Alarm Bells Beginning to Ring at the Liberty

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At best, it was lacklustre.

alarmSwansea City’s home defeat to Stoke City last night, courtesy of an early Bojan Krkic penalty, was enough for Garry Monk to admit afterwards he was concerned at his side’s current form.

And concerned he should be, because of the six consecutive league and cup games Swansea have now played without winning – last night’s was arguably the most concerning.

Of course, some may point to referee Robert Madley’s bewildering decision to overlook Stoke keeper Jack Butland’s first half lunge on Andre Ayew, while had Jonjo Shelvey’s angled effort in the second half found the net and not the post – we may have had a grandstand finish.

But such arguments, although justified, should not deceive anyone – Monk’s men did not deserve even a share of the spoils.

The home side were sloppy in possession, toothless in attack, and lacked precision and accuracy with their passing.

All are failings that the Liberty faithful have been unfamiliar with since seeing the Swans reach the top flight.

The brutal truth is Monk’s team already looks a world away from the fluent outfit that went unbeaten in August, a month that culminated in a thrilling 2-1 home win over Manchester United.

Ashley Williams, Andre Ayew, Jefferson Montero, Shelvey, Bafetimbi Gomis – all players that earned rave reviews as the Swans went unbeaten in their first four Premier League games this season.

Perhaps to criticise Williams is harsh, his concession of that early penalty was a rare error in what has thus far been another superb individual campaign from the skipper.

Related Post: Why Ashley Williams is Swansea City’s Most Prized Asset

But the latter four, all who started last night, were worryingly ineffective.

However, current concerns extend further than just individuals. As a unit – the zip, pace and defensive solidarity that has thus far characterised Monk’s reign in South Wales all appear to be missing. Suddenly, the Swans appear vulnerable and uninspired.

And while the club, and Chairman Huw Jenkins in particular, has always excelled in keeping perspective and refusing to panic – we can no longer play the underdog card, palming off poor form with the line ‘remember where we’ve come from’.

The fact is we are now an established Premier League side capable of matching anyone in the top flight. Any drops in standards, need to be addressed.

No one has any doubt Garry Monk is the right man at the helm at Swansea City, and fans can be rest assured he will turn this current slump around.

But after that win over Manchester United in August, he proudly stated in his post match press conference that: “There is no limit on how far this group of players can go.”

Unless they can perform at their best consistently, and not in fits and bursts, I’m afraid there is.

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