Star Spangled Banner by mahjepahje
What a multimedia treat that was! (Okay, you can press stop now and carry on reading...)
Following the intense emotional slap we all took after Brendan Rodgers left the club in the immediate post-season, we've had quite a calm ride. Michael Laudrup came in, shocking a few and exciting many, but since then it has been quite comfortable to watch, listen and read about Swansea City.
With just under four weeks until the Swans begin their second Premier League season, and before I take my two week holiday (…in Italy, thanks for asking), lets have a brief recap and then look ahead to what still needs to be done.
The first game under Laudrup was a success. An expected relief for all. 5-0 against Port Talbot showed that even a Swansea B team can score goals and, though it was against a much weaker side than any they'll face next season, it showed there is potential in the reserves and kicked off the Laudrup reign wonderfully.
As I mentioned, we're seeing a pretty calm pre-season transfer-wise. No major names have come to the club, but the three that have put pen to paper (unless it's done digitally these days?) are all worth taking notice of.
However, some areas still need attention before that visit to QPR.
Starting with one of the most important areas on the pitch, I'd say another semi-decent goalkeeper is needed at some point. This signing isn't the highest of priority at the moment, but it may well be if Vorm and Tremmel simultaneously fall ill this winter. But for now we can leave this area and hope they take their vitamins.
Defence has certainly been boosted by Jose Chico Flores coming in as centre-back, while Curtis Obeng impressed many with his speed in the Port Talbot game - something he was unable to show off last season. This is a relief as, if he can do it at Premier League level, it would mean defence is pretty much sorted with a starting four of Rangel, Williams, Flores and Taylor, with Tate, Monk, Obeng and Richards available to cover.
An area which is now saturated with quality is midfield. The arrival of Jonathan de Guzman and Michu has beefed up an already meaty area of the squad. Michu, with 15 La Liga goals last season certainly looks to fill the void left after the departure of Gylfi Sigurdsson. Add the two new boys to the likes of Britton, Agustien, and possibly Orlandi and Dobbie, and there will be plenty of options next season.
Upfront is now the main area of concern. Ignoring the wingers and just focusing on the strikers, will Danny Graham, Leroy Lita and Luke Moore be enough? I'd say no. It's close, but I'd like to lose Moore or Lita and bring in one more striker - one with enough quality and goals to relegate Graham to the bench. Then we would have ourselves a team!
Elsewhere in the world of football, it's worth pointing out that Brendan Rodgers is looking to recreate the play-off winning Swansea squad at Liverpool. Fabio Borini has already signed, while Rodgers is looking to prise Joe Allen away. There are also rumours that he is interested in Dorus De Vries as a second/third keeper. My bet is he is also after Darren Pratley and Lee Trundle. Gorka Pintado has also been spotted at Anfield, though he was just there to have a stadium tour.
The only major point in that last paragraph is that Allen's place with the Swans is under question. One thing I will say is: I'd happily take £15million for Joe Allen. He's been fantastic in the last few seasons and is one of the few 'local boy made good' stories around, but, in my eyes, he's not worth £15million. Therefore, if Swansea were able to bank that much for him it would be good business for the sad farewell.
Nothing is set in stone yet and there are plenty of reasons why it may not be the right move. I feel he has another few years with the Swans yet, but there is obviously truth in the rumours and Rodgers always seems to get his way...
That's it from me for about two weeks. When I return I expect a new goalkeeper, a winger and a striker. I expect Swansea will have won their warm-up games. I expect Sinclair and Allen will have signed new contracts. I expect no injuries to the three Team GB players. I also expect the unexpected and know that there will be at least one more surprise that none of us will expect!