Archive for the ‘Swansea’ Category

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Yesterday we discussed some possible options to replace David Moyes at Everton and Michael Laudrup’s name came up. It’s always the worst in football but completely and utterly inevitable that a manager of a mid-table club that doesn’t have the best resources but does kick-ass things with what few pennies they do have to mash together and buy a Michu will get “courted” by some bigger fish.

And usually that “courting” process involves a bunch of media arseholes playing match-maker because “It would totally make sense for Laudrup to leave because Everton > Swansea, amirite? Now where’s my sandwich?” etc.

But in this case Laudrup is telling these bastards to speculomasturbate elsewhere:

Swansea City manager Michael Laudrup has ruled himself out of the running to take over at Everton this summer.

Laudrup has been linked with the job soon to be vacated by David Moyes, who will replace Sir Alex Ferguson at Manchester United in July.

But the 48-year-old Dane described those reports as “pure speculation”, adding: “My intention is to be here [at Swansea].”

He added: “I don’t have dreams of going to other clubs, I live in the present.”

And good. Swansea deserve better than to be a rag doll for chancers proving their possession football cred. The Brendan Rodgers 12-13 Liverpool FC “project” began and ended with three envelopes perhaps held up as a warning.

Swansea 0-2 Arsenal

FBL-ENG-PR-SWANSEA-ARSENAL

Game in a sentence

Fourth place remains in sight as Arsenal capture three points at Liberty Stadium in the rain.

Observations

  • Nacho Monreal’s first goal in the EPL was the culmination of a series of events that I will attempt to explain. Mikel Arteta’s foul on Nathan Dyer went unpunished — referee John Moss had an up and down day. Santi Cazorla took on the ball, weaving across the box to find Aaron Ramsey unmarked. That was the plan at least. Olivier Giroud intercepted the pass, seemingly ruining the chance, until the ball fell to the former Malaga left back. Monreal became the sixth Spanish player to score for Arsenal.
  • Abou Diaby put in a vintage performance. Spellbinding runs followed by inexplicable giveaways. Off the ball the term lackadaisical would be the best word to describe his performance. Aaron Ramsey should’ve started in his place. Read the rest of this entry »

FBL-ESP-LIGA-REALMADRID-BARCELONA

1. Barcelona suffered their third defeat in four games, the past two of coming at the hands of Real Madrid. Goals from Karim Benzema and Lionel Messi were the highlights of a rather dull, watered down first half by El Clásico standards. The second 45 was a different story. A total of 12 cards were handed out by referee Pérez Lasa. Jose Mourinho begrudgingly inserted Cristiano Ronaldo in the 58th minute. An unnecessary corner conceded by Barcelona resulted in the game winning goal, with Sergio Ramos towering over Gerard Piqué and heading the ball past Victor Valdes. A Barcelona penalty shout in extra time was not awarded, though replays indicated  Ramos’ lunge impeded Adriano. Dani Alves (who was awful today), Andrés Iniesta and Valdes went after Lasa as time expired. Barcelona’s keeper received a red card for his boorish exploits.

Let the ‘end of Barcelona’s dominance’ hysteria live another week. Thought Real Madrid are still miles behind the league leaders, Mourinho gets what he wants, inflicting another dent in the Barcelona mystique. Read the rest of this entry »

Bradford City v Swansea City - Capital One Cup Final
Bradford’s magical run to the League Cup final ended with a thud. Swansea dominated from start to finish, holding 74% of the possession and not conceding a single shot or corner in the first half. Goals from Nathan Dyer and Michu indicated a rout was coming.

Dyer added a second in the 57th minute to kill any semblance of a captivating final. That was until Matt Duke hauled down JDG2 in the box 12 minutes later.

Jonathan De Guzman is the chief penalty taker for Swansea, and though Dyer sat a goal away from a memorable hat-trick, the Canadian Dutch international stepped up to take the kick.

I’m forgetting something. Right. De Guzman and Dyer performed their long awaited vaudeville act, squabbling over who would take the penalty. As a sheepish Michael Laudrup looked on, Michu played peacemaker. The whole scene was embarrassing. Generalizing is useless, but what other sport sees this kind of garbage happen on a regular basis? Read the rest of this entry »

Newcastle United v Swansea City - Premier League

By Graham Ruthven

When Brendan Rodgers left Swansea for Liverpool he took his football philosophy with him. He began implementing his trademark attractive, passing style of soccer upon arrival at Anfield.

However, what Rodgers left behind at the Liberty Stadium has not been wasted. His replacement has used it to develop a side and style of his own. Is Michael Laudrup’s Swansea even better than Rodgers’?

Although hyperbolic, Swansea was labeled the Barcelona of the Premier League last season. Stylistically there were similarities between the two teams. And the comparison could be drawn this season too.

Laudrup has taken Rodgers’ ideology and developed in much the same way Tito Vilanova has taken on Pep Guardiola’s philosophy at Barca. Both inherited a side of passing pedigree but have focused on maximizing attacking potency by favouring a more direct approach.

Laudrup has made three key personnel changes. With Joe Allen, Gylfi Sigurdsson and Scott Sinclair all leaving the club in the summer, Laudrup signed Ki Sung-Yeung, Pablo Hernandez and Michu to replace them. This shrewdness in the transfer market has been central to Swansea’s continued progression this season.

As a passing pivot in the centre of midfield it could be argued that Ki has been even more effective than his predecessor in that position, making on average three more passes than Allen per game.
Read the rest of this entry »

Apologies for the terrible headline. Let the dream die, Canadian football fans. JDG2 will suit up for the Netherlands. Whether he sees the pitch for a meaningful game remains to be seen, though his current form indicates he’s not far off.

The Fondre's equalizer.

Newcastle 1 – 2 Reading

Yohan Cabaye’s long awaited return was spoiled by the heroics of super-sub Adam Le Fondre. The new comeback kings of the prem did it again, scoring twice in six minutes to steal a crucial away victory at St.James Park. On the pitch for 55 seconds, Le Fondre connected on Jimmy Kebe’s cross to level the score. Replays  indicated the Frenchman Englishman may have scored with his forearm.

There were was no such controversy surrounding his second, as he smashed the ball past the outstretched arm of Tim Krul. Alan Pardew’s eight year deal looks more ridiculous by the week. Toon supporters were not happy when Cabaye was replaced by Gael Bigirimana in the 74th minute and Michael Williamson was a defensive liability once again. The Magpies travel to Villa Park next Tuesday. Read the rest of this entry »