At the moment, comments abound about people “speaking too soon” this season and I think for the most part that sentiment is well founded. The sensible pragmatist stays well clear of this type of comment, the worst place to have egg is on your face and there is nothing eggier than suggesting in early September that Fulham will win the league or Liverpool will get relegated.
Hubris was a crime in ancient Greece and whilst I’m not suggesting that we should abide by Ancient Greek law and arrest over-excited commentators on the Premier League, though the thought isn’t so bad, I think that we should at least pay that law some attention.
All that aside and without wishing to pay so little attention to what I preach that I fall face first into a big egg containing thing full of eggs, I would just like to say that I think Swansea will definitely win the league.
Okay, maybe they won’t win the league but I definitely think they’ll better last season’s placing and finish in the top half of the table. They could even push further up and challenge for a European place. Handcuff me now!
Before the season began, however, I was worried. The foundations of a bright future had been laid last season, and in the proceeding Championship season, by Brendan Rodgers but I feared that without him the same buoyant Swans would soon be replaced by concrete flippered cygnets and second season Swansea would sink without a trace. Add to that a manager without experience in the UK, let alone in the Premier League, and the signs weren’t good. Yes, he has managed elsewhere with some success and he was a wonderful player, but how often has the strength of those sort of credentials vanished when thrown in to the Premier League bear pit?
I’m glad to be proved wrong thus far. Michael Laudrup speaks, and manages, as he played; with grace, skill and humility. You sense that he deeply means what he says and his thoughts about life inform his thoughts about football and vice-versa. So I am absolutely delighted to see this superbly talented and humble man begin in such a way. Swansea’s play is a joy to behold. There is no concession to fear and no small amount of skill in the way they move the ball around. From back to front they are controlled footballers with serious ability. Mr Laudrup has them as well drilled as they were before and several clever, under-the-radar acquisitions have begun to bolster a squad shorn of Joe Allen and Scott Sinclair (though why he would choose to be a bench warmer at City rather than a leading light in Wales, I have no idea; his bank account may give us a clue though). They, like me, may lack depth but if they can keep the nucleus of their squad together and injury-free whilst getting in extra numbers before the transfer window shuts, then who knows?
I may soon be proved more omelette than expert but this time I’ll take that gladly. Odysseus would be proud.