Swansea City undoubtedly have a lot to thank Roberto Martinez for, a play maker in the bottom tier who brought culture to a poor side, an inspirational captain through the clubs most turbulent times, and a manager who established a style of play which delighted fans and caught the attention of the national media. However it would be fair to say that both club and manager have moved on since his departure.
Martinez has now had two seasons in the top flight with Wigan and has had his chance to establish his passing game on the club which brought him to the UK. Swansea city played beautiful football under Martinez but were often defensively naive and were exposed a little too often. Paulo Sousa sorted that out but at the expense of a forward threat. Brendan Rodgers found a balance of the two in the Championship, we will find out soon enough how that will pan out in the premier league.
Against Manchester City it was plain to see that the big spending sky blues were a cut above in the attacking third of the pitch, but you do not face the like of Ageuro, Silva and Toure every week (even in the premier league). This was borne out by the Swans only achieving 6 shots in the 94 mins played, another area of concern was the lack of physicality shown by the premier league newcomers, an example of this is the fact that they lost two thirds of the aerial battles all over the pitch.
It is not all bad news though especially when you compare the Swansea statistics against those of Wigan, who drew 1-1 at home against Norwich last week. The Welsh side completed 486 passes compared to the Latics 365. It may be that Martinez has had to abandon some of his footballing beliefs to remain in the premiership as his back four only completed 92 passes, compared to the huge 230 accurate passes played by the the Swansea defensive back line, at an accuracy rate of 85%. Worryingly though is the fact that Wigan Managed 20 shots at goal against Norwich, so whilst the passing may not be of the highest standard they certainly create chances.
Whether the switch from Martinez is the correct thing to do will be decided in April when Swansea’s fate is decided, however today’s game will be an interesting pointer as to how the passing game of Swansea city will hold up to the more routine games in the premier league and if the slick stylish way can create enough opportunities for our goal scorers to make their mark.