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Do Swansea City have enough quality to stay up?

By | 21st July 2011

Premiership newcomers Swansea City are everyone’s favorites to go straight back down to the Championship. Talk to any pundit, any armchair fan, and the chances are that the words “Swansea” and “relegation” will no doubt come up in conversation.

It is clear that it will be a difficult task for Brendan Rogers and his side, but one the team from South Wales is sure to relish. History and statistics are all against sides promoted from the Championship. More often than not, what goes up must come back down. But will next season be any different?

Here is a breakdown of each position as it currently stands at the club:

Goalkeeper: This is a definite problem area for the Swans, with regular shop stopper and first team regular Dorus De Vries making the move away from the Liberty Stadium and joining Wolves during the summer.  A bitter pill for fans and Swans manager Brendan Rogers to swallow indeed.

Following the departure of De Vries, the Swans have brought in Jose Moreira from Benfica. The Portuguese international has made 148 appearances for Benfica and helped them win the League Cup last season after saving a penalty in the final, although of course he is untested in the murky waters of the Premiership. There is also significant interest in Lee Camp from Nottingham Forest, who could well make his way to the Liberty at the time of this reading, and has been very impressive for Forest over recent months.

Centrebacks: Over recent seasons Swansea have had a superb record of keeping clean sheets, which has culminated in the rise of the club from League One, and this is due to the partnership more often than not of Ashley Williams and Gary Monk. Williams is a Welsh international, signed from Stockport in 2008 and has become an integral part of the Swans rise from the lower leagues. ‘Big Ash’ will no doubt be looking to increase his profile as he is sure to be the first name on the team sheet come August.

Gary Monk is the club captain and something of a legend having signed in 2004, and has impressed over recent seasons, but injury worries still linger with him and a troublesome back could see him miss the start of the season. England under 21 centre back Steven Caulker has been brought in on loan from Tottenham and he looks to have commanding presence, and there is no doubt he will be looking for a regular starting spot come the start of the season.

Left/Right Back: Swansea fans can breathe a sigh of relief as Neil Taylor has decided to stay and the club with a move to Newcastle falling through at the 11th hour. How this will effect the player is another matter, with a section of Swansea fans still disgruntled with the want away star. Spaniard Angel Rangel takes the right back berth and has become a first team regular since signing from Terrassa in 2008, under former boss Roberto Martinez. A very attacking right back with pace and a great touch, he is one to watch.

Midfield: Swansea have been given a confidence boost with the news that injury plagued Ferrie Bodde has come through a pre season friendly and looks to be getting back to full fitness after cruciate ligament damage ruled the Dutchman out for two seasons. After such a lengthy layout it remains to be seen how he will cope with the rigours of Premiership football.

The Swans have two defensively minded midfielders in Leon Britton and Joe Allen. Having left the club after 8 years service for Sheffield Utd  last season Britton returned to the club to bolster the midfield, and together with youth product Joe Allen will be included to break up attacks. Although small in stature, Britton and Allen will be a key defensive duo in the season ahead. Providing the attacking flair on the right hand side will be Nathan Dyer, a very pacey winger who was very impressive during the latter stages of the season, and more than capable of causing defenders all sorts of worries with his dribbling and touch.

The lynch pin of the midfield will no doubt be Steven Dobbie, who although not the quickest provides a very important role tucked in front of the midfield and it is through him that the majority of attacks  will operate. The Scot has  been inspirational during the final months of the season and is the perfect foil for winger and the star man Scott Sinclair, who normally operates on the left hand side.

Sinclair was the player of the Season at the Liberty, and his 22 league goals, including a hat trick in the playoff final were one of the major reasons Swansea had so much success in the Championship. Whether he can continue that fine scoring record in the Premiership is another thing, but there is no doubt the former Chelsea man has the talent to reach the very top.

Striker: Danny Graham carries the Swans line, having signed from Watford for a club record £3.5million during the summer. Graham was top goalscorer in the Championship last season with 24 goals, and it is clear that the 26 year old is ready to step up to the challenge of the Premiership. Much is expected from the new signing, but with Dyer, Sinclair and Dobbie providing the service the Premiership could well see the birth of yet another star centre forward.

So there we have it – can Swansea defy the critics and pundits and stay in the Premiership? There is no doubt it will be tall order, but a chance in the top flight is one in which players and fans alike will grasp with both hands, and I for one am coming along for the ride.

David James is a Swansea City fan and regular contributor to onlinebookmakers.co.uk , a Paddy Power free bets directory, and he assesses the Swansea side from a fan’s perspective, and of the players who will soon be making their Premiership bows.



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