Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Things may just be looking up for Swansea

David Nugent in Editorial, English Premier League 4 Jan 2017

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Highly rated coach Paul Clement has a chance to prove he can be a manager in his own right at Swansea

Swansea have been talked about in recent times as a club in trouble and a crisis club by many. The Swans were manager-less and struggling in the bottom three of the Premier League.

However, things seem to have taken a turn for the better on Tuesday. First, the Swans appointed highly rated Paul Clement as their new boss.

Then on Tuesday night the Swans recorded a massive 2-1 win at relegation rivals Crystal Palace.

Full-back Angel Rangel struck in the 88th minute to give the Swans a win that moved them to within a point of 17th place Palace. Caretaker boss Alan Curtis must be saluted for stepping into the breach and inspiring the win.

Paul Clement is an excellent coach

New Swans boss Paul Clement is regarded as a very highly rated coach. Bayern Munich boss Carlo Ancelotti has had the former Chelsea coach with him as his assistant at the likes of the Blues, Real Madrid, PSG and more recently in German with Bayern.

Clement is highly respected in the game. Ancelotti would not have taken Clement with him wherever he has gone if he was not talented. The Italian knows a few things about successful coaches, considering his success at virtually every club he has managed.

One thing that Clement does lack is managerial experience. His only previous managerial experience came in a short-lived stint at Derby last season. The 45-year-old was sacked by the Rams in February of last year.

Clement left the club in fifth place in the table, winning 14 games, drawing 12 and losing seven. It was not a terrible introduction to management for the highly rated coach. The general consensus seemed to be that Clement was harshly treated by the Rams.

Clement is certainly not a man who shirks challenges, as his decision to take the Swansea job showed. Maybe he is the man to help the Swans beat the drop this season, as permanent predecessor Bob Bradley certainly was not.

January is vital to survival

The January transfer window could prove to be the deciding factor in whether Swansea beat the drop or not. There have been conflicting media reports on whether Clement will be backed in the transfer market by the owners or not in January.

The current Swansea squad has shown it may not be good enough to survive in the top-flight this season. The team have conceded an alarming amount of goals this season, especially under Bradley. Paul Clement may be able to produce a more organised Swans team considering his vast knowledge.

However, it is indisputable that they need to add more quality to their ranks over the next few weeks. It is highly difficult to see Swansea surviving relegation without some key additions. The club owners American need to put their hands in their pockets if they want to protect their investment.

If not, then they could well be part owners of a Championship club, instead of a Premier League one, which I would imagine is not what they expected on their arrival in south Wales.

Relegation fight now tight

This season’s relegation dogfight is now a very tight one. The bottom three Hull, Swansea and Sunderland have all been picking up points of late. No team is being cut adrift and Palace have been very dragged into the fight too. The Eagles are now just three points above bottom placed Hull.

The teams above them like Middlesbrough, Leicester, Watford and Burnley also cannot rest easy with much of the campaign still to play. Hull’s recent performances have been much improved, but the results have not.

Boss Mike Phelan has today paid the price for the teams struggles this season by losing his job. The only team to have not changed their boss in the bottom four of the league is Sunderland, who have stuck with David Moyes.

Nobody wants to be relegated, but three teams have to go down. However, a win against Palace and hopefully a shrewd managerial appointment could well save the Swans from going down.

However, the bookies still believe that the Swans will be one of the three making the drop down, as the Welsh side are odds of 4/7 to be relegated this season.

At least now the Swans have given themselves a chance of staying in the Premier League. If they do not then the owners will need to take a long hard look at themselves.

Will Paul Clement keep Swansea in the Premier League?

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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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