With the way Swansea have gone about their business over the last few seasons it could be a fair assessment to label them as 'The new Arsenal', given the free flowing passing game they have employed albeit it on another level and without having millions to spend. Their ‘beautiful’ football emerged under the guidance of now Wigan boss Roberto Martinez and Swansea continued to utilise this type of game under Paulo Sousa and now Brendan Rodgers.
This style of football has materialised in South Wales through persistence of not only the coaching staff and the players, but also the fans as well. It is vital that all of these components of a football club are on board with this style in order for it to get the time it warrants to be effective. It takes not only skill and belief to fulfil this method of approach but also great patience, with the ball often travelling backwards towards defenders and the goalkeeper in order to ensure possession is maintained. Clearly the Swansea team needs good ball playing footballers throughout the side to be able to play this brand of football, with the spine of the team being of paramount importance as this is where space is often limited and time is of the essence. Brendan Rodgers has been seen to make youngster Joe Allen an integral part of the team due to his ability to move the ball freely in tight areas and also due to the fact he is keen to embrace the physical battle which makes the Premier League such an exciting division. Allen’s performances have alerted Liverpool and it remains to be seen whether the young Welshman would appreciate their advances, his club Swansea certainly would not. Swansea’s vital players are not only youngsters such as Allen but also the revitalised Leon Britton and Mark Gower in the middle of the park, who like Allen make up in talent for what they lack in stature. In defence Ashley Williams has been ever present in the side for multiple seasons and appears to be at home in the top level of English football, as does Dutch goalkeeper Michael Vorm who has been nothing short of outstanding thus far in his Swansea career and could be another player Rodgers and Swansea’s chairman Huw Jenkins have to fight to keep with bigger clubs keen admirers of the shot stopper.
Much like Wenger’s Arsenal side, Swansea often have the bulk of possession and are frequently accused of trying to walk the ball into the net, yet it appears to be an effective strategy for the Welsh club. The area where Swansea have struggled most in the Premier league has been scoring goals, which has led to a poor away record whilst their home record has been solid as the Liberty stadium has become a fortress. However, a first away win against Aston Villa may be a change in fortune for Rodgers’ side on the road and results in the first half of the season suggest that the newly promoted side could well find themselves playing in the top division of English football again next season despite this weakness.