Michu and Swansea aim for the top ten
Swansea are still capable of defying the odds.
November 21st, 2012
In September I wrote for this site that Swansea had suffered a tough month and, with the upcoming fixtures they faced, that they weren’t far from dropping into the mire of a relegation battle. With games against then-rampant leaders Chelsea and defending champions Manchester City on the horizon, I wondered if the praise lavished upon the Swans in the early days of the season had been premature.
It seems not. In the six league games played so far in October and November, Michael Laudrup’s team has been defeated only once; a 1-0 loss at the City of Manchester stadium. In that game they also lost their goalkeeper, Michel Vorm, to injury – a fact which makes their three games unbeaten since even more remarkable.
Draws against Reading and Southampton, the former having given away a two-goal lead before a rousing comeback, are perhaps not the results upon which great seasons are built – but the wins over Wigan and Newcastle coupled with the thoroughly deserved draw against Chelsea suggest that this side has a lot of fight about them. With twelve games now played in the Premier League season, they sit in 10th place, with a healthy twelve point haul and few thoughts of looking over their shoulder to the trouble behind.
While Swansea’s success this season, building on their good start to life in the top flight under Brendan Rodgers has been very much a collective effort, there is of course one man who has stood out.
Miguel Pérez Cuesta, more commonly known as ‘Michu’ has been a revelation since joining the Welsh side from Rayo Vallecano in the summer. In his one season in Madrid, having moved from Celta in 2011, Michu rose to prominence by scoring a hugely impressive fifteen league goals for a side that spent much of the season battling relegation.
It was enough to earn him the £2m summer move to Swansea, and his form since arriving on British shores has been enough to make other clubs kick themselves for not picking up on the 26 year old’s talents sooner. The Spaniard has so far scored seven goals in the Premier League, providing another nail for the coffin of the tired old saying that foreign players need “time to adapt” to the intricacies of England’s top division.
There has barely been a moment so far when Michu has looked anything other than one of the buys of the season, and should his form continue in the same vein as the rest of his team-mates’, there seems no reason that Swansea cannot aim to better their 2011-12 finish and break into the top ten. If they do, perhaps they’ll look back on these past six weeks as the proverbial turning point.