Talking Football - Easy to see why City are feeling confident

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Playing with confidence appears to have become an issue which is constantly mentioned.

It’s developing into yet another cliche for managers and footballers to stick into any interview.

All they are basically saying is whether or not their team are performing well and getting the right results.

Of course, winning breeds a bit of confidence and it’s such an obvious thing to talk about.

It’s easy to refer to this – especially as a feeling which is impossible to prove to anyone else.

Similarly, you will often hear players and their bosses discussing ‘spirit’ which miraculously seems to be brilliant everywhere – even for sides fighting against relegation.

However, there are occasions where it looks a little clearer that teams are genuinely playing with confidence.

A perfect example, away from those towards the top of the table, must be Swansea City.

Promoted to the Barclays Premier League through the play-offs, they would have been expected to struggle to stay up this season. Far from it.

Three successive wins over Fulham, Manchester City and Wigan Athletic have all featured clean sheets and left the Welsh club in eighth place.

It’s a remarkable achievement, particularly when you consider they could go above Liverpool on goal-difference this weekend.

Highly-rated manager Brendan Rodgers – surely destined for bigger and better times ahead when the opportunity comes along – admits the Swans are in “dreamland”.

The style of play and philosophy has earned plenty of praise to the extent that it has almost become patronising.

It’s fair to say that Swansea are probably the closest to pass masters Barcelona in terms of how they play.

But perhaps that simply shows again how many others over here won’t, or can’t, perform ‘the right way’.

The overall lack of quality in English football – certainly in comparison to La Liga – is eventually starting to be more widely recognised.

There could be a full house of Spanish sides in the UEFA Champions League and Europa League finals this season.

Meanwhile, Chelsea are left to fly the flag here and not many people would back them to get beyond the semi-finals if they beat Benfica.

Whatever happens across Europe with the top clubs, you won’t find many managers who have done a better job than Rodgers.