|The Mood: What's going on at Swansea City?|
Written by BarneyLW on Wednesday, 31st Aug 2016 08:26
There is nothing new or indeed out of the ordinary with a defeat being met by raucous displeasure among the Jack Army. There is nothing particularly new about a hyperbolic spread of opinion in where things should be going better, or if things really are that bad at all. But there is a strange feeling around Swansea City at the moment.
This feeling is a hard one to account for, it's origins unclear. For much of the summer, discontent crept in around the selling of stars, the lack of replacement in the much needed center forward role, this has been addressed. Two strikers- Fernando Llorente and Borja Baston- have been acquired. This is now an issue, with Baston yet to make his debut and Llorente perhaps not instantly acclimatising to his new league and club, questions have returned about how much fire power the club possess.
In general though, there is a negative feeling around the club, one left over from last year with managerial merry-go-rounds, questionable signings and toothless performances. The question is, why has it seemed to come so early on in the season?
Swansea, notoriously good starters throughout their previous five season in the Premier League kicked off the campaign with a win at newly promoted Burnley. Their first match in front of their own fans was an unexpected and arguably undeserved defeat to an injury-ridden Hull City side.
After a win at Peterborough in the EFL Cup, it was perhaps Leicester on Saturday which drew the harshest of critics. While no one in the neutral camp would begrudge the Swans narrowly losing to the Premier League champions, the manner of the defeat and their second-rate performance for much of the game left fans demoralised and venting.
So what can be done to raise morale among the supporters?
Well, the most basic thing would be a change in fortunes, as well as some wins in the upcoming games to lighten the mood, football is renowned for being a fickle game, after all. Yet the issues lie deeper than this. It could be seen as hugely unfair to lose heart after two league defeats, yet the discontent remains and with tough games coming up, it is not as simple as a win and the problems disappear.
The issue is-and has been for some time now-that the fans have been spoiled by the club's success. Not in a way where a 'big club' complex has developed, but perhaps by the inability to get back to the team's somewhat over-achievements of previous seasons. Indeed many fans realise and understand the club operates within its means, and being so successful on a small budget has only enhanced the praise the club deserves. Yet with Swansea's new American investors, the fear of the unknown has become skepticism of the outsiders. Before, it has been acknowledged and not argued that the club cannot match their league counterparts in terms of financial muscle, this has quickly turned to resentment when the likes of Crystal Palace, Watford and Middlesbrough have spent big in this window.
This can lead to an unreasonable feeling among the supporters, bordering on the bizarre. We have seen this week Alfie Mawson, the young defender brought in from Barnsley ruled out before he has kicked a ball. Despite the fact Francesco Guidolin already had three competent center backs at his disposal, Mawson has had a negative response as he lacks the box office factor of a world renowned defender. Fans would do well to remember Ashley Williams, the former skipper was brought in from Stockport for around 400k in 2008, he turned out alright...
The lack of instant success of former Spanish international Fernando Llorente has led to the recurring questions such as why we have not gone in for proven goalscorers such as former hero WIlfried Bony. Jealous blanket bombing has seen questions raised about why Huw Jenkins did not also go for Loic Remy, the Chelsea forward moving to Crystal Palace. Perhaps most strangely, with deadline day approaching and coach Alan Curtis suggesting new faces are unlikely, a petition has been passed around with over 200 signatures for the return of Lee Trundle. How sincere every signature is not clear...
One would hope the bulk of the issue is around a frustrating summers of stars departing, the long wait for big name signings and a couple of bad results. Yet, for most fans, a season of ill-feeling, resentment and managerial insecurity is not a situation they would wish to return to. So perhaps Francesco Guidolin, in line with the impossible expectations put on the modern manager, is now tasked with not just improving the fortunes on the pitch, but lifting the spirits of the supporters off the field.
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