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    Championship run in preview #18: Swansea City : Championship

    Club: Swansea City 

    Manager: Steve Cooper 

    Position: 9th

    W D L GF GA Points
    14 14 14 49 45 56

    How the season has gone so far: Personally, I believe that the season has gone well past expectations. During the 19 summer transfer window, we lost one of the most explosive players I’ve seen in my 7 years of fandom, Dan James, was bought by Manchester United and left a glaring hole in our team, resulting in a lot of fans lowering expectations for the upcoming season. Swansea’s board hasn’t had the best history with transfers in a while and that also didn’t have a positive impact on fan morle. We also lost some other key players in Leroy Fer, Martin Olsson, Oli McBurnie and Jordon Ayew. So basically we went into the season with a lot of young players and many saw this season as a developmental period for the young boys.

    Despite this, Copper was able to get some very encouraging performances from the players early in August leading to Swansea to first place on the championship table and a manager of the month award due to our unbeaten run. Borja Baston, was Swansea’s best player during our peak and he was scoring goals left and right, as a player who just came back from loan and hasn’t really shown much in his time for the swans, this was a great sight to see for everyone involved. Another player back from loan was Andre Ayew, a ball of energy with an amazing work rate, setting up goals and as the season progressed, being our primary goal scorer.

    Unfortunately, it wasn’t all sunshine and rainbows for us as we started to go into a poor run of form and dropping a ton of points to sides that we should be beating (Barnsley(H), Barnsley (A) and Stoke (H)). One of the most glaring examples of dropped points for us was Hull (A), an absolute worldie of a game, in which we had to come back 3 different times and evenvently took a 4-3 lead going into the 90th minute, only to see Hull take the points late in 90+5 for a 4-4 draw.

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    Swansea also have a huge wage problem, resulting in a ton of lost players (mentioned above), Ayew and Baston were both expected to leave in the summer window but opted to stay. Baston ended up leaving us for Villa in the winter window, he didn’t play much for us from November on.

    We have had several pleasant surprises from players this year. These include: Matt Grimes, Freddie Woodman, Rhain Brewster, Conor Gallagher and Jordan Garrick all come to mind as players who have shown great growth. Conor, Rhain and Freddie are all loanees from prem sides Chelsea, Liverpool and Newcastle, honestly if Swansea find a way to get promoted, a lot of it would be back of Woodman, he has been unbelievable for us and has made a ton of impressive saves. Brewster and Gallagher both came in the winter and have made an instant impact for us, as Brewster has been a positive goalscorer and Gallagher has been providing balls from the midfield. Garrick for me, has been our new Dan James. Cooper for some reason doesn’t like to play him often, even though whenever he comes on he causes absolute fits for the opposing team, Again, see Hull (A). Matt Grimes is our club captain and a phenomenal player, does a bit of everything and makes everything work. He was linked with Everton once upon a time and would hate to see him go, but I wouldn’t be surprised as I think he is too good for the Championship along with Woodman, Ayew and van der Hoorn.

    All those players could make a bottom/mid table prem side or play anywhere else. Best performance for me is Leeds (A). It was a great defensive performance against a top side, as a plus it’s always good to see Wanye Routledge score :))). Best goal was Kyle Naughton against Birmingham City, screamer.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l2j1qXijzUg (6:25)

    Key stat(s) of the season: A key stat that I found is that we attack down the left side of the pitch 41% of the time, which is tied for second in the league behind Charlton’s 42%. This makes a lot of sense as we mostly line up 4-2-3-1 (sometimes 4-1-4-1) and at LAM or LM we usually run Celina or Ayew in that position, two of our most direct and creative players.

    Any news from the season break?: We extended a few key players this season during the break, Brewster being the biggest one for sure and was exciting news for all fans as he’s been bright since coming. Woodman also came out and said he wants to have a future at Swansea, again more great news. Lastly, some sad news for us was that club legend Leon Brittion stepped down as Sporting Director, he may have left the club but will always be in the hearts of Swansea’s fans worldwide <3

    How will you fare financially in the future?: HAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHAHAHAHA. If I could pick a word to describe Swansea’s financial situation, it would be “shit”. It’s just not good, but it is not as bad as it should be. I can safely say that no Swansea fan takes a liking to these american owners, however, we have been blessed with the GOAT Trevor Birch and he has kept us somewhat financially stable, basically he has done god’s work since being appointed. One thing about those american owners is that they HATE bringing in players with money we have made from top players being sold (Siggy is the big one) and ever since they have came, it has gone downhill from there. I hope that Birch in the future will take away control from those owners and take matters into his own hands, as so far he seems to have the clubs best interest as his most important item whereas the american only care about their money and don’t give a shit about us.

    Expected lineup and tactics for the run in: 

    https://www.buildlineup.com/shared/5ef6c62b4e5ac404cc46a4ad

    This is how we lined up this past week. Formation wise, it will most likely be the same throughout the season, with players going in and out. I would like to see Fulton dropped and Gallagher at LDM with Celina coming back in at CAM. Cabango and Wilmot are in as we have injuries to two of our top CB in VDH and Joe Rodon, if they continue to miss time, Wilmot and Cabango will continue to anchor the defence. Kalulu hopefully continues to start as he was full of energy last week, again if he were to be dropped I would hope Garrick would get a chance but that won’t happen because Cooper I guess doesn’t see him as a starter right now.

    Fixtures:

    Luton(H), Millwall (A), Sheffield Wednesday (H), Birmingham(A), Leeds (H), N.Forest (A), Bristol City (H) and Reading (A)

    At first glance, Leeds is the big game. A top side and during a match week that’s late into the season, 3 points would be huge given how close the race for a playoff spot is. Millwall is also a big one coming up in a few days, it will be interesting to see how the boys react from a quick turnaround from Luton. Speaking of, when facing bottom teams like Luton, 3 points is a must and dropping points is not an option if this team wants to make a playoff push.  

    Best case scenario: We sneak into 6th or 5th place and go on to get promotion through the playoffs

    Worst case scenario: We drop points against winnable teams and lose to the top sides, finish mid table (12 ish)

    Prediction: Honestly, the way we played last week, I think we could sneak in to the playoffs for sure. Do I think we can get promoted through it? Maybe. We have the talent, I just think we are too inconsistent, but if we can find some consistency, we can do anything. But I believe we will make it to the playoff finals and lose.Club: Swansea City 

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