Thursday, August 24, 2006

Day number 426 in Charge of Swansea
Game time 9th September 2006

Winning promotion to the Championship is going to be a hard task. As already anticipated relegation contenders before the season even begins. By the media and the people in the know.

With the pre-season friendlies a false hope to what lies ahead.

With two draws and a victory against a Premiership side, and Championship teams, with the walm up game against these sides, were a false indicator of what a welcome to the League. Swansea were about to get, certainly wasn't walm and fuzzy.

With a total of 6 games all ending in defeat, for Swansea the poor run has stuttered, I hope. With a massive 6-1 defeat against Wolves, by Swansea. Nearly matching my all time biggest win
[....7-1 Victory.. If you must ask]..., coming in at 2nd place in my all time winning achievements.

Struggling on which tactic to play, through to who to play, how to play them is a decision and a half. As the Championship is certainly a step up, for Swansea the teams attack harder, and much faster, and with more intent than the league I was previously managing in.

I tinkered with a 5-3-2 formation and and 4-4-2 formation that also was another 5 at the back formations to be honest, I was and think far to cautious and was clearly punished as a result but the teams are harder in this league. The signing of Kanu evident that the squad is about to "Jell" and I can kind of have the right formation which is like this:

A very attack and defense minded tactic, the AM a 3rd striker and the DM very protective of the back for, I may tweak it more so with the CM with Arrows to the left & right respectively to cover and aid the wing backs when defending and can spread play on attack.... Well seems to have paid of for now as the 4-3-3 and 5-3-2's always seemed to leak goals.... At least this time they have to defend.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

I have done it. WHhhooooooOOOO Yeah!!!

Game time: Saturday 29th April
293 days in charge of Swansea

I haven't logged my progress for a while. Well it has been a rough old ride let me tell you. I have done it, I have finished in 2nd place in League One with Swansea. What a roller coaster ride. After suddenly loosing a after 11 match no loss/win run I loose 4 games in a row, with a game against a relegation battling side lift my teams, and my own spirits.

Look at the end table! I finished joint 2nd on points, with the wins for and goal for settling it... Phew.

With the last game of the season, ending in a surprised high than a disappointing low. I was playing Doncaster Rovers desperate for a play off spot they will of probably achieved with a win and Swansea need only to secure a draw for a victory.

They game ended with Doncaster scoring the only goal of the game, I brought on Way, and Fallon as they were so fired up to help Swansea win promotion they didn't even score ... Bloody Way missed a penalty... In a match full of frenzied attack by the Swansea unable to score past the keeper, calm too calm for liking and agile, well very agile like a cat...

With the promotion and the fans delight, [
And some surprise of the old promotion... Expecting that, same old mid-table finish that they were content with?]

Delighted with my unexpected result of winning promotion to the Championship.. Get in. I must respond to the media... I choose to congratulate my team, and be positive as I will need to strengthen my squad. This is going to hard I cannot believe I won, promotion, I normally get a mid table finish then sacked in the 2nd season.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Day number 216 in Charge of Swansea
Game time: Saturday 11th February 2006 Home to Scunthorpe.

With four players named in "The team of the week" , also the distance between the two sides clearly shown by the current league positions. I confidently select my Diamond formation.

There have also been subtle adjustments to my training assignments, to explain training as per there role in my chosen formation.

A striker will not need to train so hard on defensive work, where as more focus on shooting & attacking seems to be a better use of time and effort? Or players suitable as a defensive midfielder or defender.. But I may not always play a certain player in their particular position, I aniticipate they will be training in a more of a fitting role....Hmmmm....

With the current form and the bookies having Swansea favorite a good opportunity for me to experiment. Although I will keep the tactics the same.

Kick off...

Scunthorpe win the toss, with it being attack from them from the get go. Plenty of pressure, a direct free kick has been given to Scunthorpe on the 6th minute which was fired straight towards the Swansea goal great save by Murphy... The pressure continues to build from Scunthorpe until an error on the 14th minute giving away a penalty to Swansea which was converted by O'Leary... Much to the horror of the away fans.... The game pretty much carries on as before with Scunthorpe having most of the possession but doing little much with it.. The only goal from them on the 34th minute helps Swansea ...They do look technically better my tactics and training appears to be working not enough possession to my liking liking but the squad is not at full strength with a striker playing in the starting line-up and unheard of reserve team player.

Second half..

After the half time oranges and team talks.... Its off with the second half.... The game is very similar to the first half though with much less goal mouth action, except for a silly tackle by Irepkin, being yellow carded on the 56th minute for fouling just outside the box.... The free kick was VICIOUS how the hell he save that??.... Swansea counter ... More pressure... A second card for Goodwin he's off Scunthorpe down to 10 men.. Free kick to Swansea..

A decide to replace my attacking midfielder, and go to a more of a flatter 4-4-2 formation... Scunthorpe attack hard... Its close to the end of the match... Great goal on 88th minute by Scunthorpe they are level with 10 men.... They were the better team .. I still feel gutted all the same, the training will improve... It will take time. Match over 1-1.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Day number 209 in charge of Swansea
Game time: Saturday 4th February 2006
Brentford Away game

With a whole week to prepare and Ricketts injured, I bravely go 3-4-3 after much decision making.

Let the game begin as favourites for the match lets see how loosing another star player will figure in this away game?

With game only 50 seconds, Brentford should of scored with a the space where the left and right back would play in. Being easily exposed, by the home side. Much to my delight Swansea counter and score with the aggressive line up that I prepared; on the 94 second.... Nice :-) With plenty of pressure and the home team unable to deal with Leon Knight it takes 20 minutes for them to apply attacking pressure and to score from the exposed rear guard, as off my aggressive tactics.... I swiftly alter my tactics to four at the back. My preferred 4-4-2 Tactic.

With remainder of the half more dominant with the Swansea in possession the most, Brentford went close on a few occasions, with four at the back working out best for me though. Brentford's keeper kept the scoreline equal to an evenly contested first half.

Second Half

Tactically I now switch to a diamond formation. This appears to have worked. It takes Trundle to score on the 87th minute to settle it for the Swans, I then switch back to the flatter 4-4-2. With a goal for Swansea in the 89th minute from striker Akinfenwa. Brilliant a deserved 3-1 away win. I do believe my tactic were the better of the to and I will sound of in the media on the manger comments screen..... Don't often get to gloat I say that I tactically outclassed him....

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Game time: Same day

With the injury to Mcleod, causing him to be out for the next 5 months. I must issue a statement to the press.

Lets see if I made the right choice?

Looks as though I made the correct choice, another injury glad I have strenghtend the squad. I may need to alter my tactics around this must sleep on this and make a decision tomorrow.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Day number 202 in charge of Swansea
Game time: Saturday 28th January 2006
Home game to Yeovil

With Yeovil currently lying bottom of the table. I switch to my attacking diamond formation.

This should be an easy victory.

First half action.... With the game just kicking off, I am immediatly forced to make substitution. With Mcleod being injured in the opening two minutes of the match. The next 20 minutes or so are helped with, Irepken with being a solid rock in the defence for Swansea. The remainder of the half with many moments of brilliance from Swansea attacking display, peetering out to a nil - nil draw at half time. Though Swansea looked the most impressive it was the defensive displays on both sides the deciding factor.

The Second half.

Swansea are certainly up for this its attack, attack from the get go. On the 52nd minute a great outswinging corner from Robinson, meets Monks diving header to hit home his first ever goal for the Swans..... nice... must have kicked the right players up the arse during the interval.

Bugger... Monk fouls a player in the penalty box and referee, has to point to the spot being leniant he shows the yellow card.... Jevons for Yeovil steps up, who practicaly has not had a chance all game; calmy scores the equiliser for the away side... to level it for both sides.

With the second half nearing to a close, Yeovil are more of a threat now, probably inspired by the penalty, but Swansea handle the threat annoyingly so it ends 1-1. I choose to tell a few players there performance was poor, very poor. Swansea should have won this game easily.

Day 195 in charge of Swansea
Game time: Saturday 21st of January 2006
Next game: Away to Southend.

Quitley confident with Southend fighting relegation at the bottom of the table.

Pleased with this I stick with my same formation 4-4-2. This attack is still very attack minded. Confident I will do well. I select my squad based mainly on player moral and condition.

Start of the match

It begins very slowly, both teams are going for it, with Leon Knight's individual effort on the 22nd minute. By stealing the ball in the opponants third, then gunning down on goal to be saved by Southend keeper. Well he did shoot the ball straight at the keeper. So on with the pressure by Swansea with this fizzling out for the remainder of the first half, due to plenty of tightly contested midfield action.

The first half ended with posititives to be taken by the home team Swansea were not clinincal enough to punish Southend. I am to blame as I viewed the training assigments, they were not very good with the improvements in player abilites demolished by me forgetting to monitor this. We do learn from our mistakes. I need to inspire the team I think I'll encourage them I don't have the heart to give them a bollocking.

Second Half

That's it I have had enough. Time to bring on Lee Trundle, Swansea need him. He'll score, with it being the 59th minute the game still being a draw and dull, my team do look the better of the two. With some firepower up front urgently needed..... What a save! With the ball just hoofed up field by Ricketts, Knight passed to Trundle in the box with keeper saving a clear goal oppurtunity.

The game continues to be a midfield battle as before, Southend want to win with good interplay, and a visous strike towards goal, saved by my keeper, in the 80th minute. Phew....

YES!!!! .... Yes! ...Knight scores with a volley on the 86th minute a great angled ball delivered from deep from new signing Villareol causing chaos in the box, with a poor clearance ball, delivered back in to the box from Martinez. 1-0 ... and about time too!

Oh no... Southend equalize immediatly, a mirror of Swansea's goal but more incisive. On the 87th minute, the game is much more rapid now with pure end to end thrills and spills. With overwhelming preasure. Martinez scores a much needed goal, in the dying minutes of the match, from a scramble action on the edge of the box. To seal victory for the Swans. This game was definitly "A game of two halfs".

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Game time: Saturday 14th of January.
Day 188 In charge of Swansea.
Next game: Tranmere Rovers Home game

Most of the built up during the week being the completion of a couple more signings the most important in my opinion has to be the addition to the staff. The 9th coach, with the new addition to the staff at The White Rock Stadium the necessary tweakage to the training and coaching assignments, were needed to be set.

There was also movement from Reserves to First team squad, with Kevin Austin expecting the move to the first team, naturally I oblidged... There you go fella;-) First team for you.

With a strengthened squad, the decision of choosing who to play isn't half getter tougher and tougher.... I have made my choice. Needing a replacement can of the amber nectar from the fridge. Aiding my decision.... Happy with my tactics ..It is time to let the game begin...

The first half

Clumbsy.... The best way to describe it really, the opening 20 minutes or so, was dull. Clumbsy challenges. With Tranmere scoring a suprising goal from a brief, nice quick passing. Hell I would of said the same should of Swansea of scored its been poor game so far... It should get better as long as Tranmere score no more that is...... As anticipated the rest of the half was equally as dull. With brief chances with only chance of note from Swansea a brilliantly delivered free kick by Darren Way to be saved....Oh well.... So its the half time team talk. Looks like its time for the "Alex Ferguson boot", some players need a kick up the backside.

Game pause.... The misses is hoovering.... There goes our pet dog...... Great the vacuuming is finished done... Where were we ..

Second Half

Just as like the previous half the second half, . Uninterested... Not again but... Probably the only opportunity another goal for Tranmere, I am going to have to change my tactics, its all out attack its 0-2 already wont really matter shall Swansea concede even more goals... As anticipated the Swansea fans leave the ground, even the gung ho approach failed. With an unexpected victory for the away team. The AI must have figured out my game plan....Damn it!

Amazingly with the poor performance of this game, current season form still keeping Swansea 3rd in the league. It is really heating up with, three teams level on points with the goals for and against being the only separator between the teams, to keep Swansea in 3rd place. I must adjust my team, if I slip up now its mid table.

Game time: Saturday 7th of January.
Day 181 In charge of Swansea.
Next game: Bradford (Away)

Another away game for Swansea this time it is up against Bradford currently lying in 4th position behind Swansea in League One with both teams are level with 47 points. This looks to be a tightly contested match with both teams scoring 48 goals for the their team so far this season, with Bradford conceding the most goals the only difference between them.

With two new signings for my Swansea team,(One starting on the bench and the other making there debut on the left wing). I am quietly confident of a Swansea victory both teams lost, in there most recent matches. Although the stats show Swansea on be top. I do like that, it sounds good.

Let the game begin....

Its a long ball forward from Ricketts, Knight chases the ball and passes to Lee Trundle in the box to score his 50th goal for Swansea... Its only in the 4th minute of the game... This is looking good. Constant pressure for the next 20 minutes from Bradford....PENALTY! To for Swansea can Lee Trundle score his 51st?... Chalk up another for Trundle!

As expected its more pressure from Bradford, from the 2nd goal in the 34th minute from the penalty. With the opposition unable to deal with the counter attack from Swansea, with Trundle scoring his hatrick on the 37th minute. In the last minute of injury time Tom Williams gets a red card for a professional foul last man. Forcing me to sub Andy Robinson, for defender Monk. The well struck free kick is well parried away. .... End of the first half.

Second half.

Oh dear, Bradford look up for this with quick passing and pressing...Blimey!.. They score already, in the 1st minute of the second half. Bradford score from a really good move. I may need to alter my tactics..... But I'll wait and see..... Seem to be ok, two way traffic really with space on the field with Swansea left with only 10 players..... Worrying at times with Bradford's forceful attack... Bravely I stick with 4 at the back 3 in mid field and two up front... Leon Knight has scored a beauty in the 55th minute 4-1 to Swansea. Thinking of substitutions and the player fitness I change tactics on the 65th minute taking off Trundle and Knight, with a player debut and all I decide to switching to use four in midfield player a player sat behind the striker. A make shift diamond formation...This just might work?...

I am going to have to be more cautious as Bradford are looking more dangerous by the minute. The home fans leave on the 72nd minute!?!? They have had enough of Bradford..the've played well, they shouldn't of left its a great game. With Bradford the most dangerous of the two teams, but not as clinical as Swansea. It had to happen eventually 2nd goal for Bradford on the 90th minute, it has to be too late the game is as good as won.... Its over a good game very entertaining. Swansea stay 3rd. Well played Bradford.