5 talking points from Saturday’s 3-2 win at Newcastle United
Swansea City made history on the weekend, as another win away at Newcastle United saw them set a new record points total in the Premier League after surpasssing the 47 points mark.
It was a target that manager Garry Monk had set after reaching the 40-point safety target that seems to be the target for the majority of bottom half clubs – and us.
After an entertaining 3-2 win, there were plenty of talking points after the game – we can think of five – and there`s no doubt even more.
The first, as we`ve already mentioned, is the Swans making history, getting their 14th win of the season and reaching 50 points – a huge achievement for Garry Monk and his squad. They`ve set a new benchmark now and they keep raising the stakes – so much so that they would have to qualify for the Europa League next year to improve yet again.
Can the Swans improve even further next season? Would you welcome a return to the Europa League, or does it have too much of a negative effect on our League campaign?
We also saw a return of the 4-2-3-1 formation – the tried and tested system that had been used up until the diamond was introduced to complete a famous League double over Manchester United.
4-2-3-1 definitely looked more effective than the diamond did the previous weekend at Leicester City. Jefferson Montero and Nathan Dyer started on the flanks, Ki – with a slight knock dropped to the bench and Nelson Oliveira was the lone striker.
It`s been a popular topic of discussion in recent months – the diamond formation vs the 4-2-3-1 system. The diamond certainly looks good if you look at the results, but many fans still prefer the old 4231 – that adds more width to the side and helps Gylfi Sigurdsson`s game.
The diamond or 4231? It`s Plan A and Plan B, but you did get the impression that the diamond was looking like it was going to be Garry Monk`s new formation of choice, and possibly only switched to 4231 at Newcastle United because Ki was forced to be rested due a niggling injury. Not only that, but the Leicester defeat demonstrated that there`s no width in the diamond when you haven`t got full backs Neil Taylor and Kyle Naughton.
That moves us onto our third point, Sigurdsson coincidentally showed a big improvement having struggled to show his true potential since the diamond was introduced. He scored one and assisted another via a direct corner. It`s been a while since you could say that he was one of the strong contenders for man of the match.
Winger Jefferson Montero was also back to his best, and another big argument when you compare the diamond and 4231 formations is how you can not include a player like Montero – who can cause all sorts of problems for opposition full backs, not to mention his ability to get us from the halfway line to the by-line in seconds.
Montero has found it very difficult to start games due to injury and the introduction of the diamond formation, but the winger, along with Sigurdsson – certainly gave Garry Monk food for thought as to which formation is more effective given the players he has available.
Montero helped his side go 2-1 up as his cross was left by Oliveira with a clever disguise for Sigurdsson to steer home.
You can`t ignore Nelson Oliveira`s contribution either. The Portuguese loanee said last week that he`s hoping to earn a contract at Swansea City and his one assist and one goal in the 3-2 goal will certainly help his cause. He struggled in the first half and he was often easily pushed off the ball and dispossessed but he was much more involved after the break, thanks to a confidence boosting goal he netted on the stroke of half time.
He assisted the third and hopefully there`s more to come from the striker after what had been a pretty uneventful loan spell.
Would you like to see Oliveira’s loan move made permanent in the summer? Is he good enough or does he need to show more before the end of the season?