Swansea boss Garry Monk is one of the youngest managers in the Premier League at just 35. Yet, he has shown remarkable composure and tactical nous to get Swansea up into seventh place after 13 matches. Consistency has not been a forte of Swansea this campaign, but Monk says that it will come as the team starts plays regularly under his regime. Monk’s performances at Swansea have not gone unnoticed, as Crystal Palace boss Neil Warnock claimed that Swansea have gone to ‘another planet’ after the arrival of Monk. Betfair places Swansea at a comfortable 8/13 for a Premier League top 10 finish this season.
Palace managed to get a point at the Liberty Stadium after a 1-1 draw, but they continue to remain in a relegation dogfight.
Swansea’s three match unbeaten run in the Premier League came to an end after a narrow 2-1 defeat against Manchester City last week. The Welsh team, however, will be disappointed to have missed great chances to win against Palace after the early goal from Wilfried Bony. Bony took his league tally to six after the opener against Palace. It was not enough as the Londoners came back into the match after Jedinak equalised from the penalty spot. Monk was happy with the performance of his team, but he is not ready to rest on the laurels and wants a return to winning ways.
Warnock is one of the experienced managers in the game. The 65-year-old will be eligible for pension in other walks of life. As it is, he has the experience of managing teams in the Premier League and the Championship. Monk did seem to recognise that the latest praise from the former Sheffield United manager may have had an ulterior motive.
Even though Swansea are a comfortable eight points above the drop zone, Monk said before that match that he could not wait to get to the 40 point mark. This figure is seen as of psychological safety barrier for clubs trying to avoid relegation. After having done well in recent years under Brendan Rodgers and Michael Laudrup, a few Swansea fans can be forgiven for expecting more from the team. Some even would see a Europa League place as the objective for this campaign.
Monk, though, is under no illusion that the club are just starting to establish themselves in the top division and they cannot afford a relegation at this point.
Despite dominating the match with more than 60% possession, Swansea were unable to find a way past a stubborn defence. The inability to take chances has been a negative aspect so far. Unsurprisingly, the Welsh team have managed only five wins this campaign.
They sit seventh in the table only because teams like Manchester United, Arsenal, and Liverpool have not been able to get results consistently. The aftermath of a World Cup provides an interesting campaign in the Premier League and this season appears to be no different.
Betfair put the home team as the favourites for three points at odds of 3/4. Palace were backed to get only their second away win of the season at odds of 15/4.
Crystal Palace’s away form has not been extraordinary, but it has not been bad either. They have now taken six out of their 13 points on the road. On the other hand, Swansea’s home form has been one of the reasons for their lofty positions the Premier League. They have taken 14 points, out of their 19 points, at the Liberty Stadium.
After just one win in November, Monk will be hoping for a much better end to 2014.