Lee Trundle’s outstanding goalscoring record for Swansea City would mark him down as one of the club’s greats in any era.
Trundle struck 91 times in 194 games for the Swans but it doesn’t tell half the story. The striker’s flair, trickery and penchant for the outrageous has earned him legions of fans up and down the country.
Trundle, now 41, is still banging the goals in – currently for Welsh Division One side Llanelli Town. After retiring from the game in 2013, he made his comeback in 2016 and has since scored an astonishing 45 goals in 23 games for Llanelli.
It’s at Swansea where the boyhood Evertonian spent his best and most prolific years, though. Now a club ambassador for the Swans, Trundle gave evertonfc.com the lowdown on the Blues’ opponents this weekend. He started by telling us about the team’s popular Portuguese manager…
Carlos has brought his personality to the team. He’s brilliant. I’m at the training ground a lot and spend a lot of time around the team and the staff – and what you get in his interviews is exactly the same as how he is with the boys. His personality is infectious and it’s rubbing off on everyone. But it’s not just his charisma, it’s his tactical awareness, too. Carlos has tweaked the formation to 5-4-1 and he’s getting the best out of what we’ve got. It’s the same group of players we had when we were struggling before he came in, so you’ve got to give massive credit to him.
A DIFFICULT START
The first half of the season wasn’t good for Swansea fans to watch. Not only where we found ourselves in the league but our performances… we didn’t look as if we were going to score a goal, we looked as though we were afraid to shoot and afraid to try anything. The players were playing within themselves. Since Carlos has come in, it’s been a complete turnaround. He has us playing in a different way and all the lads have responded. The lads look as though they’ve got confidence again.
I think we’ll play five at the back again, with our full-backs pushing on. We’ll have a holding midfielder and the rest of them are more or less free to go and attack and do what they want. We’ve got Jordan Ayew who is coming back from a suspension, which will be massive boost for us.
AYEW THE TALISMAN
Since Carlos has come in, Jordan has been our star player. He’s creating goals and he’s our top goalscorer, too. It’s great to have him back and I’m sure that will give the rest of the players a lift. He wants to get on the ball and take people on. I think that’s going out of the game a little in football – you see a lot of people want to keep the possession and keep the ball. Jordan likes to take players on and create things – they’re the type of players I enjoy watching.
Lukas Fabianski has been brilliant in goal. Alfie Mawson has been excellent at centre-back, too, as shown by the fact Gareth Southgate called him up to the England squad. Sam Clucas has also done really well. He didn’t get off to a great start at the club – he had a big price tag on his head and people expected a lot when he joined from Hull City – but since Carlos has come in he’s got us vital goals and has put in great performances for the team.
WHERE THE GAME WILL BE WON AND LOST
I think it will come down to both defences. We’re pretty strong at the back and we’ve hung in games when we’ve needed to. And I think with Jordan coming in for us, he’s going spark the forward line and that’s going to give us a bit of excitement. Everton are a strong side, too, though. I think having Coleman back is a great boost for them. I was gutted when he got that injury but he’s come back brilliantly and – with him bursting down one touchline and Baines the other – they cause problems. I’m not sitting on the fence here but I actually think it will be a draw.
ONCE A BLUE…
I still have huge affection for Everton. If anything, this is the one game I don’t enjoy watching as much because it’s both my teams. Everton, who I’ve supported since I was a boy and Swansea, a club who I’ve grown to love. When I’m here at Swansea watching a game I still look out for the Everton score. I love going back to Goodison when I can, too. It’s one the last old football grounds and it’s got a great atmosphere.