From My Seat: Swansea City (A)

I think many who thought a point would be a result would have changed their minds after watching the game as we truly did create many, many chances and we could have expected at least one to be snapped up. It is no wonder that strikers who can consistently take one out of three chances go for the money they do.

Ken Buckley 19/09/2015 31comments  |  Jump to last
Swansea City 0 - 0 Everton

A trip down the spine of Wales to play our only league game outside our own country on a summer like day and we only needed a win to complete a cracking day out. When the teams came through it showed that Coleman and Besic had not made it so youth got its chance in the shape of Browning for Coleman and Naismith kept his place.

Considering the length of our injury list and the experienced players on it and unavailable our bench looked really strong which does point to a good building operation going on, maybe not fast enough for some but this fan is quietly optimistic and pleased. Quite a few we spoke to thought a point would be a good result but my take was that if we really are to have a stab at top four or even five then we need wins at places like these against teams who are showing progress themselves.

With the sun beating down the all- Blues locked horns with the all- Whites and in the first five mins we had two scares. Firstly Montero was getting the better of Browning almost at will then Jags got flattened in the area and stayed down along with the Swansea man after what appeared to be a clash of heads and Jags head seemed more solid than the other fellows who required lengthy treatment but both players recovered and soldiered on. Then our manager became a bit agitated and could be seen waving and pointing as something was not as it should have been, nothing changed so no idea what the problem was until Montero got the ball and found three Everton players hemming him in so he must have called for a helping hand for Browning. Things then settled down and we started to put a few good moves together but were guilty of being a bit lax in final third and allowing Swansea to break on us.

Fifteen minutes gone and we had a spell of you attack we attack which saw Jags head over from a corner and then Barry made his only mistake of the afternoon and misplaced a header and let Gomis in one on one but thankfully he dragged wide, We then showed our joined up style as we cut through Swansea up the middle. Barkley got on the ball and fed Kone who in turn played it to Lukaku who moved it on to Naismith but Lukaku was a bit slow in making the pass and defenders had got back and blocked Naismiths route to goal and the move broke down. Pity that.

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Another scare on twenty-odd minutes when the elegant Stones strode out with the ball and was involved in a 50/50 from which he stayed down holding his knee. To huge relief he resumed after magic sponge treatment. As the half wore on we seemed to be getting a bit of a grip and the ever running Galloway galloped down the left and was tumbled and was awarded a free kick. Barkley found Naismith on the edge and he hit it sweetly and Lukaku. standing six yards out tried to divert it past the keeper but seemed to get little on it and the chance was gone then our second striker Kone was put in after more good work by Barkley but he booted the ball over the bar then another break instigated by Barkley saw him make good ground and feed Lukaku who looked to have a clear chance but by the time he had sorted his feet out and shot the Swans centre-back was in position to deflect it over for a corner that came to nought.

The half was now running down with both teams having bits of attacking play with the Blues shading it but the half at best had been patchy Spells of good football spells of nervy football and spells of promises that came to nought and as that went for both sides it made for an unspectacular half yet one I felt with a little more care we could have broken the deadlock as we did have the better attacking ideas.

Half-time: 0-0 and the chat seemed to be regarding anything but football as people discussed how they had travelled, some made a weekend of it in the Swansea bay area etc. etc. but this soon turned to cheering and singing as we were out for the second half first.

We started with some purpose and within minutes Barkley was in their box and put a low cross in that I am still trying to understand how Kone did not convert, it looked a gimme tap in. Barkley now looks on fire as he raids again and links with the excellent Galloway swapping passes and mesmerising their defenders before playing Galloway in on goal but alas the lad shot well but missed the far post. Really excellent stuff from Barkley.

We are now on top and Barry coolly finds Stones who comes forward elegantly and feeds in Lukaku on goal with a fine pass clear on goal but the big man lifts it over the bar what a chance. Lukaku misses a chance again in our next attack as Naismith and Barkley swop passes a couple of times and then Barkley chips in to Lukaku who can only hit a tame one, on target yes but easily cleared from the line by Williams. We seemed well on top now and a goal looked imminent as we were performing well all over the park. Browning after his shaky start was growing into the game and Montero was not as noticeable now, Galloway was showing up really well for such a young lad with just a few games under his belt if he continues in this vein Baines may well have serious competition.

Just after the hour mark Deulofeu came on for Kone and we hoped his attacking verve and twists and turns could help fashion a goal. Swansea did attack when they could and Gomis got the chance of a shot which he hit with power but straight at Howard who fisted it away but straight to another Swansea man who controlled but was met by a cruncher from Galloway, no foul said the ref but the Swansea man went up in the air and was not best pleased. Passed the seventy minute mark and as I was thinking how on earth we had not scored Deulofeu twisted and turned and got to the byline and put in one of his trademark low fast crosses and it went almost along the goal line and out toward the corner flag with no takers which bemused me even more. Barkley once again sashayed forward and played in Galloway who was now more of a forward than a full back the young man let one fly but a Swansea body deflected the ball over the bar but the resultant corner came to nought.

Its all Everton now and the songs and chants continue to cascade down the terraces and a mighty roar of Everton-Everton Everton rains down in a mighty effort to try and suck one in. Still we create and squander again and again. Naismith swivels in the box and fires wide, the same player is then felled in the box but the ref cocks a deaf un at the appeal. A look at the clock and five to go. I keep my spirits up by recalling all the last minute goals I could think of, grasping and straws came to mind as our umpteenth free kick is cleared from their box. Into time added and Swansea nearly score in a rare raid, expletives were heard as Browning hacked away. Hell we cant lose this now I worried.

The manager in run down the clock mode put on Mirallas for Barkley who got a great send off. Mirallas was on and tracking back made one rash challenge and saw red and was tracking back to the dressing room and all within three minutes. He will miss Reading now as he was surely a starter for that one. Swansea took the free kick for his misdemeanour but fired over the bar. Howard took the goal kick and the Ref blew up. Me and thousands more walked away thinking we threw away two points considering our second half domination which had everything except putting the ball in the net and that is rather important.

MotM Stones, Barry, or Galloway would have got it on many an occasion but today I thought Barkley was our stand-out.

All-in-all, I think many who thought a point would be a result would have changed their minds after watching the game as we truly did create many, many chances and we could have expected at least one to be snapped up. It is no wonder that strikers who can consistently take one out of three chances go for the money they do.

Reading next and I hope Roberto puts out a team to progress as it is about time we did something in this competition. Still to wind up on a positive note despite being unable to score a goal I thought we are looking like a team that can do more than just threaten now and again and become a player near the top of the table. The ingredients are there so if we can just get a consistent mix and the youngsters keep grounded and progressing who knows.

See you soon,
UP THE BLUES

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Reader Comments (31)

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Kieran Kinsella
1 Posted 19/09/2015 at 23:36:59
Ken, I agree that settling for a point isn’t top four mentality. A point is good if we are chasing sixth not fourth. I also agree on Barkley MotM and the runners up. The one thing I’d have done is bring a winger on at half-time cause we had Barkley as our only creative outlet, boldly supported by Galloway. We had nothing down the right.

Deulofeu made me laugh. I coach soccer here and the star kid on another team does twenty step-overs before making a move. I told my kids he’d do that so just ignore him and nick the ball. It worked for my team and it worked for Swansea too. He’s got to figure out a way to become a better team player. Until then I’d stick with Lennon as he’s more solid.

Jay Harris
2 Posted 19/09/2015 at 00:09:19
Another great report, Ken. Can't disagree with anything you said.

I was disappointed with the result but very impressed at how we played.

I thought Browning did well as can be expected but still feel if Coleman had been playing he would have made the difference.

Ciaran Duff
3 Posted 20/09/2015 at 00:44:34
Good report as always Ken. I thought Barkley was great. He has really stepped up a level this year. Also Galloway has developed so much in a few weeks. Jags and Stones immense.

I was also impressed with Del boy. He is a changed player. Far less selfish, creating chances for others and getting back to help defend.

I don’t agree about the Mirallas sub. I think RM was hoping for that one last chance to nick a goal.

Dick Fearon
4 Posted 20/09/2015 at 03:47:40
I agree with your MotM to Barkley. Lukaku was off the pace and, in a surprise to myself and in an uncomplaining sort of way, I wished for him and not Kone to be subbed.

What was very pleasing was the development of our younger players. I saw the ’Babes’ several times and they exuded self-confidence and a work ethic. Galloway and Browning have those attributes in abundance; I would love to be around to see them blossom.

Mark Andersson
5 Posted 20/09/2015 at 05:29:38
I said before the game the performance was more important than the result.

Happy with both a point and the performance. Ross seems to be growing with each game, it was also nice to see him having a go at the ref.

Luksku is disappointing; far from a world class striker. We played to his strengths and he played to his weaknesses. Still, he can only get better.

It’s great to see the defensive side of our game has improved. The team look more confident and will be upset that they didn’t get all 3 points.

So Mirallas has took himself out of the equation for the next 3 games. Stupid challenge. But overall, I am more optimistic about the future, Martinez just might win me back over.

Laurie Hartley
6 Posted 20/09/2015 at 06:10:41
Thanks for you report Ken. I haven’t seen the game yet but it appears that on another day we might have won this comfortably.

Reading between the lines it seems to me you are seeing signs that something good might be happening.

Before the season started, I was concerned about our defence... not now. It seems we have an abundance of good young men, have made a sound acquisition in Funes Mori, and Jags is not only playing well but has stepped up to the plate as captain.

Young Ross Barkley appears to be growing in stature with his new found responsibilities and we have Deulofeu waiting in the wings.

Let’s hope our young striker can find form; if he does, we could be in for a cracker of a season.

Dick (#4), I am bit concerned about your last paragraph; I hope all is well with you.

Peter Mills
7 Posted 20/09/2015 at 08:38:10
Spot on, as usual, Ken.

It’s always nice to hear opposing fans being complimentary about our players, and I heard much praise from the Swansea supporters for Barkley and Stones.

The prospect of having two young centre backs occupying the full back positions was a bit worrying. However, Galloway was excellent, and although Browning struggled occasionally he stuck to his task and came out of the match with credit.

It was disappointing not to get the win our 2nd half performance deserved, but on the day Naismith, Kone and Lukaku were not up to the same standard as the rest of the team.

Jim Bennings
9 Posted 20/09/2015 at 09:10:52
Galloway, Barkley and Stones were immense, in fact most of the team except the attacking players were.

Kone did okay but you never feel there is a goal poacher in him; he holds the ball up okay, better than Lukaku.

Naismith wasn’t at it yesterday and well Rom just leaves me scratching my head, the guys has all the attributes to get 20 league goals, but he just flits in and out of matches and in some games his finishing and overall play is no better than Victor Anichebe’s was but then he’ll put in a performance like at Southampton and it frustrates you.

Yes, he is still learning but he’s got to start doing it in more games than he is at present. I try to think back, did the likes of Rooney or Gerrard have so many "off games" at the age of 21?... I doubt it.

This is a big season for Rom, if we are to get back to challenging top teams we need a striker to score near 18-20 league goals and he’s the most likely candidate so he needs to rise to the challenge himself.

Because whilst it was a decent point yesterday, it’s games like that we will look back on throughout the season and think we should really have converted a draw to a win. The same can’t be allowed to happen at West Brom a week on Monday.

Derek Thomas
10 Posted 20/09/2015 at 09:37:30
Playing two centre-halves for fullbacks is right Peter, though I think Galloway is making a better fist of it than Browning. Sometimes his football brain seemed to go into overload and he was slow working out what his next move was. Yes, he stuck to the physical one-on-one task versus their rated winger.

Also a number of times he was the obvious pass in a potential triangle and if Coleman was there, that’s where the ball would’ve gone and Stones (usually) seemed to think, "Too risky; what’s my 2nd best option?"

Maybe it’s too early to tell, but for me, Galloway looks a FB / CH in the Lescott mould, at the moment Browning does not.

Trevor Peers
11 Posted 20/09/2015 at 09:41:57
We did okay yesterday, plenty of things to be pleased about. Defensively we looked solid and the midfield did its job, the one thing missing, obviously the lack of a goal or two.

Lukaku often doesn’t rise to the occasion so therein the problem lies. Until the goalscoring is spread more evenly amongst the whole team, we will struggle to rise above mediocrity.

Who knows... during the course of the season it may come; I, like most, think we desperately needed an extra striker during the summer, but it didn’t happen. Still, we have improved from last season without a doubt.

Jim Bennings
12 Posted 20/09/2015 at 10:41:55
Trevor,

I agree with you fully and your right 100% about the problem with Lukaku not rising to the occasion enough.

I agree with the opinion of Ronnie Goodlass, I’d love to see Lukaku play the game with more cunning and nastiness, not to the level of being horrible like Costa but when I watch even a guy like Jamie Vardy, the fella plays the game like an enthusiastic fella that plays in the Sunday league but guess what?... A little bit of passion goes a long way and you can’t fault him.

I know it’s just Romelu Lukaku, he is not that type of fella that’s going to really be over enthusiastic and play the game that way but sometimes you need a guy up top like a Charlie Austin or Vardy that will want it that bit more than the defender he’s up against; that could have been the difference yesterday.

I agree, the goals need spreading more but outside Lukaku and Naismith there’s only Mirallas or Barkley that you’d think will score maybe 8 goals.

Deulofeu plays the game as an out-and-out winger so won’t get that many playing too wide, he’s a goal maker rather than taker.

Lennon? Maybe 4 or 5 goals?

Kone just doesn’t look to really have too many in him and, of course, how many will he play over the entirety of the season?

Ray Roche
13 Posted 20/09/2015 at 11:15:07
Derek (#10),

To be fair, as you say, Browning was taking on the in-form winger yesterday, but it’s also worth noting that Galloway had little defending to do in comparison and this allowed him to get forward much more. Browning would be getting pelted on here if he’d gone forward and allowed Montero a run at goal.

Very good performance over all, but woeful up front again.

Jon Withey
14 Posted 20/09/2015 at 11:58:37
It was Browning's first start; if he can cope in the Premier League then it has got to be seen as an academy success. Let’s hope he continues to improve.

I’m glad Martinez makes the effort to build the confidence of the youngsters, they’ll probably get slaughtered for an off-game by just about everybody else!

I'm especially happy for Barkley, Galloway, Stones, Jagielka and Howard for managing to find some consistency again.

Was Mirallas being competitive or did he fancy 3 games off? I hope it’s the former anyway. Luckily, with Lennon and Deulofeu we aren’t exactly struggling for wingers.

I agree that, minus the injuries, it seems like a strong squad. It would be great to be able to put Aguero and Silva on, but, you know.

Mike Childs
15 Posted 20/09/2015 at 13:47:47
I too am bothered by your last statement, Dick F.

Thanks for the report, Ken. As a Saturday worker now, I missed the game and for some reason NBC didn’t offer it in its replay list. I watched the Stoke - Leicester match on replay. Still cursing myself for not taking Vardy for my fantasy team.

Dave Abrahams
16 Posted 20/09/2015 at 14:13:43
I didn’t see the game, only on MotD, so thanks for the usual very good report, Ken. I hope you are right in thinking Martinez is shaping a team that can go places.

Lukaku is one of the most frustrating players to watch: he can’t be working on his close control, I doubt if he’ll ever improve that. Should he have been replaced rather than Kone say?

Oh for another striker... maybe the lad from Uruguay has got the poacher's instinct in him and can produce the goals to win matches, starting on Tuesday at Reading.

Kenneth Jones
17 Posted 20/09/2015 at 14:47:51
I blame Martinez for the sending off. Mirallas was humiliated, bringing him on in injury time. What did he expect him to do in that short time? Mirallas is Everton's best player and he does not play him.
Peter Norris
18 Posted 20/09/2015 at 15:03:00
Kenneth. Totally disagree. The only fault 100% lies with Kevin Mirallas. He is a professional and whether he feels frustrated or not he owes it to his teammates and the long-suffering fans to pay his part for the team, whether it be 90 minutes or 90 seconds. How has Martinez "humiliated" him? He asked him to go on the pitch and do what he is paid very well for.
Shane Corcoran
19 Posted 20/09/2015 at 15:03:38
I assume that comment is tongue in cheek, Kenneth?

Mirallas is Everton’s best player? By that logic (if you were serious) any player that feels he should be starting needs to be given... how much time exactly.? Or else, he will do something stupid out of frustration?

Ajay Gopal
20 Posted 20/09/2015 at 15:13:21
Thank you, Ken. Looks like there was a nice atmosphere for the match. The crowd also seemed very sportive (from a TV viewers perspective) and generally appreciated good play from both sides, I thought.

I just got to see the 2nd half, and I agree that Ross was ’The Boss’. I am really glad that we didn’t get a ’No 10’ — that would have stunted his development. Having said that, maybe Yarmolenko would be a step-up from Kone.

Kone is a good trier, but things are not going his way. Last week's goal-bound effort which produced a world class save from Begovic and yesterday Barkley’s peach of a cross which got his legs entangled.

I agreed with the commentator: so many of Swansea's players had off-days: Shelvey, Ayew, Sigurdsson... because Everton’s midfield did not allow them to play. Three clean sheets out of six is quite good and the Stones - Jagielka pairing had a big part to play in that. On the other hand, it is also three games out of six that we have failed to score!

Vinny Garstrokes
21 Posted 20/09/2015 at 17:02:11
It certainly looks like we have got a squad this season and the issue for the manager may be how to continue to stroke the egos within it to ensure they stick with the programme.

I thought RM’s nod to Ashley Williams in the post match interview (although he didn’t mention him by name) particularly interesting. I wonder if he is going to be on his shopping list come January.

Brin Williams
22 Posted 20/09/2015 at 18:20:36
I seem to remember reading somewhere, when Lukaku was on loan to us, how he spent time studying the finer points of the game of football and how he studied his top players to learn how they approached the game.

It became apparent at that time that he was not alone, Chelsea also thought he needed to improve and found a willing buyer (who said mug) in the guise of Eventon FC.

Whether that time spent studying his idols will eventually pay off and he matures into something worthwhile, or whether he should now get his head out of all those books and videos and start getting his arse into gear, remains to be seen.

I for one would like to see him emulate something in the Andy Gray mode and get stuck in; otherwise, cash in.

Dave Ganley
23 Posted 20/09/2015 at 19:51:04
Love your reports, Ken, very bright and entertaining, thanks.

Well, I have to say that, after going into the season very pessimistic, I am now starting to see seeds of optimism coming out of me. It appears that Martinez has learned a few lessons and got the defence into a good functioning unit and the attack seems to be more cohesive with a cutting edge.

We followed up the good Chelsea result with a good performance and were unlucky not to come away with the win. Whilst it is disappointing not to win, the fact that we had great chances and should have won augers well for the weeks ahead.

Reading then West Brom shouldn’t hold any fears for us so long as we put in the same effort and performances as the last couple of weeks and then we can go into the derby on a high.

Hope springs eternal, COYB

Peter Cummings
24 Posted 20/09/2015 at 20:10:37
Agree with all of the comments made on the site: a good performance ruined by abysmal finishing, especially by Lukaku and Kone.

We seem to think we can walk the ball into the net at times with few of our shots on goal coming from outside the area. If Barkley can find a space, few goalies could stop one of his blockbusters from distance; let's hope we get it together on Tuesday.

Just a note to the powers that be at Goodison: we have a kid here at Toronto FC who is a goalscoring machine as well as a little genius on the ball; his name is Sebastian Geovinco and he has already scored 19 goals including 3 hat-tricks in the much shorter MLS season so far. Well worth a look/trial.

Craig Harrison
25 Posted 20/09/2015 at 21:29:02
Except that we couldn’t afford him as he making around US$10 million per year.
James Flynn
26 Posted 20/09/2015 at 22:18:38
Peter - It would be fun having him, but never happen. Mainly, because of what Craig says. Gio is earning more than every player in Serie A, where he came from.

Besides, he's not a kid. Been playing in Italy for years.

Damn fun to watch, though.

19 goals and 14 assists, so far.

Jim Hardin
27 Posted 21/09/2015 at 03:10:33
Peter, dead on about Sebastian. He is a treat to watch. Wish he played for the Crew though.
Craig Harrison
28 Posted 21/09/2015 at 12:31:00
Check out http://youtu.be/KfQi696m9X0 for an idea of what he can do. And I know it’s only MLS but his goal scoring per game is phenomenal. He also had a decent record in Italy for Juventus.
Pete Edwards
29 Posted 21/09/2015 at 12:59:35
Blimey some strange comments on here! Browning slow thinking about his next move..... I take it you didnt watch much of the game as he played very well and when taking in to account it was his first PL start and against a winger who has had every other right back he's faced this season on toast.. staggering.
Mirallas humiliated.... please, he did that for himself, the guy is meant to be a professional footballer not a petulant kid who has seen their arse because he can't get in the team at u11's or any other junior age group!
Julian Wait
30 Posted 21/09/2015 at 15:49:57
Mirallas only has himself to blame. He knew exactly what he was doing. He has done it before as well. Personally I am losing patience with him, no matter how good he can seem sometimes.
Tony Waring
31 Posted 21/09/2015 at 16:44:04
I've only seen the Mirallas incident once but it was fairly obvious to me that initially he retracted his leg/foot in the process of tackling his man but momentum - naturally - ended with him striking the other guy's leg. That sounds a very contorted statement but I think you know what I'm trying to say ! Anyone else agree with that assessment ?
Peter Mills
32 Posted 21/09/2015 at 20:38:04
I haven’t seen a replay of the incident, and didn’t have the best view of it in the stadium. However, I was sitting amongst Swansea supporters, whose reaction to any perceived foul play was pretty hysterical all afternoon.

There was not much uproar at the foul by Mirallas, and a general air of surprise at the red card. Surely that says something?


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