Tough Season Ahead For Swansea City and Brendan Rodgersby Steve Claridge / 11 August 2011, 09:33Tweet
In May Swansea City became the first ever club from Wales to get promoted to the Premier League following their thrilling 4-2 play-off final win against Reading. It was fantastic achievement for a club who back in 2003 were agonisingly close (just one defeat) from dropping out of the Football League after entering administration. Since that dark period Swansea have surged back up the leagues and on Monday embark on life in England's top flight with an away match to one of the league's giants - Manchester City.
Swansea's manager Brendan Rodgers has been largely credited for guiding the club to the top flight after transforming their fortunes since his arrival in July 2010. His brilliant man-management skills combined with his determination to succeed has raised his profile considerably. Despite his unquestionable talent his relative lack of managerial experience could be called into question in the Premier League. Swansea, of course, start out as huge underdogs. The bookmakers haven't given the South Wales club much of a chance of staying up and they are the 8/15 odds on favourites to get relegated. History reminds us that promotion play-off winners do not stand much of a chance of staying up, yet Rodgers will be looking to buck that trend with a solid debut season in the Premier League, which is easier said then done.
The target is very simple: avoid relegation. If Swansea are successful in this seemingly improbable task then they can look to the future and aim to establish themselves as a Premier League team. However, the immediate focus must be staying up. This is a club with limited funds who lack strength in depth and Premier League experience. This makes the form of star striker Scott Sinclair crucial to their success. Swansea have snapped up the likes of Wayne Routledge, Leroy Lita and Danny Graham to bolster their attack and they have even been linked with a shock move for veteran striker David Trezeguet. The new additions will improve their chances of scoring goals but they need to ensure they have a tight back line otherwise they will quickly be found out.
At the moment Rodgers has long odds of 33/1 to become the Next Premier League Manager To Be Sacked, with these odds likely to slide if Swansea get off to a poor start. However, the more likely scenario is that Rodgers could be tempted into a move away from the club. He has built up a reputation as one of the brightest young managers in the country since bursting onto the scene in 2008 and if Swansea start the new season with a bang then the board may struggle to keep their main man if an offer from an established Premier League club comes in.