One look at the bottom half of the Premier League table and it could be easily discerned that there was hardly anything separating them. The top seven teams were superior to the rest of the side by a landslide and there were only six points separating 17th placed Watford and eighth-placed Southampton.
The so-called mid-table sides had largely underperformed throughout the season and only a few are there, who could get back their form and consistency in the right time after starting the season in the most disastrous way possible.
Three clubs- Swansea City, Crystal Palace and Hull City- had changed their managers right at the beginning of the second-half in January, so that they could give considerable time to the new man coming in with an instant transfer window to fix things. And among them, the most successful has definitely been the South Wales club.
Swansea survived the relegation on the second last week of the season with a convincing win over a high-flying Everton side at Liberty Stadium. The next two fixtures were easy and consecutive wins led them to finish in the 16th position on equal points with Palace.
Manager Paul Clement surely faces a huge challenge next season as the Swans try to take their next step. And here are the 3 changes they will absolutely have to do in order to achieve that-
Retain Fernando Llorente and Gylfi Sigurdsson- Without a doubt, this duo has been the saving grace for Swansea in their dying times last season, and holding on to them should be their prime objective. The former Juventus centre-forward has scored an impressive 14 league goals last season and the Icelandic playmaker has taken it a step further by scoring 11 goals and assisting 13 times.
Their performances have garnered interest from Europa League participant Everton and Champions League participant Tottenham Hotspur. Convincing them to stay will be a tough challenge and an absolute objective.
Instil more quality in the defence- Swansea City had the second worst defensive record last season with the South Wales conceding a staggering 70 goals in 38 matches. Only relegated Hull City side let in more (80), and the fact that Swansea are still in the top-flight makes them extremely lucky.
Swansea have some real quality in Federico Fernandez, Alfie Mawson and Jordi Amat. Clement will have to bring in more stability at the back with some quality signings, who can give them the right support.
Reshape the midfield- Despite having one of the most balanced midfield in the league, Swansea City struggled big time to create chances in big games. Less than 300 chances were created all season, which was only converted 45 times.
Having the likes of Leroy Fer, Tom Carroll and Sigurdsson in the attacking midfield and Leon Britton and Sung-Yong Ki in the defensive midfield should have done much more than this. And it’s time Clement removes the liabilities and bring in some real impact in that position.
…more on post
On – 06 Jun, 2017 By Soccer Rep