Swansea City – Match Report vs Wycombe Wanderers 26/09/20

Swansea City took on relegation favourites Wycombe Wanderers in game week 3 of the championship. Swansea lined up in a 3-4-3 formation with the trio of young defenders, Marc Guehi, Joe Rodon and Ben Cabango all starting in the back three, whilst Wycombe’s tactic was to play on the counter attack with Onyedinma being their main outlet and biggest threat on their left hand side of midfield. Swansea dominated the game early on and scored two well taken goals in the first 25 minutes of the match. They then went on to control the possession and tempo of the match without Wycombe ever really threatening their goal, Swansea never got out of second gear when they went 2-0 up and in the second half they saw out the game well, slowing down the tempo and running out 2-0 winners.

Morgan Gibbs-White

Player Profile:

  • Nationality: English
  • Age: 20
  • Date of Birth: 27/01/2000
  • Current Club: Swansea, on loan from Wolves
  • Career: Wolves, Swansea (L)
  • Position: Attacking Midfield
  • Secondary Position: Centre Midfield / Left Wing
  • Preferred foot: Right

Gibbs-White is a slim build with average height, however his physicality was impressive and he wasn’t afraid to go into 50/50 challenges or compete for aerial balls. His defensive work was also impressive in the game as he sprinted back on multiple occasions when Wycombe were on the counter attack and Swansea were light at the back, he also tracked back his opposite man when he ventured forward on the overlap.

Gibbs-White was very dangerous going forward, he was very light on the ground and had quick feet which made him very hard to defend against, he’s also always on the move when Swansea are in possession trying to find pockets of space in between the lines which never gave the Wycombe defence a chance to become settled. When the young Englishman did manage to pick up the ball in spaces, he received the ball on the half turn with an open body which enabled him and Swansea to keep the attack going at a quick pace, this helped with Gibbs-White not liking to take too many touches on the ball. As well as drifting in between the lines, he also liked to make runs in behind in the defence, utilising his pace which caused some trouble.

When Gibbs-White has the ball at his feet he are always a threat due to his quick acceleration and good dribbling; he likes to run direct at the defender putting them on the back foot and to cut inside using a burst of pace to get an extra couple of yards space so he can put in a cross or a shot. His crosses were whipped in viciously with great pace that made it difficult to defend, especially from corners. Another impressive aspect of Gibbs-White’s game was his awareness and vision, he could pick out players very accurately from crosses and also long cross field balls; he is always aware of where his teammates are and what runs they are marking, even when his head is down he is still able to pick out a pass through his periphery vision.

Overall, it was an electric performance from the on-loan Wolves attacker. His ability to receive the ball on the half turn was a great asset for Swansea and would be for lots of Premier League teams. He likes to cut inside from his left wing a lot so he can release the ball on his stronger right foot, and this became a bit predictable at times and he may be too reliant on his right foot but that is the only criticism I have of his MOTM performance.

Rating – A1

Marc Guehi

Player Profile:

  • Nationality: English
  • Age: 20
  • Date of Birth: 13/07/2000
  • Current Club: Swansea, on loan from Chelsea
  • Career: Chelsea, Swansea (L)
  • Position: Centre Back
  • Preferred foot: Right

Guehi operated on the left-hand side of the back three today which really suited his passing game. Guehi had an exquisite range of passes in his locker, whether it would be a long diagonal, a ball over the top or a pass into the forwards’ feet. His long diagonals were incredibly accurate so that the receiving player was able to control it however they wanted to without having to move much. However it was his forward passes that broke the lines that were most impressive, his ground passes are hit with such power that there is little chance of an interception and they were hit very crisply and his passes had no bobbles which enabled the Swansea forwards to be able to control the ball well and continue the attack.

Defensively, Guehi looked solid and hard to beat. His positioning was very good and he was always close to the Wycombe attacker with the ball which led to lots of blocked crosses and interceptions due to his positioning and good reading of the game. Guehi showed his good reading of the play when he made a lovely timed slide tackle when the opponent took a heavy touch; he then got back onto his feet and played a trademark line breaking pass that set up a goal. However, the on-loan Chelsea defender is relatively small for a centre-back and he wasn’t convincing in the air, he didn’t compete in the air a couple of times and let the forward win the header, plus he also conceded a foul when faced with a long ball that he didn’t compete with. Guehi has the physicality to out-muscle the striker so it was strange to see him have such a passive approach in the air, whether it was down to poor judgement of the flight of the ball and poor positioning I’m not too sure.

His poor aerial ability can’t take away from his incredible passing performance and he still does have good defensive qualities, his passing ability is such a great asset for Swansea to have, especially with players like Morgan Gibbs-White who can receive the ball on the half turn and dribble with it, it sets up so many attacks and chances.

Rating – A2

Joe Rodon

Player Profile:

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

Rodon played in the middle of the back three, in between Guehi and Cabango. The Welshman had very little to do defensively as Wycombe tended to attack out wide rather than in the middle channel of the pitch. Rodon took a passive approach in this game when defending; he stayed close to his man when he received the ball with his back to goal, he then applied slight physical pressure to the attacker and he often capitalised on the strikers bad touch or control – which was partly down to Rodon’s large physical presence and pressure. Rodon was very comfortable in the air, his large frame was solid and he never got bullied or succumbed to pressure from the opposition when in the air. He also had good positioning like Guehi, Rodon was always in the right place at the right time whether this was clearing crosses or blocking shots. An impressive aspect of the centre-backs game was his leadership of the defence, at just 23 he is the oldest in a fairly inexperienced back three and he was often shouting and communicating with the defenders either side of him. He used clear physical gestures and was always the first defender who pushed the defensive line up the pitch when the ball was cleared.

Rodon was solid on the ball; he often just played the ball side to side across the back three and let Guehi and Cabango play the forward passes. Overall, it was an easy game for Rodon who had very little to do but what he did do he did well, whether he has the ability to step up to the Premier League I’m not sure and will have to watch more of him.

Rating – B1

Ben Cabango

Player Profile:

  • Nationality: Welsh
  • Age: 20
  • Date of Birth: 30/05/2000
  • Current Club: Swansea
  • Career: Swansea, The New Saints (L), Swansea
  • Position: Centre Back
  • Preferred foot: Right

Cabango makes up the Swansea back three playing on the right-hand side, and he struggled a lot more defensively compared to Rodon and Guehi. To be fair to him, he was directly up against Onyedinma who was a tricky opponent. Onyedinma got the better of Cabango in the opening 10 minutes when Cabango failed to sort his feet out and got turned inside out inside the penalty box which was partially due to his very tight positioning. Thankfully, Cabango seemed to learn from this and left more space when defending Onyedinma in a 1v1 situation later on in the match, when he made a very strong standing challenge stopping a potential counterattack. However, he conceded a foul in a dangerous position when the attacker cut inside him again and it was lazy defending as he just dangled a leg out, Cabango seems to struggle when attackers cut inside him due to poor agility which he could be exploited against when coming up against better wingers.

On the ball, the Welsh youngster tried to pass through the lines and start attacks like Guehi did. Most of the time, the pass reached the intended target however the passing was not as crisp as Guehi’s; Cabango’s passes weren’t hit as hard either and were bobbly on occasions. However, the intentions were good, and he did start some attacks playing out from the back which suits Swansea’s style of play. Cabango is in the right team and I feel like he could develop really well this season playing alongside and learning from Rodon and Guehi respectively.

Rating – B2

Written by Andrew Hunter / @HunterAnalysis on twitter

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