Neil Taylor: Swansea City have mimicked Barcelona's philosophy

The Wales full-back has praised his side's style of play and revealed that he could have played international football for India had things panned out differently for him
EXCLUSIVE
By Ben Proctor

Swansea City defender Neil Taylor has lauded the style of play that has been imposed on the Premier League club over the past few years, also praising the impact of manager Brendan Rodgers.

The Swans have received much praise in the last two years for playing possession football and have even drawn comparisons with Spanish and European champions Barcelona, as well with Arsenal.

Taylor has admitted that the comparisons with Pep Guardiola’s side are no coincidence, claiming that the club is run in a similar way, even going as far to say the Welsh team have “mimicked” Barca.

Taylor said: "At Swansea the whole club is set up in the same way as Barcelona. We have basically mimicked their way of doing things. The last three managers have had the same idea of how the game should be played and it is working.

"Brendan has got everything you need to be a top, top manager. He has had praised heaped on him by Jose Mourinho, which is an indicator of his potential.

"He has got us full of confidence and playing well which is crucial to picking up points to climb the league.

"Swansea can become a fixture in the top division with the same dedication and hard work that has got us this far.

"We feel the Barca way is the right way. I love watching them play, they'll win the Champions League again this season, I'm sure of it.

"One of Barca's biggest strengths is their composure. If they do let a goal in or even two they just keep playing the same way, they have the confidence they will overcome regardless of any setbacks.

"That is something which is difficult to achieve but not impossible. We have the same attitude at Swansea.

"This season we have had a great start in the Premier League but there is a way to go yet. A top-half finish is not beyond us and would represent a wonderful first year.

"But it is the most competitive league in the world and we need to keep building.”

"We feel the Barca way is the right way. I love watching them play, they'll win the Champions League again this season, I'm sure of it"

Taylor went on to discuss his new manager at international level, with Chris Coleman being the man now at the helm following the tragic death of Gary Speed, a man he valued working for.

However, Taylor is just interested on playing for his country, regardless of the manager, but he did admit Coleman was a good selection due to his passion for Wales.

He continued: "Every manager is different and I prospered and enjoyed playing for Gary. I have never worked with Chris Coleman before so it will be a bit of a blank canvas.

"He has taken the job in difficult circumstances - but every team needs a manager.

"Chris did a great job at Fulham and is a passionate and talented young manager who loves his country.

"I want to keep playing well and keep picking up caps, we have a great group of talented young players and it is a very exciting time for Welsh football.

"I decided to play for Wales as it is the country of my birth - it was a no-brainer for me. But I could have played for India if things had turned out differently.”

The Swansea left-back has strong Indian heritage with much of his family from the Asian country, and he is adamant that it would be a great place to host a World Cup, also adding that football has undergone a big surge there recently.

The former Manchester City trainee went on to cite Qatar’s staging of the 2022 World Cup as his reasoning for India hosting the tournament, claiming they would not do any worse a job.

"My mother comes from Calcutta and I have close family both there and in Delhi,” he added.

“I have visited my aunts, uncles and cousin several times when growing up and love the country.

"Since I turned professional as a footballer at 16 I haven't been able to visit India but it is a place I will return whenever I get the chance.

"I think India would be a great place to stage the football World Cup. Football is a growing sport there, the Indian public is so passionate about sport, that I think it would be an absolute winner.

"It would bring football in India along in leaps and bounds; a bit like the 1994 World Cup has done for the USA.

"There is no reason why there shouldn't be a World Cup in India - if Qatar can stage it so can India.

"Football in India is becoming much more developed and the vivid colours and culture of the country would make for a really distinctive event.

"It is a country with the infrastructure to support a World Cup as it has proven with cricket.

"Football in India is growing and improving and I think that is proved by the Venky family buying Blackburn Rovers.

"The Premier League in England is the toughest and best league in the world, I think that is why it is attracting owners from around the globe.

"So many of the clubs are now owned by people from other countries it really is a global brand."

Taylor also spoke of his leisure time and having an India background, adding: "I do a lot of cooking at home. I'm pretty good with pasta dishes. But I'd really like to travel the world when my career is over. It is something I haven't had the chance to do but it is on the list.

"A lot of people my age can take a year out to go and visit places like India, China and the Americas. I can't do that at the moment, it would be harmful to my career to vanish for a year at this stage, but I want to do it."

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