Swansea City kicked off their 2018 Summer Tour of Germany and Austria with two 60-minute games played almost back-to-back, beginning with a game against Genoa before facing FC Magdeburg earlier this afternoon.
Because the games we part of a cup competition, they were both decided by a penalty shootout after they finished 1-1 and 0-0 respectively.
Graham Potter named his first line-up which looked like a 4-2-4 as it was difficult to work out at times who the central attacker was. Nathan Dyer rotated between 3 roles, playing wide right and supporting the lively Joel Assoro, operating deep in midfield to assist Carroll and Fulton and then playing as a central attacker when the ball was in the attacking third.
There were many occasions when our shape looked like this:
Naughton, van der Hoorn, Amat, Grimes
Asoro, Dyer, Dhanda, Narsingh.
Oli McBurnie at the restart and we then looked like a more traditional 4-2-3-1, with Dhanda as the central attacker behind the lone striker.
The first 30 minutes of the four across the two games was probably our best spell. We dominated large spells of possession but without a recognised striker and a target man through the middle, it wasn’t a surprise that we barely created any clear-cut chances.
Our best hopes of creating something in front of goal came from Joel Asoro down the right. He was very lively and it always looked like something would happen when he was in possession. He made going past defenders look easy, one-touch past his marker and he was gone thanks to his lightning pace. Yan Dhanda was also impressive and you can’t imagine that he’ll be playing in the under-23s for long, if at all next season.
At the back, Matt Grimes will probably be disappointed again to have to fill in at left back, but with Olsson’s return delayed due to the World Cup and no other recognised left-back available, he might have to do so again.
The centre-back pairing of Jordi Amat and Mike van der Hoorn weren’t troubled until the second half when they – along with Jay Fulton were completely caught out with a ball over their heads, and Piatek finished well past Mulder.
Genoa upped their game and it was the Italian side that took over and controlled proceedings. They were the side that looked like scoring and had missed a couple of chances before their opener. The Swans were on the back foot and were heading for defeat until Joel Asoro got to the by-line yet again and lifted up an inviting cross for McBurnie who found the back of the net.
???? | "Ohhh Oli McBurnie!"
— Swansea City AFC (@SwansOfficial) July 21, 2018
The penalty shoot-out followed and the less said about them the better. Kyle Naughton and Jordi Amat missed their attempts as Genoa won it 4-3.
Another friendly where Graham Potter continues to experiment with tactical ideas as well as simply giving the players game-time and a chance to improve their fitness. Not the most positive of afternoon outings, but that’s mainly down to a lack of options available to our new manager. He’s having to put Matt Grimes at left-back and decided not to start McBurnie up front in the first game, leaving no other striker options available until the second game when both Ayew brothers started.
The positives were mainly Asoro and Dhanda, but also Potter’s obvious desire to get his team playing positively and on the front foot. The attacking quartet was an interesting idea in the first 30 minutes, but you can’t ignore our on-going lack of strength in depth.
Lots of work to do and gaps in the squad reinforced, in particular up front and in CM. Like what Potter is doing from a stylistic point of view, but he needs the quality in the squad to play that way. #swans #SwanseaCity @SwansOfficial
— Gareth Thomas (@musicgareth) July 21, 2018
A good run out in the end. And a few caught the eye. But we’re asking a hell of a lot from some of the under 21s. There’s a few that will struggle to step up. That’s not me having a go at them, that’s just how it is.But It’s clear we really need to spend some money! #Swans
— Daniel James (@DanielJJames2) July 21, 2018
Positives – McBurnie, Dhanda, Asoro, Rodon, Harries, Fulton and seeing Montero play again. Jordan Ayew shushing The crowd. Nordfeldt. Amat and VDH solid.
Negatives – Routledge, Andre Ayew and Grimes.
— Tom Powell (@tom_powell06) July 21, 2018
Friendlies are what they are but if the window closes without 2 CM of quality added and a minimum of one striker then we will be in big trouble.
— Ian Roberts (@ianroberts52) July 21, 2018
Got to feel sorry for Potter. He has such a hard task ahead of him. Our problems won’t just go away over night because they weren’t created over night. He’ll need plenty of time and some decent finances. But he’ll be lucky if he gets one of those from this board, unfortunately.
— G (@ghs_1986) July 21, 2018