Welcome, a very merry TFFmas from all of us here at the blog. As we head into the holiday season, there is plenty to look forward to both on the pitch and off it and we are looking forward to the month ahead. This December we will be running the 25 Days of TFFmas, every day up until the big day we will be publishing Christmas wishlists from members of our team for what they would like their club to get for Christmas.
For Day 13, we spoke to TFF’s Director of Content, Ben Wheatland, about his wishes for Swindon Town in the new year.
It’s been a steep decline for Swindon in recent years. After reaching the Play-off final in 2014/15, where the club were soundly beaten 4-0 by Preston, the Robins followed it up with a 16th place finish last season under a mixture of Mark Cooper, Lee Power, Martin Ling and Luke Williams’ leadership. This season, stability still remains elusive. The club are now in an odd position regarding their management set up. Luke Williams started off the season as manager and still remains in the Head Coach role, but in November, Swindon shocked many in football and appointed Tim Sherwood as Director of Football. From his introduction, we were led to believe that Sherwood would pick the team and tactics, as well as handling transfers, while Williams would work with the squad on the training field and lead the team in matches. It was even suggested that, from time to time, Sherwood would join Williams on the touchline if it was felt to be necessary. This happened recently in the FA Cup tie against Eastleigh. Swindon went 1-0 down which brought Sherwood down from the stands and he remained there for the duration of the match. Whilst both Sherwood and Williams have publicly stated that they are happy with the arrangement, any conflict between the two men could potentially derail Swindon’s already stuttering season.
As alluded to, they were humbled in the FA Cup First Round by Eastleigh, 3-1 at the County Ground, they went out of the League Cup to QPR on penalties after a valiant showing to draw the game 2-2, there was good news in the Checkatrade trophy as they made it beyond the first round, they topped their group ahead of local rivals Oxford, Exeter City and Chelsea Academy but lost 2-3 at home to Luton in the knockout stages. In the league though, things have not been so good. Swindon are embroiled in a relegation scrap and currently sit precariously close to the relegation zone. An upturn in form is desperately needed over the Christmas period to keep the Robins away from the ensuing relegation dogfight.
Wish 1- The Chairman to spend some money and bring in one or more strikers
“The club has many problems, but chief amongst them is a lack of goals.” This season, Swindon’s have only managed to find the back of the net 21 times, while conceding 32. Clearly, the strikers aren’t giving the club enough of a chance to win games. The stats for their front men in that time make grim reading too. Luke Norris- 0 in 18, Nathan Delfounso- 1 in 17, Jonathon Obika- 3 in 11 and Ellis Iandolo- 0 in 9. “My wish would be to bring in a quality striker (or three) to start putting away some chances.”
Wish 2- To bring in an experienced centre-back to shore up our defence
“We are shaky at the back and have so little experience that it is almost laughable.” The average age of their backline is just 22-years-old, with the oldest member only aged 26. “It is unlikely that we will sign anyone permanently in January, so I would wish for us to bring in a seasoned central defender on loan to help us move away from the relegation zone.”
Wish 3- The Chairman sells the club to a billionaire sugar daddy owner who inexplicably loves the club and who will fund a Bournemouth-style “fairytale” rise to the Prem. I can dream…
“The club doesn’t have two quid to rub together and has to sell players in order to stay sustainable. New owners (whether they take the form of a mega-rich sugar daddy or just someone with at least *some* money) might allow the club to invest in the squad rather than continually having to sell the best players.”
Do you agree with this list?
Follow us on Twitter @OfficialTFF and while you’re at it, give Ben a follow @BenWheatland. You can also find us on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/thefootballforecast) and Instagram (thefootballforecast). Feel free to message us on any platform and let us know your thoughts!
Thank you to Ben Wheatland for contributing today, we’ll see you tomorrow for another member and another wishlist!