It is when things are tough, that we learn most about our football team. It is undeniable – Swansea are in a rut.
It may only have been for a handful of games, but Swansea have not hit top gear since their epic victory over Cardiff. Since that game, they have only picked up eight points from a possible 21, which is far from promotion form. What makes this period so frustrating is the fact that the teams around us have also dropped points.
Leeds have taken advantage of the top three’s poor form, and have leapt to second in the table. Considering this is their first year in the Championship, it is a fantastic achievement for Simon Grayson and his team. With Leeds fans smelling the scent of possible back-to back promotions, they will not give up their position without a fight.
It may smack of panic to be criticising the Swans for their run of bad results, considering we are still in a good position, but with the fickle conundrum that is the Championship, a team who comes third one season, could easily be in a relegation battle the next.
Most Swans fans would agree that we have a real chance of going up this season and we have the players to do it, with the right mix of sturdiness in the defence, and attacking flair. We should be looking to capitalise on this.
We now also get to see how Brendan Rodgers will react to change our fortunes. Over the past few seasons, Swans fans have been treated to great football, and constant success, with possible promotions on the menu every season since the moved to the Liberty..In general, the managers have not made sweeping changes.
Martinez was always faithful to his players and gave them chance to find form after some lacklustre performances. This usually worked well, with the players playing themselves back into form. During the record-equalling run of eight draws, a brace from Jason Scotland against Burnley at Turf Moor kick started a run of five consecutive victories. Whilst during the end-of-season rut under Sousa, the team was generally unchanged, with results not improving.
So, how will Rodgers adapt? I do not foresee copious amounts of changes, especially considering the team was unchanged after the Millwall defeat. We may have lost our mojo, but we are still in the play-off positions. Jermaine Easter has come on-board, and he can expect plenty of game time, and we have bountiful options on the wings.
The crucial Christmas period is now upon us, and it could make or break our season. Another 8 points from 21 will see the Swans submerge below the top six, and we all know it is harder to break back rather than remain there. This Sunday’s game against QPR (weather allowing!) could be just what the Swans need to rejuvenate their season.
QPR have had their own troubles recently (3 wins in 11 games), and would always find their blistering start hard to sustain. They could be there for the taking. Without trying to get ahead of myself, a good performance on Saturday could precede a string of victories from eminently winnable games against Barnsley, Reading, Leicester, Crystal Palace, Colchester, Burnley and Bristol City.
One selection policy the “terraces” have been questioning is the reluctance for Rodgers to start with Dobbie. The Scottish striker started the season with a flurry of goals, and seemed to be creating all sorts of problems together with Sinclair.
However, it seemed all along that he was never guaranteed of his place, which became clearer when Marvin Emnes, and now Easter, were brought in to bolster that department. After missing so much of last season through injury, he will determined to get back in the team and on the score sheet. A goal on his return to the team, perhaps this weekend, would not surprise me.
Christmas is only a few days away, and I would like to wish all readers a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. Good luck to the Swans for Boxing Day, and hopefully they can a deliver a gift wrapped victory. Let’s be honest, would we prefer an iPad, or three points against the Championship Leaders for Christmas? Three points please Santa....
Disclaimer: The views in this article are that of the writer and may not replicate those of the Professional Footballers' Association.
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