Swansea flying once again with the addition of a trophy this season, but next season will see them be joined by their Welsh rivals Cardiff City….
After gaining promotion in 2011 with Brendan Rogers there was a much anticipated hype about Swansea’s style of football that they were playing. Rogers got them playing the Barcelona way which starts off with the keeper who never goes long, he always looks for a pass to one of his central defenders who pull extremely wide and far apart. Then it generates into the tika-taka style of play of simple pass and move with short passes and if you can’t go forward go back. You will have heard the phrase “pass teams to death” and that is what Barcelona and now Swansea are replicating to wear teams down and pick out the perfect opportunity to score.
However after Rogers’ side defeated Reading in the play-off final 3-2, it was his time to take his tactics into the Premier League. Brendan kept the same style of play and superbly drove them to an 11th place finish in their first season of the Premier League which was very impressive.
Then in the summer Brendan couldn’t turn down the huge job of managing Liverpool Football Club and so he moved on.
The Swans then appointed Michael Laudrup and if you aren’t big on your La Liga then you may not have known much about him like me but he also had an illustrious playing career hitting the heights of playing for Barcelona. There was a lot of talk of Swansea will fall down the ladder, start fighting for their survival, not the play the same way and I have to be honest I was also one of these people who thought that with the exit of Rogers the Swans would possibly deteriorate. However having said this, they have been absolutely terrific under Laudrup this season and currently sit in 9th which is higher than where Rogers left them.
Michael has inherited a similar style of play to Brendan but not quite as strict as he gets his team to play with pace, swiftness, width and intensity. This has clearly paid off this season with the Swans sitting high in 9th place; however they must have the new additions to thank majorly. Player of the season contender Michu has been an absolute revelation in his first season in the Premier League. In their first game of the season away to QPR they won 5-0 with this Spaniard named Michu netting twice.
I knew nothing about him and still wasn’t expecting him to have the season of his career…….well no one saw it coming did they.
After that start to his Swansea career and in his calm and cool manner he has never looked back scoring 17 times in 30 appearances plus he even getting a look into the Spain squad. Now Del Bosque must have spotted something special in the big striker as Spain certainly don’t play the Stoke away, however he could be used as a plan B.
This is what Swansea have been crying out for to take them to the next level and solidify a top ten spot in the Premier League consistency, a bit of foreign flair. Now they have a foreign manager who can attract foreign players into the club with the likes of Michu, Pablo Hernandez and Jonathan De Guzman who have all been terrific.
Can Swansea go one better and make a top 6 or top 8 Premier League place?
Finally just to top off Swansea’s amazing season they also went all the away in the Capital One Cup and defeated League 2 Bradford City in the final at Wembley which therefore means they will be playing in Europe next season and in my opinion they will be a tough test for any opposition as at home they are usually outstanding as they have only lost 3 there this season and away they always pose tough to beat, it’s never an easy game against the Swans.
Looking towards the future I’m not sure if they need many players in in the summer just possibly one or two defenders and maybe a striker just to have competition in all positions.
What’s next for this Welsh Premier League side who will be joined by their bitter rivals next season?