Nine years ago Swansea City was languishing at the bottom of the football league for the first time. They narrowly escaped condemnation to non – league obscurity at the expense of Exeter City on the penultimate day of the season. Fast forward to today and The Swans are sitting pretty on 8th spot in the Barclays Premier League.
Their meteoric rise is testament to the spirit of the club. In 2003 Kenny Jackett was the man who truly initiated the club’s revival. After losing his first six games in charge, he signed several defensive players for the following season and achieved a record seven home clean sheets that aided them in grasping promotion. Their return to League One saw them find a new home at the Liberty Stadium. The next season brought about the end of Jacketts tenure at the club in mid-season and he was replaced by Roberto Martinez. The Spaniard instigated an attractive brand of passing football and almost clinched a play-off spot after losing just once in his first eleven games. Nevertheless, the team flourished under his guidance and were promoted the following season and were eventually rewarded with a place in the Premier League after their 2010-11 campaign that included a change in the managerial position. Brendan Rodgers replaced Wigan- bound Martinez and persisted with Swansea’s admirable style of play.
This season the Welsh club have taken the Premier League by storm, drawing plaudits from football fans around the world with their attractive brand of football. At the heart of the team’s impressive interplay lies the formidable midfield pairing of Leon Britton and Joe Allen. Britton is the sole survivor of the team that survived in League football nine years ago and has proved to be dominating force in midfield. The diminutive playmaker has been exceptional this season and many even seem to think the Englishman has the credentials to earn himself an international cap. He has statistically been the best passer in the world this season as of January 2012, boasting a passing accuracy of 93.3%, bettering Spain’s and Barcelona’s sensational Xavi who recorded 93.0%. The 29 – year old is unlikely to break into England’s midfield for the Euros this summer but stats like that make a strong case for his inclusion.
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