Swans have a real chance of success under Paul Clement – but cannot afford to be weighed down by transfer speculation
I AM sure that most Swansea fans would like to forget last season as quickly as we possibly could.
Two sets of owners, three managers and a feeling that relegation was a certainty right up to the last few weeks of the season just means that there was nothing really to shout home about.
However, when we sit back and reflect on what we did since the turn of the year then there should be a reason to be more positive about the coming season.
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We turned the calendar over from 2016 to 2017 with just 12 points on the board. We ended the season with 41. Winning 29 points in the second half of the campaign is no mean feat and would have seen us finish eighth for points earned since New Year’s Day table.
Even Liverpool and Manchester United only got 33 in that same period so we were certainly one of the form teams in the second half of the season.
That factor can be put down to the excellent managerial appointment of Paul Clement, who took a team that was hopeless (and it hurts to say that!) and made us a side that looked stronger defensively and with more options going forward.
He had a good January transfer window with the arrival of Tom Carroll, Martin Olssen, Jordan Ayew and Luciano Narsingh and then he got more out of the players around them.
In particular you can highlight the excellent partnership at the back between Federico Fernandez and Alfie Mawson to give us stability that was so sadly missing under the comical Bob Bradley era.
If we could turn that form from the second half into the first half of this season, then we will be a different proposition come January.
Maybe we could even see a cup push happening rather than worrying about where the next points are coming from, which has been the way of the last two seasons.
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The Gylfi Sigurdsson “will he, won’t he” transfer saga has dominated much of our pre-season and it’s a real shame we haven’t managed to conclude a deal on that front – what we have to hope is that the impact is as minimal as it can be when the real stuff starts on Saturday afternoon.
I have to say that I am feeling more optimistic this time around and most of that comes from my belief we finally have the right manager again and Clement will get the best out of the players we have.
I’m going to go all positive and predict a top-12 finish this time around which will be a real breakthrough considering the last two dreadful years.
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