We spoke to Swansea City fan Terry about his thoughts prior to Dean Smith’s first Aston Villa game at Villa Park this afternoon.
Words by Harry Trend (@HazaTrand)
The international break seemed to go on for longer than usual last weekend, with most us just wanting to get through to Saturday in order to see Dean Smith’s Villa side in action for the first time.
Smith’s first opponents come in the shape of Swansea City, and for this weeks opposition’s view I’ve asked Swans fan Terry Sinnett (@TerrySinnett).
Terry has been following the Swans since 1962. He had a big gap in attending games due to family and business ties from mid 70’s until Roberto Martinez’s Swansea Way revolution started in 2007. Terry’s last visit to Villa Park was in 1964 when the Swans lost to Preston in the FA Cup Semi Final.
How would you rate your summer transfer dealings out of ten and why?
5/10 – with relegation from the Premier League it was obvious much had to change, not least with the playing staff. Many established players wanted to move on, and the relatively late appointment of the new manager Graham Potter meant dealings would be late, given that he would need to review what he had, who was going and what he needed, before any incoming deals could be done. Add to that the financial implications of relegation, meant GP was up against it in rebooting the squad. So far the signing of Bersant Celina from Man City appears to be an outstanding piece of business – he’s a class player!
What were your expectations going into the season?
It would be fair to say mine, and most supporters, viewed the new season with some trepidation. Not only have we had to deal with relegation from the EPL, but the change of ownership has caused mayhem with the fan base – the lack of communication from the club allowing much negativity to fester. The very poor pre-season transfer business, and with only one coming in during the loan window, caused uproar. Given all this, from my side, a season of consolidation with a mid-table finish, and the opportunity for GP to start his project for the return to ‘The Swansea Way’ was all I was/am looking for.
Why do you think the Swans have had such an inconsistent start to life in the Championship?
Well we’ve had a better start than many of us thought. GP has chosen to go with youth in the main, by promoting a number of youngsters from our successful youth academy. They have taken their opportunities well but the lack of experience has shown in some areas and this has cost us points. Injuries to Leroy Fer and Wilfried Bony has left us without enough experienced players, though GP has chosen not to utilise the experienced Wayne Routledge and Nathan Dyer. Nevertheless we are proud that the young lads, who wouldn’t have had the opportunities if we were still in the EPL, are showing real pride in wearing the jersey, and playing for the club. These are basic to us supporters, isn’t it?
How has Graham Potter changed Swansea since he’s come in?
He’s obviously a clever guy and his man management skills seem top rate. He’s installed a belief and confidence into the young squad, and got us back to playing a style of football that we’ve not seen since our heydays under Michael Laudrup. We have all wanted the return of The Swansea Way and his interpretation of that style is showing through. Our second goal last week v Ipswich was breath taking and reminiscent of ‘Swansalona’, as we were famously dubbed under Laudrup.
If you had to recommend one Swans player for my Telegraph fantasy football team, who would it be and why?
A toss-up between 2 local boys, Connor Roberts and Joe Rodon. Pushed I’d go with Joe Rodon. Untried and untested he’s come into central defence and formed a really strong partnership with Mike Van Der Hoorn. He’s big, strong, confident and is happy to play out of defence in the manner that GP obviously wants. He’s assured and doesn’t panic when under pressure. One for the future for sure, and hopefully with us!
Are there any Villa players you’re wary of on Saturday?
To be honest, and not being disrespectful, no. However, ex-players have a terrible habit of scoring against us, so I’ll be keeping a keen eye on Tammy Abraham and even Neil Taylor, if he plays.
Score prediction for Saturday?
Well you have your new management team, so we can expect a different game to what we might have expected under Steve Bruce. I’ll be more than happy with a draw, so it’s 1-1 for me.