I think I saw the best team we've played tonight, for the first half hour.
They literally gave us the run around
But the size on them, half of them were fatties and the other half over the hill.
They were literally spent after half time and we came right into it and scored a superb goal.
This isn't a criticism because I'm over the moon generally and with the play and second half performance but what was that formation.
Routs played up front first half, Dan James second half with McBurnie, well I'm not sure where he was supposed to be. He was certainly left wing most of the second half. There were times when we were crying out for James' pace down the flank second half but I can only think Potter thought their centre halves were big lumps and we could play in and around them and beyond.
I doubt many could say that formation worked per se but we got the all important 3 points and after some childish Jenkins out chants first half it was absolutely great the way the game ended with players and fans as one.
We've thrown away too many points this season but we're 9th and just 6 points off the play offs. That's got to be our all-out target for the rest of the season.
We've hit a brick wall and I'm afraid the writing was all over it in Bolton. I said at the time I felt a lot better after that gut wrenching loss at Rotherham. At least we bossed the game and apart from the obvious concern that we're not scoring enough, we played very well.
Potter said after that game that we'd learn from the experience and maybe this played a part in the poor second half at the Reebok. We barely contained a poor Bolton side and nearly got our just deserts.
Then the dreaded international break and we all knew we were in for a tough couple of weeks with the fixture's we had coming up.
Looking back, we more than took the game to Norwich early doors, we came out of the traps a lot better than we finished at Bolton and I think the players fancied themselves to beat them. Then, the horror show starts and before we knew it we've given away 3 of the softest goal we're likely to concede all season, and all of them completely unavoidable.
Without going into detail the Grimes experiment at left back really cost us for the first and third, although why VdH wasn't commanding his defence to stay in shape for the third I've no idea. Celina's drag back to try and beat a man on our 18 yard line was just horrible as well and he's been really affected by that as last night was his worst performance in a Swans shirt by far.
Onto last night and once again we're playing well, OK, we're 5 at the back so we're not committing many players into the box and chances weren't that many, but we got some and we should've done better with at least two more.
But that Norwich game has rocked us and the boys making their way in the game need to toughen up a bit mentally. I've read this week they wanted to apologise for Saturday and they want to give something back to the Jack Army etc, the usual platitudes perhaps, but I saw Ollie come over to the East and cup his hands as if in a prayer shape and was gesturing to say sorry.
Now on the face of that, that's great, shows they care, they want to win etc.... It also shows they care a bit too much about the fans and how they may see the individual players. I'm noticing a few of the youngsters throwing their arms up in the air on the pitch. Connor has done this all season and was having a go at Ollie last night again. Dan James did the same when Fer's poor chipped pass went over his head.
There's too much worrying about what's going on around them or what's being said in the stands and not enough about just concentrating on their own performances and looking after your team mates.
But this is a confidence thing as well. When it's going well and we're winning games or playing well and the crowd is up its great. When the mood descends there kids visibly suffer. The Norwich game knocked the stuffing out of them and they looked very fragile. The only way they'll get over this is with learning from it and being coached. When we go a goal down for example, you haven't got to start doing silly things to try and get back in it immediately.
Also, the confusion.
Potter has to hold his hands up here because after nearly half the season he's played some players in so many different positions it's all been a bit bloody crazy, really. Including the goalkeeping issue and has that had an affect on both of them. Mulder looked shaky last night, he didn't look shaky in that run of 8 games.
We've had Naughton play right back, centre mid, defensive mid and even attacking mid in Millwall. We've had Roberts play right back and right midfield We've had Carter Vickers play right back, left back and centre half. We've had Grimes play left back and centre mid. We've had Dan James play right wing and centre forward We've had Ollie play centre forward and number 10 and left wing
And we've bombed out two senior pros that could've made a real difference here and there this season in Dyer and Routs.
We're all confused because we've actually believed the rotating and tinkering were all part of a master plan. But all that's happened is we've got players who are Jack of all trades, master of none.
Connor went straight down the tunnel yesterday after having his head in his hands for 30 seconds sat on the bench. He's being asked to provide the craft and guile at right forward and it's probably not been fair on him.
How handy would it be for, let's say Dyer (or McKay for those adamant Potters doing the right thing in not playing him) to have Connor supporting him and making those runs past him, creating two no ones down the flank and getting to the bye line?! Because now it's Connor more often than not who's got the ball on the corner of the box and his only option is to chip it in for the one man we've got in the box, Ollie.
This is why they've arguing on the pitch.
Potter needs to get it in to his players they need to concentrate on their own game and not how they maybe perceived from the stands. He also needs to do the right thing by them and stop switching them around to environments they're not comfortable with or used to.
We need to get back to basics at both ends of the pitch.
It will be interesting to see what transpires after that chastising defeat against Norwich. I wasn't confident but I didn't expect to be out of it after half hour.
I know there are some on here that feel Potter is above criticism and whilst I love what he's doing overall and we're more than heading in the right direction after a difficult period, I still wonder as to some of his decisions.
Grimes at left back was cruelly exposed on Saturday and I feel it's an experiment that needs nipping in the bud or worse will still to come.
For their first goal he's on the ball in space near the touch line. He's got Rodon alongside him pointing to go back to Mulder. He ignores this and chips an aimless ball upfield. It's won in the air and ends up with one of theirs facing our goal. It took 6 seconds from the point Grimes chipped it upfield to when Pukki receives it bearing down on the right hand side of our goal.
Grimes does not have the instinct to look along the back four and keep in shape. He was caught somewhat ballwatching while it ended up past him and them scoring.
The third goal. How the fack we got caught so out of shape from a long punt down field from their centre half I don't know.
You had a shape as follows....
With Grimes going up for the challenge. This is our left back!! Why VdH and Rodon had gone on wanders I don't know and why Grimes had hooked so far over, again, no idea.
But this left a gaping hole down our left and once the ball was flicked down, it was an easy pass to someone with all the room in the world.
Connor, hopefully can stop playing the Billy big bollocks now his contract is signed as he was painfully slow to get back to our far post for that third goal (and was roasted for their fourth) but the damage was done with the nonexistent shape or lack of organisation.
The first half was down to Potter. I'm not going to apportion too much blame on Celina, although it was a big, big error that compounded a poor shift from our gaffer.
I really didn't think left back was a position we needed to mess around with and I hope we can get Olsson playing regularly there and see Grimes moved back to midfield. At least give him a consistent run of games there.
I haven't read Potters comments after the game so don't know if he's held his hands up or put it down to a steep learning curve.
But for me, it was another example of needless tinkering.
A caveat for the faint of heart. I'm not slagging our manager off I don't want him to fail and I'm not criticising him for the sake of it.
I'm just saying it as I saw it on Saturday. Let's hope he can sort this out and we learn in time for the Baggies.
Their 3rd goal is why it wasn't the right call to make the change.
Potter will know this is a mistake on his part but if he favours Nordvelt we've got to trust his judgement.
Please don't just get on his back, why would any Swans fan want to do that?
I heard groans at Naughton because of one misplaced pass when otherwise he was superb again.
The football is a pleasure to watch, why can't we all enjoy the mini revolution unfolding in front of our eyes. I do think we were a little complacent yesterday though and scoring the early goal reinforced that feeling for the players.
We went all out second half but we were always chasing the game and never properly in control of the situation.
They were pretty decent if you ask me, certainly the most clinical team down there this season. I think they can pick up the odd result against what hopefully will be our rivals further up the league.
The progress continues, just a gutting result. We can win in Villa though.