Wednesday 11 April 2018

POTY: Who Deserves Swansea’s Player of the Year?

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There are just a few weeks to go now in the Premier League and Carlos Carvalhal’s turnaround has left a number of players worthy of Player of the Season.

It’s of course far from over yet and relegation is still a possibility. However, we’re going to take a look at those who have positively contributed as we look at the contenders for Player of the Season…

Alfie Mawson

Mawson has been fantastic this season and rightfully was rewarded with an England call-up.

He’s proved time and time again he’s reliable and will no doubt be linked with a number of clubs over the summer. He’s a future captain if he stays at the Liberty and is part of the new breed of centre halves who can both defend and use their feet.

Ki Sung-Yueng

Ki Sung-Yueng may have missed the start of the season but he’s made up for that lost time with some solid performances in the heart of midfield.

He’s had a strong second half of the season and will likely be instrumental in Carvalhal’s second season in charge.

Jordan Ayew

The Ayews have played a bit part in the Swans’ season. Jordan has chipped in with some key goals, 11 in all competitions.

The difference when he’s out of the team is noticeable and he’s a great focal point of the Swansea side.

Lukasz Fabianski

He’s saved the Swans on multiple occasions and has contributed to the earning of multiple points.

Now in his fourth season, he’s been as impressive as ever and few goalkeepers in the Premier League have made more saves than him across the season.

He’ll be key from now until the end of the season as City try and stay in the top flight. If they manage it, Fabianski will be rightly lauded by Swans fans and would fully deserve the Player of the Season award.

Federico Fernandez

The Swansea captain for much of the season and has led by example.

At the club since 2014, he’s made 29 times this season at the heart of the defence and has put in some huge performances across the second half of the season.

All that has been in the face of tragedy, losing his father at the end of last year. On the field he’s been strong in the most heartbreaking of circumstances and he certainly must be saluted for that.

Tuesday 27 March 2018

The Swansea Players That Could Leave This Summer

It’s that time of year where there are plenty of players rumoured to be coming in and out of a club and that’s most certainly the case at the Liberty Stadium.

It’ll be Carlos Carvalhal’s first chance to really plan ahead with Swansea, after dragging them out of the mire and he’ll be desperate to keep a number of players as well as buy. However, there’s already a number of names being rumoured to be heading towards the door.

We take a look at the players whose days with the Jacks could be limited…

Ki Sung-Yueng

Ki Sung-Yueng is out of contract this summer and has already been linked to both West Ham and AC Milan. The South Korean will also have the perfect shop window in the World Cup.

Milan do seem to be favourites for the midfielder, who seems destined to leave Swansea. A contract offer may be put on the table but it looks as though his mind is already made up.

Alfie Mawson

It seems only a matter of time before a big club comes in for Alfie Mawson and the club will be desperate to keep hold of him.

It’ll take big money for the centre half to move, expected to be in the region of £35million should he go. Spurs seem the most likely candidate, while Leicester are also rumoured to be formulating an offer. Toby Alderweireld is expected to move on from Spurs so North London looks odds-on for the young Englishman.

Roque Mesa

Roque Mesa seemed a fantastic signing when he first made the move from Las Palmas for a bargain £11million, but it just hasn’t worked.

He’s currently out on loan with Sevilla and there just doesn’t seem like there’s a way back for him. Sevilla may be tempted to make a bid for him but another loan move or permanent switch seems incredibly likely this summer.

Leon Britton

Leon Britton is pretty much Mr Swansea but is out of contract this summer and simply hasn’t played enough to trigger another year on his contract.

It’s likely the club will respect him enough for a decision to come before the end of the season allowing Britton to say a final goodbye. He’s 35-years-old now, so it could well be retirement for him rather than another club. Only time will tell.

Swans Confident Carvalhal Will Stay On After The Summer

Swansea are confident that manager Carlos Carvalhal will stay on at the club next season regardless of what division they are in.

Carvalhal’s deal only stands until the end of the season but the sensational turnaround has got the Swans hoping that a long term deal can be put in place.

The Portuguese has lost just three times since he took over as boss and has taken the club from the bottom of the table to three points clear of the drop zone. There are just eight games left this season and, while they have to play Manchester United, Manchester City and Chelsea, they’ll be confident in securing their Premier League status sooner rather than later.

He’s led the club to the Quarter Final of the FA Cup before a disappointing defeat to Spurs, but it can’t be argued that his tenure has been nothing short of a revelation. There is an option to extend his contract at the end of the season, which will trigger a two-year extension.

It’s thought that those talks are underway and a new deal is imminent for the former Sheffield Wednesday man.

The club will be very much focussed on survival currently though. Carvalhal and his side have worked wonders the last few months and the Swansea board will be wary that a new deal may see a slump in form now he’s got his deal.

However, the motivation looks completely there and it seems a good deal all round for Carvalhal to sign. He needs to prove himself for a longer period in the Premier League to establish himself, and Jacks fans certainly aren’t complaining in the way he’s leading them, not least for his fantastic metaphors.

The mood is good at the club and it’s already being thought that a new contract could be longer than the two years should City pull the incredible turnaround off.

A good sign is how Carvalhal has said he feels about his time at Swansea, which has got the board confident he’ll stay even if they go down.

He said, “I like the fans, I like the players and I like the chairman, and I think the fans, the players and the chairman like me.”

Either way, Swansea will be desperate not to be searching for another manager this summer and they’ll want to snap him up before another club comes calling.

Sunday 25 March 2018

Swansea About To Make A Move For Santiago Arias?

Swansea City are on the verge of making a bid for PSV Eindhoven star Santiago Arias it’s being reported.

The club had scouts watching the France versus Colombia game at the Stade de France on Friday evening, where the Colombians came back from 2-0 down to win the game 3-2.

All eyes, from a Swansea point of view were on the full back Arias, who enjoyed the full 90 minutes.

They’ve been watching the star for a while now and almost got the move last August, again almost making a bid in January. It’s a move that seems to have stalled a few times and it seems that the move is once again back on.

The 26-year-old has played 26 times for the Dutch side so far this season and has 15 months left on his contract. To get him in the summer could cost around £9million and it’s thought he’d welcome a move away from the Philips Stadion.

The Swans would welcome a new player in his position with only Angel Rangel, Kyle Naughton and Martin Olsson recognised full backs in the first team. The former is recovering from a long-term injury which leaves the club incredibly short.

It’s been a problem position for a while now and something that manager Carlos Carvalhal will be looking to remedy as soon as the transfer window opens over the summer.

Whether Carvalhal will recognise the Colombian as the man he wants is another story but it does look as though this saga is continuing to rumble on.

Arias could play down both wings, although primarily down the right, and also has the ability to step in at centre back if needed. That sort of flexibility is useful for any squad and as Swansea continue to improve under the Portuguese, that could be a vital asset.

There’s no doubt that Carvalhal will be looking to improve the side come the summer, and they might want to get business done on this one before the World Cup. A good tournament for the full back will see his stock rise and could end up seeing Swansea have to pay over the odds, not to mention other clubs getting involved.

What is certain is that Swansea are in for a full back and from what it looks like they will be ready to make a move one final time for Arias as he seeks a move away from the Eredivisie.

Thursday 22 March 2018

The Swansea Run-In: Why There’s No Need To Worry

The Swans will return to action next week after rather meekly going out of the FA Cup last week, but we really shouldn’t be afraid about the rest of the season.

The loss was a disappointment after getting so far in the competition, mainly because the up turn in form in the Premier League has been a real boost.

That’ll be the full focus from now until May and with eight games left and just three points above the drop zone there’s plenty to do.

First up for the Swans is a visit to Old Trafford in what of course will be a tough task.

The Spurs game was just the third defeat under Carvalhal however and they’ve proved they can get results. United’s abject performances against Sevilla and struggles against Brighton will encourage Carvalhal who has led his side to fifth in the form table from the day he took over.

The performance levels have matched the results and the Jacks are now at a point where they really do fear nobody.

Which is just as well, because Manchester City and Chelsea are also involved in the Swansea run in.

They earned vital points against other big sides including a fantastic result against Arsenal and a well earned point against Leicester, so it wouldn’t be against the grain for them to at least push Mourinho and Conte’s men.

However, it’s elsewhere where Swansea can push themselves further away from the pack. West Brom is the first game in April, a must win against a side who are already gone, while Everton at home on April 14 is a game which should be earmarked as a win.

That would give them some leeway in back to back games against City and Chelsea, before a final two games against clubs in and around them.

Bournemouth is the penultimate game at the Vitality Stadium. Both will hopefully be comfortably safe by this point but Stoke on the last day has the potential to be a huge one for the Potters.

Stoke are currently three points adrift of safety, but have a new manager at the helm and will be hoping that can bring a change in fortune.

If Swansea can carry on their decent run, that game will be irrelevant and to be honest, we really don’t think there will be any need to worry.

Sunday 18 March 2018

Is Alfie Mawson The Man To Solve England’s Defensive Woes?

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To say Alfie Mawson has been the standout player for the Swans this season would be an understatement. He’s proved a shining light and has been a key man in the Swansea revival since Carlos Carvalhal took over as boss back in December.

With the season almost up, he’s legitimately being talked about for a place in the England squad, ahead of the likes of Gary Cahill and Chris Smalling. But is he the man to sit in the very heart of England’s squad?

Well, Swans fans certainly think so, even if it is strengthening the chances of Gareth Southgate’s men.

He’s in the squad for the upcoming friendlies with Holland and Italy, and will almost certainly get his chance alongside Burnley’s James Tarkowski.

Carvalhal is certainly tipping his man with the 24-year-old the “perfect” fit according to recent reports.

He’s put in some stellar performances this season, so much so he’s being eyed up by Mauricio Pochettino at Spurs. It’s thought that Southgate will play with a back three this summer and Mawson would be an ideal fit having become comfortable with that formation throughout the domestic season.

To do that, concentration and communication with your partners is key and Mawson has had little trouble with that at any point. He’s been calm, calculated and proven he has all the attributes to really excel in an England back three.

Carvalhal said of his centre half, “He has the concentration, he is very good one to one, he is very strong, good in the air, he has the agility to play on the sides.”

His professionalism will be massive for England and as a player who just gets on with the job, he could be a real blessing for Southgate. That sort of temperament is what’s needed in football and England could well be brimming with strong, quality football if the manager is bold enough to select Mawson and Tarkowski.

He’s said he’ll only pick players who are playing regularly and are in form. While that can certainly be said of Mawson, it can’t of Gary Cahill or John Stones who have found themselves getting further and further down the pecking order at Chelsea and Manchester City.

He’s the form man Mawson, and having done things the hard way, he thoroughly deserves his place. It’s almost like another Jamie Vardy story. A progression beginning with non-league Maidenhead United. With that you get a man who’s dedicated, works hard, and one that really does put everything on the line. It’s a perfect fit.

The Greatest Swansea Players Of All Time: We Have Our Say

With the international break looming and no games to look forward to for two weeks, we got thinking about the greats to have put on the white shirt over the years.

There have been plenty throughout Swansea’s rise to the Premier League and since their arrival in the top flight, there have been a number of exciting footballers at the Liberty.

Alfie Masson is perhaps the latest to really impress in a Swans shirt and could earn his first England cap in Friday’s game against the Netherlands.

But which players have already made their mark on the club? We run down our favourite Jacks over the years…

Leon Britton

While not a one club man, Leon Britton is Mr Swansea having played for the club at every level from League Two upwards.

He’s been at the club since 2002 with only a brief spell at Sheffield United (2010/11) breaking up his 452 appearances.

Now 35, he’ll go down as an all-time great for the club and was instrumental in the midfield during their promotion to the Premier League.

Lee Trundle

Lee Trundle brought some real class during a desperate period for the club. He was brought to Swansea back in 2003 by Brian Flynn and instantly endeared himself to the fans.

Known for his trickery, he scored 91 goals for Swansea and was a key man in their promotion to League One. He never played above the Championship throughout his career despite continually being linked to Premier League sides. A true cult hero among Swans fans.

Alan Curtis

A Swansea City without Alan Curtis isn’t worth thinking about. He played 437 times for the club and is the current Loan Player Manager having been in the staff at the club since 2004.

He scored one of the club’s most iconic goals, scoring their first goal in top flight football against Leeds.

He’s been with the club through both th good times and bad and will force be lauded as a true City great.

Gylfi Sigurdsson

While Gylfi Sigurdsson didn’t play for the Swans for too long, he made just 131 appearances in all, he did help cement the Swans as a Premier League club.

He brought class, creativity and goals to the club and is perhaps the closest the club have ever really got to world class.

It’s a shame a team couldn’t have been built around the Icelandic for years to come but we can’t help but acknowledge what a fantastic player he really was.

Ashley Williams

Ashley Williams was a real leader during his eight years with the Swans. He played 351 times across League One, the Championship and the Premier League, barely missing a game along the way.

His performances for the Swans brought him the captaincy for both club and country and he’s since gone on to earn 76 caps.

Another who perhaps should have stayed to further his legacy, but he was a player who really did help cement Swansea’s Premier League status.