No doubt when Swansea became the first Welsh team to play in the English Premier league since its formation in 1992, there would have been many that doubted their ability to maintain that position.
Their debut season however gave evidence of the brand of football that many in the lower leagues had already witnessed in previous years.
Swansea finished a very respectable 11th. Discipline and togetherness were key in their play where the midfield worked hard and drove the attacking play whilst the defence worked as a unit to hold their line and eliminate goal threats.
The fairy tale could have been all but over when Brendan Rogers was prised away by Liverpool at the end of the 2011-2012 season. But his replacement, Michael Laudrap, obviously had other plans in mind. As we have gone past the Christmas mile post, Swansea are currently 9th in the league and preparing for their first major cup final in the form of the Capital One cup. Based on the display of all the remaining sides involved, they stand a real chance of winning this piece of silverware . Bradford have had an amazing cup run, including famously scalping the gunners, to reach this far in the cup. They held a 3-1 advantage against a promising but currently under performing Aston villa side in the first leg and managed to hold on in a 2-1 loss in the second leg to buy their ticket to the finals (And to Las Vegas as the owner of Bradford city declared he would be flying the team out to Las Vegas regardless of the Cup final outcome). The momentum however appears to be on the side of the Swans.
It isn’t far fetched to say if all things continue as they are, Swansea could finish the season as Capital One cup winners, a place in the Europa league secured, and the services of one of the best signings of the seasons in Michu Perez Cuesta. Even if he does maintain his current form and eventually heed to the call of Europes elite clubs, the four year deal he signed earlier will ensure he does not leave on the cheap.They look likely to hold on to Michu at least until the end of the season and this will surely only improve their chances of finishing the season on a high.
The Spaniards 13 goals so far, this season, has obviously been a major contribution to the success of the team but it would be unfair to say they are a one man team. Far from it. One of their best players Ashley Williams has not scored a goal this season but had been outstanding in defence. The togetherness and disciple of the team in keeping the ball and progressing into the opponents half had been impressive and humbling to watch if you support a team from the big four/ five. They have also shown strong performances against the top of the table clubs and have a very admirable record 4 draws, 3 wins and 1 loss. (Chelsea, Liverpool, Arsenal, Chelsea, Man United, Man City).
The style of play is also something both the club and national teams in England could learn from in order to attempt to pry back the best league in the world title from the hands of the Spanish and improve the showing of the English football team aboard.
Nicholas Talebs black Swan book focuses on the impact of rare and unpredictable events and the human tendency to give simple explanations to these events. Maybe I am guilty of this, maybe I am not. The debate is there to be had but it would be hard to provide examples of many other teams that rise from the lower divisions and quickly make a compelling impact. Only time will tell where they land but for now,the Welsh bird is flying and continues to climb up the table and impress with performance. Swansea fans must be on cloud 9.