Swansea seems to have found the shutoff valve for opposing goals these past three matches. The team’s number one problem is how to score. I trace that problem back to this time last year when they sold their striker Wilfried Bony to Man City. Maybe they thought they had an able replacement. As a fan, I would hope for it. But I think Bafetimbi Gomis’ style either doesn’t fit the Swans or that the man’s motivation to fit the system isn’t quite there.
Either way, the Swans, like any small club in the Premier League, have to realize that even good teams can go into a significant funk. Not to mention the unknown of injuries. If this team goes down, I think they can trace the problem to the 28 million pounds they got for their last legitimate goal-scorer.
After today, the Premier League will be at the halfway point. I noticed the pundits pondering who will be at the top and who will go down. I think Arsenal wins the league with 81 points. Man City a bit behind that–75. Under them, I see Leicester, Man United, and Spurs. Leicester playing .500 the rest of the way gives them 67 points, and that should be enough this season for at least 5th place. That team, surprising as it is, is more consistent than any other contender. I would watch that side and see how they stand after ten more games. Then add 22 points to their total–what they gained at the end of last season–and that will give a picture of the team over 38 games.
Much is made of the what-if of Vardy or Mahrez going out with a significant injury and the Foxes slipping to mid-table. The same would happen to Manchester United if anything were to happen to David DeGea. That man has singlehandedly kept United fighting for fourth place the past two seasons. Without him, they are an over-priced mid-table team. And probably on their fourth manager since Sir Alex, not number two.
I think Liverpool are about the same under their new manager as they were under the old. Everton and Crystal Palace complete a threesome at nearly 60 points. Maybe Stoke and West Ham after that.
Bottom half: 11 Southampton, 12 Watford, 13 Chelsea, 14 Swansea, 15 West Brom, 16 Newcastle, 17 Bournemouth, 18 Norwich, 19 Sunderland, 20 Aston Villa. I think 17-19 will be a real battle, and everybody from 16 on up will be safe by the end of April.