Swansea City Have Made Too Many Mistakes This Season


Swansea City has caught more than a few bad breaks this season. During matches against both Stoke and Southampton, the Swans fell behind in the last quarter hour of the game — both times they looked fully deserving of at least a point. The loss to Liverpool in the League Cup also came in the last 10 minutes, leaving Swansea disappointed after an impressive performance at Anfield.

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This has almost been the story of Swansea’s season; great performances, but disappointing results. The 4-2 scoreline of the loss at Chelsea is deceiving, for most of the first half, the Swans were the better team, and if Chelsea had been any less brilliant after the break, the Swans would have gone home with more.

It’s easy for Swansea fans to shift the blame for ‘close-but-not-close-enough’ away from the team, and onto others — namely the refs. Michael Oliver’s poor penalty decision — given after Victor Moses dived  — gave Stoke the win in that game at the Britannia.

But the blame hasn’t fallen only on the ref. In the 1-0 loss to Southampton (Victor Wanyama scored the winner in the 80th minute) Wilfed Bony’s red card left the Swans on the back foot for the entire second half. Swansea did well to cover, but in the end, the man advantage was enough for So’Town to push past.

The Capital One Cup loss was similar. Liverpool equalized through Mario Balotelli in the 86th minute, but Federico Fernandez’s red card — a harsh red card it must be pointed out — set up the winner which was headed in by Dejan Lovren in the 95th minute.

Swansea outplayed Liverpool all game, but two late goals and a red card for Federico Fernandez sent the Swans home from the Capital One Cup.

Swansea’s season certainly hasn’t been devoid of success; in fact, this may be the best the Swans have looked during their four seasons in the Premier League. Even though they’ve stumbled (they went five Premier League games without a win in September and October), they’ve climbed to magnificent heights. The opening day win at Manchester United stunned the Premier League, and the 3-0 win against Everton in the League Cup was equally impressive.

Swansea fans need to start taking pride in their achievements, because November is about to become very difficult.

The Road Ahead

Home against Arsenal, to the Etihad, then back home against Palace — not exactly a cake walk. Even with Arsenal and City in the dumps (relatively of course), and Palace not what they were last spring, these won’t be easy games.

Arsenal have raw talent on the wings in Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Santi Cazorla, and even the strong partnership which has developed between Ashley Williams and Fernandez will be tested by Alexis Sanchez.

City are an even greater danger, with David Silva, Sergio Aguero, Edin Dzeko and Yaya Toure, even a battered and bruised City side pose a massive threat to Swansea.

Both games present an obvious challenge to the Swans, but with both Arsenal and City in bad form, they have a good chance to pull out wins in both; but not if they make the stupid errors they have been making.

Crystal Palace has been weaker since Tony Pulis resigned just before the season started, but they aren’t doomed. They’ve played really well at times, challenging Chelsea and Manchester United to hard fought 1 goal losses. They’ve drawn a 3-3 shootout with Newcastle, and won 3-2 at Everton. The game is at the Liberty Stadium, a factor which will greatly help Swansea — and they should pull out a win — but the game will be tough and challenging.

The point is this: Swansea have been successful this season, but they haven’t quite made it over the hump yet. They’ve been held back by silly and obvious mistakes, mistakes which have cost several games.

Garry Monk has surpassed expectations since being named Swansea City manager in the summer. His first big challenge will be ensuring Swansea don’t ruin their season with stupid mistakes.

Poor refereeing decisions aren’t controllable, if those go against you, just shrug your shoulders and move on. But dangerous challenges — even if they weren’t actually fouls — which could lead to red cards or penalties, need to be cut out. These are the actions that cost games, and lose points.

Swansea’s offense has looked amazing this season. Their attack is clicking, and Gylfi Sigurdsson, Nathan Dyer, Wayne Routledge and Wilfred Bony have looked potent as a unit. The midfield has been solid as Ki Sung-Yueng and Jonjo Shelvey have clicked well.

But the mistakes are what kill the team. Garry Monk needs to ensure that these mistakes don’t prevent Swansea from accomplishing what they are capable of. Swansea City could win silverware and —  considering how slow the regulars have started — finish in a Champions League qualification spot. But not unless they get tighter.