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Swansea City v Watford - Premier League

The Five Year Fairytale: Can Swansea City Start Another Fairytale In 2017?

Back in 2011, nobody even thought of an unlikely newly promoted outfit who will set the Premier League on fire with valiant and prepossessing display in their first return to top-flight football since 1983. Swansea City under Brendan Rodgers were termed as “Swansealona” for their fearless and possession football like Barcelona and surprised Manchester City, Liverpool and Arsenal constituting emotional triumphs at Liberty stadium.

Swansea soon received cult success and the likes of Nathan Dyer, Scott Sinclair, Ashley Willams earned lots of praise and applauds from pundits as well as football fans. Their next season was even a bigger success as they went on to lift the prestigious League Cup under Michael Laudrup who came as a replacement of Brendan Rodgers as the later joined Liverpool to replace Kenny Dalglish.

New signing Michu turned out to be an unlikely hero scoring 22 goals in all competitions. Swansea City qualified for 2013-14 UEFA Europa League third qualifying round and finished 9th in Premier League.

2013-14 was an eventful campaign as they managed to qualify for the group stages of UEFA Europa League competition where they defeated renowned Valencia 0-3 away from home. However, they were drawn against Napoli, a much stronger opponent, who defeated them 3-1 at Stadio San Paolo and knocked the Swans out from Round of 32.

Laudrup was sacked meanwhile for his side’s poor league performance and vetern centre-back Garry Monk was appointed in a player-manager role. Monk impressed in the new role and the officials decided to retain him for the next campaign. He did not disappoint and led the Swans finish 8th in the 2014-15 season, their best ever finish in top flight history.

But the downfall began since the previous campaign when Monk was sacked on 9th December 2015. The club officials became impatient too soon and parted ways with a young dynamic manager who is now a Championship hotshot with Leeds United as his presence and guidance have transformed Leeds United to a serious playoff contender from a mere mid-table outfit. Although they brought in veteran Serie A manager Francesco Guidolin, Swansea already lost their signature and identity.

Wales' defender Ashley Williams reacts at the end of the Euro 2016 semi-final football match between Portugal and Wales at the Parc Olympique Lyonnais stadium in Décines-Charpieu, near Lyon, on July 6, 2016.  / AFP / PAUL ELLIS        (Photo credit should read PAUL ELLIS/AFP/Getty Images)

Guidolin failed to keep hold of captain Ashley Williams and Andre Ayew as they were sold to Premier League rivals Everton and West Ham United at the start of this campaign. They are lacking serious leaders in both defensive and attacking role and Gylfi Sigurðsson is the only name who is trying to fix things up for the Swans who are currently rock bottom of the Premier League table after another shambolic 0-3 home defeat against Bournemouth on New Year’s Eve.

Guidolin was sacked on October 3rd, but this time they failed to bring up any proper replacement. American Bob Bradley was appointed but failed miserably. After just 85 days in charge, he was sacked following only two wins in his 11 games, conceded 29 goals in the process.

Currently, Swansea are being managed by Alan Curtis who is appointed in a caretaker role once again. The fans are now indignant and quite rightly demanding stability. A fairy tale that began five years back is now nearing to a tragic ending. They need a miracle now to avoid relegation which seems increasingly inevitable.

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