Swansea City - Half Term Report
Sunday, 15th Dec 2019 18:37 by Planet Swans (follow us on Twitter @swansnews)
Well strictly speaking we know it's not quite half term just yet but with twenty-two games gone it is close to being there so it seems appropriate to prepare the half term report on the back of a win yesterday against a side that ended the game with nine men thanks to two second half red cards.
A 3-1 win, a rare win at the Liberty these days, saw the Swans end the weekend in 10th place but just three points away from third place Preston highlighting just how close this division threatens to be this season.
With West Brom and Leeds having broken away from the pack it does look as if everyone else could be vying for a play-off space at best and, despite a run that has seen us take just eight points from the last twenty-seven available at the Liberty, the Swans are very much in that mix.
Prior to that run of games we had been unbeaten at home in 2019 in the league but that form started to disappear and it has been our away form that has kept us in the mix with the side unbeaten away from the Liberty all season until we came spectacularly unstuck at leaders West Brom last weekend.
If we can maintain that road form and turn it around at the Liberty then we will definitely have a play off spot coming our way at the end of the season but there are several questions that need to be answered before we can really start thinking about a repeat of that magical day in May 2011.
The first undoubtedly surrounds the upcoming transfer window. There was little doubt last summer that the Swans were happy to see both Andre Ayew and Borja Baston depart the club as they try to balance the books following relegation from the Premier League two years ago. We know that both these players have wages that are unsustainable in the Championship and it would not take much of an offer I don't believe to see them both leaving in January. Baston was a key player in the early weeks of the season but has become very much a bit part player again whilst Ayew has been a revelation this season and showing very little signs of the sulking player that we were led to believe that he was.
Right now he is the shining light in a team that has struggled for large parts of the last three months and his loss in January would be a tough one to bear given the goals he has notched this season. However, we know that we are looking to sell and his form may just persuade someone else to come in and look at him to continue that form elsewhere.
A move for Ayew would be easier to stomach if it meant funds available for Steve Cooper to strengthen his side but how much our owners - rarely seen at the Liberty - will make available is anyone's guess but I cannot imagine that the pot will be plentiful. Combine these two things and it could be a long second half of the season so we must hope that we retain Ayew's services at least for the remainder of this season.
The ownership situation is also unclear. There is little doubt that - whilst not using direct words - the current ownership has had enough and want out. Whilst the recent press stories may be exaggerated at best it does suggest that the word is out that Wales most successful Premier League team is up for sale. Quite what kind of buyer we would attract at the moment remains to be seen but the legacy of the "next level" sale is there for each of us to see.
And that legacy continues with rumours that the club are looking to relieve themselves of Landore or Fairwood with stronger rumours of a downgrade of the academy that we have rightly praised so much in the last two years. This particular area of the club has been the legacy for me of the Premier League years and to see so many come through these books to be first team regulars (and more) should suggest that this should be retained if at all possible because - frankly - it has been more successful than most of our transfer purchases in recent years.
For me this season though we have probably punched above our weight and Steve Cooper needs to take credit for that although I am sure he will also accept that he has made some mistakes along the way. We head into the Christmas period very much in the mix for a Premier League place next season and a similar second half of the season to the first will see us continue to harbour those hopes for plenty of time to come. Home form will be the key in the second half and nobody within the walls of the Liberty will be under any doubt that our home form has simply not been good enough.
Much of the hope though will probably be decided off the pitch in the next few weeks but for now let's hope for a good Christmas on the pitch.
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