Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images

Bob Bradley sighs “same story” as miserable defense dooms Swans

Leave a comment

Swansea City is on pace to allow approximately 83 goals this season. Eighty-three. That’s 6 goals less than the Premier League record for futility, set by Derby County less than a decade ago.

Bob Bradley, understandably, is frustrated.

To put it frankly, the January transfer window can not get here fast enough. While little progress has been made since the American manager was hired, Swansea has a substandard set of players at the Liberty Stadium.

[ RECAP: Boro 3-0 Swans ]

Swans were 1W-1D-5L under Francesco Guidolin, good for .57 points per game. They allowed 12 goals and scored six.

Bradley is 2W-2D-5L, with Swans conceding 25 and scoring 14. Scoring is up, points are up, and so are goals conceded.

Seven teams have scored fewer than Swansea City, yet the Welsh side is in the drop zone. Bradley is forced to try and outscore teams because seemingly playing six at the back still wouldn’t do the job.

Here’s Bradley:

“Same story. A number of games we’ve started in a positive way then give away a goal. We go down one-zero. The goal goes in in a strange way. We then give the PK. We put ourselves in the hole. It’s been a case of road matches, but now we have two games at home.

“We’re disappointed right now. We came in with a good idea. We turn our attention to the home matches over the Christmas period.”

The answer is simple, though managers have to be careful how they phrase things: Swansea let their best player walk this August, and did a poor job in choosing his replacement (Mike Van der Hoorn and Alfie Mawson, summer buys, can barely find time in the lineup).

Ashley Williams was far and away Swansea City’s best defender in 2015-16. Actually, in a season in which Swansea shipped in 52 goals, you could argue the big Welshman was their best player overall.

Since Swans allowed him to leave for Everton, a move that has helped the Toffees improve its from 1.44 goals per game allowed to 1.25, it’s no surprise that the Welsh side is even worse. Check the following graphic of Swans players 2015-16 performance score from advanced stats site Squawka.

@Squawka
@Squawka

Follow @NicholasMendola

Watford chasing Rennes, Senegal star Sarr

Photo by Ulrik Pedersen/NurPhoto via Getty Images
Leave a comment

Watford may capture one of the rising stars of the game.

Ismaila Sarr would cost the Hornets a club transfer record fee, and Sky Sports says that Watford and Rennes are about $10 million apart.

The Ligue 1 side reportedly wants $34 million for the Senegal national team right wing.

[ VIDEO: Nketiah leads Arsenal win ]

Sarr, 21, scored a goal and an assist in Senegal’s run to the Africa Cup of Nations final, playing opposite Sadio Mane of Liverpool.

He posted 13 goals with 14 assists last season between Ligue 1, the French Cup, and the Europa League. He was the lone Rennes player to score against Arsenal in the UEL Round of 16.

Watford has held onto Abdoulaye Doucoure and Dodi Lukebakio this offseason. Lukebakio is also a 21-year-old right wing, and had a sensational loan season with Fortuna Dusseldorf in 2019-20.

Nketiah leads Arsenal past Fiorentina (video)

Photo by Streeter Lecka/International Champions Cup/Getty Images
Leave a comment

Eddie Nketiah scored twice as Arsenal beat Fiorentina 3-0 in Charlotte on Saturday.

Joe Willock also scored for the Gunners, which beat Colorado Rapids and Bayern Munich in their first two matches of the preseason and meet Real Madrid in Maryland on Tuesday.

[ MORE: Guardiola hails KDB ]

Fiorentina took 18 of the match’s 30 shots, though Arsenal had nearly 60 percent of the ball.

Nketiah, 20, scored against Burnley in last season’s Premier League finale and then late against Bayern Munich earlier this week.

He was deft in a high-pressure spot for this one.

Premier League friendlies: Watford beats Bayer, Man Utd over Inter

Photo by PictoBank/Getty Images
Leave a comment

Arsenal and Fiorentina are set to kickoff in Charlotte tonight, with the Gunners the last of a bevy of Premier League sides to engage in preseason friendlies this muggy Saturday.

[ MORE: Guardiola hails KDB ]


Girona 1-2 Bournemouth

Juanpe’s late header pushed La Liga’s hosts past Eddie Howe and his 10-man Cherries, playing down after VAR deemed Jack Simpson‘s foul worthy of a sending off. Ryan Fraser scored Bournemouth’s goal, assisted by Jordon Ibe.

Northampton Town 0-4 Sheffield United

Oliver Norwood converted two penalties in an easy win for Chris Wilder in his return to a club he played for and managed.

Fulham 2-1 Brighton and Hove Albion

Pascal Gross scored with an early free kick — a Megan Rapinoe special — but Tom Cairney scored twice after halftime for the Championship side.

Cheltenham Town 1-2 Leicester City

The Foxes collected a second win over a lower league side this week, with Jamie Vardy and Marc Albrighton on the board.

Newcastle United 1-0 West Ham United (Shanghai)

New manager Steve Bruce watched from the crowd as the Magpies made amends for a 4-0 loss to Wolves by blanking West Ham. Jamie Sterry‘s cross for Yoshinori Muto was delightful, and the Japanese striker’s finish was well-taken.

Port Vale 1-3 Burnley; Crewe Alexandra 0-1 Burnley

Chris Wood, Matej Vydra and Robbie Brady scored as the Clarets overcame an early Nick Pope goal to beat Port Vale, but the Premier League side couldn’t do much in a simultaneous friendly at Crewe.

Inter Milan 0-1 Manchester United (Singapore)

Substitute forward Mason Greenwood, just 17, scored the late goal in a match United controlled, outshooting Inter 21-8.

Preston North End 1-3 Southampton

Brace-bagging Danny Ings doesn’t usually have a problem with finish, so passing the ball directly to him is not something we’d recommend to goalkeepers. Jake Vokins also scored for Saints at Deepdale.

Watford 2-1 Bayer Leverkusen (Austria)

Will Hughes and Andre Gray scored as the Hornets collected a win over Champions League competition.

Man City (0-0, 2-3 pens) Wolves (Shanghai)

Rui Patricio was very good over 90 minutes, and stopped City’s first two penalty attempts as Wolves continue to perplex the PL champions.

WATCH: Marco Fabian smashes set piece goal

AP Photo / Derik Hamilton
Leave a comment

Marco Fabian sent a missile toward goal, and perhaps it’s good the goalkeeper didn’t get to the hand-breaking shot.

Philadelphia took a 1-0 lead over Chicago on Saturday in Chester, Pennsylvania, thanks to the Mexican midfielder.

[ REPORT: Man Utd locks up De Gea ]

It was a pretty set piece from Jim Curtin’s men, a backwards played free kick was laid off to Fabian for his audacious rip.

Fabian hasn’t had a wonderful 2019 season, but his fourth goal of the season will give Union supporters hope that he’ll pick up his form and make the already East-leading side all the more dangerous.