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OTJ Column: A trip down memory lane

OTJ made 56 appearances for the Swans during a four-year period in which he helped the club win the League One title and the Football League Trophy.

Now, after a 13-year career which saw him play for eight clubs and earn seven Wales caps, he is working in the media as a respected pundit.

Here, he brings you his latest column.

Patience pays off

Saturday’s game against Bolton was a tough one in terms of breaking down a team who early on had set their stall out that they wanted a point.

They are an experienced team, but they almost have too much experience and not enough legs or pace in the team and it meant they always defended deep with the wingers dropping in around the back four.

They are struggling, but they were stubborn and when it comes to losing men to red cards it just exacerbates that.

You then add in that Swansea had a penalty saved, a goal ruled out and another cleared off the line, it can start to feel like it’s not going to be your day. So, the patience to keep playing was superb.

I’ve heard a lot of negativity about the performance since the game, but I cannot get my head around that.

You have to respect your opponent and it’s worth remembering that Swansea lost to Ipswich at home earlier this season so you have to be positive when you learn from it and have a different outcome.

Grimes becoming Swansea’s heartbeat

One man who deserves special mention is Matt Grimes. There are times we have spoken about Connor Roberts, Joe Rodon, Daniel James and Oli McBurnie and they have deserved their plaudits.

Grimes has slowly gone about his job fitting in and becoming an increasingly important man. I believe he has come on leaps and bounds and been Swansea’s most consistent performer.

He uses quality. I know a guy called Matt Gill who played with Grimes early in his career, and he always told me that he was one to watch and he was one of the best young players he had seen.

It has taken time for Swansea fans to see that, but he looks really assured. He breaks up play by reading it, and then his first touch and passing is so crisp and it starts attacks all by itself.

He is having a brilliant season and I am really happy for him because it has not been easy for him.

A player can automatically over time become someone that does not get taken to, and then he goes out on loan and he has to keep waiting for the opportunity.

He has now taken that chance and turned the perception of him.

Carrow Road visit brings back fond memories

Up next, Swansea are heading to Carrow Road and it’s a game that brings back real fond memories for me.

People may look at my time at Norwich and wonder why I look at it so fondly.

My stats were not great, I did not play that much and early on Paul Lambert did not really fancy me as a player and with the team going well it was not like you could go and knock on his door and ask why you were not playing.

But he created something really special there and it was wonderful to be a part of such a successful team and dressing room.

I like to think I played my part with my personality and training hard to push the guys who were in the team.

My time there started so badly (a 7-1 loss to Colchester) but from there we won back-to-back promotions and it was an incredible time and incredible achievement.

They are back in the promotion hunt this year. Daniel Farke had a lot of criticism last season, but I saw them a few times and felt he was really building something there in terms of how they were playing.

They now look so strong, with a real mix of everything. They have a lovely way of playing, but there is pace and power there too. They look the complete package even without too many household names in there.

It’s tough but I am sure Swansea will go there with confidence and eager to put their stamp on a game against a side going great guns at the top of the league.

What have Swansea got to lose? It maybe looks like a mid-table finish if we are being realistic, so why not go there and be determined to put a mark on that game?

Another big game in the Welsh Premier League

It’s a big game in the JD Welsh Premier League as the top two face off when Connah’s Quay face The New Saints and the Sgorio cameras will be there to capture all the action on Saturday (5.15pm).

Both sides are in good form and will feel the fate of their title challenge is in their own hands.

This is such an intriguing game as it is a real clash of styles. Andy Morrison has had some criticism for how the Nomads play but there is no right or wrong way to play football.

They are a little bit more direct and playing that way and winning, means there is a reason behind it and why would you change that?

But the pressure is ramping up as the games go by, if you make that mistake it can be so costly so you have to stick with your way of playing.

They are both on fantastic runs, they are both going for a domestic double and Barry, of course, are still in the mix.

This could be a good weekend for them. We’ve seen the top three draw games against each other, to the benefit of the third side in the mix on that given weekend.

Barry will see this weekend as an opportunity because at least one of the two above them will drop points. They will ideally hope for a draw between the top two, and look to win themselves and close the gap. They know they have to take care of business themselves.

There’s a lot of pressure at this stage of the season and we look set to be in for a fantastic finale.

Friday
Aberystwyth Town v Carmarthen Town (7.45pm)
Caernarfon Town v Bala Town (7.45pm)
Cefn Druids v Llandudno (7.45pm)
Llanelli v Cardiff Met (7.45pm)

Saturday
Connah’s Quay Nomads v The New Saints (5.15pm - live on S4C)
Newtown v Barry Town (2.30pm)

 

Listen to OTJ’s regular podcast - The Longman's Football World Podcast – on iTunes, PodBean and all good podcast apps.
You can also follow OTJ on Instagram and Twitter.

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Yn ei 15fed golofn o’r tymor, mae’r cyn-chwaraewr canol-cae Owain Tudur Jones yn rhoi ei safbwynt ar y digwyddiadau diweddaraf yng Nghlwb Pêl-droed Dinas Abertawe.

Fe chwaraeodd OTJ 56 gwaith dros yr Elyrch yn ei bedair blynedd yn y clwb, gan ennill pencampwriaeth League One a’r Football League Trophy yn ystod y cyfnod hwnnw.

Nawr, wedi iddo ymddeol o’r gêm ar ôl 13 blynedd yn chwarae’n broffesiynol, mae Owain nawr yn llais blaenllaw yn y cyfryngau ac yn aelod cyson o dîm Sgorio ar S4C.

Dyma ei golofn ddiweddaraf:

 

Dyfal Donc

Roedd y gêm yn erbyn Bolton yn un heriol yn erbyn tîm sydd wedi ei osod allan i chwarae am gêm gyfartal.

Maen nhw’n dîm profiadol, ond efallai bod gormod o brofiad a dim digon o gyflymdra, ac roedd hynny’n achosi iddyn nhw amddiffyn yn ddwfn.

Mi oedden nhw’n styfnig dydd Sadwrn, ac fel dangoson nhw, mae cael cardiau coch weithiau yn gallu eu gwneud yn fwy penderfynol.

Cafodd y Swans gic gosb i’w harbed hefyd, yn ogystal ag ergyd yn cael ei glirio modfeddi o’r llinell gôl, a phan mae hynny’n digwydd, ti’n dechrau amau os ydi pethau am fynd dy ffordd di. Ond mi wnaethon nhw aros yn amyneddgar ac roedd hynny’n wych i’w weld.

Dw i wedi clywed beirniadaeth am y perfformiad ers y gêm, a dw i ddim yn deall hynny. Mae’n rhaid cofio bod y Swans wedi colli gartref yn erbyn Ipswich mewn sefyllfa debyg y tymor hwn, felly mae'n dangos bod nhw ‘di dysgu o’r gêm yna.

Grimes yn datblygu i fod yn guriad calon yr Elyrch

Un dyn sy’n haeddu cymeradwyaeth yw Matt Grimes. Dros y tymor hwn, mi rydym ni wedi canmol Connor Roberts, Joe Rodon, Daniel James ac Oli McBurnie, ac maen nhw llawn haeddu’r ganmoliaeth yna. Un arall i ychwanegu at y rhestr yw Grimes, person sydd wedi datblygu i fod yn aelod pwysig ac yn berfformiwr cyson.

Dw i’n nabod Matt Gill, rhywun a chwaraeodd efo Grimes yn gynharach yn ei yrfa, ac mi roedd o’n dweud mai Grimes oedd un o’r chwaraewyr ifanc gorau roedd o wedi’i weld erioed.

Mae o ‘di cymryd ei amser i ddangos ei safon, ond rŵan mae o’n darllen y gêm yn dda, torri’r chwarae i fyny ac mae ei basio yn gywir ac yn helpu dechrau ymosodiadau’r tîm.

Dw i mor hapus yn ei weld yn llwyddo. Rhywun sydd yn mynd allan ar fenthyg ac wedi gorfod disgwyl am ei gyfle, ond rŵan mae o wedi newid argraffiadau pawb ohono.

[AWGRYMIAD: ...ond rŵan, mae o wedi cael y cyfle i ddangos ei sgiliau, gan newid argraffiadau pawb ohono.

Atgofion melys yn Carrow Road

Ymweliad i Carrow Road sydd gan yr Elyrch nesaf ac mae hynny’n dod ag atgofion melys i mi – er bod rhai pobl yn cwestiynu pam fy mod i mor falch o’m hamser i yn Norwich.

Doedd fy stats ddim yn wych, nes i ddim chwarae llawer ac yn gynnar iawn, roedd o’n glir nad oedd Paul Lambert yn hoff ohonof i fel chwaraewr.

Ond, mi wnaeth o greu rhywbeth arbennig yno, ac mi wnes i fwynhau’n arw bod yn rhan o dîm wnaeth lwyddo i ennill dyrchafiad mewn dau dymor yn olynol, rhywbeth prin iawn.

Maen nhw’n mynd am ddyrchafiad eto eleni. Gafodd Daniel Farre lot o feirniadaeth y llynedd, ond wrth wylio nhw, mi oeddwn i’n gweld bod rhwybeth yn cael ei adeiladu yno a bod yr hyder yn eu ffordd o chwarae yn tyfu.

Rŵan, maen nhw’n edrych yn gryf. Maen nhw’n chwarae pêl droed deniadol, gan hefyd ddangos digon o gyflymdra a chryfder corfforol. Er nad oes llawer o enwau mawr yno, mae 'na gymysgedd hynod effeithiol yn y garfan.

Mae’n anodd, ond dw i’n siŵr y bydd Abertawe yn mynd yno yn llawn hyder ac yn awyddus i herio un o dimau gorau’r gynghrair. Gyda safle yng nghanol y tabl yn edrych yn ddiogel, beth sydd gan yr Elyrch i’w golli?

Gêm Fawr Arall yn Uwch Gynghrair Cymru JD

Mae gêm fawr yn Uwch Gynghrair Cymru JD wrth i’r ddau dîm ar frig y tabl fynd benben â’i gilydd - Cei Connah a’r Seintiau Newydd.

Mae’r ddau dîm ar rediadau cryf ac mi fydden nhw’n ffyddiog bod eu tîm nhw’n ddigon da i hawlio’r goron.

Bydd y gêm yn cael ei chwarae rhwng dau dîm sy’n chwarae mewn ffyrdd tra wahanol. Mae Andy Morrison wedi cael ambell i sylw negatif am y ffordd mae’r Nomads yn chwarae, ond os ydi o’n gweithio, pam ‘sa ti eisiau ei newid?

Gall hon fod yn benwythnos da i’r ceffyl arall sydd yn y ras, Y Barri. Gydag o leiaf un o’u gelynion yn sicr o ollwng pwyntiau, mae hon yn gyfle iddyn nhw ennill rhywfaint o dir.

Wrth i ddiweddglo’r tymor agosáu, mi fydd ‘na lot o bwysau ar y tri tîm yma. Un peth sy’n siŵr ydi bod digon o gyffro eto i ddod cyn diwedd y tymor.

Dydd Gwener
Aberystwyth v Caerfyrddin (7.45pm)
Caernarfon v Bala (7.45pm)
Derwyddon Cefn v Llandudno (7.45pm)
Llanelli v Met Caerdydd (7.45pm)

Dydd Sadwrn
Cei Connah  v Y Seintiau Newydd (5.15pm - yn fyw ar S4C)
Y Drenewydd v Y Barri (2.30pm)

Cadwch lygad allan am bodlediad OTJ - The Longman's Football World Podcast – ar iTunes, Podbean a phob ap podlediad dda.

Dilynwch OTJ ar Instagram (@owaintudurjones) a Twitter (@OwainTJones17).

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