Swansea 3 Newcastle 0: Three talking points
Swansea 3 Newcastle 0: Three talking points as Michael Laudrup's men seal an easy win
Patience is a virtue Swansea know so well
They say possession is nine tenths of law, so when a team has 66 per cent of it you would expect them to win. Swansea almost bored Newcastle into submission with their passing football before waiting for the right time to strike. Michael Laudrup has got his charges so well-disciplined in the art of ball retention and although this can work against them sometimes as teams have so long to get themselves organised it paid off on Wednesday. They took the lead in slightly fortuitous circumstances after Tim Krul had flapped at a cross and falling behind is generally a bad move at the Liberty Stadium. Swansea were able to keep the ball with no need to for urgency whatsoever and the more Newcastle had to chase the game, the more they became exposed to a change in tempo. The Swans executed this to perfection as they broke while Loic Remy was still appealing for a penalty. Jonjo Shelvey burst untracked from midfield to eventually force the own goal from Mathieu Debuchy. The game was wrapped up from that point and try as they might, Newcastle could not find a way through.
Newcastle get it wrong on the night but no need to panic
When you come to Swansea you have to start on the front foot. Alan Pardew however decided to instruct his side to soak up the pressure and hit the opposition on the counter-attack. Laudrup’s team are such a compact unit that even if you do win the ball off them in midfield they still have numbers back and this frustrated the Magpies, Loic Remy in particular. Still, there are positives to take from the game. Despite not creating any clear-cut chances Newcastle managed more shots than their opponents and were unlucky to lose by this margin. The result brought to an end a four-match winning streak and despite the loss they are still in seventh, four points off the Champions League places. That is an extremely unlikely target but this is a squad that contains the same spine as the side that did so well in 2011/12 and in Remy they have a striker capable of getting 20 goals a season. There is absolutely no reason why they should not be aiming to finish in the top six.
Shelvey’s stock continues to rise
What a difference first team football has made to Jonjo Shelvey. Perhaps he should be a lesson to all teenage talents who decide to skip the development stage of their careers and jump straight into a squad like Liverpool. Shelvey was hailed as one of the country’s hottest prospects when he was signed from Charlton but with few first-team opportunities and the pressure of playing at such a big side, he never flourished. With how many other bright English youngsters has that been the case? Now at Swansea, he is in a team that not only suits his style of play but more important where he can play regularly. With every passing week he looks a better and more confident player. Not only do his energy levels and tenacity allow him to win the possession back quickly but his ability to play pinpoint 50-yard passes gives Swansea a completely different dimension. To add to that, he has now scored two stunning goals in his last three Premier League games. The World Cup in Brazil may come too soon for him but with this level of improvement there is no reason why he cannot become an England international of the future.