We’re over a third of the way through the Championship season and Graham Potter’s Swans currently sit 13th in the table, 8 points off the last play-off position.
But what can we make of Swansea’s season so far?
Is it time to start asking questions or is it far too early for that? Are we heading in the right direction or could it be a while before we return to the Premier League? If we do win promotion this season will we come straight back down or do well?
Its early days
As Graham Potter said after the 4-1 home loss to Norwich, we are currently at a different stage in our development to the Canaries. 3 of the visitors 4 goals came from the Swans losing the ball in their own half, and after the first goal the players’ heads seem to have collectively dropped.
Follow up defeats against West Brom, also at the Liberty, and then Derby County last weekend, once again illustrated the Swans defensive frailties, something which had been missing during the early stages of the Championship season.
The battling 2-1 win at the New Den against Millwall, when the Swans were reduced to 10 men looked to be a turning point for Potter’s team. The players showed a maturity that belied their years and experience and optimism bloomed in South Wales.
However recent results just show that there’s still a long way to go before this team is the finished article.
Whilst it’s frustrating to see the team losing and showing such naivety at home, there does seem to be an air of change at the Liberty Stadium and we must stay patient with the manager and his team.
The Swansea Way
When we won promotion to the Premier League, excelled in the top division and won the League Cup a lot was made of the ‘Swansea Way’. Regardless of who was in charge, we always played the same attractive style of football.
However when Premier League relegation threatened, the board panicked and ditched the ‘Swansea Way’, employing a series of managers with different philosophies. This eventually took its toll when we were relegated last season.
Although Carlos Carvalhal did well in his short time at Swansea, it was refreshing to see the board appoint Graham Potter as manager. He’s young, ambitious and wants to play football in the right way.
If anything, recent defeats have highlighted the path that Potter is keen to take, and we have full confidence in him to get things right and iron out these early teething pains.
But for that to happen, the Jack Army must be patient.
Will we go up this season?
It’s hard to say as on the face of results, we have been no great shakes this season but still we only find ourselves 8 points off the play-offs and 14 points off the league leaders.
A difficult festive period awaits the Swans, but regardless of the results, promotion won’t be off the cards, barring a disastrous run of results of course.
The Championship is such a congested league as we know from our time there before, and a good run of form later in the campaign could see us rise up the table.
Obviously Potter will have to toughen the resolve of his young players, but fortunately this league gives him the leeway to do that.
Would we stay up next season?
It certainly wouldn’t be unfeasible, as if you look at some premier league betting odds in recent years there have been 8 or 9 teams in the Premier League susceptible to relegation.
Are we any weaker than Huddersfield, Southampton, Cardiff or Fulham? Probably not.
With a bit of investment and some stable management, it wouldn’t be beyond the realms of possibility for Swansea to not only survive in the Premier League next season but to do so comfortably.
Brentford, Sheffield Wednesday, Hull, Aston Villa and Wigan are all up in quick succession for Swansea, so we’ll know more about our promotion chances after those fixtures.
However for now, there are plenty of reasons to be hopeful.
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