As Swansea City headed to the half way point of the 2017/18 Premier League season, they appeared to be the team most likely to drop into the second tier as they sat at the bottom of the table. Survival after lying at the bottom at Christmas is a rare feat and the Swans have a battle on their hands.
This is a historic club that has enjoyed some success in their long history and like all sides at this level, Premier League survival is a must. Money and exposure are guaranteed in the top tier and it’s also a time when the bookmakers’ promotions will follow on a more regular basis.
Swansea were formed as Swansea Town back in 1912 and were immediately accepted into the second division of the Southern League. That season also brought the first trophy to the club as they took the Welsh Cup for the first time in their history.
The club continued at that level for a number of years before joining the newly formed third division of the football league in 1920. Five years later, promotion to division two was secured and then, in the following season, Swansea reached the semi finals of the FA Cup. They were clearly a strong team at this time but promotion continued to elude them and they remained in the bottom levels of the league for many years.
After the end of the Second World War, the club were to spend much of their time between the second and third divisions and this pattern was to continue for over 35 years. Some notable cup runs were achieved but the only real noteworthy occurrence came in 1969 when the club changed its name from Swansea Town to Swansea City.
In 1978, Swansea found themselves languishing in the old fourth division but a meteoric rise was about to take place. As we’ll see shortly, a change of manager led to a climb up the tables and promotion to the top tier of English football for the first time in the club’s history.
As we will see in the next section, it was an incredible period for the club but sadly it wasn’t to last and by the mid-1980s, they were back in the old second division. Some difficult times ensued but the Swans came back to the top tier with promotion to the Premier League at the end of the 2010/11 campaign. League Cup success came in 2012/13 and for now, the aim is to consolidate as a Premier League side.
Swansea City have won just one major honour in their time and that was delivered under Michael Laudrup as they claimed the League Cup in 2012/13. However, it could be argued that their strongest period came much earlier with the side assembled at the end of the 1970s.
In March 1978, the former Liverpool legend John Toshack became the youngest manager in the football league at just 28 years of age. Toshack had also played for Swansea’s great rivals Cardiff City but if fans were concerned over that connection, their fears were quickly dispelled.
Toshack made use of his extensive contacts to build a team that would rise through the leagues, from the fourth division right through to the top tier before coming agonisingly close to winning a first division title.
Toshack extended his playing career and added players such as Alan Curtis, Tommy Smith and the prolific Bob Latchford as promotions were secured and they made their way into football’s elite. On a number of occasions during the 1981/82 campaign, the Swans were at the top of the league but a dip in form saw them finish in sixth. Sadly, as those top players retired or moved on, they were not replaced and relegation, followed by further decline was to follow but these were exciting times for the club that are looked back on with great fondness by all Swansea supporters.
Here follows Swansea City’s record in English domestic football over the course of the last few seasons.
|Season||Premier League||FA Cup||League Cup|
|2016/17:||15th||3rd Round||3rd Round|
|2015/16:||12th||3rd Round||3rd Round|
|2014/15:||8th||4th Round||4th Round|
That set of results shows something of a decline for the club since finishing just outside of the Europa League places for 2014/15. The Swans spent much of the 2016/17 campaign battling against relegation so current manager Paul Clement must address the slide.
There has been little in the way of progression in the Cups at the same time and the enhanced odds offers won’t land unless a team goes deep into the knockout competitions. So, for Swansea City price boosts, it’s a case of waiting around for the live televised games in the Premier League.
The start of the 2017/18 season saw the return of a favourite former player with Wilfried Bony coming back to the club after a largely unhappy spell away from the Liberty Stadium. The Ivory Coast striker enjoyed a prolific first period with Swansea before being transferred to Manchester City in 2015 but his goals tally dipped and he is back, via a loan spell at Stoke.
Goals have been hard to come by for Bony in 2017/18 but he is Swansea’s key player and any individual enhanced odds offers or price boosts are still likely to focus on the Ivorian.
Alongside Bony, the club can also field two promising centre forwards in Jordan Ayew and Tammy Abraham who is on loan from Chelsea. Once again, they are struggling to make an impression but may still feature in Swansea City prices boosts while they are at the Liberty Stadium.
In goal, Lukasz Fabianski is an experienced international with over 40 caps for Poland and while he won’t receive any price boosts next to his name, he is just as vital to the Swans over the next few seasons.
Swansea City’s rise into the Premier League was an impressive one and it’s seen the club gain its first ever major trophy. For now, survival is the aim however as the EPL is the pinnacle for all clubs and it’s becoming increasingly harder to get out of the Championship for those that drop back down.