5 Swansea City Storylines To Follow As Season’s End Nears
Swansea City Look to Make This Season One to Remember
With just three months remaining in the current season, Swansea City are surely not where they had wanted to be back at the beginning of the campaign, even if a win over Welsh rivals Cardiff City moved them four points out of the relegation spots in the Barclays Premier League. After all, the club has still lost six out of their last nine league games, and have taken a step backwards from their production levels of just a year ago. They genuinely look in need of a kick in the rear to get going.
An attempt to provide this kick came via the executives of Swansea this week when they announced that Michael Laudrup had been sacked by the club, with club captain Garry Monk taking charge. This move was a slightly surprising one as Laudrup had led the club to their first trophy major trophy just last season, and had worked very hard to compete in both the Europa League and multiple domestic fronts this season.
But as is often the case, life is not always fair in football, and a difference of opinion on the direction of the club can see an instantaneous switch. Now with Monk, in charge Swansea will have to buckle down and get something out of a club that is low on depth, yet still has to fight on in the Barclays Premier League, FA Cup and Europa League.
Keeping in mind that Swansea is a club that is in the midst of a bit of change and has a number of important games and competitions facing them, I have formed a list of five storylines to follow over the final three months of the season. Just how these stories end will show the world whether or not Swansea City will view the current season as a success, a colossal failure, or somewhere in between.
5. The Race to Find a Permanent Manager Is On
While Garry Monk is in charge of Swansea City for now, it can't be expected that the player-turned-manager will remain in this role past the end of the current campaign. The club has already been linked with Slaven Bilic and Dennis Bergkamp, amongst others. Expect Swansea to have a candidate lined up before the current year is over, although they will have to be in line with the club's philosophy of playing attractive and possession-oriented football.
4. Europa League Provides Opportunity and Obstacle
Swansea City has an upcoming round of 32 matchup in the Europa League against Napoli, which will both tax an already-stretched squad and provide an opportunity to help change a disappointing campaign. If Swansea continues on in the tournament, they will surely earn some valuable profits, but the fatigue of these extra games could hurt their Barclays Premier League and FA Cup campaigns. In the end, the Europa League could both make and break the club's season.
3. FA Cup Could Bring Another Trophy and Season of European Play
Swansea City will have another tough fight in the FA Cup as they face Everton in the fifth round of the tournament. Winning this tournament could provide a surprising second year with a trophy, and another year of Europa League football.
2. Drop From the Premier League Must Be Avoided
Monk must value the Barclays Premier League above all else, as this is where the real money and prestige comes from. At only four points above 17th in the league, avoiding this drop will not be as easy as one may think, and will surely test Monk's managerial credentials.
1. Garry Monk Looks to Move From Field to Touchline Without Dropping the Ball
Garry Monk certainly does not have an easy schedule ahead of him with Swansea City, but he took the job and will now have to deal with the consequences. The one thing that he can not do is overtax players, although he must also make sure that Swansea continues to play attractive football at the same time. Avoiding the drop and winning a trophy could see Monk actually win this job on a permanent basis.