TALKING TACTICS: Review of the season

31st May 2016

Following the culmination of the 2015-16 Premier League season, we have partnered up with football stats website to review the campaign.

The Swans ended their season on a positive note with a 1-1 home draw with Manchester City on the final day of the campaign, meaning they signed off unbeaten in the last three matches - a commendable way to end the term.
A five-game unbeaten run at the Liberty Stadium was a fine way to finish the season, as was a 4-1 thumping of West Ham in the penultimate fixture of the season at the Boleyn Ground.
Such form provides a foundation for further success, with Francesco Guidolin taking the team forward having penned a new two-year deal earlier this month.

The Italian impressed following his appointment, with Swansea sitting just two points above the relegation zone when he took charge.
However, from the date his arrival in south Wales was confirmed - January 18 - the Swans took 28 points from 17 games, which was the sixth best return in the Premier League in that period.
The experienced Italian steadied the ship and now has the chance to progress as Swansea boss on the back of a successful second half to the season. He was, of course, aided by captain Ashley Williams, with the Welshman the bedrock of the club at the heart of the defence.
Williams ended the season as the club's highest-rated player, with a rating of 7.19, having won more man of the match awards (5) than any other team-mate.

Swansea may have performed admirably in his absence - Williams was rested for the final two games of the campaign having played every minute of the season prior to meetings with West Ham and Manchester City - but that Guidolin can call on a defender of the Wales international's expertise is a boost.
The club will now look to push on and build for the coming campaign, but Guidolin can look to his captain for experience once more next term.
At the other end of the pitch, it was a hugely profitable debut campaign for forward Andre Ayew. The Ghanaian arrived at the Liberty Stadium on a free last summer from Marseille and ended the season as Swansea's top scorer with 12 league goals to his name.
Of course, the goalscoring burden isn't placed firmly on Ayew's shoulders, with Gylfi Sigurdsson rediscovering his best from under Guidolin.

Of the 11 goals the Iceland international scored, seven came following the Italian's appointment. Sigurdsson looked to have a new lease of life under Guidolin, with his rating improving from 6.64 to 7.29 on the back of the 60-year-old's arrival.
With the duo capable of hitting the back of net, be it from inside the box or from distance, Ayew and Sigurdsson have key roles to play in the future for Swansea. Both players have license to attack the opposition at a whim, but require defensive personnel behind them to express their offensive qualities.
In Jack Cork, they have just that. The tough-tackling midfielder has gained a rating of 7.28 under Guidolin and has since established himself as a key first-team player.

Indeed, Cork averaged more tackles per game (2.2) than any Swansea player this season to help form the necessary spine of the side.
With the squad in place, there is a springboard for further success under Guidolin.
Swansea started 2016 brightly and with Guidolin at the helm they have the ideal manager and playing staff to build on what was a successful second half to the season.

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