Vorm form the key as Swans prepare City siege
Sunday 11 March 2012
When Michel Vorm, the Swansea City goalkeeper, emerged from the dressing room at Manchester City's Etihad Stadium after conceding four times on his Premier League debut in mid-August, he quipped, "I hope it's not like this every week."
Fear not. Brendan Rodgers' well-oiled outfit did not turn into the cannon fodder many pundits had predicted at the start of the season. In fact, almost seven months later Swansea are within touching distance of retaining top-flight status for another year.
Central to the newly promoted Welsh side's incredible journey this term has been Vorm's form. Signed for a bargain £1.5million from FC Utrecht, the Dutch international has been one of Swansea's stand-out performers, earning the glowing praise of his manager, who believes the keeper is now worth over 13 times his original value.
Rodgers, whose men entertain Roberto Mancini's League leaders at the Liberty Stadium today, said: "Michel has been nothing short of marvellous for us. We got him for £1.5m which is an absolute snip now. But finding players is an exciting part of my job. We all know the £20m players. The challenge is, can you find the player for £500,000 like Scott Sinclair or Michel at £1.5m and turn them into £15m players?"
Despite the demoralising opening weekend 4-0 scoreline, Vorm shone with 11 superb saves. But that display was just a sign of things to come from the 28-year-old whose 10 clean sheets – the latest in last weekend's 2-0 win at Wigan – have kept the top-flight newcomers away from the relegation zone.
"His performance level has been terrific and he has been one of the best performers in the League this season," added Rodgers. "I have said to him, 'You can play for a big club which challenges for honours.' We were just fortunate that we identified someone and have taken away the flaws he had. People said he wasn't tall enough but he's6ft 1in and can jump higher than keepers who are 6ft 5ins. He makes saves and fits into our style of play. It's been a joy to work with him."
Vorm himself reckons Mancini's big-spenders will win their first League title since 1968 – even after a shock defeat in south Wales. "They have a great squad of 22, 23 top players," he said. "Even if they get injuries they can change players with world class quality. [Carlos] Tevez will be back in a couple of weeks so they have the best squad to become the Premier League champions. But we can win against anybody, especially at home. We have only lost to Manchester United and Norwich. We beat Arsenal, drew with Chelsea in the last seconds and we've played some really good matches.
"We have something to prove. We played Man City in the first match of the season and they killed us. It's something we want to make up for. We want to show people we can play against a team like Man City. It will be a tough one because I think Man City are the best team in the Premier League.
"We have nothing to lose and we'll have to play as we did against Arsenal, Spurs and Chelsea. It won't be easy for them."
Swansea City v Manchester City kicks-off today at 2pm
Latest in Sport
Phillip Hughes: #putoutyourbats tribute sees Twitter users pay their respects to Hughes including Graeme Swann and David Warner
Phil Hughes dead: List of players who have tragically died on the cricket pitch
Nani transfer: No future for winger at Sporting Lisbon as club cannot afford his wages when loan deal with Manchester United runs out
This letter from a reader explains why women can’t play football
Phillip Hughes death: UK company Masuri say Australian opener was wearing 'outdated helmet'
- 1 Jennifer Lawrence scores first UK top 40 single with Hunger Games track 'The Hanging Tree'
- 2 Shia LaBeouf claims he was raped during #IAMSORRY art installation performance
- 4 Scientists predict green energy revolution after incredible new graphene discoveries
Obama: The only people with the right to object to immigration are Native Americans
Ukip says babies born to immigrants in the UK should be classed as migrants – which would include Nigel Farage’s own children
The young are the new poor: Sharp increase in number of under-25s living in poverty, while over-65s are better off than ever
Ukip mocked after mistaking Westminster Cathedral – for a mosque
Tamir Rice: 12-year-old boy playing with fake gun dies after being shot by Ohio police
David Cameron sets out immigration reforms: We should distrust Ukip and their 'snake-oil of simple solutions'