Arsenal legend Smith full of praise for Monk and his Swans
19th September 2014
Former England striker Alan Smith has saluted Swansea City's start under Garry Monk, and hailed his "influential" signings.
The Swans take on Southampton on Saturday having picked up nine points from four games courtesy of three straight wins over Manchester United, Burnley and West Brom.
Last weekend's 4-2 defeat against Chelsea ended the Swans' perfect start, but Smith - who won two First Division titles along with the FA Cup, League Cup and Cup Winners' Cup for Arsenal during an eight-year spell with the Gunners - was full of praise for both Monk, named August's manager of the month, and his squad following their early results.
"It seems to have been a seamless transition for Garry," said Smith, who was recently at the Liberty to interview Monk for the Telegraph.
"I've been very impressed with the way he has dealt with taking over as manager.
"The club has a good track record of recruiting a manager - look at what (Roberto) Martinez, (Brendan) Rodgers and (Michael) Laudrup achieved.
"It was a big call to employ from within, but it looks already to be a shrewd move.
"They have got off to a flying start and they are playing with confidence. What I see when Swansea play is a well-balanced, very pacey team with plenty of Premier League experience.
"The way they knock the ball about is great to watch. They did go through a period of having possession of the ball for a long duration but not really doing too much with it.
"But, under Garry, I think they've worked their way back to passing the ball around quickly and using their pace out wide to inflict damage on the opposition.
"What Swansea have achieved since their promotion to the Premier League has been fantastic. They are just a very good side to watch as a fan of the game.
"They play positive, exciting football and to consistently play that style of football - without the biggest of budgets - and be successful is some achievement."
Smith also highlighted the impact of the Swans' summer recruits, adding: "The players Garry has brought in have made a great impact.
"Sigurdsson knows the club very well, of course, and he has got off to a fantastic start.
"Fabianski has really impressed. He had a long time at Arsenal as a number two keeper, but now he is looking more assured and confident.
"I think he is playing with a lot more authority now - he's shown that in the games he's played for Swansea.
"They've been very influential in Swansea's fine start.
"But he's also brought in (Federico) Fernandez, who was a World Cup runner-up with Argentina, along with (Bafe) Gomis, who is a French international, and (Jefferson) Montero, who has looked lively when he's come on.
"So they've certainly added quality to the squad, and, of course, keeping hold of (Wilfried) Bony was a big plus for Garry and the club."