End of Season Report: Swansea

21May 2013

England - Premier League

 

A top-10 finish and a first major trophy equates to a fantastic season for Swansea, but how will they cope next season with Europa League football to deal with?

 

Season Summary - 9th/Capital One Cup Winners

 

It's been a marvellous season for Swansea, unquestionably. A new manager - Michael Laudrup - in charge following Brendan Rodgers' move to Liverpool, and a relatively unknown striker by the name of Michu set to lead their attack, the Swans were regarded as relegation candidates at the start of the season by many.

 

But they got off to the perfect start, thumping QPR and West Ham in their first two games to become the early pacesetters in the Premier League table, with Michu netting three times. A difficult spell followed but through it Michu continued to bang in the goals, and when Swansea surprisingly won at Arsenal in early December the Spaniard was into double figures for the season.

 

Swansea kept grabbing wins at the right time and Michu continued to score goals, meaning the Welsh side finished a highly respectable ninth in the table. But it was in the Capital One Cup where they enjoyed their biggest success.

 

Rated as outsiders at the start of the competition Swansea stormed their way to Wembley with outstanding wins at Liverpool and Chelsea along the way, and by the time they played League Two outfit Bradford in the final the trophy was as good as theirs. And so it proved, Laudrup's men won 5-0 that day to clinch the club's first major trophy in their long history.

 

 

Talking Point

 

The signing of Michu went relatively unnoticed at the start of the season but by the time the January Transfer Window came around all the talk was about who the Spaniard would sign for, with Liverpool rumoured to be leading the chase.

 

But Michu stayed loyal to the club that signed him just six months previous, and with just one week of the window remaining the 'signing of the season' put pen to paper on a new four year contract at Swansea. Will he regret that decision if Swansea don't progress next season? Or was getting Michu on a longer contract simply an insurance policy for the Welsh club so that they can command a higher fee should they decide to sell?

 

 

Plus and Minus Points

 

For a club of Swansea's stature it doesn't get much better than winning a major trophy. That success is a huge plus for the club and many will fancy them to kick on from here.

 

Laudrup and Michu also have to be considered massive plus points, as is the top-10 finish they helped the club achieve. In fact it's difficult to highlight any minus points from Swansea's season, though a poor end to the campaign (just one win in 10) and qualification to the Europa League especially are definitely negatives in my opinion, hence the below.

 

 

What Next

 

Swansea are effectively last season's Newcastle; over-achieving in the league and qualifying for the Europa League - albeit by the cup rather than their league position. And we all know what happened to Newcastle this season.

 

It will take a huge effort for Swansea to mix domestic and European football successfully, and with every top-flight club now knowing what Michu is capable of he will also do well to repeat what he achieved this season. All in all then, Swansea need to sign some real quality in the summer and add some strength to their squad. If they don't then they could be relegation candidates from the outset once again.

 

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Keywords: End of Season, Swansea

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