Swansea City made history after wining their first piece of silverware in February after their emphatic League Cup triumph against Bradford City.
This success has now enabled the Welsh outfit to take part in next season's Europa League. Sitting ninth in the Premier League table, we take a look at some the reasons the Swans should do well in Europe.
Last season was a good season for Swansea, but this season has been even better and while some of the credit will go to the manager, most will have to go to the players.
With the weight of expectation on their shoulders – having finished 11th the season before – the Swans have stepped up to the plate and are seven points from bettering last year’s tally with more games to play.
In the summer they lost their manager and a multitude of their best players, including Joe Allen to Liverpool and Scott Sinclair to Manchester City, but this still hasn’t stopped Swansea’s progression.
It is clear the players are learning and improving all the time, and if they can keep hold of Michu then the Swans can beat anyone on their day
Michael Laudrup has taken Swansea to the next level - a level that many thought wouldn’t be possible after Brendan Rogers took them to dizzying heights in their first season back in the Premier League.
Laudrup, widely regarded as one of the European greats, has extensive experience in Europe as a player - but that does not necessarily mean that he will make a good European manager.
However, couple in his style of play and his ability to get the very best out of his players don’t be surprised if his side go on to do great things in the tournament.
Style of play
With a game based purely on control of the football it is easy to see why they have been compared to European giants Barcelona.
And it is this style of play that ends up triumphing in Europe – minus the anomaly of Chelsea’s triumph in Munich – as eventually the opposition is worn down leaving open spaces that Swansea’s wide players will happily exploit.
You only need to look at Swansea’s route to the League Cup final to see that the welsh club are able to go toe-to-toe with some of the very best in the league and win. They beat Liverpool at Anfield and Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.
They have also drew with Chelsea and Manchester United at home in the Premier League and beat Arsenal 2-0 at the Emirates.
On their day, and more often than not away from home, Swansea are more than capable of grabbing a result or at the very least an away goal that could prove vital.
Element of Surprise
To the majority of Europa League regulars, Swansea would be relatively unheard of or much to their peril, underestimated.
With Swansea’s style of play and their virtual anonymity, teams won’t know how to counteract their play or break them down.
Yes, many of the top sides have good scouting teams, but watching on a TV won’t bring about near enough research warranted to breaking down this impressive Swansea style.
Lastly, the pull of playing in Europe will attract some of the best players in the world to the club and there’s no doubt that Laudrup and his team will find many diamonds in the rough, just look at Michu and Pablo Hernandez.
And that closes the story on why Swansea should thrive in Europe or at the very least learns a great deal that will only make them a better side.
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