Laudrup Raising The Level Will Be A Good Thing For Swansea

Despite all but guaranteeing Premier League safety and a trophy in the cabinet, Laudrup wants more form his players and raising the bar at the Liberty will only be a good thing for Swansea.
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Despite all but guaranteeing Premier League safety and a trophy in the cabinet, Laudrup wants more form his players and raising the bar at the Liberty will only be a good thing for Swansea.


With 40 points in the bag, silverware in the cabinet and a contract extension signed by the Great Dane Michael Laudrup, it's been a hectic and pulsating few weeks for Swansea City, culminating in Saturday's trip to West Bromwich Albion.

It's always a fear of any football fan that their team switches off after achieving their goals set out at the start of the season. Laudrup has altered his teams target now from the much fabled 40 points by demanding another 10 on top of that surpassing their total of last seasons' 47, and despite the defeat in the Midlands, the team showed that they still have the desire to answer their gaffers call.

On the back of his match winning exploits against Newcastle last weekend, Laudrup gave Luke Moore a place in the starting lineup for the Swans against his old club, this seeing Michu dropping back in to his preferred role just off the front man. A slight knock to miniature midfield general Leon Britton saw the South Korean David Beckham - Ki Sung Yueng - return to the middle of the park.

Swansea started brightly, Michu with two early half chances as he searched for his 20th goal of the season. Swansea moved the ball from back to front and side to side with ease and some pace, yet Michu again missed a good chance for his team to take the lead with another possible team goal of the season contender.

West Brom struggled to get in to the game. The on loan Romelu Lukaku looking dangerous though from the off, a striker of the ilk must be on the top of Laudrup's summer shopping list for their assault on Europe and next seasons league campaign.

It was that man Luke Moore scoring an audacious reverse flick headert o silence the Hawthorn's jeers breaking the deadlock to give the South Walians the lead just after the half hour mark.

The Swans conceded only three goals in their previous seven away games prior to the catastrophe that was the weakened 11 at Liverpool. A solid start has been key to Laudrup's success at Swansea City, not conceding in the first 10 minutes of any league game this season. Yet, it was towards the end of the first half that West Brom had some success.

Almost 40 minutes worth of continuous corners for West Brom fired up the home crowd, and it was Lukaku latching on to a Dorrans cross before diverting the pass past Vorm. Half time came with Swansea probably shading the first half, yet both sets of fans couldn't argue with it being all level at the break.


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West Brom started to utilise the confident Belgian strikers threat as the second half commenced, and Olsson often switched to a much more direct approach with long balls hit directly up to him.

The Baggies won a fortuitous penalty with Routledge adjudged to have brought down James Morrison. Only for Lukaku to be the latest Premier League player to be on the end of Vorm or as he's known 'The Penalty Killer' saving a rather weak effort from 12 yards.

It wasn't long after the penalty miss that the sustained pressure from the Baggies paid off with De Guzman putting in to his own goal from a corner after a header from Gareth McAuley was rebounded in to him from Angel Rangel's goal line clearance.

Swansea, for all their good work in the first half, looked ragged in the second, the duo of Ki and De Guzman lacking that ball retention and tenacity of the injured Britton. Steve Clarke brought Odemwinge on for Lukaku, the Nigerian receiving a surprise favourable reception after his transfer deadline day fiasco.

The main talking point came when Swansea substitute Roland Lamah had the ball in the home teams net only for the referee's assistant to wrongly rule it out for offside - as the ball rebounded to him off a West Brom defender and their goalkeeper. Laudrup was seething after the game but still not breaking his ice cool demeanour: "Football is about emotions and all that, you score goals and concede them, you are up and down in 90 minutes and you talk about decisions made by the referee, but it's a part of the game.

"What makes me frustrated is when you see our disallowed goal. We are not talking about a decision, we are talking about the rules of football.

"When the ball comes back not off one player, but two, it cannot be offside. It's like giving offside from a throw in. It's frustrating."

West Brom finally get the 'W' over the Swans for the first time in their last three attempts. The game was every bit a solid mid table clash by two sides knowing that they'll be playing in England's top flight for another season. Arsenal arrive at the Liberty next weekend and Laudrup will no doubt be using the injustice of this match in his pre-game team talk to fire up his players in the hope they can achieve the double over the Gunners.