For a side yet to demonstrate the ability to convert their gorgeous passing play into goalscoring opportunities, let alone goals, newly promoted Swansea City are earning far too many comparisons with Barcelona. But the one man living up to the billing is Michel Vorm, the Dutch No 2 goalkeeper signed for £1.5m from Utrecht two weeks ago, whose second-half penalty save from Ben Watson on Saturday followed 11 saves at Manchester City last Monday.
"English clubs maybe feel he was a bit too small, but for us he is perfect. He is very much like [Victor] Valdes, the Barcelona goalkeeper: very agile, very quick, great with his feet, knows how to control the game for us," said Swansea's manager, Brendan Rodgers. "People will look at Michel, for sure, and say, 'He's not 6ft 4'. But he will make saves that a 6ft 4 goalkeeper will not make, because he's so fast."
Vorm's save revealed strong arms. The 6ft keeper has been a penalty specialist in the Netherlands, second only to PSV's Przemyslaw Tyton. "When Swansea came to me and I heard their plans, I spoke to lots of guys and they said that they play similar to Holland," the 27-year-old said.
The Wigan manager, Roberto Martinez, rejected the idea that Swansea need defensive rigour to go with that fine passing. "I'm sure Barcelona will argue with that [suggestion]. All players have got their own style and if you are capable of scoring more goals than the ones you concede, [you're fine]."
Early days, but Swansea have really not looked capable of that.
Substitutes: Swansea Dobbie (Routledge, 74), Allen (Britton, 75), Lita (Graham 6, 83). Wigan Stam (Alcaraz, 37), McArthur (McCarthy, 64), Rodallega (Di Santo, 70).
Booked: Swansea None.
Wigan McCarthy, Moses, Gomez.
Man of the match Routledge.
Referee P Dowd (Staffordshire).
Attendance 19,028.Reuse content