Deeply disappointed in Swansea City 2

You won’t find a bigger admirer of what Swansea City have done in recent years than me, and I’m full of admiration for both their ownership model and the football they play, but yesterday they let themselves down badly.

During the week, I strongly fancied Michael Laudrup’s team to go to Cardiff and win, theorising that after an initial twenty-minute period of hectic, high-energy football, their superior ability and personnel would unpick Cardiff.

It didn’t work out like that, in either way, and the burden of responsibility for that lay with the visiting team.

Swansea were unimaginative throughout most of the game, and didn’t do nearly enough to examine Cardiff’s defence or take control of the middle of the pitch. Jonathan De Guzman is someone with the ability and experience to dominate games against that kind of opposition, but he was horribly passive yesterday and didn’t ever impose himself - when the side around him plays well, he looks fantastic, but when the going is a little tougher, he’s started to develop a habit of disappearing.

De Guzman was essentially the poster-child of all that went wrong yesterday: talented players performing within themselves, and not quite having the requisite desire for the contest.

Perspective is always useful, and while the context of where Swansea were a few years ago as opposed to where they are now is probably comforting this morning, this is still a Premier League football team who performed well below their capabilities yesterday. If Cardiff had been exceptional, and had they put in a ‘cup final’ performance, then that would mitigate the result, but Malky Mackay’s team really didn’t do much to warrant their win.

…and a quick bit of advice for Jonjo Shelvey: time to grow-up. Being needlessly antagonistic when you’ve lost a derby makes a player look very, very small - and discussions around Shelvey’s maturity have become too common-place.

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