Following Swansea’s shock 3-2 win against Liverpool on Saturday afternoon, is it now fair to say that there’s a glimmer of hope for the club?
Fernando Llorente struck twice and Gylfi Sigurdsson scored the other as the Swans became the first team to win at Anfield in the league for over a year. Many fans felt that it was Swansea’s best performance in a very long time.
The club has struggled greatly this season, however, signs of improvement are already showing following the sacking of Bob Bradley in December and it looks as though new manager Paul Clement could bring a fresh new look to the side.
With that said, here are AFEFootballNews’ 5 reasons why Swansea can avoid the drop this season …
- Paul Clement.
You may or may not have heard of him before he came to the Premier League, but make no mistake about it, he knows his stuff and he’s got his contacts.
You can already see the difference in the set up of the team under Clement compared to the sluggish, bogged down atmosphere that Bradley bought every week. Bringing Claude Makelele in as his assistant manager could be a wise move, as he has valuable Premier League experience from his time playing at Chelsea.
Clement was Carlo Ancelotti’s right hand man at Bayern Munich before joining Swansea and was also his assistant at Chelsea, when they won the league in 2009/10 and at PSG during the 2012/13 campaign.
Before his Bundesliga experience, he was first team manager at Derby County, but was eventually sacked, despite the fact that the club were sitting in 5th place at the time.
He’s certainly learnt a lot from his time under Ancelotti’s wing and working in 3 major leagues and he’ll be hoping to prove that he can hack it as the main man now.
It may all be too little too late, but you never know. There’s no doubting that Swansea need to fill the massive holes left by the likes of Ashley Williams and Andre Ayew last summer (that’s why they are where they are right now!).
Signing Luciano Narsingh from PSV Eindhoven could offer them a lifeline. The pacey Dutch winger cost a mere £4 million and given some game time he could offer them something different out on the wings. Strikers Leonardo Ulloa (Leicester) and Arouna Kone (Everton) have also been linked with moves to the Liberty in recent days.
An injury to Neil Taylor has already forced the club into buying a new left back, with experienced Swede Martin Olsson bought in from Norwich to provide some strong cover, which he showed at Anfield.
Midfielder Tom Carroll (who previously had a loan spell at the Liberty) has also joined the club for £4million from Spurs. Whilst not many are excited by him, I think that he adds a decent option to Clement’s side and showed what he was capable of against Liverpool on the weekend.
Speaking of Liverpool, their tough tackling/madman Mamadou Sakho has been linked with filling the role of the leading centre back for Swansea, however the club will probably be deterred by the £20 million asking price that the Reds have put on him. So I’d say why not take a punt on Martin Caceres? The Uruguayan international/former Juventus man is currently a free agent, but quite how I don’t know. He’s quick and strong and could be a brilliant signing. Get your wallet out Jenkins!
3. Fernando Llorente.
The 31 year old Spanish hitman had a tough start to his career in the top flight of English football with many pundits and fans quick to jump on his back and criticise him (they should probably turn their attentions to the currently invisible Borja Baston), however he’s certainly beginning to find his feet as the season goes on.
His two goal heroic performance on Saturday, made it a decent 8 goals in 19 league matches for the World Cup winner and he’s looking as though he could be the main focal point of Clement’s set up, so they may just build the team around him.
He’ll be vitally important to their chances of staying up so the fans will be hoping that those rumours of Chelsea being after him are just talk.
4. Give the youngsters a chance.
Oli McBurnie, Daniel James, Botti Biabi, George Byers, the list goes on. Swansea’s under 23’s side, in complete contrast to their supposed superiors, are sat at the top of their PL2 Division Two league table, and trust me when I say that that’s by no coincidence.
Scottish Striker, McBurnie has particularly stood out with his 10 goals in 10 appearances and has been the difference in terms of winning games. He’s featured on the bench for the first team and also came on as a late sub a couple of times and I don’t think it will be long before he starts playing regularly for the side.
The young Swans have been on fire this season, having just won their 10th game in a row against Newcastle last week and currently sit 13 points clear of second placed Fulham in the table.
I can’t understand why none of them (except McBurnie) have been given a chance in the first team yet, their performances for the youth side have been unreal at times, whilst some members of the first team have struggled all season.
Clement’s a big believer in giving youngsters a chance, so expect to see some of those lads make a breakthrough before the end of the season.
5. The Welsh never give up.
Euro 2016 is all I have to say.
Okay so there’s barely any Welsh players actually left in the current Swansea side after the departures of Joe Allen, Ben Davies, and of course more recently Ashley Williams.
However, the fans are Welsh (some of them) so maybe they can help? One thing you can always guarantee about the Jack army is that they’ll be there in their droves, singing their hearts out about “hymns and arias”.
Their support is vastly under appreciated by many, but they’ve been to Hell and back and they’ll do anything to make sure that they never have to go back there ever again.
Swansea City are a club that are close to my heart. My father is a Swansea fan so I’ve followed them since the League Two days, so I didn’t just pull on a shirt because they got to the Prem or just because I’m Welsh and so are they (like some people I know).
They often beat my beloved Arsenal, so that causes a stir in our house, but if there’s one team I don’t mind losing to, however weird that sounds, it’s the Swans. I love the passion of the club and the way they play football, maybe not so far this season, but like they have since they came to the Prem and how they played on Saturday. It was like the good old days.
I predicted a tough season for them after they lost and failed to replace Williams and Ayew, but I still think that they have enough quality to stay up when the tough gets going.