Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Goal-shy Swans set for Premier League exit

David Nugent in Editorial, English Premier League 19 Dec 2017

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In the past, I have sung the praises of Swansea City. The Swans style of play under the likes of Brendan Rodgers, Roberto Martinez and Michael Laudrup was very easy on the eye.

The club decided to stick to the passing football philosophy, until the last few years. The style of football the Welsh side play now is anybody’s guess.

Swansea suffered a 3-1 defeat at Everton on Monday night. The Toffees were not at their best. However, the visitors were just that short of attacking ideas that it was a fairly comfortable night for the Merseysiders.

Things did not go the Swans way of course, as they lost striker Wilfried Bony very early in the game, while Everton’s second penalty kick should have been a free-kick, only for Jon Moss to mistakenly point to the spot.

However, it is not just Swansea’s bad luck will get them relegated. A sheer impotency in the attacking third is a major factor in their current struggles.

Struggled to mount many attacks

I have watched Swansea play a couple of times this season. On every occasion, they have been neat and tidy in possession but offered very little cutting edge when it got to the opposition penalty area.

Under the previous bosses, the Swans were neat and tidy and they offered an attacking threat too. Under Paul Clement, they do not seem to have that threat after losing Gylfi Sigurdsson and Fernando Llorente in the summer.

The Swans are not the lowest scorers in the Premier League for no reason. Against Everton, their attack offered very little going forward. In fact, I was surprised they managed to score the goal they did.

When you offer such little attacking threat, then it is very easy for teams to come at you and it adds pressure to the Swans backline. In fairness, the Welsh side has been decent in defence this season. It is the forward players that are letting the team down.

Swansea cannot rely on Tammy Abraham

I am a big fan of young striker Tammy Abraham. He is one of the brightest young English strikers in the game.

However, the Swans cannot keep relying on the 20-year-old to get the goals needed to stay up this season. The Chelsea loanee has now failed to score in his last 11 Premier League outings.

He joined Swansea to gain experience, not to have the weight of the clubs survival hopes on his shoulders. Abraham seems like a guy who would not shy away from the pressure.

However, his senior colleagues need to help him out. He is feeding off scraps in the least creative team in the Premier League.

Swansea’s other main forward option is Wilfried Bony, who sustained an injury early in the Everton game. The Ivory Coast international had scored twice in his previous three top-flight games.

It looked like he could be rediscovering his goalscoring touch. He needs to soon, as a record of three goals in his last 31 Premier League appearances is poor for such a capable striker.

For Swansea’s sake, I hope that Bony’s injury is not too bad and he is available again for the Swans in the near future. The Welsh side needs all the help they can get to score goals at the minute.

Favourites for relegation

Unsurprisingly considering they are bottom of the table and four points away from safety, Swansea are favourites to suffer relegation from the Premier League this season at 2/9.

Those odds are a damning indictment of the current situation at the club. I must have sounded like a broken record when I complained in the summer that the Swans had sold their two best players, just as I had the previous summer.

They sold the only two players in the squad that looked capable of getting them a goal. The signing of Abraham and Bony were more out of hope than expectation.

The Swans poor summer transfer window has led to the Welsh side scoring just ten Premier League goals this season. To put it into perspective, that is the same number as Everton’s Wayne Rooney for the league campaign.

In short, Swansea needs to act in January to bring in players capable of scoring and creating goals. However, those sorts of players are hard to come by and the owners may have to put their hand in their pocket to sign players, which looks unlikely.

It would be a shame to see Swansea suffer relegation. However, at the minute it is very difficult to see them escaping the drop this season.

Will Swansea suffer relegation this season?


David Nugent

David is a freelance football writer with nearly a decade of experience writing about the beautiful game. The 33-year-old has written for over a dozen websites and also an international soccer magazine offline.
Arguably his best work has come as an editorial writer for Soccernews, sharing his good, bad and ugly opinions on the world’s favourite sport. During David’s writing career he has written editorials, betting previews, match previews, banter, news and opinion pieces.



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