Sunday, 4 January 2015

Keith Haynes: Swansea's Value More Than Financial

Keith Haynes returns to explain why Swansea City are breaking more premier league moulds and setting new standards in the FA Cup.

The cash generated by an FA cup tie against any premier league side, even the less fashionable of teams can prop up a lower division set up for weeks, or even months to come. I am not sure how Tranmere supporters greeted an FA cup tie against a free flowing and fast passing side like Swansea, but I can guess. Liverpool, Everton, Man Utd or City is always high on every fans lists for a cup draw, even us Jacks over the years have wished for the same. Not now, but back then It was only natural. So when The Swans were drawn against Tranmere at Prenton Park a few disinterested looks were no doubt glanced between the people of The Wirral. 

And from a Swansea perspective the real banana had shed its skin. 

Contacts from the area spoke of a real upset on the cards, especially if Swans manager Garry Monk selected a perceived below strength side. Many felt he would come unstuck, Swansea haven't got much behind the first eleven, and even pre match Paul Merson was questioning the choice of this side by Monk. He tore in to The Swans manager believing he had made a huge mistake. Okay Paul, and for all of us lets judge that now in hindsight, post match, from the team sheet for the game. 

Eyebrows at the ready.

Swansea City starting eleven 3/1/2015

Anyone with even a minimal amount off Swansea knowledge would agree this is a second string side with two first team fringe players of late included in Gomis and Dyer. A great Captain's choice by the way. Okay, Richards is in there too, but his inclusion this season at league level has been recent and brief. This side was a risky choice by Monk, if The Swans lose he is murdered by the fans and press for placing so much trust in a side like this. Mentions were made by knowledgable Tranmere folk that even a reduced eleven would be worth millions of pounds, so Swansea were still cup favourites because of the finances they put in to players fee's. Millions of pounds ?

This set me thinking.

Look at other premier league sides this weekend and in accordance with expectation they will be littered with big buys and big bucks. Now, I am not saying this is in evidence in all cases, but let's look at Swansea City's side against Tranmere in the third round of the 2014/15 FA cup.

1. Gerhard Tremmel , Ex Bayern Munich, signed on a free transfer.
2. Dwight Tiendalli, Ex FC Twente, signed as a free agent.
3. Jordi Amat, Signed for 2.45 million from Espanyol.
4. Kyle Bartley, Signed for 960k from Arsenal
5.  Ashley Richards, youth team product
6. Tom Carrol, On loan
7. Jay Fulton, Signed for 171k from Falkirk
8. Marvin Emnes, Signed for 975k from Middlesboro
9. Nathan Dyer, Signed from Southampton 385k
10. Bafatimbi Gomis, Ex Lyon, signed on a free transfer.
11. Modou Barrow, Signed from Ostersunds FK for 825k with increments.

Total 5.766 million.

Now I certainly agree that Tranmere wont be able to compete financially with a near six million pound team. And there are salaries to match. But, well under six million pounds for a starting eleven for a Premier League team? And a team not exactly littered with internationals - as is often seen in most second string premier league sides.  if Ashley Williams was included in place of Amat this side would be even cheaper to assemble. He cost three hundred and ninety thousand pounds. This would make the whole side worth a little over three and a half million pounds, which is pretty decent business. 

Mo Barrow is crunched by a Tranmere player
Leicester City in the same round of the competition fielded one player in Leonardo Ulloa who cost over eight million pounds, Newcastle, their opponents had Tiote at three and a half million and Anita at nearly seven million in their ranks. There were more. Another Premier League side West Bromwich Albion fielded an array of multi million pound talent in Anichebe at five million, Sessegnon at five and a half million, and they had many more on show. Crystal Palace avoiding their own banana skin fielded Dwight Gayle at five million pounds and Zaha at ten million pounds! Against Dover! QPR fielded Leroy Fer,(£8million), Austin, £5million, and Traore (a buy from Arsenal that was in the millions as well).  Manchester United, Manchester City, Chelsea, Aston Villa, Southampton et al will also field multi million teams in the same round of the cup against lower league opposition. These clubs and players will add millions of pounds to the equation. 

Not one Premier League club will come close to the Swansea City figure.

There is most certainly something to be said about the recruiting policy at Swansea City. It hasn't always worked, I give you David Ngog as an example, and a few on loan strikers better suited to football at a far lower level in recent times. However, it mostly does to an extent. The club's football philosophy winning the day, not individuals.  It is only when you review the Swansea City transfer reality, bartering in the market for creative deals. Looking for players who fit the bill exactly and not just on the pitch - with an an eye on the future too, that you see the blueprint working. 

Vince Tan laughingly mentioned one week in the press around October time that he wants what Swansea have .... at his club. Obviously believing it is a thing that is purchased, bought and paid for. It isn't. It can't be. Garry Monk's selections against Tranmere worked like a dream, the nightmare fans fear of defeat was eroded by a club philosophy running in strands throughout the squad. Swansea helped themselves to their slice of cake as and when they wanted throughout those ninety FA cup minutes. 

Tom Carroll: Took his goal well
against Tranmere
The FA stupidly talked about DNA in their football strategy before Christmas and used silly buzz words, foxing the less intellectual fan and making them believe what they said was true and will happen. It was nonsense and will remain so as long as words like that are swallowed by the masses, because for real action you need more than words. 

Swansea City need not convince the listener, the viewer or the fans that the DNA that is spoken of by the FA of England is a wish for them as well. It is pointless, already this is a thing in motion, a proven and real thing that is now creating players in the 'Swansea Way' I tweeted a 'Conveyor belt of fun' yesterday post match. And I meant it. 

To see Barrow and Gomis with Emnes (the three costing about 1.75 million) freely slicing through Tranmere was a joy. Yes I agree, the Swansea defence wasn't perfect at times, and no doubt this will be managed better in January. But this side gave me hope, real hope. Fulton and Carroll working with Dyer ahead of them (all for under half a million) and you quickly see the misguided DNA talk of the FA - and the dream of many top flight clubs is actually being realised at Swansea City.

Accept it.

The proof of the pudding is in the eating, and six thumping goals away from home against anyone tastes as good as any dessert that you can eat. And when it didn't cost that much either, the taste is almost golden, and if I am not mistaken a golden era at The Liberty awaits us all. 

Anyone getting the munchies ?

Keith Haynes is currently working on a new book with Phil Sumbler called 'Liberty Legends' please visit their facebook page and get involved. 

Visit Keith's amazon book page here