Who is to blame for the Swans’ disastrous Premier League start?
Before the season Swansea was many pundits chic selection to rocket up the Premier League table. Through 13 matches the Swans have only managed to garner 14 points. Impulsive Swansea fans are calling for manager Garry Monk’s head on a platter, but who is really at fault for the club’s poor start?
When diagnosing the problems of a club that’s underperforming it’s best to start with a cold, stark look at the team’s statistics. We’ve got data from enough Premier League games to draw meaningful conclusions at this point. Those statistics point plainly to the fact that Swansea’s attacking impotence is to blame for their early season malaise.
More specifically, Swansea has really struggled in the middle of their attack. Striker Bafetembi Gomis and central attacking midfielder Gylfi Sigurdsson just aren’t getting the job done for Garry Monk. If they can’t elevate their performances, and soon, it may cost Monk his job.
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Let’s look first at the striker Gomis. Very plainly, he’s been among the worst regular starters up top in the Premier League this season. The 30-year old has only tallied four goals in 12 starts for the Swans and hasn’t recorded a single assist. His Whoscored.com average rating of 6.69 isn’t impressing anyone either.
While watching Swansea it’s plain to see that Gomis isn’t the answer to any of their questions up front. He’s repeatedly offsides and isn’t creating chances on a regular basis. It’s not so troubling that he’s only managed to convert four goals, it is troubling that he isn’t creating chances on a regular basis. There’s huge room for improvement at striker for Swansea and they must act fast to remedy this ill.
Moving back one position in the Swansea lineup you find the Icelandic midfielder Gylfi Sigurdsson. Truthfully, he’s one of my favorite Spurs of all time, but his performance this season has been atrocious. His pitiful Whoscored.com rating of 6.49 is one of the team’s worst for a player who’s received regular playing time.
He’s managed to contribute two goals and one assist on the campaign, but that’s not enough for a player who’s counted on to be the team’s engine. He’s looked sluggish on the season and frequently looks lost on the ball. When Sigurdsson is clicking he’s quick with his decisions and plays devastating, decisive passes. Right now, everything is a step slow for him.
If he can’t pick it up immediately they’ll need to make a chance there too. Swansea has talent on the wings with Jefferson Montero and Andre Ayew to wreak havoc on opposing defenses. In fact, their performances have been surprisingly good considering the lack of support. The attention opposing defenses have been allowed to focus on them given the ineptitude of their other attackers is the only thing holding them back from contributing bushels of goals.
Swansea will continue to suffer in the Premier League standings until they’re able to fix the heart of their attack. They must get improved play at striker and central attacking midfielder to win more matches and quite possibly, to allow Garry Monk to keep his job.