Sunday, 4 March 2012

Wigan 0-2 Swansea - 3 things we've learned

Gylfi Sigurdsson – Has a big future in the game

The Icelandic international on loan from German outfit Hoffenheim stole the show with two outstanding strikes from outside the area.

The former Reading man has been instrumental since his arrival in January and scored in their away win at West Brom. He is no stranger to wonder goals with his first strike for former club Reading coming from 35 yards out at home to Burton Albion in the Carling Cup.

Gylfi Sigurdsson 
Yesterday he looked cool and composed figure in the heart of the midfield and stood up well to the challenge of the tough Wigan midfield. His strike on the stroke of half time ensured the Swans took the lead before the break after dominating much of the opening period.

It was only ten minutes into the second half when after Nathan Dyer was fouled he left Al Habsi rooted to the spot as he curled an outstanding free kick to send the Swansea fans into delirium.

His signing is testament again to Brendan Rodgers as he has settled into the side and yesterday’s showing was testament to how pivotal he is to the Welsh club. The sending off of Dyer meant Sigurdsson had to be sacrfied as they held firm for the final half an hour.

He will get a lot of interest from a number of clubs in the summer and Rodgers will be hoping he can secure the signature as he adds something different to the his cultured side.

Wigan – They are in big trouble

The weekend’s result will leave many Latics fans frustrated as they missed out on a huge opportunity to move out of the drop zone.

Results elsewhere over the weekend have been kind to Roberto Martinez and his men as they still find themselves only two points from safety with eleven games to go.

Jean Beausejour 
The big issue for Wigan is that they are yet again involved in a scrap for Premier League survival in what is now their sixth season in the top flight.

Taking the next step forward is key for Wigan if they are genuinely to be considered as an established Premier League team, you get a feeling if they were to drop back into the Championship they would struggle to come back.

The job that Dave Whelan has done has been nothing short of remarkable to take this small town living in the shadow of the likes of Manchester United into the promise land and maintain their presence.

The big question is can they take the next step up. Investment is a huge issue for them, with the likes of QPR coming up and spending big and with Swansea and Norwich proving to be a more attractive choice for players, getting genuine talent through the door in is proving to be huge problem.

In order to stay up they have to improve at home one win against QPR back in August is the only time they have picked up three points at the DW stadium. West Brom and Stoke provide the opposition in their next two games at home in what are now must win games.

Martinez cannot afford to leave the likes of Mohammed Diame and Victor Moses on the bench as he did on Saturday. Connor Sammon was poor an infective and did not look up for the fight, encouragingly new singing Jean Beausejour looked lively throughout and will provide the front men with the required ammunition.

It is going to be tough for Wigan to pull off yet another great escape but do not bet against them, they seem to thrive in adversity, right now they are low but on Saturday’s showing things can only get better.

Swansea – Big win at the right time

Brendan Rodgers’ hailed his side after a terrific performance ensured they picked up their third win on the road this season and ease any concerns they might have over being dragged into the relegation dog fight.

The performance highlighted the quality Rodgers’ has at his disposal right across the pitch. They created a number of chances with Scott Sinclair having a chance cleared off the line before Gylfi Sigurdsson’s wonderful opener. He then doubled the lead before Nathan Dyer’s somewhat harsh dismissal meant a change of plan was required. 

Nathan Dyer 
Stalwart Alan Tate was called upon to tighten up defence in preparation for the Wigan onslaught that never materialised in the final part of the game. At the back the pairing of Ashley Williams and Steven Caulker were strong and on either flank Neil Taylor and Angel Rangel offered great support going forward and held firm when they were down to ten men 

What has impressed me the most about Swansea this season is how organised they are defensively. Despite going down to ten men they never looked under pressure and you got a feeling that they would big up their third victory on the road this season.

With eleven games to go they find themselves comfortably eleven points clear of the dog fight and Rodgers' will ensure his side pick up the remaining seven points they need to hit the magic forty points mark. 

They will now look forward to the visit of league leaders Manchester City to South Wales next weekend. If they continue with their impressive form they will grace the top flight for a second consecutive season something that will delight their fans and neutrals alike.  

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