By Graham Ruthven
When Brendan Rodgers left Swansea for Liverpool he took his football philosophy with him. He began implementing his trademark attractive, passing style of soccer upon arrival at Anfield.
However, what Rodgers left behind at the Liberty Stadium has not been wasted. His replacement has used it to develop a side and style of his own. Is Michael Laudrup’s Swansea even better than Rodgers’?
Although hyperbolic, Swansea was labeled the Barcelona of the Premier League last season. Stylistically there were similarities between the two teams. And the comparison could be drawn this season too.
Laudrup has taken Rodgers’ ideology and developed in much the same way Tito Vilanova has taken on Pep Guardiola’s philosophy at Barca. Both inherited a side of passing pedigree but have focused on maximizing attacking potency by favouring a more direct approach.
Laudrup has made three key personnel changes. With Joe Allen, Gylfi Sigurdsson and Scott Sinclair all leaving the club in the summer, Laudrup signed Ki Sung-Yeung, Pablo Hernandez and Michu to replace them. This shrewdness in the transfer market has been central to Swansea’s continued progression this season.
As a passing pivot in the centre of midfield it could be argued that Ki has been even more effective than his predecessor in that position, making on average three more passes than Allen per game.
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