This is an extremely long post so please bear with me. The 1st season of Swansea had ended well. The following picture promptly summarizes the season. A noteworthy point would be that Alberto Bueno was selected as the Signing of the Season Runner Up!
Now I will need to review the squad performance to prepare for the transfer policy for the next season. Each area of the squad will be examined in detail to understand the strengths and weakness of the current squad. Let us start off first with the team stats.
During the season, Swansea scored an average of 1.3 goals and conceded 1.4 goals per game and it creates an negative average goal difference of -0.1. This is not acceptable in my standards as this implies a lack of threat upfront and poor defending at our door. Ideally, I would like to have a positive average goal difference at least.
With 2 top goalscorers it implies that the team got through based on teamwork and we do not have privilege on relying on a star striker. I like this because it shows that I have formed a star team and not a team of stars.
The fact that a striker, in the form of Alberto Bueno, had given the most assists during season (and in half a season nonetheless since he was signed in January) shows our serious lack of quality in the midfield. In my opinion, strikers are suppose to score goals and midfield are suppose to provide goals. If a striker is providing goals, then he is not scoring.
The “most Man of the match” and “highest average rating” are won by defenders. This shows that the team’s greatest strength is in defense. For a team that is supposed to be strongest in defense but still concede over a goal per game really leaves it much to be desired.
Next, I shall review the squads’ player ratings.
There isn’t much to choose from between goalkeepers and Michael Vorm is my first choice goalkeeper. A good goalkeeper who pulls off instinctive saves at times but a bit inconsistent with form. Despite having pulled off 10 clean sheets, Swansea still concedes a lot of goals. I might need to consider getting another keeper to see if we can contain the leakage.
There is no question at who is leading the line upfront. That man is Alberto Bueno. He not only scores the most goals but provides the most assists as well. He is, without question, my signing of the season! Alberto Bueno also won the accolade of being the league’s Signing of the Season Runner Up. A return of 8 goals is amazing for the likes of Danny Graham, especially if you know how he scores it. Danny has all the attributes of being a good lone target man yet does not scores goals on his own. Instead, he relies on getting rebounds then poaches them into the net. A poacher with a slow pace (8). Talk about weird! Lucas Viatri had a decent start till he was sidelined for the rest of the season. Having scored 1 goal from feet and 1 goal from the head proved that he can be a valuable option upfront. Luke Moore got his chance when I finally got tired of playing Danny as a lone striker. He was decent in the few games he played but got out-muscled out of the first-team when Alberto came into the scene.
Having strengthen both upfront and backline during the tranfer seasons, midfield is the only area that is lacking of investment. Despite that, midfield has done reasonably well and I will like to single out a few individuals that aided to the cause. Andrea Orlandi has been the most consistent and definitely the best among all the midfielders evident from his high average rating of 6.90. Wayne Routledge was doing well in the 1st half of the season but his form declined during the 2nd half. Jordi Gomez proved a shrewd loan signing when he scored 2 critical goals from direct free kick positions. I would love to bring him in on a more permanent but his valuation of 2.2mil pounds seems to be grossly overvalued. Lastly, I would like to have special mention for Mark Gower. An experienced and versatile player, he proved his value as an impact player by scoring and assisting at the same level as Andrea Orlandi.
The star of defense is definitely Neil Taylor. Having played and started the most number of games in this season and STILL get the highest average speaks volumes of this player’s ability. As Swansea does not have cover at fullback positions so we are lucky that Stephen Kelly and Neil Taylor did their job admirably. Matteo Ferrari is the rock at the center of defense. This ex-Roma player had been the heart of Swansea’s defense, evident by the 4 MOM awards since joining from a free transfer. That being said, we cannot ignore Ashley Williams who had provided a much consistent performance judging by the higher average rating. Due to his flexibility, captain Alan Tate is mostly used as a utility player at wherever he’s needed. Mostly at fullback positions. Unfortunately, Arne Friedrich had failed to blend and perform well so far. This is mostly because of his poor passing ability; always giving away the ball and putting the team under pressure.
Swansea has managed to make good profit due to the low wages of its players. Having already budgeted 4mil for the upgrading of training facilities, I will expect a good portion of at least 10mil cash for my next transfer season.^^
As requested by Sam (Swansea 1st Eleven)
Please note that I change my tactics frequently and this is just one of the formations that I used