With Manchester United facing Swansea City at the Liberty Stadium on Sunday, we posed several questions to members of the TheJack.Army forum.
Streford End Arising: What are your thoughts on Sunday’s game?
Dilligaf: Tough game as usual. Always happy to take a point against one of the big clubs anything else is a huge bonus.
OrangeSwan: I’m glad that United won 4-0 against Club Brugge because the pressure to score more is somewhat off now. I hope we’ll see the same leisurely side that failed to provide any real attacking threat in its first three matches. I think Swansea are going to crack on with a high press throughout or until we tire. Let’s hope we’ve got a few goals in by then. If we can get our wingers working, I can see us grabbing a few goals. Our defence is solid and if our midfielders do their job right, Man United could run home without a shot on goal. Ok, I’m always optimistic, but it’s actually a likely scenario in my mind.
SEA: What team, formation and style of football can we expect from Gary Monk’s Swansea?
OrangeSwan: Same as the last few matches. Pressing game and balls to the sidelines. Gone is the style we used to play, we don’t hang on to the ball as much and we don’t defend with ball anymore. Everything offensive relies on Montero beating his man, through balls for Gomis or crosses from Naughton. An odd effort from far out perhaps, Shelvey’s scored a few of those.
Danielswan: The same as usual, we aren’t changing much currently, everyone in the team knows their duties. I expect a mix of pressing/offensive and periods with counter.
SEA: What are Monk’s strengths, qualities and weaknesses?
Rambler27: Single minded, good man manager, able to change his tactics before and during the game depending on the opposition. He’s still relatively new to the job but has an experienced team around him.
Dilligaf: Monk’s strength is the tactical awareness he shows and the team spirit that’s evidently in place.
Boundy Still Lurks: With one full season under his belt I’d say Monk has shown he’s a quick learner, not afraid to try to surprise the opposition with the way he sets the team out and has very good man management skills.
SEA: What are your expectations for the 2015-16 season?
Dilligaf: I hope we can finish top 10 again. I can’t see past Chelsea, Arsenal and both Manchester clubs as being the champions league teams again followed by Spurs and Liverpool as the next two clubs vying for Europa Leaue. After that between 7-10 I think is open and see Everton and Southampton as our direct rivals and I have a funny feeling Crystal Palace will surprise a few people this year.
SEA: Which of the new signings has most impressed so far?
Dilligaf: So far it has to be Ayew who’s impressed. He’s a right handful playing on the right wing and coming in to support Gomis when Montero has done the full back.
Boundy Still Lurks: Ayew without doubt. He’s skilful, great work ethic and a team player, so he’s fitted in well.
SEA: What positions do you need to strengthen? Who would be the players you would want brought in?
OrangeSwan: None, I think we have a solid foundation now and we need to work with the players we have. Sticking to a group of players and going from there works wonders. Just buying more players won’t help and I’ve lost count of the clubs who buy, buy, buy and still go down after a season or two.
Dilligaf: I’d like to see a centre forward and centre half brought in, if we could I think that would give us a reasonably decent squad.
Danielswan: A quality striker, don’t have much faith in my fellow Portuguese countryman, Eder.
SEA: Can Gomis fill the void left by Bony?
Dilligaf: Yes, he has done already to be fair and gave Terry and Cahill a torrid time at Stamford Bridge. He also has the most useless goal celebration in the league
OrangeSwan: No. In my opinion, he’s not half the player Bony is. He suits the style we play now and runs on through balls, but he does not hold up the ball very well. A season ago, we played with patience and composure. Bony was a perfect target man who brought us goals, assists and so much more. We don’t play that way anymore, maybe because we don’t have Bony anymore or maybe because Monk wants another style. Whatever the reason, Gomis fits the bill and it’s not so much a question of filling a void as one of scoring the goals we need.
Borini: Eight goals in the last nine Premier League games says yes… and he will score two on Sunday.
SEA: Did you enjoy Montero’s performance against Ivanovic? How will he fare against Darmian on Sunday?
Dilligaf: I think any true fan of football would have enjoyed what our Jeff did to Ivanovic, wing play at its best. The following week the Newcastle right back look pleased to be sent off, he’d had enough of Jeff after 20 minutes tormenting him. Sunderland’s answer was just to kick him to death but that resulted in multiple bookings. Can’t see Darmian resulting to any such underhand tactics and I’m sure LVG won’t leave him 1 on 1 either. I fully expect it to be nip and tuck just like everywhere else on the pitch.