Monday, 27 August 2012

Swansea 3 - West Ham 0 Chalkboard Review

With the style of play undertaken over the last few years along with the almost unheard of level of fan ownership within the club, it's been incredibly difficult not to come across as smug if you're a Swans fan, with that being taken to new heights after the first two games this season.

The level-headed view would be that its only been two games and those have been against a ramshackle QPR and a newly promoted West Ham, but the attacking intent shows a level of threat that is likely to cause most teams problems.

As against QPR, there was definitely a level of Swansea riding their luck with West Ham creating a number of chances and goalmouth scrambles.  The chalkboard below of aerial duels in each half show the level of pressure in the first half compared to far less activity in the box and more challenges won in the second.
Aerial Duels by half, far less pressure in second half
After an impressive debut last week, Chico appeared to make a nervy start to this game misplacing a number of passes early on but settled down in the second half.

The second Swansea goal was due to James Collins' error (and Michu's closing down) but the first and third were the result of excellent passing as the chalkboards below show with plenty of passing in the build up to both.
Plenty of intricate passing, but with more of an end product so far this season
With regards to Collins, as well as the mistake for the second goal, most of his clearances failed to find a team-mate unlike those for Rangel for example.
Rangel repeatedly called in to duty in the middle of the box but clearances successful
As mentioned in the review of the QPR game, there is often a more direct approach with Swansea with the wide players often playing more centrally.  An example of this can be seen when comparing the passing from Rangel to Dyer in the West Ham game compared to the last home game at the end of last season against Liverpool.
Against West Ham, passes from Rangel to Dyer were generally inside rather than down the line as against Liverpool.
Despite this more direct approach, there were still plenty of examples where Swansea were able to keep the ball with the calmness and authority that was present last season (9 of the top 10 passers were Swans players) with the period between the 71st and 73rd minute a great example of the level of control Swansea were able to have.
Passes made between 71st and 73rd minute by team, plenty of short passing triangles across the width and most of the length of the field.
As Laudrup repeatedly says, enjoy it while it lasts although Saturday against Sunderland offers the chance to go back to the top of the league.  For now, every point gained is one closer to safety but whatever the final position it's guaranteed to be entertaining.

Twitter: @we_r_pl
Match Stats: Created using Statszone
Chalkboards: Created using Statszone