Daniel John Looks at where Swansea City are now after an incredible debut season in the Premier League
Danny Graham has just stroked the ball home from an Angel Rangel pull back and the Swans have rounded off the season with 1-0 win over Liverpool at the Liberty.
Another big scalp for the Jack Army. The season had finally finished and everyone’s reputation has taken a rise none more than the manager Brendan Rodgers.
Fast forward a few months and Brendan Rodgers has swapped the relaxed scenery of the Gower for the busy interchanging city of Liverpool. It’s a puzzling decision to say the least but not out of the blue. The man himself always stated that he fancied a top job, and although Liverpool are not the force they were, they still possess plenty of stature in the game and plenty of finance it’s the dream job minus the expectation of such a club. The target is to become a top four club again and with perhaps the best young tactical manager, I struggle to see the negatives. The start to Liverpool’s season is crucial if they can adopt the style and win a few of the opening games no matter how tough they are then the fan will take to Rodgers but a few losses on the board and it could start to become inevitable but i’m sure he knows this.
So where are Swansea City?
Targets thrown around with ease, It could have been Holloway, Jones or Poyet but instead it ended up Denmark Legend Michael Laudrup, The Ajax, Barca and Real Madrid supremo. so many great clubs on his resume it doesn’t seem real. Another manager, another year, here we start again. After Martinez, Sousa and Rodgers it’s just unbelievable so many managers using the club as a stepping stone.
That’s job one done. Appoint a manager, the next part is all about retaining key players from last season which are bound to interest other clubs. Every player played their part but which players really took the Premier League by storm last season?
Arguable the most influential player last season for the Swans with 36 appearances and gaining worldwide reviews and his stock has risen over the course of the Olympics. Could be on his way to Liverpool if they offer the 15 million that Swansea want, although could leave a bitter taste in their mouth.
After signing from Wrexham not many would have predicted this guy to just walk effortlessly into the Premier League he’s been irreplacable at left back and another Olympic player who has seen his stock rise because of this. Bags of energy and pace and doesn’t look out of place at the top level. Would be suprised if bids weren’t made.
Broke the record for Swansea for most consecutive games played in a row shows how much of a rock this man clearly is. His strength and leadership at the back and the fact he has already captained his country shows how far he has come. Newcastle and QPR both linked so hopefully a quiet summer in store for this man for the Swans sake. Very versatile and looked composed at this level alongside Caulker last season.
Swansea must hold onto all three players in order to retain their ambition and to prove that they are not a feeder club and especially their chances of a near top 10 finish.
What happens next?
After the summer tour of America which yielded a defeat, win and a draw against American opposition it settles the side in stead for the upcoming season. Retaining the key players is key and with the new influx of Michu, Chico and Johnathan De Guzman Huw Jenkins has changed his policy and signed established players of the game instead of his usual young and hungry approach. The side lacked goals last season particularly when Danny Graham hit a rough patch as did Sinclair. It took the signing of Gylfi Sigurdsson to inject some energy into a stuttering strikeforce.
Michael Laudrup knows what he wants there’s no doubt about it. He needs more firepower and with so many players linked it’s hard to guage whether their real or not but one thing is for certain the ambition is there. With three of their players raising stock in the Olympics and the rest bonding together in the best possible way as shown by Ashley Williams’s video blog you can see squad harmony is at an all time high. Any players that leave would damage that for sure.
Pre-season games against Blackpool and Stuttgart at home round off the preparation before they kick off against QPR away a side always known as a bogey side although new manager, new ethos and perhaps a plan B for when it doesn’t work?
Daniel John writes about various different sports on his own blog at http://sporthasmanylanguages.blogspot.co.uk/
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