Leighton James column: Midfield call on Jose Canas not Leon Britton at Swansea City v Southampton was correct
JOSE Canas's selection ahead of Leon Britton at Southampton seems to have upset some Swansea City supporters — but I'm not one of them.
In a season that contains the added demands of a Europa League campaign, players were always going to be rotated.
Michael Laudrup made that clear from the start, trimming his squad and emphasising the fact that anyone he retained would be regularly involved.
Leon is not the only one having to get used to the unfamiliar feeling of warming the bench.
Look at Wilfried Bony, he was Eredivisie's top scorer last season and cost £12 million, yet he has often been named among the substitutes.
But it does seem as though Canas is Laudrup's preferred option for that holding midfield role at the moment as he tends to start in the Premier League.
I like Canas. I think he's combative, comfortable on the ball and provides Swansea with a little bit more of an edge than Leon. Having said that, of course I'm a huge fan of Leon's. He is probably a better footballer than Canas and has proven his quality time and time again.
At the moment it is not fair to compare Canas to someone who is a Swansea City legend.
The Spaniard has only been in South Wales for a short period, he is still adjusting to life of the pitch, not to mention the Premier League.
I'm sure he will improve in the coming weeks, and what we have to remember is that Michael sees these players in training every day.
He is in a far more qualified position than supporters to make judgements as far as team selection is concerned.
If you asked everyone at the Liberty to pick a team before the game against Sunderland a week on Saturday, I wonder how many different ones you would get back? Hundreds probably.
Instead, I think we have to back Michael's judgement. After all, how often has he really got things wrong so far? I would say very few.
There was the 5-0 defeat at Liverpool last season when he made a host of changes a week before the Capital One Cup final. But that is pretty much the exception, most of the time he is spot on with selection.
I think it's unfair to be so critical of Canas when there are others who have been far more disappointing so far.
I'm prepared to make allowances because he too is still adjusting to life at a new club, but, as mentioned in previous columns, I have not been particularly impressed with Jonjo Shelvey. And he is a player with a wealth of top-flight experience.
Those 40-yard passes look magnificent when they come off. But what about the large number of others that don't?
Jonathan de Guzman has also been a letdown this season. I don't think he looks the same player as last year.
It makes you wonder why Ki Sung-Yueng was allowed to move to Sunderland and I think he is a better midfield option than both Shelvey and de Guzman.
I would have no objections to Swansea playing Britton and Canas away from home, with Michu in front of them.
That tactic could even be employed at the Liberty because if you're operating with someone of Michu's attacking threat in midfield, I see no problem in putting two holding players behind him.