I'm not going to tell you this was a Swansea side tired from their impressive endeavors against Fulham at the weekend. Neither am I going to say that this was a Swansea side having a bad day.
This was quite simply an immense performance from the 'Orns. Easily the best of Brendan's reign so far and probably the most impressive I've seen from us since the Playoff annihilation of Palace at Selhurst. We were just wonderful.
To prove how good Swansea were for the opening five minutes we barely got a kick. They passed the ball around so confidently that we were chasing at shadows more so than we were at any time on Saturday. There were some nervous moments and it looked like we were in for a long night. But gradually we started winning tackles, stringing passes together and out-Swansing Swansea.
By bringing in Mike Williamson BR seems to have solved the defensive problems that have plagued us for over a year. Mike is just the no-nonsense big man we've been missing. He is a rock at the back and compensates for any nervous moments DeMerit or Mariappa might experience. There's no need to mention Doyley in that list at the moment. He is playing out of his skin. He managed to better Saturday's performance winning every ball, every tackle, even every header and his passing has become a revelation.
As against Chelsea it was one of Doyley's passes that led to our opening goal, although not quite as directly. McAnuff was the recipient this time who set Smith off down the wing and Priskin made no mistake from the cross despite appearing to be at a tight angle. It was fantasy stuff. The kind of thing that occasionally comes off when playing FIFA 09, but it was real, right in front of our eyes.
Ten minutes later we were at it again. This time it looked as if our rapid break hadn't come off as Priskin's Ankela like overhead kick was saved but the ball found its way to Smith who blasted it home from 25 yards. Delirium. I may not have been (and may still not be) 100% behind BR's tactics but he doesn't half get our team scoring some beautiful goals. They are the kind that you think 'it would be wonderful if this went in'. Excluding GT, under any other Watford manager these chances never seemed to. We'd just hit it wide or it would be saved. The goals we scored under them were always scrappy affairs. But under BR we do score them. They are just too good to be believed. Its goals as pornography.
Swansea tried to get back into the game, both before and after the break but we just didn't let them. Whereas previously a 2-0 half time lead would've instantly become a 2-1 nervy situation within 5 minutes of the restart, we were strong, resolute and determined. All 11 in yellow. Jenkins, so much more mature than his years. Cork too, the leader in the side we've been looking for despite being so young. Don Cowie already fitting in and battling for the cause. Our midfield snuffing out any chance of a Swansea comeback. For once there can be no complaints that we defended too deep for we never let Swansea get that far.
If I've got one very small gripe it was that it became apparent in the last quarter of the match we'd given up trying to score a third and were just happy to hold on to the ball and frustrate our opponents. Personally I'd rather protect a 2-0 lead by making it a 3-0 lead, but fair play to Brendan. If he is trying to win over this doubter he's doing a bloody good job.