I have been a Luton Town fan long enough now that I know a poor performance when I see one. During the Conference days, some of the games were beyond unbearable. On Saturday it wasn’t so much the performance against Swansea that annoyed me as it was the lack of any real quality. Nathan Jones needs to prioritize quality not quantity for Luton going forward.
I’m a pretty positive person and the fact we remain in the top half is a testament to the work done by Nathan Jones and the club. Despite this, I’m not a PR person for the club and will tell it how I see it. There are enough of those around if you only want to be spoon-fed the “everything is fine” story. So here’s what I think.
I can’t fault the players for heart and desire, they have it in bucketloads. However, some just haven’t got the quality to match and it’s showing. On Wednesday against Norwich, we had a moment of brilliance from George Moncur and a fantastic pinpoint cross from Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall lead to two goals. Once ahead the grit and determination played a part and we deservedly got the win.
On Saturday against Swansea, we had little to none of that brilliance, although Luke Berry missing an empty net from six yards out certainly didn’t help. We still threatened and Moncur forced a fantastic save from Freddie Woodman in the Swansea goal while André Ayew cleared a Glen Rea header off the line. The heart and desire was certainly there but once too often the final ball was shocking.
The real problem lay in the final 15 minutes or so as ten men Luton pushed for an equalizer. Swansea looked like a tired team yet the number of times Elliott Lee got the ball and instead of releasing a quick pass held on to it before being dispossessed was beyond frustrating. As for Harry Cornick, I’d forgot he’d even come on if I’m honest.
Jones removed his most creative player in Dewsbury-Hall and in fairness it was probably needed. He had started to fade as expected given the amount of game time he’s had recently. However, to then have four players who play the majority of their time on the wing in midfield seemed baffling. It left us very unbalanced and it showed.
Jones admitted he got the formation wrong against Swansea, just like he got it right against Norwich in the previous game. What Jones didn’t admit is his substitutions, or game changers as he calls them, did nothing once coming on. While I wouldn’t say Swansea’s second goal was deserved it was obvious to anyone with eyes that they would catch us on the break as Luton continued to push forward.
We have some decent players at the club. We also have some who are hanging on to previous glories like winning the League One Championship two years ago. It’s time that changed. We need quality, not quantity.
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