The next few weeks are arguably going to define Swansea and Bob Bradley. Should they not look like they are turning the corner and have a miserable holiday period then many will feel that not only will the inevitable will happen in May with Swansea being relegated but they Bob Bradley’s tenure may not even last that long.
Bradley knows that he can’t afford Swansea to be cast adrift any further as we go into the January transfer window. A positive set of holiday fixtures may well just give themselves half a chance of survival and also make them more attractive when attempting to sign players.
On the flip side should there be a negative run of results then they will almost be a lost cause going into the final four months of the season and if you were a player looking to move to a new club then Swansea would probably be at the bottom of your list.
Last weekend saw them travel to Middlesbrough and come away empty handed after a miserable 3-0 defeat. A loss which once again highlights the defensive deficiencies that are in this Swansea side. Surely reinforcements to the backline have to be a priority next month.
Today they can attempt to help their own situation when they play host to West Ham. It’s quite obvious whoever runs the fixture computer isn’t a West Ham fan as they have the unenviable trip to make from East London to South Wales but they do so on a decent run of form.
That’s because they have picked up 5 points from their last 9 and it’s now given them a 7 point buffer between themselves and the drop zone as they currently sit 13th in the table with Slaven Bilic not so nervously looking over his shoulder as of late.
Those 7 points have come thanks to wins over Hull and Burnley but arguably the best result was the 2-2 draw away at Liverpool a fortnight ago. In a game where many would not even given them a chance they were more than a match for Jurgen Klopp’s side and came away from Merseyside with a hard earned point.
That run of results has changed the mood at The London Stadium. A mood that was bordering on depression after that 5-1 defeat to Arsenal three weeks ago. Slaven Bilic was given the vote of confidence after that game and in fairness it looks as if it has paid off.
If West Ham can bring in a few new faces of their own in the new year then they should have enough to steer them clear of the dreaded drop zone. The momentum is there they just need to make sure they hold onto it going into the New Year.
And I think they will be able to continue this positive run of results with victory over Swansea this afternoon. This is a Swansea side that has shipped 37 goals this season. That is an average of more than two per game and The Hammers will certainly fancy their chances.
I fancy their chances too and I can’t see anything other than a West Ham victory. One that is going to pile more misery on Swansea and Bob Bradley as they end the year with a whimper rather than a bang. Another Swans defeat and they can’t afford many more of these.