It has not been a great season to be a Swansea City fan so far. With Christmas rapidly approaching the South Wales club find themselves bottom of the Premier League table, already four points off safety. Without a win in six games, will the Jacks be the latest to change manager in the hope of a change of fortunes?
Swansea City’s lack of goals
Statistically, Swansea’s problems lie in front of goal. They are the joint-lowest goalscorers in the Premier League with eight – which is no surprise bearing in mind they have fewer shots on goal per game (8.3) and fewer shots on target per game (1.8) than any other team in the top flight. Only Tammy Abraham has more than one league goal, while Wilfried Bony’s first league goal of the season in their last game against Stoke was the Swans’ first goal in 391 minutes of league football.
Yet it’s not a case of not having the ball. Swansea City rank tenth in the Premier League for passes (6,318) and tenth for touches (9,151). Their average possession percentage of 47.6% ranks them eleventh while their pass completion percentage of 78.6% ranks them eighth.
Swansea don’t concede many – only Bournemouth of the teams in the bottom half have conceded fewer than the 18 the Swans have let in. However, the Swans have lost four games by the scoreline 1-0 and eight in total by a single goal which would confirm just how their lack of goals is killing them. The icing on the cake is that in their last two games where they did score, they scored first – and still managed to lose 2-1.
Swansea City: Managerial Angst
Swansea boss Paul Clement has been honest enough to accept the issues facing Swansea City, admitting that his team were “toothless” and that they deserved nothing from the recent Swansea game. While Jack Butland did keep out a potential Ryan Shawcross own goal with a fantastic save, Clement accept that the team were not consistent enough for a whole game to deserve to win them.
The situation can’t be helped by rumours of a dressing room row following their defeat to Stoke. The British press talked of players questioning the level of commitment of their team-mates, with left-back Martin Olsson confirming that there were heated exchanges.
Now it’s time to get tough and if you need to dig some players out, you need to dig some players out. It’s time for us to be men and go and fight on the pitch. When we conceded the first goal, most of the heads go down and we’re not playing as aggressive. It cannot happen. We need to be stronger mentally, much stronger, because it’s going to be a long season.
Clement enjoys the support of the Swansea City board – at least in public – for now but one has to wonder with the way problems are piling up on and off the pitch how long he will remain manager.
Swansea City’s upcoming games
Saturday’s game against West Bromwich Albion is potentially a make-or-break one for the Swans. The Baggies are just outside of the bottom three having drawn their last three games, and they have won just twice all season. If Clement’s side are to make it out of the bottom three then this is the kind of home game that they must get a result from.
They then face a tough home game against runaway league leaders Manchester City and a tricky trip to Goodison to face a rejuvenated Everton side. Should the Swans fail to get anything from the Albion game it’s possible they’ll be adrift by the time they face fellow strugglers Crystal Palace on December 23.
The bookies make Swansea very narrow early favourites at 2.62, with Albion being priced at 2.94 and the draw at 2.96. With both teams very much struggling to score it’s no surprise that under 2.5 goals is a very measly 1.44 while you can get 2.45 if you have faith in the strikers to actually start finding the back of the net. Similarly, both teams to score is priced at 2.03 for yes and 1.62 for no.
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