Merry Christmas Swansea! Swansea 2-0 Fulham

Here! Have some points!

It’s easy to sit here and criticise, of course.

So here goes.

Why on earth did we sit back and (seemingly) play for a 0-0 draw against a fragile team who – let’s face it – we match up very well against?

When Swansea scored (a fluke, but a fluke that was absolutelydeserved) Fulham woke up and attacked, and for half an hour gave Swansea a relative pasting. We might have had 2-3 in that period, so hard were Swansea finding it to get any kind of momentum back. We spread the play well down the flanks (Kelly and Riise both helping out), we manipulated the ball well in the approach to the penalty area, and did everything but score (an exaggeration).

Chances, chances, chances. Michael Vorm saved a few, we missed a few.  They weren’t great chances, but Fulham’s play went from 10mph to 80mph in a jiffy. No wonder they looked a bit bewildered in the final third: changing speeds that dramatically is hard to do and not generally to be recommended.

Then of course we did find a breakthrough.  Kerim Frei wiggled into the area and got himself upended, resulting in the penalty kick required to bring about justice and a point.

Who steps up? Clint Dempsey. Last seen in this position making a hero of Petr Cech. Vorm – after a fairly unsporting delay – made the most of Dempsey’s indecision and saved well.

Thus making a villain of our best player. Dempsey, of course, was keen to take the kick because he’d already contributed an own goal to Swansea’s cause. He was the senior man out there and certainly isn’t a terrible choice as a penalty taker, but John Arne Riise or even Andy Johnson might have been more sensible takers. All of which is to second-guess(what a misused phrase that has become) rather more than is helpful.

But still…

Swansea are a pleasant enough side, a really good side to be fair, but just as we always play well against Arsenal, we should have been looking to knock the stuffing out of a passing team not known for the sort of ruggedness that usually undoes us. Swansea didn’t monopolise possession, did defend quite well, but we really didn’t test them at all until that first goal.

I’ve been calm enough this season, ups and downs treated as the imposters they presumably are, but this defeat just felt wasteful. Our approach was too negative, our play a little jaded. We looked fantastic when chasing the game, all kinds of neat buildup, but it was too late. Swansea scored another with a near post volley from a corner. (!)

All of which raises questions about the state of the team. Away defeats are par for the course and we have to learn to play without our senior men, but this was a stupid, stupid defeat. That we threw away the late chance to make things okay (as against Everton) makes things even more frustrating.

(kicks the cat* and stomps off)

*there is no cat, and if there was, I wouldn’t kick it.

12 thoughts on “Merry Christmas Swansea! Swansea 2-0 Fulham

  1. Have to say as a Swansea fan that is an accurate summary of the game, when you came at us we were like headless chickens but it did look like you came for a point which is a bit strange after beating Liverpool midweek.

    Still thanks for that,

  2. As a swansea fan I must say I have always had a soft spot for Fulham (today apart of course) We played possession football in the first half and dominated possession but after we scored we did what we always seem to do sit back and soak up the pressure which allowed Fulham to take the momentum and to be fair they deserved to score during that period. As teams press and force us back we are always capable of scoring on the break which we did again today. We deserved to win it even if only for the fact that Fulham to my surprise sat back for the whole of the first half showing very little enterprise.

  3. This season will be the end of me.

    The only thing that’s keeping me sane about yesterday was the fact that Simon Davies started at center-mid.

    The injury bug going around is woefully underreported.

      1. Um, how about our two starting CM’s out indefinitely, Duff’s calf issue, Hughes’ consistent injuries/lack of fitness all season, Grygera’s season-ender, Davies and Sa just returning, and then add whatever the hell is ever going on with Baird and Zamora.

        It’s not a CRISIS but simon davies started at CM. What, was Bocanegra not available to fill in?

        1. Ah, good point. Sidwell’s nearly back though, Murphy’ll play next week, Hughes and Grygera’s true, and Baird seems to be a personal issue. Davies yes, Zamora who knows?

          Thing is, a lot of us have wanted Davies at CM for a while so that’s not necessarily terrible. but you’re right, I hadn’t really considered all this.

  4. are you going to do your average age thing? That would be quite useful given current situation. If Jol’s teams have been x years younger then tehre’s some evidence of what he’s doing I guess.

  5. Will we ever, and I mean EVER, start an away game with an intensity approaching that of Liverpool at the the Cottage last Monday?

    Away game after away game we coast through the first half, seemingly delighted the longer the score stays at 0-0. Considering the talent our forwards possess it’s a crazy attitude, and not only don’t I understand it I’m completely fed up with it. I wonder what Fayed makes of it?

  6. Disappoimting result to say the least. And Dempsey hits his penalty exactly the same way as the one that Cech saved last year at the Cottage. Very frustrating.

    1. It went where penalties go when there isn’t much of a plan, eh?

      The good penalty takers know where they’re going to put their kicks and do so.

      Clint seems to be caught between the notion of blasting and placing and doing neither.

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