine ahead of AFCB's game with the Swans who have been wondering if they can get out of the bottom three. It's been a strange last couple of years for the Welsh side and losing some of their big hitters has weakened their squad. With a new American manager and owners I wonder if Swansea City are losing their identity and worse still losing their fans.

CC: Is Bob Bradley the right man for the job at Swansea City? (this question was set pre-Bob Bradley's sacking this week)

SOS: No way is he the man for us, but sadly we’re stuck with him. He doesn’t suit us at all and we’ve got worse since he took over. There’s a lot wrong at the club at the moment and to be fair a lot of it isn’t his fault either. However he’s completely out of his depth and if we want to stay up someone else needs to come in. [Ed- Gary Rowett and Paul Clement are the front runners for the job at the moment.]

CCDo you think the whole American ownership of the club has backfired?

SOS: At this stage there can be no doubt it has. Sadly, the previous regime took their eye of the ball and put their own financial gain above the club’s needs. The transfer window last summer was awful as we lost likes of Ashley Williams and Andre Ayew and didn’t replace them. We needed to improve the squad after a mediocre campaign last time around and they failed to put any money up for transfers so as a result we are struggling.


CCAre Swansea City fans still very optimistic of ending the season outside of the bottom three?

SOS: Most think we’re in real trouble. The one saving grace if we’re not cut out from the pack above us just yet and the transfer window does open shortly so reinforcements could bolster our chances though. Many though don’t believe the board will make enough money available to sort this mess out and even if they do we also don’t trust them to sign the right players either.

CCAre there any targets that you have heard about that could come to Swansea in January and are there any strikers you would personally like to see at the club to help you stay up?

SOS: We’ve been linked to a few, winger Luciano Narsingh from PSV is one and he would probably be an upgrade on what we’ve got. Our wingers are so bad it’s crazy, between them they’ve only had a couple of assists this season. Up front I actually think we’re not bad, Fernando Llorente and Borja Baston as both proven strikers, but without service what can they do? Elsewhere we must improve defensively, we’re an absolute shambles in that area. Ideally, we need a centre back and full back on each side which is asking a lot in one window. I’d like another midfielder too to be honest so there’s a lot of work to do in January.

CCThe Crystal Palace game was a rare highlight but it could have been disastrous. Have you lost the momentum from that win and the win against Sunderland? 

SOS: Palace was just a bonkers game really, the kind that happens about once a decade. At 3-1 up I'm thinking we’ll win comfortably, 3-2 I’m worried, 3-3 convinced we’ll lose, then 3-4 I want to leave as I’m fuming. Then we somehow score twice to win 5-4. I wasn’t convinced it was a turning point, because it was such a bizarre game. I was more hopeful after Sunderland as we actually played well, especially in the second half. But then were awful at West Brom and Middlesbrough so now it looks like a one off sadly.

CCDo you feel the club needs a leader, a big captain like you had with Ashley Williams?

SOS: Yes he’s been missed hugely, not just for the fact he was a great defender but he was a real leader. It was obvious once he left his were huge boots to fill, but as usual we did it on the cheap with Alfie Mawson from Barnsley. I think in the long term he might be good, but we needed someone proven to replace such a huge figure for us.

CCIs there any player that you don't want to see go in January or would the money be good to get some new signings in?

SOS: There should be money there without having to sell anyone we need. We made a profit on transfers this summer in spite of the new bumper TV deal so if anyone goes they need to be because we want them out. If someone like Gylfi Sigurdsson left then we may as well throw in the towel. We’d probably have only single figure points if it wasn’t for him.

CCCan you get something against AFC Bournemouth who have only had one win on the road?

SOS: We have to target games like this to win. It’s a winnable game on paper but I’m not convinced it’ll be won. If you play like you did at the Liberty last year we’ve got no chance. You battered us to be fair and reminded me of when we first came into this division – not many star names on paper, but a clear philosophy which is very easy on the eye and everyone pulling in the same direction for one of the brightest young managers in the game. How I long to go back to those days.

CC: What do you expect to be your starting line up for the game?

SOS: Bradley is notoriously unpredictable, likes to make changes so he may do here. I’ll guess Fabianski, Naughton, Amat, Van Der Hoorn, Taylor, Fulton, Cork, Barrow, Sigurdsson, Routledge, Llorente.

CC: Many thanks for the Swansea Oh Swansea Fanzine. I have also answers a coupe of questions for the fanzine which you may see this weekend. Both teams really need a win to halt their bad runs and this could be quite an open game. The change of manager for Swansea will see a chance for them to change their attitudes to a more positive frame of mind, so AFCB have to try and give Swansea City something to worry about early on - a few shots in the first 10-15 minutes will be what AFCB fans will hope to see and a dominant performance against a bottom three side. UTCIAD! 

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