Extra commitments and extra pressure are two reasons as to why the Welsh side have had a slow start to the season after their rapid rise.
After an incredible couple of seasons in the top flight, Swansea City had been tipped for another top half finish, maybe even as high as seventh place but after the start to the season they have, maybe those sort of predictions need to be reassessed.
Swansea’s start to the league season sees them lying in 13th place in the league table, having collected 11 points from their opening ten games, leaving them a place and a point behind their Welsh neighbours Cardiff City early on in the season.
But what’s the reason for this apparent slide?
There are several factors to take into account for the Swans. They are embarking on their first European campaign meaning that it is going to take some getting used to when they’re trying to manage all of their players – a European campaign which they have made a very impressive start to which has seen them pick up seven points from three games in their Europa League – three of them coming courtesy of an impressive 3-0 win over Valencia at the Mestalla.
Their start to the league campaign hasn’t exactly dealt them the friendliest of fixture lists – with Manchester United, Liverpool and Arsenal all visiting the Liberty Stadium before the end of September – along with a visit to White Hart Lane to face Tottenham.
Not the easiest of starts for anybody, and then you chuck in a visit to high-flying Southampton and a derby match it is not surprising that Swansea aren’t really hitting the heights of last season just yet. There is also the added factor that sides are probably taking more notice of Swansea, and as a result giving them a lot more respect which is something Laudrup will need to find a solution to. If they are going to be treated more and more as a top side then they’re going to have to work a lot harder to break teams down, especially at home.
Wilfried Bony has yet to settle in properly at the club, and whilst we have seen flashes of the quality that Michu possesses he has yet to hit the heights of last season, whilst the midfield hasn’t looked altogether settled at times.
Swansea will have a harder season this time around, that seems to be evident. Even though they may finish lower than last term, expect them to still be comfortably safe from the fears of regulation and be locked in tight encounters with the best teams in the league.
image: © Christopher Elkins