Saturday, 20 October 2012

Swans 2 - Wigan 1 Initial Chalkboard review

For me this game was a fantastic example of the importance of frame of mind in defining how a game progresses and rather than the proverbial 'game of two halves' was a stylish 50-60 minutes from the Swans bookended by a nervous start and finish although to be fair to the team those nerves were more from those watching than those playing.

With all the talk of unrest in the camp (regardless of how much of it is or isn't true, I can't imagine there's a side anywhere where the whole squad are happy all the time) and with Man City and Chelsea to come, it was obvious how important this game was.

The opening 15 minutes saw an assured Wigan happy to knock the ball around with Swansea playing (relatively) longer balls:
From around the quarter-hour mark however Swansea seemed to settle down, given the number of early goals conceded over the last few weeks, it was probably a relief not to be facing another uphill battle and there was some fortune that this wasn't the case again after a good opportunity fell to Maloney early on.

Passing from 16-45 minutes

Where Wigan early on controlled possession but rarely got over the half way line, Swansea had a fair bit of activity further forward along both flanks, it might not have been a pummelling but I'm sure Martinez would have been happy to get in for half-time.

The second half again started well for Swansea without maybe creating too many chances, a superb bit of skill from Routledge however created space and he passed to De Guzman who played it in to Pablo who spun and finished superbly.

I've seen the same stat mentioned several times that prior to this game all of Swansea's goals had come from open play, while it is great to have a free flowing approach, I felt this was more criticism than praise.  Goals aren't always easy to come by and making the most of your set pieces can make a big difference.

After Swansea's second, there seemed to be a brief feeling of 'Job Done' which obviously didn't last long with Wigan pulling one back quickly and very, very nearly getting a second which was judged offside.  What this meant though is that the atmosphere went from a carnival to edge of the seat stuff.

For the last 25 minutes or so (including injury time), Wigan dominated the ball but created relatively little consider from the 72nd minute to the end of the game they completed 6 times as many passes as Swansea.
Wigan may have had significantly more of the ball in the final stages but most of this was in front of a well organised Swansea defence.  Whenever there was an attempt to push the ball in to a more attacking area this would usually be quickly dealt with.

11 points from 8 games is a tidy return and means that Swansea can go in to the next two games with far less fear than if Wigan had taken something from the game.

I'm hoping to look sometime during the week at individual performances from the game, obvious ones to look at will be Routledge, Chico and the selection of Michu as the main striker.

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