Swansea City

The big Swansea City season review: The best and worst of a disastrous campaign for the Swans

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Swansea City have been relegated from the Premier League after a season marred by trouble on the pitch and in the boardroom.

After seven years in the top flight, the Swans will have to face the Championship after the summer break.

There were some truly abject footballing displays, coupled with baffling transfer dealings and general mismanagement in the club’s hierarchy.

Here are the things that marked a terrible season for the Liberty Stadium outfit – it does not make pretty reading.

Goal of the Season – Jordan Ayew Vs Wolves 

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This 11th minute strike in the FA Cup third round replay against the West Midlands outfit was a real cracker.

The 26-year-old jinked past almost the entire Wolves defence in a mazy run and slotted a calm finish to open the scoring against the Championship leaders.

Goals of any description would have sufficed in the Premier League, but the Swans were found to be wanting up front.

Worst Performance – Swansea 0-1 Southampton

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There are a plethora of bad displays to pick from but while this perhaps wasn’t the worst in terms of performance, it gets the pick through sheer lack of desire when the chips were down.

Swansea huffed and puffed but could not break down the Saints defence – a microcosm of the season for the South Wales side in a way.

A win for Carlos Carvalhal’s men here and it could have so different. Instead, they didn’t match the determination of the Saints, despite being home and missing four chances to clear the ball in their own box just summed it all up.

Best Performance – Swansea 4-1 West Ham

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It all seemed so sweet for the Swans after this victory. The South Wales side ravaged the Hammers in this ‘six-pointer’ in March.

This encouraging performance was followed by a decent goalless draw with Huddersfield but the Carvalhal revolution began to unravel not long after that.

Honourable mentions go to a smash and grab 1-0 raid at home to Liverpool and a 3-1 win over Arsenal.

What a shame that there were not more displays like those.

Biggest Disappointment – Renato Sanches

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This might go down as one of the worst loan signings in Swansea’s history.

The Bayern Munich midfielder, crowned young player of Euro 2016, was an exciting prospect for Swans fans but he totally failed to deliver.

Injuries curtailed his impact throughout the season but ultimately the Portugal international was not good enough in the games he actually did play.

Signing of the Season – Tammy Abraham

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The biggest transfer stories at the Liberty Stadium were outgoing rather than incoming.

The loss of Fernando Llorente was particularly jarring for the Swans, who struggled for goals all season.

Gylfi Sigurdsson was sold for a hefty fee but the money received by the Swans was not distributed effectively enough into the playing squad.

The loan signing of Abraham, who scored five league goals, from Chelsea was a rare transfer success for Swansea, but even he could not provide the spark for Premier League survival.

Slim pickings here; the youngster wasn’t great by any means, but he at least contributed, unlike man of the other signings.

Unsung Hero – Ki Sung-yueng

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If Swansea had three or four more cut from the same cloth as the South Korean midfielder, they might still be a top flight side.

He has had a decent season in the middle of the park, despite poor showings from the likes of Sanches and Sam Clucas around him.

The former Celtic player has had his critics this season but his displays were far from the worst seen during this disappointing campaign.

The Swans look consigned the lose the 29-year-old in the summer, with AC Milan and Everton said to be circling around him.

Best Young Player – Connor Roberts

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The Swans have had precious little recent currency out of the academy that once produced the likes of Wales internationals Ben Davies and Joe Allen.

But Connor Roberts looks set to buck that trend after some encouraging performances in his breakout season.

The 22-year-old did enough to earn a Wales call-up from new boss Ryan Giggs and could be a regular fixture in the Swans line-up for the Championship

The defender could be joined in that respect by winger Daniel James, who played and scored in the FA Cup victory over Notts County.

Most Improved Player – Jordan Ayew

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The Ghanaian forward fired seven Premier League goals but could not stop the drop for the Swans.

He grabbed 11 across all competitions to better his tally of a single strike last season and could prove vital for the South Wales side if they are able to retain him.

Player of the Season – Lukasz Fabianski

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No doubt over this one; Swansea would have been relegated much sooner had it not been for the flying Pole.

The 33-year-old keeper did all he could to prevent relegation with some fine individual performances between the sticks.

The rest of the squad failed to follow his example however, and it is perhaps telling of the narrative of a season when a goalkeeper is considered your best player.

Verdict on the Season

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What an awful campaign for Swansea City.

And they are by no means guaranteed to challenge for an immediate return to the top flight next season.

They will have to face the likes of Stoke, West Brom, Sheffield United, and three out of Aston Villa, Derby, Fulham and Middlesbrough.

Daunting stuff indeed but it could have been so different – Carvalhal’s tactical decision-making let him down in the final furlong.

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The Bournemouth and Southampton fixtures towards the end of the season were eminently winnable games but the Swans emerged 1-0 losers each time.

There is anger from supporters and it is directed everywhere: upon those who let them down on the pitch, towards Carvalhal and perhaps most viciously against the seemingly oblivious board.

Dark times then for Swansea City but they have triumphed in the face of adversity before and will surely do so again in the future.

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