Today's media round-up
22nd April 2013
There's plenty of reaction to Saturday's home draw with Southampton in today's media round-up.
While Michael Laudrup and Leon Britton reflect on the stalemate, questions are also asked as to why Michu and Ben Davies were not among the PFA nominations while the Daily Mail reports on a potential transfer target heading to the Liberty.
South Wales Evening Post
No lack of desire - but no victory
Swansea City's season may be meandering to an end, but Michel Vorm and Angel Rangel were not discussing possible summer holidays.
Saturday's goalless draw with Southampton was in its final throes when a ball into the box was not immediately dealt with.
Ashley Williams eventually cleared, but Vorm felt the job should have been done earlier, apparently by Rangel.
Vorm said as much to his team-mate, and Rangel did not take the criticism lying down.
There was a prolonged slanging match between the duo which only ended when they eventually decided to focus on defending the corner which resulted from Williams's clearance.
This campaign may lack the springtime drama of so many others down the years at Swansea, but here was concrete evidence that the players still care.
"I played for so many years, and I know in football you cannot stand and say, 'Excuse me, can we have a chat about that ball you didn't clear?'," Michael Laudrup said. "When your pulse is high you say things, but that is no problem.
"It just shows you that the players want to do better - they want to stay where we are in the table.
"We have been in the top ten for so long and we want to stay there, and once again I have no complaints with the attitude of the players.
"We could and should have done better with the final pass around the 18-yard box, but the attitude has been good in every game since the cup final."
Lambert bemoans Michu PFA shortlist omission
Rickie Lambert has blasted fellow professionals for failing to name Swansea City goal sensation Michu on the PFA shortlist, labelling the snub as shocking.
Lambert reckons Michu's 21-goals for League Cup-winning Swansea should have seen him named as a candidate for player of the year.
And Lambert reckons it could just be because the 26-year-old plays for the Swans rather than one of the traditional big clubs, claiming: "Before the start of this season I wouldn't have believed that but I'm starting to see it more and more.
"I'm not disappointed for myself; I am just happy to be scoring in the Premier League. I will try and keep doing that to help the team push up the league.
"But it is shocking really if someone like Michu can't get in with the season he has had. I don't know what it is but it is shocking that he is not in it."
Michu was not alone in missing out with Ben Davies was considered unfortunate not to be in the running for Young Player of the Year, former Wales defender Kevin Ratcliffe questioning the decision on Saturday.
But while Leon Britton reckons it would have been fitting for the two to have been honoured for their respective breakthrough seasons in the Premier, he insisted the snub shouldn't take anything away from their impact at the Liberty this term.
Midfielder Britton said: "The rest of the lads were a little bit surprised they weren't on there.
"The players who are up for it are top players at top clubs, but it would have been nice to see a couple of our lads recognised for what they've done, Michu especially because he's been fantastic and you wonder where we've been without him.
"And Ben was unknown at the start of the season and now he's playing international football and going from strength to strength every week.
"I don't think either of them are personally disappointed but for me it would have been nice to see them recognised.
"At the same time you do realise the players they are up against and it shouldn't take anything away from the seasons they've had for us."
Davies has as much right as Michu to be aggrieved over Player of the Year omission
Much debate last week about why Swansea's striker Michu never got included on the shortlist for the PFA's Player of the Year award.
There were accusations from John Hartson among others of bias against smaller clubs, and demands to know why the achievements of the Carling Cup winners seemed not to have been recognised.
Surely a bigger mystery was that Swans' Ben Davies never got a look in on the Young Player list.
Still aged 17 in September when Michael Laudrup chucked him in to the team following Neil Taylor's injury, he'd barely played reserve football.
But he has not missed a League game all season and established himself as first choice for Wales at the same time. He'll end up making more than double the number of appearances as Arsenal's Jack Wilshire - who is on the PFA short list.
South Wales Evening Post
Britton: "We're frustrated and we want to put things right again"
After becoming a father to twin boys a fortnight ago, it will not be Swansea City's end-of-season slump which will be keeping Leon Britton awake at night.
The midfielder returned to the side for their 0-0 stalemate with Southampton on Saturday, two weeks after missing the 2-2 draw at Norwich to be with his wife for the birth of their children.
Swansea's impasse against the Saints, predictably last on Match of the Day, may have been the least significant of the weekend's Premier League matches , but it will have raised concerns about the hosts' faltering finish to what has been a remarkable campaign.
Michael Laudrup's men are now winless in their last five games, the joint-longest period without a league victory since their return to the top flight in 2011.
They are still ninth in the table but, with matches against Chelsea, Manchester City and Manchester United to come, Swansea's hopes of ending the season in the top half of the table are in the balance.
It would be a shame for Laudrup and his players if they were to slip into the bottom half at this late stage - they have not been outside the top ten since Christmas - and Britton is eager for the team not to undo their previous good work.
"I hope we can stay in the top ten because we've been in there for such a long spell," he said.
"We've obviously got some tough games, but we've shown we can play well and don't have to fear these teams .
"I'm sure we can pick the points up to finish in the top half, which was our target. We need to pick up the wins to stay there, though."
Neither Swansea nor Southampton mustered many scoring opportunities on Saturday, though the draw had a contrasting importance for the two sides.
Whereas Swansea's winless streak stretched to five games, Mauricio Pochettino's team extended their unbeaten run to six as they took another step towards guaranteeing their top-flight survival.
"The first 25 minutes were good and we looked good going forward, but after that we lacked the final ball when we got in the final third and couldn't create the chances," said Britton.
"There weren't chances for either side so it probably wasn't the best game for the neutral.
"We didn't really trouble the keeper when we were on top and had possession and in good areas. At the same time, they didn't create much."
Swansea will now be looking to rouse themselves for the final five games of the season, hopeful that an unforgettable campaign will not end on a dud note.
They have already secured the club's first ever major trophy, the Capital One Cup, but have won only one game since then, against Newcastle on March 2.
Britton is not sure of the reasons for the recent wobble, but he has stressed the Swans are eager to arrest their decline.
"We've had good games, we've not been terrible, but when we've had bad spells we've conceded," he said. "It's not a case of us being drained after the cup or not getting up for games, more a case of going through a sticky patch where we've not played as well as we can and we're not getting points on the board as we were before.
"We're frustrated and want to put it right. It's not about being mentally tired, we're just not clicking at moment."
Swans set to beat West Brom to sign Betis star Canas
Swansea look to have won the race to sign midfielder Jose Canas from Real Betis ahead of West Bromwich Albion on a free transfer.
The 25-year-old has been tracked by Michael Laudrup since last season and it appeared Swansea had sealed a £1.5m deal in January, but it fell through.
This gave Albion hope of luring the Basque to the Midlands. However, Laudrup won the day.