Swansea City – Match Report vs QPR 11/02/20

Ratings

  • A1 – Very good, could play higher
  • A2 – Strong potential to play higher
  • B1 – Good, strong player at level
  • B2 – Potential to be strong player at level
  • C – Average for the level, rewatch
  • D – Below average, don’t follow up

Joe Rodon

Player profile:

  • Nationality: Welsh
  • Age: 22
  • Date of birth: 22/10/1997
  • Current Club: Swansea City
  • Career: Swansea City, Cheltenham Town (L)
  • Position: Centre Half
  • Preferred foot: Right

Rodon, who is 6’4, was an important player for Swansea, marshalling the back four and defending aggressively throughout. He liked to engage the attackers early, high up the pitch, using his strength and stature to win the ball back before an attack had time to develop. At times this left space in behind for attackers to exploit when the interception wasn’t made but, for the most part, he was successful with his challenges. He was strong in the tackle and made some important blocks, keeping the shots on target to a minimum.

In possession he liked to play very high up the pitch, almost acting as a defensive midfielder to help build attacks. He made a lot of passes and was confident on the ball, often looking to progress it down the wings by playing a through ball to the full-back who had pushed on. There were a few lapses in concentration to give possession away cheaply but overall he was impressive, his passing ability is vital to this Swansea team that like to play out from the back.

He defended his box well, dominant in the air and disciplined against the threat posed by Ebere Eze, not letting himself get sucked into making a challenge in the box and risking a penalty. Despite his height he could not pose a threat from attacking set-pieces as Swansea struggled to threaten the QPR goal.

Rating: A1

Physically imposing and strong on the ball, Rodon has the perfect skillset for the Premier League and I would be surprised if he does not make the step up this summer. If that does happen he will need to ensure he is coming away with the ball when engaging high up the pitch as any gaps left in behind would be ruthlessly exploited at the top level.

Marc Guehi

Player profile:

  • Nationality: English
  • Age: 19
  • Date of birth: 13/07/2000
  • Current Club: Swansea City, on loan from Chelsea
  • Career: Chelsea, Swansea City (L)
  • Position: Centre Half
  • Preferred foot: Right

Guehi started nervously but grew into the game and put in a solid performance at the back to ensure a clean sheet. He was strong and quick, using his athleticism to win headers and repel the long balls that QPR played up to Jordan Hugill. He had a good reading of the game, knowing when to step up to make an interception and when to drop back to provide cover.

He seemed to lack conviction in possession and could have played with more urgency. Again, his composure grew on the ball as the game went on and he played some impressive diagonal passes to switch the play but was not successful with his attempts to play long balls in behind the QPR defence. He, like Rodon, was generally well-disciplined and dealt with Eze well, limiting his creative output and forcing QPR to switch to alternative game plans.

Rating: B1

Guehi is still finding his feet at senior football but is growing in confidence and should continue to do so. He is not the tallest but makes up for it with an impressive combination of power and anticipation. He will only improve with more minutes.

Conor Gallagher

Player profile:

  • Nationality: English
  • Age: 20
  • Date of birth: 06/02/2000
  • Current Club: Swansea City, on loan from Chelsea
  • Career: Chelsea, Charlton (L), Swansea City (L)
  • Position: Central midfield
  • Preferred foot: Right

Gallagher impressed in the middle of the park, covering a lot of ground and getting on the ball a lot to try and break down the QPR low block. He has good dribbling ability, protecting the ball well and allowing him to drive the team forward when collecting the ball from the centre-backs. The midfield area was often congested but Gallagher did well to find space and move the ball on quickly with one and two-touch play.

He needs to improve his passing in the final third. He often found himself in good positions on the outside of the box but could not make that final pass to create a shooting opportunity. In the second half he acknowledged the need to pull out into wide positions and look to put crosses into the box, giving the team another option as QPR defended well against play through the middle.

Defensively he was solid if unremarkable, often standing off the player and letting them come onto him rather than engaging aggressively. However, he was strong in the challenge and his work-rate allowed him to help out the defence when required.

Rating: A2

A well-rounded midfielder who is just missing the final few touches to take him to the top level. He is a confident player and often set the tempo for this Swansea side. Working on that final ball and getting a few more games a this level will, in my opinion, bring his game up to Premier League level.

Yan Dhanda

Player profile:

  • Nationality: English
  • Age: 21
  • Date of birth: 14/12/1998
  • Current Club: Swansea City
  • Career: Liverpool, Swansea City
  • Position: Attacking midfielder
  • Secondary position: Left Wing
  • Preferred foot: Right

Dhanda was given a free-role behind Brewster and used it well, playing between the lines and finding space in and around the box. His diminutive stature gives him a low centre of gravity and good close control which allowed him to evade challenges and his pace caused problems for the QPR defenders. He looked the most likely of the attackers to pick the lock, being creative with his passes and creating the best chance of the game for Swansea.

However, off the ball he did not press with the same intensity as those around him which became frustrating as the game increasingly required more urgency. He was not strong enough and was bullied off the ball too often, with the physicality of the Championship proving difficult at times.

Rating: B2

Faded in and out of the game but looked dangerous at his best. Needs to be more aggressive and work harder off the ball to impose himself in a physically demanding league.

Rhian Brewster

Player profile:

  • Nationality: English
  • Age: 20
  • Date of birth: 01/04/2000
  • Current Club: Swansea City, on loan from Liverpool
  • Career: Chelsea (Y), Liverpool, Swansea City (L)
  • Position: Striker
  • Preferred foot: Right

Brewster had a tough game as QPR’s low defensive line left no space in behind to exploit his pace and he hardly had a sight of goal. He pressed aggressively, chasing every pass and loose ball which was welcome in adding some urgency into an otherwise drab affair.

He was forced to come deep and linked up play well with one-touch lay offs out to the wingers to create space. He is not a physical player and does not win many headers but made up for his lack of strength by using his body intelligently to shield the ball from defenders and retain possession.

Rating: B1

Not a game for the strikers as both defences came out on top but never stopped running and seemed to be a real fan favourite. Would suit a game where he can use his pace to get in behind and on the end of through balls.

Freddie Woodman

Player profile:

  • Nationality: English
  • Age: 23
  • Date of birth: 04/03/1997
  • Current Club: Swansea City, on loan from Newcastle
  • Career: Newcastle, Hartlepool (L), Crawley (L), Kilmarnock (L), Aberdeen (L), Swansea City (L)
  • Position: Goalkeeper
  • Preferred foot: Right

Woodman had a shaky start, completely losing his bearings and misjudging the flight of a ball over the top which almost resulted in a goal. He had a quiet game after that, only being called into action a few times but performing his tasks solidly.

He was quick off his line and saved well with his feet but was not commanding from crosses, often opting to stay on his line instead of coming to claim high balls. His distribution was poor when going long, he passed short to the centre-backs for the most part but often overhit passes out to the full-backs who had pushed on.

Rating: C

Did not have his best game and was lucky not to be punished for his mistake. He still came away with a clean sheet, albeit from a quiet day at the office.

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