Swansea will have been able to spend the close-season basking in glory. After winning the Capital One Cup in February, they could even afford a slump of two wins in 11 to finish in an impressive top-half position. Since then, they have kept hold of their star names and enjoyed a 100 per cent winning record in pre-season, including a 10-0 victory over Haaglandia, while Malmo were beaten in Europa League qualifying.
Michael Laudrup could not have done much more to earn the plaudits in his debut season in charge. The legendary Dane took the club's famous passing style and completed some fine tuning to raise the speed of attacks and add a cutting edge. But Laudrup's future was in doubt over the summer after the club fell out with his agent. It will now be interesting to see how Laudrup deals with the levels of expectation in his personal second season.
Ins and Outs
- Jonjo Shelvey - £6m
- Wilfried Bony - £12m
- onathan de Guzman - Loan
- Kemy Agustien - Free
- Mark Gower - Free
- Alan Tate - Loan
Claims he was not given a fair chance at Liverpool and so will be keen to show he is still has the talent to be a star midfielder.
Took the Premier League by storm in his debut season with 18 goals and the Spaniard will been to show he is not a one-season wonder.
Reads the game brilliantly and also extremely powerful, the Swansea centre-back was linked with Arsenal and Liverpool over the summer.
Strengths & Weaknesses
Swansea's style and work ethic have been the foundation of their success over recent seasons and Laudrup has only brought improvements. They have that all-important strong core down the spine of their team from either goalkeeper Michel Vorm or Gerhard Tremmel through to centre-backs Chico and Ashley Williams, central midfielder Leon Britton and striker Michu. Swansea could also have a fitness advantage at the start of the Premier League following their participation in the Europa League qualifiers. But they will also have to balance that against the fixture congestion which comes later in the season when competing in Europe. They must also improve at defending set-pieces while, of the field, the seemingly twitchy relationship between Laudrup and the board could be damaging.
After using his inside knowledge of Spanish football to make some shrewd signings last summer, much will be expected of former Getafe and Mallorca boss Laudrup. Nine signings have already arrived, including the exciting £12million record-buy Wilfried Bony, which will ease the pressure on Michu, the loan re-signing of Jonathan de Guzman, and Jonjo Shelvey's move from Liverpool. Nathan Dyer has also signed a new four-year contract.
"We know cup competitions are important but the Premier League is our daily bread. It is where we want to be and it is where we want to consolidate ourselves as a squad and a club this season."
"This is the best Swansea squad I have ever seen. We now have genuine depth with two players for every position. That means everybody has to be at the top of their game."
Facts and Figures
Swansea were not awarded a single penalty kick in 2012/13
Swansea played more passes in their own half than any other Premier League side
Goals conceded by Swansea in first five minutes of 2012/13 PL games
Swansea saw their woodwork hit more often than any other 2012/13 PL side
Swansea scored a league-high of their goals in the second half of games
At times during the first half of last season they were looking like a top-six side but they ran out of steam after winning the Capital One Cup. I would not expect to see them challenging for Europe, but I would say they have made a good signing in striker Bony, who has started very well in the couple of games they have had. The fact they have had some competitive games in Europe before the Premier League kicks off will help them against Manchester United in the first game. They have got something going at Swansea. It is a difficult place to go and I like the way they play. I do not think there is any chance of them being in trouble and I think it looks to me like they have established themselves in the Premier League.