It’s enormous credit to the performances this season that Swansea beating Liverpool isn’t really news, even if the distractions elsewhere on the final day of the season hadn’t happened 11th beats 8th is hardly an earth shattering event.
As both Swansea and Norwich have proved, a team of dedicated players with a defined vision of what to do and an inspirational manager can achieve more than sides spending bigger money on individuals. Personally I don’t think either Wolves or Blackburn would have been relegated if they had Rodgers or Lambert in charge.
The match against Liverpool saw Swansea dominate in the first half with the second being more even:
|Liverpool largely restricted to efforts outside the box in the first half|
|Vorm busier in the second half but Graham's clinical finish made the difference|
Graham’s goal was his only shot all game which again highlights how well he’s played this season scoring 12 (only 1 a penalty) from relatively few chances (there’ll be more on this in the end of season stats review coming up in the next few days).
Graham had only 20 touches all game and rarely ever has more than 30 compared to the 100+ for Rangel but what he does, he does well and combined with his off the ball work shows how well he has fitted in to the system.
Comparing Graham and Carroll’s contribution in the game isn’t a direct comparison as they have different roles, but the number of red lines on Carroll’s chalkboard can’t be ignored. In his defence Carroll won 5 of 6 aerial duels although only one of these was in the Swansea penalty area.
|A mixed bag from Carroll but tidy from Graham|
It’s now going to be a long 3 months and if we somehow started next season with the same team (and manager) I’d be more than happy to take that. Caulker on loan for another season would probably only happen if Spurs splashed out on a big signing which would be great for us but arguably unnecessary given how Caulker has performed for us this season.
It’d be a dream to keep Sigurdsson and the only hope is that clubs with bigger cheque books for some reason decide to overlook him and that Hoffenheim feel that what we can offer is worth more to them than keeping him (I think I’m clutching at straws there).
That leaves Rodgers who is arguably the key to keeping the rest of the squad at Swansea. With the Villa job already up for grabs along with potentially that for Chelsea/Spurs/Liverpool or at the least speculation on these roles, it could be a long summer. Putting aside league positions and a 'my club is bigger than your club' mentality, Villa are genuinely a ‘Big Club’ and the fact that the thought that Rodgers could go there is pretty much inconceivable is a credit to how far Swansea as a club have come.
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Chalkboards: Created using Statszone http://fourfourtwo.com/statszone