After three games of the season, people were falling over themselves to praise Garry Monk’s Swansea side.
October 22nd, 2014
Three wins saw them sitting level with Chelsea on points at the top of the table and a victory over Manchester United on the opening day of the campaign suggested that there were many positive days ahead. Five games later though, those bright days seem a bit further off on the horizon.
It is hardly panic stations. The Swans sit in 8th place on 11 points, just two behind a place in the top four – but they have not won in any of their last five games, a number of which would have been games in which the smart money would have been on Monk’s side. Nothing could be expected from an encounter with Chelsea, and Southampton’s 1-0 victory over the Swans was nothing to be ashamed about given the South Coast club’s form. However, draws with both Sunderland and Newcastle, and this weekend’s defeat against Stoke are not results to look back on with any measure of pride.
It is perhaps because Monk was aware how important it was to stop their poor run and register another win that he was so vocal in his displeasure about Victor Moses’ dive which saw Stoke awarded a penalty on Sunday, in a game that the Potters went on to win 2-1. However, he might be better off looking at the failings of his own side, which have seen them squander the momentum gained by such an impressive start.
There are hardly easier times ahead for the Swans either. Games against Everton, Arsenal and Manchester City sit on the horizon, as well as a trip to face Liverpool in the League Cup. With such a tough set of fixtures facing them in November, it becomes increasingly important that they find their first league win since they put West Brom to the sword at the end of August when Leicester City visit the Liberty Stadium on Saturday.
Nigel Pearson’s side have similarly struggled after a strong start, with losses against Crystal Palace and Newcastle and a draw against Burnley in their last three which have seen them drop down to 15th place – only two above the relegation zone – and if Swansea fail to add to their woes by taking the win then it could be a long, hard winter ahead for the Swans, and a tumble down the table could follow.