This is a very different Swansea City to the side we’re used to, but their comprehensive win over Cardiff proves they could easily still get promoted…
Things are tight at the top of the Championship. Very tight. You can barely get a cigarette paper between the teams in second, third, fourth and fifth.
But while most people would have expected Norwich and Bournemouth to fill the top two spots, the team in third is a little more surprising. Swansea just snuck into the playoffs at the end of last season, but after losing a few more players in the summer it looked like another uphill task for Steve Cooper.
However, their victory over Cardiff at the weekend – and perhaps more importantly their performance – had the panel on the Totally Football League Show purring.
“Swansea definitely look like one of the best teams in the division,” declared Adrian Clarke.
Woof. Sam Parkin went into some more detail as to why:
“Lowe and Andre Ayew were fantastic. Lowe ran in behind, Ayew takes up different positions for a front man. Their movement was in such contrast to what Cardiff had.
“The defensive solidity. The way they’re defending is incredible. To concede ten goals in 20 games, to limit Cardiff to two corner kicks and a handful of throws and set-pieces and deal with them so easily…it’s remarkable.
“It was as resounding a derby win as you’ll see.”
Swansea teams of old were known for their attractive, flowing football, but it’s been a little different this season.
“This is a very different Swansea,” said Sam Parkin. “They haven’t really impressed me with their footballing ability in terms of playing through sides, when I’ve seen them previously. But on Saturday, that’s the most [good football] they’ve played.
“Maybe Steve Cooper looked at the surface, in comparison to what it’s like at the Liberty this season, looked at the opposition and felt ‘we need to get back to what Swansea have been and dominate the ball.’
“That was more Swansea of old. Because there has been criticism of Steve Cooper going away from what’s come before. That was them back to their best.”
That said, they might not be able to play that sort of football regularly at home, as Michelle Owen pointed out.
“I don’t see how they’re going to play that sort of football at the Liberty this season, the pitch is so atrocious. I’m pretty sure they’re playing rugby on it again – I just can’t see how anyone could play football on that.
“They might start looking a bit better away from home where they can play on different pitches.”
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