Date:Sunday January 22 2012
Swansea City reached their peak of their season so far last weekend after an emphatic win at home against Arsenal. In one of the most entertaining matches in years at the Liberty Stadium, Brendan Rodgers' side beat the Gunners at their own 'passing' game, winning 3-2 to jump up to tenth in the Premier League table.
When it looked like things couldn't get much better last week when we won in front of a record attendance at the Liberty Stadium, this weekend we were reminded once again how much we're lacking an attacking edge when we're not on home soil.
Swansea City travelled to the Stadium of Light on Saturday to face a much-improved Sunderland side thanks to the arrival of new manager Martin O'Neil. We expected the Black Cats to be far more organised and tactically clever to help limit the threat of our best assetts, mainly our wingers and the play-makers in the middle of them. Their organisation and tactics - making sure that they closed us down at every opportunity made it hard for us at times to get into our usual passing rhythm, while their defence remained deep and quite safe throughout.
The fact that the hosts - still unbeaten at home - won thanks to two outstanding individual goals whilst creating few other clear chances, again emphasises the need for a similar quality amongst the Swansea City squad, and how having more than 60% of the possession won't get you goals or even points in a quality League such as the Premiership. On another day and with better attacking quality, the Swans could have possibly won that game, given the control they had for large periods of the game.
The manager Brendan Rodgers is fully aware of the need of extra firepower, as it was evidentally lacking on Saturday. Not one player with the ability to score from outside the box, with shots flying wide and over the target, while Sunderland's second goal was a screamer from 30 yards. Chances were created which is always promising, but it's also disappointing to see the likes of Scott Sinclair and Danny Graham missing some excellent opportunities to score to get a share of the points.
The pressure is still very much on our performances at home to get us the points to stay up, and while we look comfortable at the Liberty Stadium, there's still an urge to start showing some potential when we're away from our home comforts. Hopefully the talented loan duo of Josh McEachran and Gylfi Sigurdsson can help us improve our poor away form.
Despite all that, Swansea City look highly unlikely to even get involved in a possible relegation battle in a few months. There's plenty of clubs below us who are likely to suffer that at the foot of the table including Wigan, Bolton, Wolves, Blackburn and QPR. Brendan Rodgers' side still look like a safe bet at finishing in or around 14th place or even better - you can't argue against that being an incredible finishing position if we achieve it come May.
Date:Sunday January 22 2012
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