Freddie Woodman | Andre has got ice in his veins
Freddie Woodman believes Andre Ayew is Swansea City’s new Iceman after the Ghanaian held his nerve twice in less than 72 hours to secure two important victories.
Ayew netted last-gasp stoppage-time penalties away to Stoke and at home to Middlesbrough last week to ensure a pair of 2-1 victories for Steve Cooper’s side.
Those results were enough to move the Swans up to third in the Championship table; one point behind second-placed Watford with two games in hand.
Ayew has assumed penalty-taking duties for the Swans since returning from a loan spell in Turkey ahead of the 2019-20 season.
In that time he has missed from the spot just once – while Matt Grimes has also yet to fail from the spot for the Swans.
Former Swansea midfielder Gylfi Sigurdsson once had the Iceman moniker due to his Icelandic nationality, and his coolness when dealing with set-piece and penalty-taking duties.
And goalkeeper Woodman reckons that is a tag that would suit Ayew’s match winning strikes from the past week and beyond.
“Andre's got ice in his veins, that's the joke going around in the dressing room,” he said.
“We actually spoke about penalties; I'm always intrigued by what the players do and I study penalties quite heavily, but he's changing all the time and doing something different.
“On Saturday, he decided to go down the middle, which is the worst for a goalkeeper.
“Ben Hamer faced one of his penalties earlier this season and said that it's impossible; you can't get a push off because he's still stuttering and waiting for the goalkeeper to move.
“It's very difficult to read and make a proper dive, so credit to him. He's the guy that we're relying on at the minute.”
But Woodman was also quick to point out that the influence of the Swans’ vice-captain extends far behind his spot-kick abilities, with his experience and leadership just adding belief to a largely youthful squad.
“It’s not just about the penalties. The fans will see the goals that he scores, but he's a leader behind the scenes and fantastic to have around the place,” added Woodman.
“I feel like I've learned so much off him; even just having a chat with him about different things. He gives great advice out and he gives you this confidence and belief when you do speak to him.
“The fans see the goals, but everyone at the club realise that he's even better at getting the best out of the players around him - even the younger lads."