End of season
So in the end the winter of discontent turned into some sort of summer, although not quite as glorious as the Bard would have had it. Eight games may seem too short a time to judge, but Mark Hughes was in charge for over 20% of the schedule; a record of eight points from two wins and two draws would not normally be sufficient extrapolated over an entire season, and we got really, really lucky in surviving on 36 points – how bad were Swansea in not only amassing three fewer points but incredibly also scoring nine fewer goals? But there are factors in Hughes’ favour, notably that three of the four defeats came against top six clubs and with the benefit of hindsight it’s reasonable to suggest that even losing at West Ham had a plus side as the new management team would have learned more from that performance than the cup win seven days before. Hughes rightly said the players should be embarrassed by the situation they found themselves in, and maybe his words contributed to a muted lap of honour after the last game – they all seemed much happier at Swansea! Despite some high profile dismissals of firefighting managers as soon as 2017/18 was put to bed, it’s very likely Mark Hughes will remain in charge. How he’ll work with Les Reed (if at all) is a different matter as the sort of playes he acquired at Stoke don’t fit the Reed profile at all. Les’s recent record has not been good, playing a part in the Van Dijk fiasco, failing to land his key targets in January and (maybe not totally of his own making) leaving us having to either rehabilitate or offload expensive misfits in Boufal, Gabbiadini and Carrillo. But we are where we are – and we are Premier League!
Here are the less guilty players as shown by their LSSC Man of the Match awards:
· Mario Lemina (5)
· Jack Stephens, Oriel Romeu, Pierre-Emile Højbjerg, Shane Long (4 each)
· Maya Yoshida, Wesley Hoedt, Fraser Forster, Cédric Soares (3 each)
· Steven Davis, Ryan Bertrand, Dušan Tadić, Nathan Redmond (2 each)
· Manolo Gabbiadini, James Ward-Prowse, Alex McCarthy (1 each).
So who do you think was our better goalkeeper? I think what has happened there is that McCarthy rarely contributed to games won… but then again we only did that seven times, and only West Brom had a lower return!