The Canadian Press - ONLINE EDITION
A 4th straight mid-table finish will do just fine for Swansea in Premier League
SWANSEA, Wales - Swansea has ended its three seasons in the Premier League in 11th, ninth and 12th place and another mid-table finish will do just nicely for the Welsh club this campaign.
After so many years languishing in the lower leagues, just being in the Premier League is beyond the wildest dreams of many Swansea fans.
Still, the team is there on merit and, under newly appointed coach Garry Monk, will continue to play the expansive, free-flowing passing game adopted by predecessors Roberto Martinez, Brendan Rodgers and Michael Laudrup.
The 35-year-old Monk was a surprise choice to replace Laudrup in February, initially on a part-time basis and then permanently after securing the team's Premier League status in May.
"I thought it would come further down the line, but now it's my time to take this chance," said Monk, who played 220 times for Swansea in his 10-year spell at the club.
"I am under no illusions how hard it will be and that I will be judged every single day, but I am willing to do that. It doesn't faze me."
Three of Swansea's best players in recent years, left back Ben Davies, goalkeeper Michel Vorm and Spanish forward Michu, have left the Liberty Stadium in the off-season but Monk appears to have recruited well.
He has signed goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski from Arsenal, midfielder Gylfi Sigurdsson from Tottenham and striker Bafetimbi Gomis from French side Lyon. Ecuador winger Jefferson Montero has also joined after playing in the World Cup.
Swansea starts a Premier League season against Manchester United for the second straight year and will hope for a better result than 12 months ago, when United won 4-1 in one of the few good performances in David Moyes' miserable reign.
Things get easier for the Swans after that, with successive home games against Burnley and West Bromwich Albion.
In: Jefferson Montero (Monarcas Morelia), Marvin Emnes (Middlesbrough), Gylfi Sigurdsson (Tottenham), Lukasz Fabianski (Arsenal), Bafetimbi Gomis (Lyon).
Out: Ben Davies (Tottenham), Michel Vorm (Tottenham), Alejandro Pozuelo (Rayo Vallecano), Michu (Napoli on loan), David Ngog (released).
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