Can Clement Save Swansea?
Swansea City were at the foot of the Premier League table when they went into their clash with Liverpool at Anfield, and nobody expected the under pressure side to get anything at the home of the title-challengers. But Paul Clement’s side put in an impressive performance and came away with the three points in a 3-2 victory. This result lifted the Swans out of the relegation zone for the first time since early December, and could spark an upward trajectory for the club.
It is still early days, but the introduction of Clement at the Liberty Stadium could prove to be a shrewd acquisition for Swansea. Clement has won two of his four games in charge now, and has brought back a similar playing style to the days of Garry Monk when the Swans recorded their highest ever league finish. After the appointment of an unsuccessful manager – Francesco Guidolin, and a calamitous manager – Bob Bradley (see video below), Clement could finally be the right man for the job.
Until the thrilling victory over Liverpool, which was Swansea’s first ever win at Anfield, Clement’s side were favourites for the drop. The bookies are still backing the Welsh side for relegation, but the odds have eased slightly. Using William Hill offers such as the £10 in bonus bets to stake on Swansea to stay up now could be a wise move. As the battle against falling into Championship football next season grows fiercer, Swansea look to be in the strongest position of the threatened clubs to maintain their top-flight status.
Swansea leapfrogged Crystal Palace when they climbed out of the bottom three, and it is imperative that they distance themselves from the London club as much as possible as the race heats up. The Eagles appointed Sam Allardyce recently to save their season, and the former Sunderland boss has never been in charge of a relegated club. But that record could be about to change, as Big Sam is struggling to strike on a winning formula at Selhurst Park and time is running out.
It is also of great importance that Swansea keep hold of key players in the transfer window. Reports suggest that Fernando Llorente is the Number 1 target of Antonio Conte this January as the Italian seeks a strong backup for Diego Costa. But the man who scored twice against Liverpool (see video above) will be vital to the Swans’ hopes of survival and has proved adept at snatching goals against the run of play. The World Cup winner now has eight goals in fifteen starts for the Welsh outfit, and has made the transition to the English game fairly smoothly.
Encouragingly for Clement, there is now a strong chance that a number of other sides could be sucked into the scrap for survival. Middlesbrough are desperately in need of goals, Leicester City have lost their fighting spirit, and Watford seem to have stagnated in recent weeks.
After all hope was seemingly lost, Carlo Ancelotti’s former assistant has come in to restore some belief at the Liberty Stadium. Clement may just have what it takes to keep Swansea in the Premier League.