One of my favourite film creations back in the day was Cool Hand Luke, immortalised by Paul Newman as the title character in the movie.
Well after Saturday I reckon Daniel Farke could play the role – with a slightly different accent of course.
What a brave decision, which Daniel himself described as a *hunch*, it proved to be to bring 19-year-olds Bali Mumba and Josh Martin on with roughly a quarter of the game to go. Swansea manager Steve Cooper had targeted Jacob Sorensen by switching the dangerous Andre Ayew to the right-wing, and our left wasn’t working too well anyway with Przemyslaw Placheta having a below-average game.
Now Farke doesn’t always explain his decisions but in this case he did with admirable honesty:
“It was a bit risky. It is one thing to have a fantastic idea as a coach but the compliments go to the player [Mumba]. What those two lads [Mumba and Martin] did was outstanding and full credit to them.
“Swansea changed their base formation at half-time to 4-3-3 with Ayew on the wing. I was pretty pleased to have Jacob Sorensen there at the beginning, who is very solid, but after they changed we got the feeling Ayew is so good going forward but not the best defender.
“We needed a pacy full-back and that was Bali Mumba. To play him for the first time in his career there was a gut feeling. Ahead of him, we needed more of a number 10 to pin their full-back, so I brought on Martin for Placheta.
“It was brave because when you have such a young player against Ayew it is risky. It could have gone completely in the other direction. Fortune favours the brave. We were not just happy with the draw. We wanted to go for it.”
Cool Hand Luke won his gamble in style.
I thought Mumba was originally signed as a right-back/defensive midfielder but he ripped it up on the left with some dazzling, mazy runs, and of course from one of these he crossed, Emi Buendia cushioned back and there was the [sometimes] sweet left foot of the Stieperdude to clinch the three points.
A big shout out for the magnificent Tim Krul for his trio of top-class saves from Jamal Lowe and another from the aforementioned Ayew. Referee Darren England also deserves credit for making what I at least think was the right decision when Max Aarons and Jake Bidwell coincided in the box.
All in all that leaves us Canary types with that warm fuzzy feeling throughout the international break which will hopefully give Todd Cantwell, Ben Gibson and Lukas Rupp the time to ease their knocks in order to be fit for Middlesbrough.
The downside? The poxy break itself.
We all know our internationals are understandably proud to play for their countries and if Sebastian Soto gets on the turf for the USA that will accelerate his application for a work permit, which is all to the good of everybody except the manager of Chile.
Why in these Covid-ridden times do players have to jet around the world for what are in quite a lot of cases meaningless friendlies?
It sure beats me.
Talking of the USA, schoolboy players of my generation were offered half time oranges, many of which were past their best and often failed to deliver what they said on the peel. They could be acrid, bitter and dry out the roof of your mouth quicker than a hairdryer on a combover mission. Or they could be completely tasteless of course.
Kind of reminds me of the ex-President of the United States and, no, I’m not taking the pith.
I’ll end with a message to Mr Cooper at Swansea: if you ever get fed up with Connor Roberts we’ll have him for a reasonable fee. The pick of what I thought was a very good Swansea side who probably deserved a point.
Let’s relax until we see how Farke plays his hand against Colin’s Boro.