Sunday, 21 December 2014

Hull 0-1 Swansea: Player ratings

Josh Kilmister gives his customary take on how our boys fared in their last outing

After two consecutive losses, a win away at Hull was somewhat imperative. Despite fielding a surprisingly weakened team with seven changes from the loss to Spurs, The Swans walked away with all three points to make Christmas that little bit better.

Starting XI

Lukasz Fabianski - 8/10

The big Pole in our goal was back after a one match suspension and if Tremmel’s performance last week wasn’t enough evidence that we missed him, then Fabianski’s performance today certainly was. Superb in the air, controlled his box with ease and when called upon made some brilliant saves. His distribution was excellent, and one incredibly long throw in particular almost set Nathan Dyer in on goal; it sure is great to have him back in net.

Neil Taylor - 8/10

Solid again at the back, making some great tackles in our defensive third. Contributions to attack worth mentioning, linking up with Routledge on the left flank in an attempt to increase our lead. Took a knock in the second half and needed extensive treatment before leaving the pitch - he came back on to echoes of jeers from the Hull fans. Seemed to recover well from what looked originally looked like a reasonably bad injury but received a yellow card minutes later.

Federico Fernandez - 8/10

As I expected, Fede regained his place in the side despite a run of solid performances from Kyle Bartley. Though it was said he was fit last week, an extra few days recovery did the Argentine no harm as him and Williams played a huge role in keeping our seventh clean sheet in seventeen games. He did have a chance to get his first goal in a Swansea shirt but couldn’t direct his header on target. Bartley has served us well over recent weeks, but Fernandez is quite clearly on another level.

Ashley Williams - 8.5/10

An outstanding performance from the Swans’ skipper who was a rock at the back for the full ninety minutes. Linked with a move to Liverpool this week, Williams showed that if anyone wants him he’s not going to come cheap; his leadership shone through as he held the line of defence excellently and - even if there is a slight language barrier - him and Fernandez look like a partnership that really can thrive in the Premier League.

Ashley Richards - 8/10

Jazz was quick to apologise for his error last Sunday, but the mistake didn’t deceive Garry Monk. Starting ahead of Angel Rangel, Jazz showed that he’s more than capable of making that right-back position his own. Jazz - formerly a winger - showed that he hasn’t forgotten every aspect to the attacking side of the game, making a few good runs outside of Nathan Dyer on the right. Though I don’t have a stat for it, his pass accuracy seemed excellent, playing some tidy one-twos on the right flank. Taken off for Rangel with ten minutes to go, I would only assume that it was to prevent a second yellow card. Perhaps I was a little harsh with his rating last week, but this week he’s done more than enough to earn his place in the side on Boxing Day.

Tom Carroll - 7.5/10

I really struggled with this one as the Spurs loanee was replaced early on in the second half. Until then, Carroll looked comfortable on the ball whilst also offering himself to the defence when needed. He was central to numerous attacks, with has ability to place a pass, together with his quick feet, taking its toll on the Hull defence. Though his performance will be overshadowed by that of Ki, he certainly hasn’t done his position in the squad any harm. 

Ki Sung-Yeung - 9/10 (Man of the match)

With Sigurdsson and Britton both missing through injury, Ki was the only of our three midfielders to keep his place from last week’s game. Alongside the young Tom Carroll and behind the talented - but somewhat precarious - Jonjo Shelvey, Ki had the duties of controlling the midfield and making the game ours. He didn’t disappoint, and even when Hull were putting on the pressure he rarely misplaced a pass. As well as his incredible defensive efforts, Ki’s creativity in front of goal didn’t go unseen either. Although the goal was credited to him, I don’t think Ki knew much about it. A left-footed strike from Jonjo Shelvey deflected off the Korean and into Allan McGregor’s net; that’s his third this season!

Wayne Routledge - 7/10

Although Routs didn’t do much wrong, he did little to impact the game in my opinion. Apart from a chance early on where he refused to use his often criticised left foot to test the Hull City ‘keeper, I never really felt that he made the most of the obvious gap between Hull’s defence and midfield. Wasteful at times, but by no means bad. 

Jonjo Shelvey - 7.5/10

Ah, Jonjo. Starting in the ‘Gylfi role’, it’s difficult to predict what sort of performance we’re going to get from the England international. One thing for sure is that he isn’t afraid to shoot, and that certainly worked to our benefit today. Although he may not be able to claim the goal, he can certainly claim an assist as he saw an ambitious shot deflect off Ki and into the back of the net. He almost got a goal to his name later in the match, as another trademark long shot beat McGregor, but struck against the post. Forced to drop back after the introduction of Emnes, Shelvey again showed his adaptability and worked well for the last third of the game to grind out the win. 

Nathan Dyer - 7/10

Like Routledge, Dyer was very much ineffective but by no means poor. His final ball into the box wasn’t up to scratch and there were times where his decision making wasn’t on point, but the same could be said for Routs. With Gomis up front, perhaps it’s more difficult for the wide players to impact the game, so that will have to be seen to come January. 

Bafetimbi Gomis - 7.5/10

I feel for Baf, I really do. As I mentioned in a piece last week, the time he’s been given to prove himself simply isn’t enough for a striker like him. I thought he was brilliant today, and brought a whole new element to the game that Wilf doesn’t offer. Making runs into the channels, Shelvey was given a world of space to work with in midfield. As well as that he managed to get his fair share of shots away, hitting the post with a volley inside the box - though the likelihood is that the deflection would’ve seen it go down as an own goal. Until we change out methods in the final third, we’re never going to see the full potential of Gomis. Our game is set up for Bony, and that has to change in January. 


Marvin Emnes - 7/10 (for Carroll, 56) 

His first appearance for quite a while after he lost his place on the bench to Mo Barrow, Emnes showed his ability immediately after coming on and saw a volley go just wide of the post. 

Wilfried Bony - 8/10 (for Gomis, 76)

It was clear to see that despite the efforts of Gomis, Bony is the better of the two at the moment. Only on the field for fifteen minutes, Wilf got himself into a few really good positions along the front line, forcing McGregor into action late on. 

Angel Rangel - 7/10 (for Richards, 80)

Brought on for Richards who was in danger of a second yellow card, there really isn’t too much to write about Rangel here, who didn’t have much to do in the ten minutes he played; though I guess he did nothing wrong!


A first away win since the opening day and players fresh ready for Boxing Day; I don’t think we could’ve asked for much more. Although people were quick to question Monk’s team selection, that won’t be the case as much this evening. 
Perhaps had we started with Bony up front the last ten minutes wouldn’t have been as nervy, but that’s all part of the game.

One thing that was made clear today is that as well as Bony, Ki will be a huge loss in January. Hopefully, the likes of Tom Carroll and Jonjo - who both showed their capabilities today - will be able to step up to the plate. With a busy couple of weeks ahead, Monk will be hoping for maximum points with potentially rotated squads; and we’ve certainly got the strength in depth to get them.

Aston Villa at home on Boxing Day is set to be a great game, with Villa picking up form as of late. Until then, I hope you all enjoy your Christmas; after this result, I know I will!

Thanks to Josh as usual. Agree with his ratings? Disagree? Get in touch in the comment section with your own!