Swansea show the Premier League how to play the 'beautiful game'
Swansea City have earned rave reviews for their expansive approach under Brendan Rodgers & Michael Laudrup
Since their promotion to the Premier League in 2011, Swansea City have received huge praise for their fantastic style of play.
Brendan Rodgers introduced the essence of passing in his successful tenure at the club, and it paid dividends when they became the first Welsh side to ever play in England's top flight.
However, Rodgers departed in the summer for the managerial position at Liverpool, even after maintaining the club's Premier League status in a successful debut season.
After his departure, it was unclear on who would take the reigns at Swansea and how their football would be played. But, the outcome couldn't have been better in any City fans' eyes.
The club brought in highly-respected former Barcelona and Real Madrid superstar Michael Laudrup, who played under the great Johan Cruyff at Barca and has been described by greats of the game such as Romario and Raul as "the best they've ever played with".
The 48-year-old former Getafe manager came into the club and instantly had an impact, pulling off the coup of the season in Michu for just £2 million and bringing in other talented players like Jonathan de Guzman and Pablo Hernandez. On top of his great eye for a bargain, the Dane has brought a tremendous footballing philosophy to the Liberty Stadium, similar to the way the Barcelona side he starred in mesmerised the world of football.
This season the Swans have stunned the league, keeping the ball well and producing incredible attacking displays. Through these displays, they have scored some of the best goals seen in the Premier League, brushing teams aside as seen when they disposed of QPR away from home on the opening day 5-0.
They have unquestionably been brilliant in attack, but their defence has been terrific, too, which is vital as this is the part of the pitch where they start most of their passing moves. Ashley Williams has formed an excellent partnership with summer signing Chico, and full-back Angel Rangel has again impressed this season.
Also, left-back Ben Davies has improved in leaps and bounds after first-team regular Neil Taylor was unfortunately ruled out for the season through a broken leg. Michel Vorm, and sometimes Gerhard Tremmel when called upon, have also been in admirable form this year.
The Welsh side have also had a very consistent midfield, with Leon Britton finally showing the talent that was much-talked about earlier in his career through some brilliant displays, whilst loanee de Guzman has surely made Laudrup consider bringing him to the club permanently.
Nathan Dyer and Wayne Routledge have been strong performers in attack, and Spaniard Pablo Hernandez has received huge praise as well after all three have chipped in with important goals and assists throughout the season.
Michu has been incredible, and the way Swansea play clearly benefits his performance, as he's one of the top three goalscorers in the league and has been the subject of heaps of praise.
You just need to take one look at their jaw-dropping possession statistics throughout all of their matches this season to know it works. They have reaped the rewards for it too, lifting the clubs first ever major trophy in the Capital One Cup, progressing past Chelsea amongst others only to destruct League Two Bradford City in the Wembley showpiece 5-0, whilst maintaining a brilliant 60% of the ball - something that doesn't happen in English cup finals very often - whether it's against a team from the top flight or a lower-tier side.
Swansea's great style of possession-emphasised football has shown that it is possible to play what seems to have been dubbed 'Barcelona football' in England and get the results you need whilst being incredibly pleasant on the eye as well, and the results are reflected: they are Europa League-bound next season and sitting comfortably in ninth-place in the league.
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