Swansea City fans will like the sound of what Michael Laudrup has been saying lately, as he echoes some of last season’s frustrations – our ‘over passing’ amongst the defence in our own half of the pitch and our difficulty sometimes in converting possession into goals.
Not only that, but also our tendency of winning the possession stats week in week out, but losing out on the all-important goals figure.
|‘For me, possession is to keep the ball while you are waiting for the possibility to penetrate. Every pass is for a reason.’
Whilst you can’t have too many complaints at all about our attractive football in our debut Premier League season last year, many fans were left frustrated sometimes over our lack of attacking direction – the habit of over-passing it amongst the defence and failing to convert possession into goals. Plus, the lack of a backup plan when things go wrong.
Michael Laudrup has talked about all of those points in recent weeks.
Former manager Brendan Rodgers, who now faces the difficult task in implementing Swansea’s passing style at Liverpool, was always encouraged and pleased with the amount of possession we’d have in games, usually close to the 60% mark – but sometimes would ignore the fact that we’d lose out on the all-important goals scored.
This seems like something we won’t hear from Laudrup this season – that is – finding positives from a dominant, but losing performance, where we might have achieved 60% possession but returned with fewer goals than the opposition.
Talking about possession and passes amongst the back four, Laudrup told the Guardian that every pass is ‘for a reason’:
‘When I see a game on the television, and you see afterwards ‘possession percentage 60-40’, that doesn’t say anything for me because it could be that one team is playing the ball between the back four 120 times.
It’s the same as when someone says, ‘Look, one of the central defenders had 98% good passes’. Yeah, but it was from here to there [five yards apart].
For me, possession is to keep the ball while you are waiting for the possibility to penetrate. Every pass is for a reason.’
Brendan Rodgers was also adamant that they didn’t need to change their style during the season, as he approached every game the same. Having said that, he did admit that he would need to make slight changes to lose the risk of becoming predictable.
Laudrup has previously said his team will need a plan b and c – to find alternatives for both home and away games.
‘Everyone knows the philosophy at Swansea ? we want to keep possession ? and that is one thing,’
‘But we have to realise that this year Swansea are not the new, up-and-coming team.
‘Now everybody knows Swansea, so we need alternatives in some games both at home and away.’
‘We need a plan B and also a plan C sometimes.
‘We will use our time in pre-season to talk about those special situations.’
Michael Laudrup seems to be saying all the right things at the moment, and following a fantastic 5-0 thrashing win at QPR, so far he seems to be doing his talking on the pitch – which of course we all like to see. It’s a common cliche – it’s a marathon and not a sprint, but it’s an exciting and promising start nonetheless.
Lets hope we can keep it going and deliver another winning performance at home against West Ham United on Saturday.