Swansea City boss Michael Laudrup happy the goals will keep flowing
EVEN after a blank at Villa Park last weekend, Swansea City have scored as many Premier League goals as any other club this season.
In fact Swansea’s tally of ten in four league games is more than 17 other sides have managed, and is matched only by Manchester United and Fulham.
So it is entirely understandable that Michael Laudrup is not about to question his players’ ability in the final third.
Yes Swansea were shut out by an Aston Villa team who have not exactly piled up clean sheets in recent times.
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But no, says Laudrup, this is not the time to fret about the firepower within his squad.
“It would not be fair to the players to look into it after one game where we didn’t score,” insists the Swansea manager.
“We scored ten goals in our first three Premier League games.
“We got three more in the cup against Barnsley and, in the last two warm-up games, we got four against Blackpool and three against Stuttgart.
“We have a high average of goals scored.”
In four-goal summer signing Michu, Swansea have the Premier League’s joint-leading scorer in their ranks.
Nathan Dyer, Wayne Routledge, Angel Rangel and Danny Graham have also found the target already in the league, with the now departed Scott Sinclair completing the Swansea chart.
The goals have been spread around early on, and Swansea hope the likes of Pablo Hernandez, Luke Moore and Itay Shechter will also come to the party soon.
Midfield men Ki Sung-Yueng and Jonathan de Guzman can also be expected to chip in with a few goals.
“We could have scored a great goal at Aston Villa through Nathan and then five minutes later they scored a great goal,” Laudrup adds.
“Maybe there was a lack of sharpness from us in the final third, with the last pass or with the finishing, but that will happen.
“I try to compare last Saturday to the other games we have played.
“We scored eight goals in our first two games and everybody was happy.
“But look at the West Ham game. We played well, especially in the last part of the game.
“But if you analyse it we scored three goals from five chances and, to be really honest, we got a little help on the first goal and the second.
“That’s part of the game — there are a lot of ways to win and a lot of ways to lose.”
Laudrup believes Villa were driven by a hunger that will become familiar to Swansea this season, particularly when they go away from home.
Paul Lambert’s team were without a win in 13 Premier League games before last weekend and Laudrup felt it showed.
“We tried to play and in parts of the game we played well,” he adds.
“At other times we played a little slowly, with too many touches, and Aston Villa put a lot of pressure on us because they were in a situation where they needed to do that.
“They had only one point from their first three games so that was normal and, especially away from home, I think we will have a lot of games like that.
“For one reason or another, the other teams need to get points at home — two-thirds of the teams in the Premier League need to get points at home to be safe — so we will have to get used to games like we had at Aston Villa.”
Lambert’s Villa were not unlike his Norwich side — hungry, willing and busy enough to knock Swansea out of their stride.
Laudrup feels they provided the sort of examination Ashley Williams and Co can get used to on their travels this season.
On the evidence of last term, they could face something similar on their own patch in a couple of days’ time.
Everton are one of the most organised, dynamic and hard-working sides in the division, and they also boast a considerable dollop of quality.
David Moyes’s men did the double over Swansea last season, and were probably the most impressive visiting outfit seen in SA1 during 2011-12.
Everton have begun the new campaign in impressive form too, beating Manchester United and Villa and missing out on a win against Newcastle this week thanks to some errant work by the officials.
They were beaten at West Brom, though, which should give Swansea confidence as they go in search of a first ever win over the Blues.
“Everton are a strong team,” reckons Laudrup.
“They are a team who know exactly what they want.
‘‘They have had the same manager for ten years so everybody in the club knows how they are playing.
“They are a strong side with some good players, but we play at home so we want to win the game.
“We will show Everton a lot of respect, but we will play our football and see if that’s good enough to get us a result.
“They are very good, but I am sure we are ready to compete with them.”
The unbeaten record has gone, but Laudrup’s start to life in Wales has been as bright as anyone could have hoped for.
A victory over Everton would be his most positive statement yet.