Belfast Telegraph

James Lawton: Swansea boss Rodgers has to swallow his pride

If Swansea City's impressive young manager, Brendan Rodgers, felt obliged to complain about the relatively low critical acclaim received by his ball-playing team before their upset of the former masters of the genre, Arsenal, he may be thinking again.

The manager's Nuff Respect appeal provoked the kind of rhapsodising some accomplished football men haven't known after decades in the game. Swansea, in some extreme cases, were the new Barcelona.



What they are, of course, is a team with splendid aspirations to play a superior form of football, one with more than a fighting chance of surviving their first season in the Premier League and with the scalp of Arsenal, which just happens to be in some serious need of dandruff treatment.



That doesn't make them putative champions of anywhere much beyond the Swansea valley. This is no doubt something that the knowing Martin O'Neill was at pains to point out to his Sunderland players before their weekend ambush of Barça Mark2.



Ask most managers and they will tell you that a touch of the old siege mentality will beat an onslaught of hubris any old day. Their number, it is reasonable to suspect, may well shortly include Brendan Rodgers.

Belfast Telegraph

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