Date: 7th September 2007 at 5:52pm
Written by:

I raised a topic in our forum today about the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy competition, asking fans if they wanted us to do well in this cup or would they prefer the Swans to solely concentrate on the League.

Kenny Jackett led us to a victory in the Trophy final two years ago at the Millennium Stadium, and while I would love a trip to the new Wembley, I think the 6-player rule could hinder our progress.

The rule means that clubs must start at least 6 first-team players. This rule is trying to avoid the competition from being devalued by clubs not taking the cup seriously and naming reserve sides. But I think it’s having a negative effect on the clubs participating.

I honestly think that we are one of the favourites to win it, along with Leeds, Doncaster and Yeovil. But I think we’d have a better chance of winning it if this rule wasn’t in place. We have a large squad here and we have a number of players who are capable of challenging for a regular first team place, which enables us to name a strong second-string side.

As Martinez stated after our first round win, cup games are useful to test non-first-teamers, youngsters and players just coming back from injury. But the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy doesn’t give us the opportunity to do this.

If we continue to progress in this Trophy then our first teamers will be playing more games, we’ll pick up more injuries which could affect our League progress.

If we didn’t have this rule, I think Martinez would be looking to win this competition a lot more than he maybe is now. As we’ve seen in the Carling Cup, we can field a decent second/reserves side that is competitive against stiff opposition, Premiership side Reading being an example.

Players like Guillem Bauza, Andrea Orlandi, Paul Anderson and Joe Allen need to be playing regularly in my opinion. Bauza has arrived from Spain and will not enjoy doing nothing sitting on a subs bench, just like the rest of the squad.

The same goes for the others. Paul Anderson has huge potential arriving from Liverpool, and Benitez will want the youngster to be picking up League experience with us during his loan.

Andrea Orlandi is another new signing from Spain. The cup is a great opportunity to see how our new signings are fitting in within the squad but as it stands we have no chance to do this.

Joe Allen has been excellent for us in the Carling Cup and the 17 year-old clearly has huge potential. He’s not ready to play regularly in the League just yet but cup games with a Swansea senior side will only help him develop and and improve his chances of making his full League debut. He’s playing for the Wales squad but he also needs to be playing games amongst his Swansea team mates.

Although I’d like to see reach the final at Wembley, I wouldn’t be bothered if we lose in the next round. The league is our absolute top priority this season and progress in the JPT could hinder our chances of promotion. However, my views would be different if the 6-player rule wasn’t in place. First teamers could be rested, we could progress through the competition trying to reach the final and avoid our most important players picking up injuries.

Views from our forum:

We have a big squad compare to many teams in the divison & there are a lot of players that need games, but we’ll only be able to play a few of them. Craney, Allen, Butler, Amankwaah, Knight, Bauza, MacDonald and i suppose you could include O’Leary & Anderson in that list of non-regulars too. All those players could do with games yet we can only play 5 of them. If Feeney & Orlandi were available they’d probably be in that group aswell & we couldn’t have played them…..
Murton_Jack

I don’t agree with the rules being able to dictate who we should be able to pick. Like you said MJ we have a big squad and everybody needs as much game time as they can possibly get. This is interferring too much with team selections and they should just get rid of this rule.
jack hammers

whoever put this into place, probably the football league, mean good but have got this completely wrong. they are trying to raise the profile by getting teams to play more of their first team regulars, but if, like tonight, teams start substituting after just 10 minutes then the competition will become more of a laughing stock anyway. but what i don’t understand, is how a first team regular is determined, for example, how many games do they need to play, and how do teams get punished if they don’t pick six first team regulars.
Burdett

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