Opponent Blog: SCFC2 (Jim White)
1. Swansea are 12th in the league. Are you surprised by how well the Swans have taken to the Premier League?
Being honest, I always felt that our style of football would suit the Premier League and so I am not that surprised. I think it was the pundits and everyone else who have been surprised by the way we play the game. That said, we are only half way through the season and so we know that there is further work to be done and we have to maintain our form!
2. Unlike many promoted teams, Swansea have repeatedly played to win and how important has Rodgers been in developing that mentality?
Brendan is a gem of a manager and has taken the club on from the foundations of playing football the right way that Roberto Martinez set up. We have developed a winning mentality as a club since we reached rock bottom some 10 years ago but there is no doubt that Brendan has taken us onto another level and given the players the confidence to believe that they can win any game regardless of who we play.
3. Is Swansea’s impressive football in anyway inspired by Arsenal and their beautiful football?
Any football team in the UK over the last 10 years cannot help but be inspired by the way in which Arsenal play football. You have built up a reputation for silky, incisive passing football and we would love to achieve the success you have had! However, Roberto Martinez started our football revolution and Brendan has taken that on and with both big admirers of the Barcelona style if play, I would say that we use them as the inspiration in the main.
4. Where do you see Swansea finishing at the end of the season? Do you feel Swansea’s squad is good enough to stay up or are investments needed?
Well we are all a bit concerned about it as everyone knows that it’s a long season in the Premier League and the stats show a lot of clubs have a good start and then fade away. The solace for us is that we have a good home record and we don’t concede many goals and were not suddenly going to start conceding loads as we are well organised. The downside is that whilst we play good football, we do need to be more ‘penetrative’ up front and this is something we will be working hard on. We will need a bit of luck but I am confident we will stay up and I think we will finish 14th.
5. Michel Vorm has impressed everyone with his amazing goalkeeping. Is he your most important player this season?
It has been a team effort this year with lots of standout performers. Michel Vorm has made himself a legend very quickly in goal and has deserved all of the accolades he has recieved. However, it is not just a one man show. Ashley Williams continues to be a rock at centre half, Leon Britton makes us tick in the centre of midfield, Nathan Dyer has continued to be electric down the right wing and Danny Graham has started to score goals after a few early misses. All of these guys have done well and alongside Joe Allen would be snapped up if we did go down. Scott Sinclair has not had the season he would have wanted to but the Premier League is different to the Championship.
6. Over to Arsenal now, what is your take on Arsenal’s revival after the 8-2 defeat at Old Trafford? Do you think they can finish in the top 4?
Form is temporary and class is permanent. That is how I would describe Arsenal and it was clear to most people that experienced managers like Wenger could always recover and ensure the club moves on and regains its form. I am sure the result will have hurt but the way you have turned that form around is incredible. I do think that RVP is the key to your season. If he stays fit and keeps scoring goals then the top 4 is achievable but lose him and I think you could struggle. It’s between you and Chelsea for that spot though I think.
7. Do Arsenal stand a chance of winning this weekend?
For sure you do! You are one of the most dangerous teams in the league and we will be very wary about you! We are strong defensively but there again Robin Van Persie and Thierry Henry are not your everyday Premier League forwards that we come up against! I think that the key to you winning could be your ‘makeshift’ defence. If you can stop our wingers making the impact they do in other games then with your midfield and forward class, you will always have a chance of getting all 3 points.
8. Who do you think is the most dangerous Arsenal player and what should be Swansea’s plans for him?
You have lots of incredible players but RVP is the player we have to stop. As he showed against Everton, he only needs one small chance to make the difference in a game and so Ashley Williams and Steven Caulker are going to have to be at the top of their game to stop him. Concentration for 90 minutes will be the key thing.
9. Which three teams do think will be relegated and who do you see winning the league?
Hand on heart, I think it will be Blackburn, Bolton and Wigan who go down and I think Man City will win the league in the end with Spurs 2nd (sorry!!)
10. Any predictions for Sunday?
My heart says a famous first big win for the Swans against one of the big boys and a 2-1 win but my head says it will be a 1-1 or 2-2 draw!
For more on Swansea City, visit http://scfc2.co.uk
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