Swansea City have had a few memorable seasons recently but how have they done in the first half of this campaign?
Prediction at the start of the season
We predicted another strong season for the Swans under Michael Laudrup. Having progressed rapidly since their promotion to the Premier League – which saw them lift their first trophy in the form of the League Cup last season, resulting in Europa League football this term - expectations were high.
How have they been so far?
Whilst some will say disappointing, in reality they have been solid. They struggled to get their home form going early on but the Liberty Stadium has still proven to be a difficult place to play football this season. Though it hasn't been as spectacular as some will have liked, a solid season of consolidation may be what's required.
A solid 6/10. It was always going to be difficult for Michael Laudrup to improve domestically after a wonderful campaign last season but he has handled their European campaign very well so far – along with his side being positioned solidly in the table. He has consolidated his side’s position in the top flight so far.
Best game they’ve been involved in?
Swansea 2-2 Liverpool. A bit of a bonkers game where Jonjo Shelvey helped out both his former and current club – and the Swans may have been disappointed not to have taken all three points as they dominated the second half.
Their stand-out player?
It’s a difficult one, but up until his injury Nathan Dyer looked to be a big threat and in very good form. It was a big blow when he picked up his injury against Norwich City.
New signings – how are they getting on?
Wilfried Bony and Jonjo Shelvey were the two most high profile signings in the summer for the Swans. Bony has struggled to get up to speed but has shown flashes of quality which led to the club parting with so much money for his services. Shelvey has looked creative but like at Liverpool, is prone to errors. Alvaro Vasquez has yet to find the net since he arrived on loan from Getafe. Alejandro Pozuelo has featured fairly regularly as has Jose Alberto Canas. Both players have seemed solid so far.
Most significant win of the season?
Whilst people will point to their win in Valencia in the Europa League, we’re going to stick to domestic fixtures and say their 3-0 win over Newcastle. Swansea outclassed a very good side that night with Nathan Dyer and Jonjo Shelvey getting on the scoresheet with an own goal in between.
Their low point so far?
Cardiff 1-0 Swansea. It’s never nice to lose, especially to your fiercest rivals, and former Swan Steven Caulker’s header grabbing all three points probably made matters worse for the fans.
Where do they need to strengthen in January?
They do seem to have a good deal of numbers and quality, and maybe the signings of the summer haven’t quite got up to speed. The second half of the season we will probably see the best of those, whilst with notable injuries problems for Michu and Nathan Dyer, a player who is effective in the final third may be a useful addition to the squad.
What can we expect from them for the rest of the season?
Solidly finishing in mid table and the Liberty Stadium will still be a difficult place for sides to go. They may have their work cut out in Europe, though.
image: © Christopher Elkins