Ethan Laird | Swansea loan watch

Cascarino

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Hopefully @Cascarino posts the update on how he plays.
I was going to wait until about halfway through the season to give a little write up, mainly because I thought he'd take some time to acclimatise to both the step up in football, the new team and that he'd be competing with Roberts for a starting berth, but with about roughly 10 games under his belt there's enough to mention. Albeit it's still very early in the season and the team is struggling results wise, he's been excellent and has impressed with both his performances and with the responsibility he's shouldered.

The positives mainly come down to the influence he has on the attacking side of things. This Swansea side has struggled massively when it has come to creating goalscoring chances, or even just shooting opportunities in general. In the entire league I think Swansea are basically bottom or thereabouts for both goals and shots, and when watching the matches this isn't really a surprising statistic, there's a lot of pedestrian passing and it's very rare that the ball is moved forwards with any speed or purpose. This is where Laird has shown both his talent and mentality, in that even when facing teams which are happy to sit back and let Swansea knock it side to side, he is the one player who can consistently make things happen in that scenario by having the physical and technical qualities to both carry the ball and carve out opportunities. He's very confident when it comes to dribbling, and he's also able to take players on from a standing start. He's sometimes a little erratic when it comes to keeping possession of the ball, but when you have a team that is so risk averse it's easy to forgive, especially when Laird is one of the most creative passers and one of the few players who can beat a player. His pure stats on returns are a little misleading, I think he only has one or two assists, but he's probably the player who has created the most chances in the side, and I imagine that when the opposition are preparing for the match, he is someone who will be given considerable time spent on how to deal with him tactically.

There's no real negatives, his decision making could be improved, but that's fairly picky considering he's only a couple of months into his time at a new club, and in a stronger league than he was last season. Sometimes passing on his weak foot can be a bit of a problem, I'm not sure if that's a technical or a mental thing, but he can get the power of the pass wrong. The other comments I've quoted have mentioned this, but dwelling on the ball can be a bit counterproductive, this is a very mild criticism though as it's often something he has little choice on because of how Swansea and the opposition often approach the game. One thing would be that due to the formation Swansea play, and Laird's role within it, it's hard to get a good grasp of his defensive prowess. He looks fairly competent in this regard, but there's a lot less defensive responsibility for him in this set up than there would be if he was playing in AWB's role in a back 4.

That is a nice highlight reel, but why does Lutons leftback keep giving him 20 meters of space every time. It'd be nice to see Ethan playing against a competent defender who closes the space and forces his hand more
It's basically due to this Swansea side having a very one minded tactical approach. Since Martin came in towards the end of preseason, the overall system has been one of a very strict adherence to ball retention. I think it's something like 65% average possession, which is the highest in the football league system. As a result the general gameplan other teams have employed is to sit back and suffocate all room in behind and to try and make this Swansea side break them down, which more often than not results in Swansea creating very few meaningful chances (if any).

On one hand it's good experience for Laird in that playing for a team like Man Utd will often result in scenarios where the game will be less open and United will have to break down a side sitting back, his calmness at taking on static defences and his ability to inject a surge in tempo with a one two are signs of him understanding how to deal with these kinds of opposition tactics. On the other hand he will have to get used to matches taking place at a higher tempo, he does take a lot of time on the ball and while it serves a purpose within his current footballing situation, he'll have to get used to facing players really pressing him.
 
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roonster09

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I was going to wait until about halfway through the season to give a little write up, mainly because I thought he'd take some time to acclimatise to both the step up in football, the new team and that he'd be competing with Roberts for a starting berth, but with about roughly 10 games under his belt there's enough to mention. Albeit it's still very early in the season and the team is struggling results wise, he's been excellent and has impressed with both his performances and with the responsibility he's shouldered.

The positives mainly come down to the influence he has on the attacking side of things. This Swansea side has struggled massively when it has come to creating goalscoring chances, or even just shooting opportunities in general. In the entire league I think Swansea are basically bottom or thereabouts for both goals and shots, and when watching the matches this isn't really a surprising statistic, there's a lot of pedestrian passing and it's very rare that the ball is moved forwards with any speed or purpose. This is where Laird has shown both his talent and mentality, in that even when facing teams which are happy to sit back and let Swansea knock it side to side, he is the one player who can consistently make things happen in that scenario by having the physical and technical qualities to both carry the ball and carve out opportunities. He's very confident when it comes to dribbling, and he's also able to take players on from a standing start. He's sometimes a little erratic when it comes to keeping possession of the ball, but when you have a team that is so risk averse it's easy to forgive, especially when Laird is one of the most creative passers and one of the few players who can beat a player. His pure stats on returns are a little misleading, I think he only has one or two assists, but he's probably the player who has created the most chances in the side, and I imagine that when the opposition are preparing for the match, he is someone who will be given considerable time spent on how to deal with him tactically.

There's no real negatives, his decision making could be improved, but that's fairly picky considering he's only a couple of months into his time at a new club, and in a stronger league than he was last season. Sometimes passing on his weak foot can be a bit of a problem, I'm not sure if that's a technical or a mental thing, but he can get the power of the pass wrong. The other comments I've quoted have mentioned this, but dwelling on the ball can be a bit counterproductive, this is a very mild criticism though as it's often something he has little choice on because of how Swansea and the opposition often approach the game. One thing would be that due to the formation Swansea play, and Laird's role within it, it's hard to get a good grasp of his defensive prowess. He looks fairly competent in this regard, but there's a lot less defensive responsibility for him in this set up than there would be if he was playing in AWB's role in a back 4.
Thank you for the detailed write up, looks like this is a very positive loan for all parties involved.
 

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I was going to wait until about halfway through the season to give a little write up, mainly because I thought he'd take some time to acclimatise to both the step up in football, the new team and that he'd be competing with Roberts for a starting berth, but with about roughly 10 games under his belt there's enough to mention. Albeit it's still very early in the season and the team is struggling results wise, he's been excellent and has impressed with both his performances and with the responsibility he's shouldered.

The positives mainly come down to the influence he has on the attacking side of things. This Swansea side has struggled massively when it has come to creating goalscoring chances, or even just shooting opportunities in general. In the entire league I think Swansea are basically bottom or thereabouts for both goals and shots, and when watching the matches this isn't really a surprising statistic, there's a lot of pedestrian passing and it's very rare that the ball is moved forwards with any speed or purpose. This is where Laird has shown both his talent and mentality, in that even when facing teams which are happy to sit back and let Swansea knock it side to side, he is the one player who can consistently make things happen in that scenario by having the physical and technical qualities to both carry the ball and carve out opportunities. He's very confident when it comes to dribbling, and he's also able to take players on from a standing start. He's sometimes a little erratic when it comes to keeping possession of the ball, but when you have a team that is so risk averse it's easy to forgive, especially when Laird is one of the most creative passers and one of the few players who can beat a player. His pure stats on returns are a little misleading, I think he only has one or two assists, but he's probably the player who has created the most chances in the side, and I imagine that when the opposition are preparing for the match, he is someone who will be given considerable time spent on how to deal with him tactically.

There's no real negatives, his decision making could be improved, but that's fairly picky considering he's only a couple of months into his time at a new club, and in a stronger league than he was last season. Sometimes passing on his weak foot can be a bit of a problem, I'm not sure if that's a technical or a mental thing, but he can get the power of the pass wrong. The other comments I've quoted have mentioned this, but dwelling on the ball can be a bit counterproductive, this is a very mild criticism though as it's often something he has little choice on because of how Swansea and the opposition often approach the game. One thing would be that due to the formation Swansea play, and Laird's role within it, it's hard to get a good grasp of his defensive prowess. He looks fairly competent in this regard, but there's a lot less defensive responsibility for him in this set up than there would be if he was playing in AWB's role in a back 4.



It's basically due to this Swansea side having a very one minded tactical approach. Since Martin came in towards the end of preseason, the overall system has been one of a very strict adherence to ball retention. I think it's something like 65% average possession, which is the highest in the football league system. As a result the general gameplan other teams have employed is to sit back and suffocate all room in behind and to try and make this Swansea side break them down, which more often than not results in Swansea creating very few meaningful chances (if any).

On one hand it's good experience for Laird in that playing for a team like Man Utd will often result in scenarios where the game will be less open and United will have to break down a side sitting back, his calmness at taking on static defences and his ability to inject a surge in tempo with a one two are signs of him understanding how to deal with these kinds of opposition tactics. On the other hand he will have to get used to matches taking place at a higher tempo, he does take a lot of time on the ball and while it serves a purpose within his current footballing situation, he'll have to get used to facing players really pressing him.
Nice read.

Cheers.

Do you think he's a PL level FB yet, or is the Championship the best place for him currently?
 

Cascarino

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Nice read.

Cheers.

Do you think he's a PL level FB yet, or is the Championship the best place for him currently?
I think in terms of his ability on the ball he’s definitely in the PL bracket. Especially when it comes to carrying the ball, he’s very confident even when he’s got opponents around him, and not just when he’s out wide but even in the more congested central areas.

In terms of his defensive ability I’m less sure, not as a reflection on his defensive performances but just because of the formation and his role within it that even compared to other three CB formations, I’ve rarely seen wingbacks given such little defensive responsibility.

He’s definitely better than this Swansea side, and I would say that there are some PL sides that I think he’d have a decent chance of starting at.
 

Fortitude

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I think in terms of his ability on the ball he’s definitely in the PL bracket. Especially when it comes to carrying the ball, he’s very confident even when he’s got opponents around him, and not just when he’s out wide but even in the more congested central areas.

In terms of his defensive ability I’m less sure, not as a reflection on his defensive performances but just because of the formation and his role within it that even compared to other three CB formations, I’ve rarely seen wingbacks given such little defensive responsibility.

He’s definitely better than this Swansea side, and I would say that there are some PL sides that I think he’d have a decent chance of starting at.
Excellent. Thanks for the info - really hope he can continue to impress and come back and challenge Wan Bissaka for that starting place.
 

Dante

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I was going to wait until about halfway through the season to give a little write up, mainly because I thought he'd take some time to acclimatise to both the step up in football, the new team and that he'd be competing with Roberts for a starting berth, but with about roughly 10 games under his belt there's enough to mention. Albeit it's still very early in the season and the team is struggling results wise, he's been excellent and has impressed with both his performances and with the responsibility he's shouldered.

The positives mainly come down to the influence he has on the attacking side of things. This Swansea side has struggled massively when it has come to creating goalscoring chances, or even just shooting opportunities in general. In the entire league I think Swansea are basically bottom or thereabouts for both goals and shots, and when watching the matches this isn't really a surprising statistic, there's a lot of pedestrian passing and it's very rare that the ball is moved forwards with any speed or purpose. This is where Laird has shown both his talent and mentality, in that even when facing teams which are happy to sit back and let Swansea knock it side to side, he is the one player who can consistently make things happen in that scenario by having the physical and technical qualities to both carry the ball and carve out opportunities. He's very confident when it comes to dribbling, and he's also able to take players on from a standing start. He's sometimes a little erratic when it comes to keeping possession of the ball, but when you have a team that is so risk averse it's easy to forgive, especially when Laird is one of the most creative passers and one of the few players who can beat a player. His pure stats on returns are a little misleading, I think he only has one or two assists, but he's probably the player who has created the most chances in the side, and I imagine that when the opposition are preparing for the match, he is someone who will be given considerable time spent on how to deal with him tactically.

There's no real negatives, his decision making could be improved, but that's fairly picky considering he's only a couple of months into his time at a new club, and in a stronger league than he was last season. Sometimes passing on his weak foot can be a bit of a problem, I'm not sure if that's a technical or a mental thing, but he can get the power of the pass wrong. The other comments I've quoted have mentioned this, but dwelling on the ball can be a bit counterproductive, this is a very mild criticism though as it's often something he has little choice on because of how Swansea and the opposition often approach the game. One thing would be that due to the formation Swansea play, and Laird's role within it, it's hard to get a good grasp of his defensive prowess. He looks fairly competent in this regard, but there's a lot less defensive responsibility for him in this set up than there would be if he was playing in AWB's role in a back 4.



It's basically due to this Swansea side having a very one minded tactical approach. Since Martin came in towards the end of preseason, the overall system has been one of a very strict adherence to ball retention. I think it's something like 65% average possession, which is the highest in the football league system. As a result the general gameplan other teams have employed is to sit back and suffocate all room in behind and to try and make this Swansea side break them down, which more often than not results in Swansea creating very few meaningful chances (if any).

On one hand it's good experience for Laird in that playing for a team like Man Utd will often result in scenarios where the game will be less open and United will have to break down a side sitting back, his calmness at taking on static defences and his ability to inject a surge in tempo with a one two are signs of him understanding how to deal with these kinds of opposition tactics. On the other hand he will have to get used to matches taking place at a higher tempo, he does take a lot of time on the ball and while it serves a purpose within his current footballing situation, he'll have to get used to facing players really pressing him.
Great post. Thanks!
 

Idxomer

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This kid is good and would be the perfect wingback in a Conte team.

He's having a lot of fun today against Cardiff.
 

Solius The Red

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He’s been brilliant against Cardiff. Probably benefitting from their wing back system but good to see we actually have an efficient attacking and athletic full back at the club.
 

Cascarino

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Thought he was good again. He has a bit of cockiness that I find really endearing, his celebration for the third goal was great
 

davidmichael

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I don’t see any reason why Laird shouldn’t be an alternative to AWB already, he’s a modern full back and offers so much more going forward than AWB does.
 

bond19821982

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Challenging Bissaka ? Going by the form, he would be our best right back. So excited to hear the review from a Swansea fan . Cheers @Cascarino
 

Cascarino

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I don’t see any reason why Laird shouldn’t be an alternative to AWB already, he’s a modern full back and offers so much more going forward than AWB does.
Challenging Bissaka ? Going by the form, he would be our best right back. So excited to hear the review from a Swansea fan . Cheers @Cascarino
I actually spoke briefly with some other supporters about his chances with United today. I actually think he'd be decent as an alternative option now/start of next season. As you said he's a modern full back and I don't think he'd struggle technically (though back 4 vs wingback might be a challenge to get used to at first). Surprisingly one of them didn't think he'd ever be able to be a regular for your lot, and he is someone who generally is better at gauging a player's level than I am. I'm only adding his opinion for the sake of balance, I love the guy already and I think he has the physical and technical skills to go all the way, on top of having buckets of confidence.

 

big rons sovereign

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I actually spoke briefly with some other supporters about his chances with United today. I actually think he'd be decent as an alternative option now/start of next season. As you said he's a modern full back and I don't think he'd struggle technically (though back 4 vs wingback might be a challenge to get used to at first). Surprisingly one of them didn't think he'd ever be able to be a regular for your lot, and he is someone who generally is better at gauging a player's level than I am. I'm only adding his opinion for the sake of balance, I love the guy already and I think he has the physical and technical skills to go all the way, on top of having buckets of confidence.

That's the thing isn't it. The step up to the prem from the championship can be vast. Dan James being one example. (I'm not making a comparison in any way)
He does look the business though, and a lot of people rave about him.
 

arthurka

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I watched that game and he absolutely got everything you want from your youth players, skill, attitude, work ethic and best of all he has seems to be tough as well. He is an alternative to AWB no doubt and a totally different skillset.
 

Cascarino

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That's the thing isn't it. The step up to the prem from the championship can be vast. Dan James being one example. (I'm not making a comparison in any way)
He does look the business though, and a lot of people rave about him.
Aye it's true. With the person in question I think it was not just the quality gap between the leagues, but Manchester United being Manchester United, where ultimately even amongst elite footballers only a few will be at that level.

I really like Dan James, but I think he was an easier prediction. When he was signed he'd only had one season of professional football, and despite potential and exciting performances, he wasn't amongst the best Swansea players that season, so I always thought it was a step too far too quickly (though he did better than I anticipated and I think it will have been invaluable experience). Whereas I'm a lot more confident about Laird, but having said that I was confident Rodon would be playing regularly for a big club and he can't make the squad, so wtf do I know :lol:
 

big rons sovereign

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Aye it's true. With the person in question I think it was not just the quality gap between the leagues, but Manchester United being Manchester United, where ultimately even amongst elite footballers only a few will be at that level.

I really like Dan James, but I think he was an easier prediction. When he was signed he'd only had one season of professional football, and despite potential and exciting performances, he wasn't amongst the best Swansea players that season, so I always thought it was a step too far too quickly (though he did better than I anticipated and I think it will have been invaluable experience). Whereas I'm a lot more confident about Laird, but having said that I was confident Rodon would be playing regularly for a big club and he can't make the squad, so wtf do I know :lol:
No shame in that. Even the so called elite get it wrong.
Would be good if he did make the step up though, seems he could play the wingback role or even as a makeshift winger in front of a back 4.
I liked James, his pace alone is a worry for defenders, I thought he got a lot of unnecessary stick tbh.
 

criticalanalysis

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I was going to wait until about halfway through the season to give a little write up, mainly because I thought he'd take some time to acclimatise to both the step up in football, the new team and that he'd be competing with Roberts for a starting berth, but with about roughly 10 games under his belt there's enough to mention. Albeit it's still very early in the season and the team is struggling results wise, he's been excellent and has impressed with both his performances and with the responsibility he's shouldered.

The positives mainly come down to the influence he has on the attacking side of things. This Swansea side has struggled massively when it has come to creating goalscoring chances, or even just shooting opportunities in general. In the entire league I think Swansea are basically bottom or thereabouts for both goals and shots, and when watching the matches this isn't really a surprising statistic, there's a lot of pedestrian passing and it's very rare that the ball is moved forwards with any speed or purpose. This is where Laird has shown both his talent and mentality, in that even when facing teams which are happy to sit back and let Swansea knock it side to side, he is the one player who can consistently make things happen in that scenario by having the physical and technical qualities to both carry the ball and carve out opportunities. He's very confident when it comes to dribbling, and he's also able to take players on from a standing start. He's sometimes a little erratic when it comes to keeping possession of the ball, but when you have a team that is so risk averse it's easy to forgive, especially when Laird is one of the most creative passers and one of the few players who can beat a player. His pure stats on returns are a little misleading, I think he only has one or two assists, but he's probably the player who has created the most chances in the side, and I imagine that when the opposition are preparing for the match, he is someone who will be given considerable time spent on how to deal with him tactically.

There's no real negatives, his decision making could be improved, but that's fairly picky considering he's only a couple of months into his time at a new club, and in a stronger league than he was last season. Sometimes passing on his weak foot can be a bit of a problem, I'm not sure if that's a technical or a mental thing, but he can get the power of the pass wrong. The other comments I've quoted have mentioned this, but dwelling on the ball can be a bit counterproductive, this is a very mild criticism though as it's often something he has little choice on because of how Swansea and the opposition often approach the game. One thing would be that due to the formation Swansea play, and Laird's role within it, it's hard to get a good grasp of his defensive prowess. He looks fairly competent in this regard, but there's a lot less defensive responsibility for him in this set up than there would be if he was playing in AWB's role in a back 4.



It's basically due to this Swansea side having a very one minded tactical approach. Since Martin came in towards the end of preseason, the overall system has been one of a very strict adherence to ball retention. I think it's something like 65% average possession, which is the highest in the football league system. As a result the general gameplan other teams have employed is to sit back and suffocate all room in behind and to try and make this Swansea side break them down, which more often than not results in Swansea creating very few meaningful chances (if any).

On one hand it's good experience for Laird in that playing for a team like Man Utd will often result in scenarios where the game will be less open and United will have to break down a side sitting back, his calmness at taking on static defences and his ability to inject a surge in tempo with a one two are signs of him understanding how to deal with these kinds of opposition tactics. On the other hand he will have to get used to matches taking place at a higher tempo, he does take a lot of time on the ball and while it serves a purpose within his current footballing situation, he'll have to get used to facing players really pressing him.
Thanks for the write up!

Looks like he has the ball carrying and flair of a winger. As said above, he takes players on with a standing start.

Interesting to see how he develops or perhaps even becoming an option for us next year. Maybe having a new manager and Varane on that side of the pitch can cover his 'weakness', which I'm assuming is his untested defensive ability atm.
 

Ali Dia

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Some much needed joy on here. Great to see him doing so well. He’s stayed fit for quite a while now too and that was the only possible issue with him. I don’t want to jinx him but he always looked like he was going to be a PL player. Hopefully it’s with us.