Swansea is rising
They were supposed to get the chop,
Get the first season drop,
But not only did they stay on top,
Even after Brendan went to the Kop,
Baby, they are getting hard to stop.
When Swansea became the first team from Wales to play in the Premier League, many condoned them to the eventual demise back into the Championship. Even I did, because I watched their opening game against Manchester City last season. In fact, they had taken five games to score their first goal in the league.
Many things are said about Championship teams when they come up, but more often than not you find that it’s a quantum leap, and in face of stronger and a better organized team, they buckle. But surprisingly they did not. Even though Roberto Martinez had started that climb, Brendan Rodgers had seized upon the momentum and did not slip. They beat some big teams on the way, including champions Manchester City, Arsenal and Liverpool.
Then when this season rolled along, there was the talk of the second season syndrome. The talk grew louder when Brendan Rodgers left to take over at Liverpool. Who was there that could take over the club and yet persist on this free flowing pass and move philosophy? Michael Laudrup was signed. While Van Persie, Hazard, Oscar, et al were making bold headline moves, an unknown Michu, armed only with an experience in the top tier for one single season in Spain, was signed. He sits at the top of the goal scoring charts, a decent enough perch for a midfielder flanked by a couple of strikers in form.
The club has gone from strength to strength. For a club of its size, it has declared a profit and is having expansion plans. After seeing them beat Arsenal at the Emirates, and looking at them sitting pretty at seventh, three points away from third position, I think they will see another year in the top flight quite comfortably.
And I can say that with a bit of conviction. Swansea City is one of the few teams I’ve really seen take the fight to the competition. While teams, even mid-table ones, usually take a cautious approach against the big guns, they have gone with a meticulous plan, trying to win, and not trying desperately hard to lose (Blackpool two seasons ago was the other team, but alas it didn’t work out for them). And the world likes people with balls. They like them even more if they know what they are doing with them.
So I say again, this Swansea City team might be staying put for a while.