Swansea | Importance of wide men

Swansea | Importance of wide men

With the unfortunate injury to Alan Tate, Swansea City look slightly exposed at full back with only two experienced players in the squad. Steven Caulker is able to deputise but with the England under 21 making such an impressive start to the season, Brendan Rodgers will be reluctant to break the partnership he has formed with Ashley Williams at the heart of the City back four. There also must be a concern about what would happen if either Scott Sinclair or Nathan Dyer were to miss games for any length of time. The acquisition of Wayne Routledge was surely made with this in mind, however the former Newcastle winger has carved himself a role at the centre of the midfield three where his sharp turn of pace has given the Swans slick passing style an extra dimension.

Swansea are a side who are particularly reliant on their wide players but especially the full backs who often to start the play receiving quick ball from the goalkeeper. For example Angel Rangel has completed 213 passes in three games this season, that is more than either Ashley Cole or Luis Enrique, and with 8 crosses already this season we can see that these are not “tippy tappy” passes across the back four which Swansea have been accused of playing in the past. Rangel is a real attacking threat and often creaes the space for Nathan Dyers cutting inside runs at the heart of opposition defenses.

Sinclair and Dyer are usually at the heart of Swansea’s attacking moves and between them the have already completed 17 successful dribbles and shot for goal 9 times this season. They have also crossed the ball 15 times and both have a pass completion rate of above 80%.

With the emergence of Kemy Agustien as a quality defensive midfielder and the excellent addition of the the Michel Vorm between the sticks, Swansea seem to be in good shape for the rest of the season, however strength in depth could be a problem if injuries and suspensions start to mount up. Brendan Rodgers will surely be looking to bring in at least two players before the end of the transfer window, and I would not be in the least bit surprised if both are wide players to cover any more mishaps (golf buggy related or not).

Swansea will visit Arsenal after the international break and will take hope from the hammering they took at the hands of Manchester United, however I am sure that Arsene Wenger will also be looking to add to his squad before the sides meet and Swansea’s open style could suit the free flowing attacking play of the gunners, remember Arsenal 6 Blackpool 0 last year. Brendan Rodgers will be hoping that the Welsh men cope better than the Seasiders did at a similar stage last season.