Blues go down 3-0 at Swansea, leaving Andy Munro disappointed.
We know it’s work in progress but it would be nice to see a sign of the latter which certainly wasn’t on show at the Liberty Stadium.
In truth, we were never at the races and with Blues only having about 25% of the play, we can’t complain. It was hardly a statistic to satisfy Chairman Dong’s aim of expansive football, particularly when our most effective route into the penalty area was Robert’s long throw – incidentally, a darn sight more accurate than his kicking.
Up front, the Juke was, for once, well-marshaled and Alvaro Giminez, replaced on the hour by Gary Gardener, was largely a spectator despite a couple of cameos of his excellent control of the ball. However, neither forward is blessed with pace so the ball has to be to feet, which our new ‘creative’ midfield dismally failed to achieve. Fran Villalba just didn’t get into the game at all whilst Ivan Sunjic was marginally more involved harrying and chasing but one wonders whether it’s a job that Maikel Kieftenbeld was doing better.
David Davis was back to his ponderous worst and while Steve Seddon and Wes Harding were busy, they were under the cosh defensively. While another three-nil reverse is worrying, the defence battled hard but were undone by the sheer pressure. Having said that, if the young Chelsea loanee, Jake Clarke-Salter is any good, perhaps he should be given a whirl.
This is a learning curve for everybody but maybe Pep Clotet has learnt that you can’t just allow the opposition to take the initiative and sit back because eventually they will break down a hard-pressed defence. Personally, I would go back to 4-4-2 but with an attacking formation and one winger.
So playing Football Manager, my team against Stoke would be Camp; Colin, Roberts, Dean, Pedersen; Crowley, Villalba, Sunjic and Montero; Jutkiewicz, Giminez; Subs; Stockdale, Clarke-Salter, Gary Gardner, Craig Gardner, Dave Davies, Jude Bellingham and Odin Bailey.