Login Register

LEIGHTON JAMES COLUMN: It's too soon for calm for Garry Monk's Swansea City

By South Wales Evening Post  |  Posted: March 13, 2014

Swansea City cannot relax just yet, says Leighton.

Comments (8)

SWANSEA City go into the final ten games of the season just four points above the Premier League relegation zone — but most supporters seem remarkably calm.

I have been saying for months how concerned I am with Swansea's situation and can't understand how others appear so relaxed about the danger.

There is a feeling that now Swansea are out of the Europa League and have had a two-week rest they will just stride away from trouble.

I only hope it proves that simple.

Related content

Swansea are just keeping their heads above water and it would only take a slip or two for them to be sucked right into the mire.

There is not enough of a comfort zone to justify the kind of calm I am seeing in some quarters.

Even the attitude of television pundits seems to be that Swansea are too good to go down and will be okay.

Well I'm sure the likes of Garry Monk and Alan Curtis aren't buying into that theory — and I hope the players aren't either.

I have mixed feelings about the theory that Swansea's current position is a result of Europe placing too much strain on players.

On the one hand, they have had a very long season — they began earlier than other Premier League sides and have played far more games than most.

There is also some history of teams struggling in the top flight when juggling with Europa League commitments — just look at Newcastle last season.

But I also know that players love an excuse. Offer one and plenty will use it.

I was always the kind of person who loved playing midweek games. Give me a Wednesday match ahead of a full week's training every time.

And I have also been lucky enough to travel on some of Swansea's Continental trips through my work as a pundit.

First-class flights and top-quality hotel accommodation are not that difficult to endure.

When I went to Valencia I was back at my house in Gorseinon by 2am. That's earlier than you'd return on a coach from most domestic trips.

I was only disappointed that the plane couldn't land at Swansea airport, because then I would have just had to stroll home over the common after we landed.

As I have said in previous columns, there is no doubt in my mind that the Europa League experience has been a positive one for Swansea.

We may not see the fruits of it this season, but I'm sure the players will have benefited from some of the matches they've played.

That will be to the club's advantage long-term — unless, of course, Swansea end up dropping out of the top flight.

That would be far too high a price to pay.

With ten games remaining and the Premier League the only focus, there can be no more excuses.

Swansea face some massive matches in the home straight and none bigger than Saturday's game against West Brom.

The Baggies appear to be in a terrible state, having not won a match since Pepe Mel took over in January.

But I'm always nervous about sides who are on bad runs because they have to come to an end sooner or later. West Brom have quality in players like Victor Anichebe and should be desperate for victory.

But Swansea will be recharged and, if they can produce a performance similar to last month's against Cardiff, they should get the win.

Read more from South Wales Evening Post

Do you have something to say? Leave your comment here...

max 4000 characters


  • yankytaff  |  March 14 2014, 8:35AM

    Crojack If If If. Back in August if we knew ML would be gone in Feb and we'd be without Michu for 3 months we'd all have been convinced we'd be sitting @ the bottom of the table by now we're not as high as we'd like but hopefully enough will be done to keep us up. This time last season Newcastle a more established PL team than Swansea had only 1 more point than us at this stage they exited the Europa league at the same stage we did and survived

  • CroJack  |  March 13 2014, 10:53PM

    Yankytaff, I hope you are right, but 5-6 goals more from Bony and he will be on 24-25 goals in all competition this season. Impressive. What if a bigger club come with £25 m offer? Or more? Michu is 28 and this summer can be his last chance to sign a big contract. It is going to be difficult to keep Taylor here, there are not many good left backs on the market. If Ki comes back and Michu stays then Shelvey, Ki and DeGuzman are going to fight for one place. One or two of them wont be happy. Chico? I don't know. I've always liked him, he is an excellent passer, and he is not afraid of going into a tackle. But many fans called him "a cheater", and he was involved in that famous row with Garry. I would like them all to stay.

  • yankytaff  |  March 13 2014, 5:31PM

    Crojack there's no way the club are going to sell all those players you listed we may lose 1 or 2 but not all , I think the club will do as L'pool did with Suarez dig their heals in and keep the big guns , Taylor may go as he wants to secure 1st team football, Bony they'll want another good season out of to sell at a higher profit in the future, Bony could go next season when he still has 2 years to run on his contract and we can make a tidy profit as for Michu not sure there'll be much interest in him unless he has a barnstorming end of season

    |   -4
  • CroJack  |  March 13 2014, 4:59PM

    Daifloyd, 4 wins and 3 draws is realistic, 2 wins and 3 draws is enough. Next season? We have to get rid of Vasquez, Lamah, Tiendalli and N'Gog. I like Emnes, and n my humble opinion he should stay. One more winger and a decent striker, and we'll have a fantastic squad. Of course, if we don't sell Michu, Bony, Taylor, Davies, Chico...

    |   4
  • daifloyd  |  March 13 2014, 2:39PM

    If Swansea win the games they are supposed to (West Brom,Norwich and Villa) and pinch a point or two from away fixtures,in particular Sunderland and Hull,then they will stay up.The fans know this,the management know this and more importantly the players know this.If they don't achieve the goal,(pardon the pun) they will be relegated,and deservedly so.Personally I think they will stay up and I relish the thought of Garry Monk having a full season with this team.If that happens the skies the limit!!

    |   -1
  • yankytaff  |  March 13 2014, 1:25PM

    Perhaps LJ you'd prefer them to be running around like headless chickens rather then being calm and focused, and please stop banging on about how you loved 2 games a week and it didn't effect , you may not have noticed but it's a much faster game than when you played. Also when playing domestic and European football it's not just the number of games played it's switching between 2 differing styles of play which can hampper teams in developing rythym especilly with a small squad like the Swans have, I think this as much as the number of games has been a factor in results this season. With fewer games and only the PL to deal with we should be ok though I doubt anyone at the club is taking anything for granted.

    |   3
  • Closed  |  March 13 2014, 10:41AM

    I'm with you a little on this one Leighton; however the reason there is so much positivity is because since winning the league cup last season we have be free falling, relegation form even. Garry Monk has brought back the Swansea side that we love and know, the one that beat QPR on the opening game of last season, the one that battled to beat premier league Champions Man City, Arsenal in a 3-2 thriller and Liverpool etc. This season and the second half of last season we have been awful under Laudrup, with just one win in our last ten games of last season and one win in his last ten before departing. It's not just the defeats it's the manner in which we played under him. The longer he was in the job the less we saw of Martinez and Rodgers Swansea styles. Players complained of the lack of hard training sessions, too much time off and little evidence of a plan B. The South Wales Derby showed the passion back in the side, it's the type of win that should keep you going for games to come. The Place game typified the effect the Europa cup has had on us, a fantastic first half with attacking football and 82% possession, then the second half showed that we didn't have the energy levels to sustain the pressure and we ended up with a point. We have ten games, the league table suggests that as little as 36-38 point could secure PL Status, that's just 2 wins. With home games against West Brom, Norwich, Chelsea, Villa and Southampton we should surely pick up 6 to 9 points with points also possible at Hull, Newcastle and Sunderland. This is why we are staying positive, we are back and we have confidence.

    |   -1
  • waunarlwydd  |  March 13 2014, 10:40AM

    Forever the pessimist. Swansea will not be leaving the premier league, lighten up with your doom and gloom for once.

    |   7