This article is part of Football League World’s ‘The Verdict’ series, which provides personal opinions from the FLW writers regarding the latest breaking news, teams, players, managers, potential signings and more…
Swansea City manager Steve Cooper will hope his side can pick up where they left off in their first fixture following the international break, when they entertain Nottingham Forest at the Liberty Stadium this weekend, looking to maintain their hold on top spot in the Championship.
Of the selection questions to be answered by the Swans manager, the decision of whether to go with experience and start 34-year-old Wayne Routledge or go with the youth of attacking midfielder Yan Dhanda, is one that will surely be on Steve Cooper’s mind, after the veteran’s late goal against Leeds United last-time out.
So should Routledge get the nod over Dhanda this weekend?
“It’s an interesting one.
“It’ll be a tough game against Nottingham Forest at the weekend and Routledge has obviously got a lot more experience, but Dhanda is a talented young player and did very well against Leeds last time out before he was replaced.
“There was an element of fortune about Routledge’s winner against Leeds as he miss-hit his shot, but his all-round performance was still very good.
“It’s a good dilemma for Steve Cooper to have and it’ll be interesting to see who he goes with as Swansea look to continue their momentum.”
“Whereas Dhanda has made a promising start to the season for Swansea, Cooper could find it more beneficial to start Routledge against Forest.
“After being forced to watch on from the sidelines during the Jacks’ first five league fixtures of the year, Routledge was given the opportunity to prove himself against in the club’s clash with Leeds United.
“Coming on as a second-half substitute at Elland Road, the 34-year-old scored the winner for Swansea which allowed them to move to the top of the Championship standings.
“Having played 115 games in the second-tier during his career, the winger knows exactly what it takes to thrive at this particular level of football and thus should be given the nod ahead of Dhanda.”
“I think he will be tempted to.
“Routledge’s first appearance of the season certainly made the sort of impact that will have been hard to ignore, meaning he surely has to be in Cooper’s mind for the visit of Forest.
“I would also imagine that, with Forest themselves showing some early promise, Cooper may want to go with Routledge in order to add a bit more experience to his starting XI in order to cope with the threat that Lamouchi’s side pose.
“Having also had the two weeks off for the international break following his cameo appearance against Leeds, I don’t think there would be any concerns about Routledge being fresh and fit enough to come through the full 90 minutes on Saturday either, were he needed to do so.”