World Cup, what World Cup for STFC?

By Alfie Howlett - 26 October 2022


A column from Swindon Link's STFC correspondent, Alfie Howlett.

The eyes of the world are on Qatar.

The first ever Winter World Cup will force several top flights to grind to a halt in November.

However, Swindon will press on with both their league and cup campaigns. November will bring two consecutive home games against Tranmere and Crewe.

Then potentially two FA Cup ties depending on Town's success in the first round.

Pivotal to Swindon's chances of success is Ben Gladwin. In a team of fresh faces the experienced midfielder is often the shining light.

After becoming the first signing of the Clem Morfuni era Gladwin made 41 outings last season. This season, sporting a much slimmer physique, Town's number 7 is playing like a new player.

What's notable is the driving runs from midfield, runs which became a Gladwin trademark in his first spell at SN1. Moreover, the 30 year old's range of passing this season is nothing far off the Andrea Pirlo showreel. With added vice captain responsibilities Gladwin has excelled, becoming an undroppable lieutenant in Scott Lindsey's midfield.

Another component that holds the key to Swindon's success is Sol Brynn. The young shot stopper arrived at The County Ground on loan from Middlesbrough in the Summer transfer window. He has since gone on to be a much called upon stalwart of the Town side. However Brynn's Town career wasn't always this rosy.

Initially the youngster failed to gain the approval of the Swindon faithful. With the popular Lewis Ward on the bench and Brynn between the sticks in the opening day massacre at Harrogate, the jury was out. It's fair to say that Brynn has more than proved his innocence with a string of match winning saves earning him a place in the hearts of the Town support.

The one thing that Swindon need more than anything this season is a big win at home. Although there have been some terrific away results at sides like Grimsby and Doncaster, Town are still yet to register a statement victory on their own turf. Should they achieve this elusive victory against a top team it will go some way in providing the foundations for the season.

A good victory at home will not only fuel the fans with confidence but also give the players a boost. This in turn will nudge Swindon up the standings which will consequently add to the home atmosphere. We all saw what happened with the home form at the end of last season as the crowds grew stronger.

Whenever I've seen Town at home this season I can't help but feel somewhat bored.

Although the style of football is pleasing on the eye it can become very tepid at times. In the absence of McKirdy there are no players which get me on the edge of my seat. Swindon have some really technically tidy footballers among their ranks; however, sometimes when I watch them I ask have we got too many?

Instead of trying to walk the ball into the net I'd like to see a little bit more intensity. The Robins need to go at their opposition rather than waiting for a long passing sequence develop.

This isn't me saying play direct, it's me saying mix up the ideas rather than being so one-dimensional.

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