I'm sorry for the slight delay, this is the third time I've written this up as the website had decided to get rid of the two previous drafts I had made, in both cases when the article was near completion. Complete pisstake but what can you do. Anyway, here is the review
Welcome to POTG, or Player(s) Of The Game, where you rate the team after a League/Cup game and decide who the POTG is, and more. Today we look at our 0-0 Draw against Tottenham Hotspur.
If you want to see a far more well researched and detailed analysis of each game, with lots of statistics and data to back it up, I highly recommend taking a look at Mithrandir's data blog articles he has started back up. These articles are much more opinionated and gives the fans a chance to rate the players themselves, so everyone has a voice.
How the ratings work:
8: Very Good
3: Very Poor
1: Bob Bradley
Paul Clement: 7.58
Clement set up the game in the hope to draw, and draw he did. He went for the 5 at the back formation with most players coming back to defend rather than attack. We are solid defensively using this tactic however it limits our attack to almost zilch as the strikers up front barely recieved any service.
Paul has received heavy criticism for his use of Roque Mesa, with the midfielder sitting on the bench and Routledge and Fer were preferred as substitutes by the Gaffer as he has not played in a Premier League game since Manchester United. Mesa started against Reading so perhaps he will be used in the upcoming game against Watford.
One person surveyed said: "No point in buying players with class who don't feature - not good for them - - makes no financial sense - not good for the fans - not good for the club." I can't help but agree.
Lukasz Fabianski: 9.06 (POTG)
The Big Pole in our Goal was easily our standout player against the mighty Spurs, as he notched a well-earned clean sheet saving our players time and time again. He was constantly bombarded by the great Tottenham attack force, including massive saves against Harry Kane and Heung-Min Son, and easily wins the POTG award.
The more I do of these articles, I notice how Lukasz is actually a very consistent performer for the Swans - definitely underrated by some. There is a reason behind him winning the POTG award much more often than his team mates. Congratulations Fabianski, continue the great work in goal!
Martin Olsson: 6.24
Olsson was one of our more disappointing players on Saturday, very close to giving away THREE penalties and not utilising his abundance of pace as often as I would like. He defended alright and is easily an upgrade on Taylor, but whether we will live to regret selling Kingsley so easily is something we will have to wait and see.
Alfie Mawson: 7.13
Mawson was part of the back line that stood firm against Tottenham. He defended very well and despite not performing his best, still was very good and showed why he deserves to be one of the first names on the team sheet. He will be a great captain for the Swans one day, if he stays that long.
Federico Fernandez (C): 8.91
Wow. Fede was an absolute monster against Spurs, winning decisive tackles and stepping up to the role of Captain has definitely helped him work harder and gain more confidence. He was simply a beast and easily stood out out of the three centerbacks that played today. In my opinion he has so far this season performed better than Mawson has, and even better than when he first arrived and was paired with Ashley Williams. No contest over his position on the team, and is very unlucky not to win the POTG award over a Fab Fabianski. Keep up the good work Fernandez!
Mike Van Der Hoorn: 7.23
VDH has stepped up his game since last season, proving to all the fans including me he has what it takes to replace Kyle Bartley until he returns from injury. When he does return, that will definitely be an interesting dilemma for Clement who has to choose one of them (or neither if he opts for a 4ATB). May not start against Watford if Clement wants to go more attacking.
Kyle Naughton: 6.58
Naughton was above average in a decent performance. He did as well as you can expect against stern Spurs opposition but I think Arias will be a much better option at RB/RWB if we can snatch him. Yiadom would be good cover too as Rangel is clearly past it in my opinion.
Sam Clucas: 6.28
Clucas was pretty poor against Tottenham and did not look anywhere near the 16m quoted that we paid for him. I am simply baffled why we bought him AND Mesa, to be honest. His dead balls are horrific and he can't cross to save his life. Better than Cork, at least. Hopefully will improve in the future as he settles in with the team however Hull must be laughing at us right now.
Tom Carroll: 6.59
Tom didn't do much as he was forced back to defend for the most part and did not do anything of note, bar a yellow card. Perhaps he will perform better against Watford where he will be fully unleashed to spray over the top through balls and other great passes all over the park.
Renato Sanches: 6.50
Sanches is definitely improving as he settles in to a brand new country and team. He went from Lewandowski and Robben to Abraham and Ayew, and Vidal and Thiago to Clucas and Carroll. I can see why he had difficulty settling in to start with, but will grow confidence over time. Didn't give the ball away as much as Newcastle and attempted to do through balls more often than most players. He works hard and is very energetic so perhaps game time will improve on his faults. Best game so far for the young boy.
Jordan Ayew: 6.84
Ayew, as always, was constantly pressing and giving the Spurs midfield a hard time but was kept quiet for the most part as the Spurs defence shut out any hopes of a Swans steal of three points. May get dropped for Bony but that is up to Clement to decide how he wants to play against Watford.
Tammy Abraham: 7.24
Abraham is a class prospect. One of the brightest youth on loan from Chelsea right now, he struggled to score with minimal chances created by a hesitant midfield who were more focused on not conceding than scoring. I'd like to see him and Bony perhaps play together for at least 60 minutes against Watford.
(SUB): Leroy Fer: 5.61
Fer was brought on first and disappointed me with his lack of real effort. One of the most inconsistent players in the squad and is very frustrating to see sometimes when he loses the ball or doesn't try hard enough to win it back. Mesa starts ahead of him every time in my opinion.
(SUB): Wilfried Bony: 6.43
Bony held up the ball well and won a few free kicks, basically doing what he was brought on to do. Would like to see him start soon, as he clearly hasn't completely lost his touch with his spells for Stoke and Man City. Love his song too.
(SUB): Wayne Routledge: 4.90
Routledge was oddly brought on in place of Van Der Hoorn, and really just conceded free kicks and did nothing else. Clearly past his prime and is taking up space that other players could use. Why he was brought on and not Mesa is beyond me, as Wayne doesn't seem to be able to attack, defend or pass the ball, so his capability as a Premier League player must be called into question.
Overall Team Performance: 6.82
We went out and got a point against Premier League title contenders, which without a shadow of a doubt is a most impressive feat. Brilliant defending ultimately saved us however we definitely can't afford to go to Watford looking for another bore point. I'd prefer not to become another Middlesbrough, please. Great result for the club.
Opposition Performace: 6.50
Spurs could've done better with their chances, but they weren't bad in a game where they just couldnt find their way through the defensive might of our back five. They shouldn't think too heavily about this result as they should go on to defeat teams much better than us.
Match Officials Performance: 7.00
Mike Dean waved away three penalty calls, which I must give him plaudits for. I still think he's an attention seeking bald twat, but an attention seeking bald twat that got us a deserved point where other referees would have gone with the bigger team. So well done for that.
Paul Clement Average this season: 6.03
Top 5 Performers this season:
1. Lukasz Fabianski: 8.11
2. Federico Fernandez: 7.43
3. Mike Van Der Hoorn: 7.23
4. Roque Mesa: 6.46
5, Jordan Ayew: 6.35
Most POTG Wins:
Lukasz Fabianski - 3
Federico Fernandez - 1
Top 5 Worst Performers this season:
1. Oliver McBurnie: 3.85
2. Jay Fulton: 4.12
3. Wayne Routledge: 4.19
4. Luciano Narsingh: 4.27
5. Leon Britton: 5.12
Best Performance this season: 0-0 vs Tottenham Hotspur (6.82)
Worst Performance this season: 0-1 vs Newcastle United (5.29)
Best Performance in a Match: Lukasz Fabianski vs Newcastle United (9.06)
Worst Performance in a Match: Wayne Routledge vs Southampton (3.12)
Thank you very much to everyone who voted!! It helps this series a lot and I appreciate you taking a minute to fill it out, it means a lot.
All criticism is appreciated!