TALKING TACTICS: Season Review
30th May 2015
Following the end of a successful season, football stats website WhoScored.com have taken the opportunity to review Swansea City's domestic campaign.
It was certainly one to remember for the South Wales side, who secured their highest points total (56) in England's top-tier, which was enough to end the Premier League season in eighth - the club's best finish since promotion to the top-flight of English football in 2011. Victories over Manchester United and Arsenal both home and away were perhaps the high points for Garry Monk's side and they have every right to be confident of further success next campaign.
Defeat at Crystal Palace on Sunday was not the way Swansea will have wanted to end the season, though it's worth noting that the loss in the capital is not a reflection of the campaign Monk's team enjoyed. The Swans kept an impressive 13 clean sheets this season, which only Chelsea (16), West Brom (15), Southampton and Manchester City (both 14) bettered. A key performer in Swansea's resolute defence was captain Ashley Williams.
The 30-year-old was the Swans' highest rated player according to WhoScored.com (7.23) as he played all but one of the club's league matches this term, missing only the defeat at Crystal Palace on Sunday. It was a consistent season for Williams, whose rating this campaign matched that of last term, with a 7.23 his joint-highest in the Premier League. Williams played in all 13 matches in which Swansea kept a clean sheet, forming a superb understanding with summer arrivals Federico Fernández and Lukasz Fabianski.
While he departed the club in January, Wilfried Bony deserves ample credit for his performances prior to his move to Manchester City. The Ivorian was Swansea's second highest rated player (7.22), while his 9 league goals was the most of all players at the club this season. With the money brought in by his sale, Monk invested wisely during the winter transfer window, with the capture of Jack Cork one of the best acquisitions in January.
The Englishman injected energy and tenacity into the Swansea midfield, which complimented Jonjo Shelvey and Ki Sung-Yueng. Cork ended the season with a WhoScored.com rating of 7.18, the joint-third best of all players used by Monk this term, with that figure level with Gylfi Sigurdsson.
The Iceland international returned to the Liberty Stadium last summer after a spell at Tottenham Hotspur and made an immediate impact, netting the winning goal at Manchester United on the opening day of the season. Sigurdsson followed that up with a stunning free-kick in the 2-1 home win over Arsenal back in November.
Seven goals was Sigurdsson's best return in a Premier League season since announcing himself in England back in the 2011/12 season. Meanwhile, only Cesc Fàbregas (18) and Santi Cazorla (11) registered more assists in England's top tier this term than Sigurdsson (10). 'Key passes' is one of the 25-year-old's statistically calculated WhoScored.com strengths and he exhibited this quality of his game on more than the odd occasion in his best-rated season since the 2011/12 campaign.
Sigurdsson was one of the many Swansea players who impressed this season, which contributed to a memorable campaign for Monk's team. The 36-year-old now has a platform from which to build on as he aims to lead Swansea back to Europe and make the upcoming season the best in their 103-year history.
*WhoScored.com is a unique website and one of the fastest growing in the sports industry, specialising in the in-depth analysis of detailed football data. Provided with unique stats, they compile and create comprehensive analysis on the major European divisions, including live match stats and player ratings. You can follow @WhoScored and their editorial assistant Ben McAleer on Twitter.