After suffering our third consecutive defeat against a trio of top six opposition, some Swansea City fans have been increasingly critical of manager Graham Potter with some fearing the worst this season having slipped down from 8th to 13th position in the Championship.
It would be interesting to hear from those fans – where exactly did you expect us to finish this season after so many player sales in the Summer, very very little money spent to recover from those departures and the reliance on a number of relatively inexperienced under-23 players? Some fans were nervous about a possible Sunderland situation on our hands back in August and so surely we should be pretty satisfied to be in mid-table as we near the halfway point of the season?
The club has made costly mistakes consistently now for 3-4 years and those mistakes just cannot be fixed in just a few months – especially when the club won’t/can’t provide any significant transfer funds to help us recover at a quicker rate. This is a long, difficult project – one that Potter has seemingly signed up for – and I for one hope that he’s dedicated to that and sees it through.
Potter has lost 13 senior players (listed below) and only one player has come in and held down a regular first-team place (Bersant Celina) – although Carter-Vickers looks capable of stepping in when needed.
- OUT: Rangel, Britton, Fabianski, Mesa, Ki, Bartley, Mawson, Amat, Clucas, Fernandez, Borja, A. Ayew, J. Ayew.
- IN: Carter-Vickers, Dhanda, Govea, Asoro, McKay, Celina, John.
You might as well add Narsingh, Dyer, Routledge and Bony to that list too. The latter doesn’t look like he’ll make a worthwhile comeback as yet and the winger trio appear to be on the New Year’s transfer list because they earn too much.
This right here is why we need to be patient with Potter and this squad. I think another manager could have had us in the bottom 3 at this stage. https://t.co/AUUri3K9YG
— Vital Swansea (@VitalSwansea) December 3, 2018
It’s quite clear that this squad – with 8 of the 11 starters last Saturday at Derby aged 23 or younger – need to be developed and this was one of the reasons why Graham Potter was appointed.
I honestly think that if our owners turned their attention elsewhere in their Summer manager search – they could have got it wrong and we’d be struggling in or around the bottom three. I just cannot understand some of the ‘Potter out’ talk that we’ve seen on social media following the loss at Derby. Is it a lack of patience? Are some fans in a rush to return to the Premier League? Do they expect it? I think they need to look at the bigger picture here and understand what Potter is having to deal with at a club that has lost its way – to put it mildly – over the last few years. Those strengths we once had that were a major factor in our promotion to the top flight way back in 2011 won’t be built back up overnight.
I will say this though, some criticism of Graham Potter is fair. He can’t be completely free of criticism. There are times when he doesn’t make things easy for himself. On more than one occasion this season he’s pretty much given the opposition a head start by getting his game-plan and formation wrong, and then having to play catch-up. This is usually involving games where he adopts a back 3 system – which has yet to be effective so far – although it could have at least faired better against West Brom if we were better at defending corners.
Aston Villa was one example of that where a back three didn’t work and it was the same at Derby on Saturday too.
— CroJack (@CroJack2) December 2, 2018
Chris is spot on here with this tweet – no manager can be expected to come in and get us competing for a top 6 place and a push for the playoffs. We do have some quality in the squad there’s no doubt – but there’s little depth – particular in midfield creativity and up front.
Like I tweeted yesterday he needs 3 seasons to sort the mess out not 3 months. He's the only reason we were anywhere near the play offs
— Chris (@davies2107) December 2, 2018
After a tough run of games against top six sides, the Swans now face sides in the bottom half with a trip to Brentford up next on Saturday before hosting Sheffield Wednesday the week after. Hull City away follows on the 22nd before the in-form Aston Villa visit the Liberty on Boxing Day.
Surely we’ve got to aiming for a couple of wins from those four at least to keep our points tally ticking over and to ensure we at least consolidate our mid-table position going into the New Year.