The role of Swansea City fans in the full scale of the Russell Martin project becomes clear – Guto Llewelyn



Last week showed that Russell Martin still has a lot of work to do in Swansea City, but it also gave us a sense of what can be achieved and why patience remains essential.

One of the things Swansea fans wanted from the former MK Dons boss when he was first named was entertainment and we certainly got that last Saturday at Luton.

The term “a game of two halves” has never been more appropriate.

Spirits collapsed outside Kenilworth Road after the Swans conceded three goals in the first 23 minutes. Some supporters started to lash out at players and management during a torturous first half.

They performed without any definite form, collapsing under pressure from Luton’s high press and making countless mistakes. The men in white looked restless and panicked, lacking the required composure or sharpness. The 3-0 halftime score probably flattered the chaotic visitors.

As they walked down the tunnel, the question that ran through my mind was not “how can we get back into this” but rather “how much more embarrassing can it get? “

With the defense wide open and Luton’s goal unthreatened, all of the worst traits of the first weeks of the season were in sight. Fans might be forgiven for wondering where the heck it was all headed, but after the hiatus came a display that will be remembered for a long time by everyone present.

A triple substitution helped transform the game. As a result, the Swans were camping in Luton’s half of the field, bombing their goal and playing with an energy and drive they had so sorely lacked.

READ MORE:Rhys Williams struggles on loan at Liverpool as Russell Martin takes stock of Swansea City’s injuries against Huddersfield Town

They passed the ball instinctively, stretching the pitch and digging holes in an increasingly overwhelmed Luton rearguard.

Against all odds, they managed to score three goals, which was almost as much as what they had scored in the entire Championship campaign until then, and they could have won it just to death.

It was a barnstorming performance with excellent wing play, smooth passing and tremendous confidence.

The full-time celebrations told a story. The mess of the first half had been overshadowed by an authentic classroom display as everything seemed to fall into place.

Olivier Ntcham directed the show from the midfield, his cultivated, avant-garde and precise touches passing a joy to see. His replacement colleague Joel Piroe gave Swansea an additional weapon on offense and alongside Michael Obafemi the pair gave Luton’s defense a lot more to think about.

In addition to the excellent impact of the substitutes, others have managed to get involved much more.

Ethan Laird was a constant threat on the lower right and once again suggested he could be a real star in the making. Matt Grimes was much more present as Jamie Paterson put in his best 45 minutes for the Swans, constantly looking to shake things up in the final third.

The dismay of the first half cannot and must not be forgotten. There was clearly a lot to correct and a lot of negatives that remain a concern, but the second half showed this team has the capacity to thrive in Martin’s new style.

Following the spectacular return to Luton, a largely second-chain Swansea side traveled to Sussex to face Brighton in the Carabao Cup.

The Swans lost the game and, again, the nature of the goals conceded can be a bit of a letdown. But there was also a lot to admire when they aired midweek.

Once again, they created a plethora of great occasions and while it lacked the finishing touches, the building set was both creative and incisive.

Even without most of the regular starters, there were a lot of positives to be found in the loss.

Last week was not perfect by any stretch of the imagination. Many of the issues encountered during the opening month of the season are still here and still need to be addressed, but we also got an exciting indication of what can be achieved with time and persistence.

Martin strongly believes in the process. He actively avoids quick fixes and seeks to build systems that can be effective in the long run. The fans were keen to support him and despite only winning one in the first eight games of the championship season, the Jack Army is largely united in their support for Martin.

But when wins aren’t there, fans need reason to be optimistic and that’s what we’ve seen this week.

Blind faith is unnecessary and asking supporters to be patient without any proof of progress is an unrealistic requirement. But in the second half response against Luton and the encouraging performance against Brighton, we saw indications that Martin is getting his ideas across to the players and the team are moving in the desired direction.

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Martin was a popular date because fans believed he would drastically change the style of the team and make them play more enjoyable football. But there was an acceptance at the time that such a change would be difficult and might take a long time to put in place.

It remains true. It is a heavy project and it will not happen overnight. If you expected instant success, you had unrealistic expectations from the start.

The Swansea squad contains players with serious potential and based on what we’ve seen in the last few matches they are adapting to Martin’s playstyle in a way that could have some very exciting results in the long run. .

This season will have some extreme ups and downs, sometimes in the same game, but we saw enough last week to justify investing patience in Martin and his methods.

We need to remember this as we embark on a tough game series that includes four of the top six in our next nine games. Knee reactions and impulsive dissent every time something is wrong will not help anyone. As supporters, we also have a role to play in this area.

Martin has embarked on a very ambitious task which will take time to be completed, but there are signs of progress which should give us all cause for optimism and even excitement.

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