Writer: J P Fear
Date:Monday January 2 2012
1) So how is the season shaping up for you folks? Is the promised land all you hoped it would be?
We can't have too many complaints at all really. We're doing very well following our promotion via the play-offs back in May. We're still defensively strong and consistent at home, but our away form remains our only main concern - I'm sure we could be closer to mid-table if we were stronger away, but our goalkeeper Vorm has helped us on a quite a number of occasions so maybe the two cancel each other out!
The second half of the season will be the big test for us. Our main rivals will strengthen this month, while I'm not sure we'll strengthen enough to make significant improvements to the first team, but I expect us to finish in around 15th place.
2) Seems a massive shift in football now, if you don`t have obscene Man City type money, or debt, you are doomed. So how do you all get on with your owners and what do you think of the way the PL is set up now?
I and many other football fans I'm sure do not like how money and big investors in football clubs are taking over the sport. Man City fans might be loving it but it's ruining the game.
There was even ridiculous talk of getting rid of relegation from the Premier League altogether, and it could happen as I'm sure there's enough clubs that have rich owners who would help get a majority decision - to 'own' the Premier League and make it exclusive.
Luckily our owners are locals and fans of the club, and not just in it for the money. They've been there since 2003 and set the foundations right to help get us to where we've always wanted to be - back in the top division after a 30-year absence.
3) Brendan Rogers. Done the business for you, what do the fans make of him and do you fear losing him to a 'bigger` club?
Well, Brendan Rodgers loves Swansea City, and Swansea City loves him - it's as simple as that. The man can do no wrong in the fans' eyes. It's taken him just one year to come in and do 'the business'. He's improved the side that already had potential under former manager Paulo Sousa. But Rodgers made the team far more effective, more balanced and even better to watch.
It's time now for the club to get him secured on a long-term contract, as opposed to the current rolling-1-year contract he's on now, because he has all the ability to be a top manager within the next few years. Hopefully he'll feel the need to continue learning and improving at Swansea City though, the youngster has decades left in the game yet to be moving on too quickly!
4) What is the height of Swansea`s realistic hopes this season?
Swansea City has shown that they have the potential to finish as high as mid-table this season, having peaked at 10th position so far. However, when injuries and suspensions start to kick-in, plus the arrival of busy festive period, as well as another transfer window that we'll probably perform quite poor in compared to our nearest rivals, we'll do brilliantly to finish in around 14th or 15th position, which is a realistic target for us. I'm still confident that we'll avoid experiencing a serious relegation battle next year. There's certainly at least three or four teams that are worse than us.
5) What do you think of Villa and what is your opinion of Alex McLeish?
I can't think why Aston Villa would appoint Alex McLeish at all. It's bad enough bringing in the manager from your arch rivals, but not just that, he's not the most appealing of managers is he? He'd be the complete opposite to what would suit us if we had to look for a new manager. He did well to get Birmingham promoted but his style of football is boring to say the very least. The appointment must have annoyed every Villa fan for more reasons than one and while Villa should be aiming for top 7/8, and you're there at the moment, I can't see it lasting for long while McLeish is still in charge.
6) If you could have two of our players, who would they be and why?
Bent & Agbonlahor. Two players who can score goals at this level. We need a few more defenders as well but none of your first choice four look very appealing at present.
More firepower would give us a big boost going into the second half of the season and that's what we'll need. Danny Graham has started scoring and is playing very well for us to be fair. But while he proved to be an out-and-out goalscorer at Watford, he's not really that sort of player for us. He's working a lot harder for the team, making clever runs and holding the ball up well for his team-mates, but we still need more support up top, as I can't see Leroy Lita or Luke Moore coming in and scoring regularly for us.
7) How would you describe your style of play and what system do you play most often?
Swansea City's style of play and philosophy is one very much of getting the ball on the deck and pass it - often. Brendan Rodgers likes his team to build their play from the back, with patience and to stretch teams using the pacey wingers. The Swans won't rush their play - they'll be happy to pass it sideways or backwards rather than risk losing possession following a long ball upfield. Their style however can often leave the lone striker somewhat isolated and lacking support, but having said that Danny Graham has done a great job for us so far.
8) Which Swansea player should Villa be afraid of?
Joe Allen has been impressive this season in the Premier League and has been linked with a move to Liverpool. He helps to make us 'tick' in midfield with our possession football. He also works well with his central midfield partner Leon Britton who is expected to return to the team after getting rested against Spurs.
9) Where do you think Villa will finish this season (like you care?)
10) Where do you think Swansea will finish (like we care!!!!)
15th (Where we are now)
11) Match prediction please.
A hard to predict. Both teams should have a boost in confidence after their excellent New Year's Eve results. Considering Swansea City's poor away form though, I'm hoping we can get a vital point from this one, and not suffer a disappointing narrow defeat like we did at Everton recently. My prediction - 1-1.
With thanks to KevinE at Vital Swansea
Date:Monday January 2 2012
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