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LEIGHTON JAMES: Time to ditch the Swansea Way - and Curtis decision a PR disaster by Swansea City

By South Wales Evening Post  |  Posted: January 11, 2017

Swansea City just need to win against Arsenal, no matter how they play, says Leighton

Swansea City just need to win against Arsenal, no matter how they play, says Leighton

Comments (11)

I KNOW we're second favourites this weekend, but we do have a good record against Arsenal, and out of all the top clubs they are the side that we have competed the best against since we gained promotion to the Premier League.

In all honesty, I'm not bothered one bit about the style of play on Saturday, I'd just like to see us win.

I've heard a lot of people talking about the 'Swansea Way' — well, what a load of rubbish.

How we play is entirely irrelevant, the supporters and the players just want to win.

READ MORE: Former Real Madrid superstar Claude Makelele joins Swansea City coaching staff

It might be different for the managers and the coaches, they are always seeking perfection.

But I guarantee you that players in this current side are thinking exactly the same as I was ahead of a match — I want to win.

Many things may have changed since my playing days, but one that hasn't is a player's overwhelming will to win.

It's all about those three points, and people shouldn't be blinded by wanting to see a particular style of football.

Swansea City head coach Paul Clement

Our biggest success in recent history was the 8th-place Premier League finish under Garry Monk, but that has given people unrealistic expectations.

The fans start thinking we should be targeting the Champions League, but it's impossible for us to compete against those bigger, richer clubs.

This crazy obsession with the 'Swansea Way' is clearly not working, we're second bottom of the league after all.

READ MORE: New Swansea City coach Claude Makelele so keen to work with Paul Clement he rang to ask him

If Paul Clement decides to change the style of play and go route one and we end up winning some games, then I'm not going to criticise him.

We have to decide, do we want to back a side that wins without playing all that well or do we want this fancy football but we end up losing?

It's about time we changed this obsession now, to keep us in the Premier League.

Swansea City legend Alan Curtis

As for the removal of Alan Curtis from the first team coaching set-up, you simply don't treat a legend that way — to text him with the news.

It's a lack of respect to the man.

I expect more from a manager when dealing with a man of Alan's stature.

The best way to describe the whole situation is a PR disaster.

READ MORE: New role for Swansea City legend Alan Curtis at the Liberty

I've seen a lot of fans criticising a variety of people at the club for the way things have gone this season, but I think it's about time the players took some responsibility.

The most important people in the club at this moment are the players themselves.

Bob Bradley took a lot of stick and some of it was deserved, but it's about time we pointed the finger at one or two of the players.

I'm not looking for one or two players to take the lead against Arsenal on Saturday, I want the whole team to stand up and be counted.

Away from the Swans, I'm very disappointed that it looks like we're heading for 48-team World Cup in 2026. I know many people in Wales will be happy with the tournament being expanded, but we are good enough to qualify for the finals in its current format. We don't need to sneak in through a back-door. At the last major tournament, we proved ourselves to be one of the best four teams in Europe.

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  • daielvis  |  January 14 2017, 5:03PM

    Another home loss.....we are down, Clements wont save us playing that way....

  • daielvis  |  January 12 2017, 7:12PM

    No Swansea way = Relegation for sure.....Our squad is weak all around and two or three more home losses will seal our fate. we dont have many home games left and we cant afford any Draws that's for sure, so we have to play too our strengths with the players we have and we have enough experience staff at the club to give us a chance....Losing is not an option any more but that is too much to achieve but lose any more home games and it's curtains.........The Swansea way is our only viable chance of doing anything....

    |   -1
  • yankytaff  |  January 12 2017, 4:28PM

    Dai the Daily Express has looked at teams with the highest pass rate % we come at ninth. We have the 9th highest pass rate in the PL, and we're 19th in the league. Possession and pass rate means nothing if the passes are sideward and backwards.

    |   6
  • daielvis  |  January 12 2017, 1:46PM

    We need a quick fix and not experimenting at this stage and the Swansea way is the answer.....There are plenty of coaches at Swansea who know how to play that system like Curt, Trunds and even Alan Tate to name just 3 as i accept it can be boring at times but we very successful at it and that is what we need right now and should we see our status survive another season then we can look at different systems of playing, But for the rest of this season we should be coaching the players to play the Swansea way.....

    |   -5
  • trncjack  |  January 12 2017, 10:13AM

    The Swansea way served us well , and i would not knock it , and i would hate to watch hoff ball week in week out ,whether winning or not , .But winning teams are the ones that change their style ,we have seen spurs in the sixties playing one touch, Toshack playing 5 at the back with sweeper and wingbacks, . Its all about out thinking the other team, And yes tiki taka has worked, but we now have to tweek it ,I dont know how, i am not a manager , but it is easy to see that other teams have now found ways of counteracting it , What i have noticed is when our centre back passes to the full back ,in the passed the marking man moves to the full back to try and get the ball,this gives the centre back far more room when receiving the ball back again, now the marking man moves to the centre back because he knows what the next move is , and this is happening all over the park when we play our triangles, We dont need to change our passing style , but we do need to find a new way of using it

    |   11
  • rayscoops  |  January 12 2017, 8:30AM

    I agree with Yankytaff - a Laudrup/Monk hybrid is the way to go - entertaining but pragmatic when needbe 😀

    |   13
  • yankytaff  |  January 12 2017, 8:07AM

    I agree with LJ , the Swansea way got us to the PL and helped keep us there but we were getting to predictable, and at times it was possession for possessions sake. Therre were quite a good few games we would have majority possession but the opposition would end up with more goals. They were happy to let Swans keep the ball as they passed it left,right and backwards, by the time we got the ball up the field their defence was well organised or they hit us on the counter. We need to be quicker getting up the field. It's not losing the Swansea Way that got us in this position,it's the loss of our best players, from Allen to Williams that did it, and we know whose fault that is.

    |   20
  • morton1947  |  January 12 2017, 6:55AM

    Totally agree with Barrywelsh as the Premiership is all about winning and staying there. What's the point in playing tippy tappy football and losing every game and getting relegated and losing millions. We have to firstly dig in and carve out results by whatever method and keep ourselves in there as if we are relegated it will NOT be any easy way back. It will be an uphill task but we have got a chance so let's get behind the lads and start with a win against Mr Winger and Saturday.

    |   15
  • CastleFieldJa  |  January 12 2017, 3:30AM

    The Swansea Way was replaced with League 1 hoofball by Monk. We desperately need to return to that patient, possession, passing football to have any chance of regaining our style and retaining Premier League status. The good old up and at 'em, hard work, English style hasn't suited us as others in the league are far better at it. Being different defined us. With all due respect, Leighton was a great player ... 30 years ago.

    |   3
  • daielvis  |  January 11 2017, 10:24PM

    The Swansea way have served us well and paid dividends. It is because we dont play that way any more that we are rubbish, Apart from the older players the rest dont know how to play that way and that includes the last two managers so it is no wonder we are where we are.....What would of got us back playing the Swansea way if we went all out and brought Martinez back but we never and where a good system of playing that we were very good at is now lost we find ourselves in disarray and out of sorts......So i disagree with Leighton and i disagree with him on the world cup. In fact there is not much i ever agree with him on tbh...

    |   -6


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