With the Swans finally returning to winning ways on the weekend thanks to the 3-1 victory over Middlesbrough at the Liberty Stadium, the focus now turns to the four games over the festive period.
There’s been a lot of talk recently about the club’s American owners willingness to sell and on what terms. In fact, they’re said to be eager and have set a price of £38 million (or £50 milion) depending on which Sunday newspaper article you may have read, a figure which will increase by several million if the club makes it to the Premier League no doubt.
It all smacks of ‘buy now, at this unbelievable price’, and, to be honest, it does appear to be an incredible price for a club that is in pretty good financial shape when compared to others in the EFL Championship.
But with the busy festive period coming up in the not too distant future, the owners will soon have a much better idea of whether or not they can bank on the extra millions.
So, we’re asking the question “has the current squad got what it takes?”. Of course, the answer to that should be a resounding ‘yes’ if you consider the Swans earlier season form.
Although despite the worrying dip in form recently, we’re still believe it or not 1 point of the Play-Offs and just 3 from the automatic places – not bad when you’ve been on a six match winless run!
Recent form aside, the major bookmakers all agree that Swansea are still in the mix. In fact, you’ll get similar odds from football experts for both Swansea and Leeds to go up, such is the positivity surrounding the squad. But what about that busy festive schedule?
The festive run
Our festive fixtures begin on the 21st December with a trip to Luton Town, who are managed by former Swans coach Graeme Jones. The Hatters are a mixed bag this season, they’ve been scoring goals but giving them away just as easy.
As this is the first match over the festive period, this is about as good an opponent the Swans could have wished for and Cooper’s men should expect to take the three points from their trip to Bedfordshire.
The next match on Boxing Day sees us on the road again (that damn fixture computer), and this time it’s away to Brentford. The 3-0 humiliation against the Bees in October served as a wake-up call, but considering our home form, the defeat was no great shock.
Shipping three goals, however, was embarrassing. But to date we’ve only lost once on the road at table toppers West Brom, so the Swans should still be confident and barring any turkey-fuelled hangover, this should be at least one point.
The 29th sees us play at home to Barnsley. Hopefully, our home form will continue to improved at the expense of the Tykes and we’ll take more than the single point we managed in the reverse fixture. This really should be a three-pointer for us.
Barnsley are rock-bottom at the moment, although there has been an improvement in recent games. The point they managed against us was certainly not indicative of either club’s season so far.
Our final game of the festive period, and the first of the new decade, sees us host Charlton Athletic. This is a much tougher one to call, as both clubs have had similar start-stop form in the league.
Regardless of what happens in the three fixtures leading up to this game, this is the one that we have to win. It’s about starting the New Year on a positive note and the fact that we travel to Cardiff for the next League game – after a tricky FA Cup 3rd Round tie at QPR of course.
Win both games and we go into the South Wales derby in good spirits and full of confidence. Lose either or at worst both, and, well… let’s not even ponder that.
The truth is that Cooper has the team playing decent football, and we deserve our current place in the table. If he can just sort out our alarming dip in home form, we’d tear the Championship apart and be a good prospect for promotion.
Of course, earning more money for the owners is not the primary concern for fans, far from it, it’s all about getting back to the Premier League.
And the festive period is key to achieving that goal. Can we keep up the momentum through Christmas? Let’s hope so.