There are often two ways of looking at a Swansea City result, particularly a defeat, you can focus on the positives (if there are any) or mainly the negatives.
There haven’t been many defeats this season where you could focus on only the positives, you’d have to be clutching for the majority of them to find something positive, but Saturday’s heavy 4-1 defeat at Brighton and Hove Albion – one of our closest relegation rivals, has been discussed and analyzed differently by Swansea City fans.
It was a big and disappointing defeat, as we were knocked back down to earth after an excellent run under new boss Carlos Carvalhal.
The main focus after the game was the manager’s choice of substitutions, as early as the 36th minute when he hooked off an ineffective Nathan Dyer for Andre Ayew – to make his second appearance since his deadline day move from West Ham United.
The game pretty much turned on its head midway through the second half, when we conceded two goals in four minutes as Carvalhal went for broke, making his third substitution after just 66 minutes, and three minutes later the game looked out of our reach at 2-0.
Some fans were happy to see a manager being bold and positive, while others – including me – were more disappointed to see us make a third change when we were already looking very vulnerable to the counter-attack, as Brighton took full advantage and exploited the hole in the defence that was left behind when van der Hoorn was taken off at halftime for Luciano Narsingh.
So in terms of glass half full/half empty, the penalty was a soft one after just 18 minutes. Soft because van der Hoorn was clumsy and it was easily an avoidable spot kick.
Glass Half Full Vs Brighton:
Soft Penalty the big changing point and prompted Carvalhal into early and overly risky changes. Still tight at the bottom.
Glass Half Empty:
Tactics badly wrong, some woeful defending and only had 1 shot on target despite having 6 attackers on pitch.
? Vital Swansea #BackToJack (@VitalSwansea) February 25, 2018
Had we kept things goalless at the break, then maybe Carvalhal wouldn’t have felt the need for such reckless and early changes. We’d probably have defended better, rather than showing signs of the Bob Bradley days when their fourth went in.
The early Dyer-Ayew swap was a valid one, van der Hoorn coming off to switch to a back four was bold at the break, but the third sub of Abraham was baffling, to say the least, considering how vulnerable we looked at the time.
Had we avoided the penalty, we might not have changed shape as early as we did, keeping the score within reach and going for it in the final 20-25 minutes as we have done so well in recent wins.
6 attackers on the pitch is in a weird way why we didn’t manage to get much going in the 2nd half and why we went full swiss cheese, midfield was non-existent and switching to a back 4 left us really weak at the back
Tactics were all wrong, hopefully an anomaly
? Jackson (@Jackson_SCFC) February 25, 2018
I could see maybe switching to a back 4, but I thought the really huge mistake was taking Carroll off, Clucas had been anonymous on the wing and was just as anonymous through the middle, Ki is no physical presence either, just not his game
Combination of the two: Swiss cheese
? Jackson (@Jackson_SCFC) February 25, 2018
Being the pessimist that I am it`s the half empty glass I can`t help being drawn to 😬 My worry would be losing to WHU and heads dropping again, and we know what kind of form that brings, as you say. It would be on the players – not CC`s fault. We absolutely must not lose to WHU.
? G (@ghs_1986) February 25, 2018
Glass Half Full: The team has proved over the last 2 months that they`re capable of getting the 3/4 more wins required to stay up.
Glass Half Empty: It`s the same squad (arguably weakest in the last 7 years) with glaring deficiencies that got 12 points in the first 19 games.
? Jack Swan (@jackswan1411) February 25, 2018
Another disappointment was seeing us only creating a single shot on target in the whole game, despite having 6 attackers on the pitch for the final quarter of the game. Ki and Clucas were in the middle, with the two Ayew brothers, Narsingh and Abraham in front of them, and we didn’t really look like getting back in the game. Abraham scored a consolation late on before Brighton added a fourth to really sink us.
The endeavour on display was also lacking and this has to act as a wake-up call as we have some crucial games coming up against fellow strugglers. Increased energy and intensity levels have played a big part in the recent revival under Carvalhal, but it was severely lacking at the Amex this weekend.
How did you see the game? Can/will we stay up despite the 4-1 defeat and setback? Let us know what you thought in the comments below…