It is fair to say that Swansea are on a really, really bad run of form right now. In several games, they’ve played fine, but ultimately capitulated in a painful display of bad luck and motivational issues. While they may not be playing as bad as Sunderland right now, they are tied on points and there’s three teams going down this season. Are Swansea doomed to be one of them?
Well, losing Ashley Williams was definitely a massive blow to Swansea. Not only was he a talismanic leader in the team, he basically was their on-field general, marshaling the defense. Without him, we are seeing the true extent of Swansea’s defensive instability. Only one other team in the league, Hull City, have allowed more goals this season. For obvious reasons, this is a major issue, but the problem goes even deeper than that.
This is because they are also one of the lowest scoring teams in the league, with only 10 goals, less than a goal a game. This all stems from not knowing exactly what kind of attack they are playing. Are they playing a long ball game, as playing a striker like Fernando Llorente would suggest? Well, that doesn’t really jive with the players that they have had since the Brendan Rodgers-era that can play pass and move. Seriously, what kind of attack do they have?
So if they can’t attack and they can’t defend, what do they do? This is the crux of the issue. There is no identity to this team, because you can’t really name how they play anymore. When Swansea first broke into the Premier League, they were this free-flowing, possession-based team that had a definitive style. This came from careful planning and steady building. Now, You can’t see any hints of that style anywhere in this team. The problems may stem back to Michael Laudrup, who brought in players like Wilfred Bony and Jonjo Shelvey to add some steel to the team, but since then, there hasn’t been a reversion to what made Swansea great. Instead, we now find this team that lacks an identity, lacks hope, and has a new manager that needs to instill both really quick. For Bob Bradley’s sake, I just hope that’s possible.