1) An away win
Swansea are the only team in the Premier League still looking for an away win this season, and even single points have been difficult to come by. That trend will have to change for the Swans to stay confident of avoiding the drop. Troubles away from home aren't anything new to the Swans, however; many felt last season's all-black away uniform cursed the team as the Swans endured a Jekyll and Hyde-esque split personality. This seasons orange kit might be a change of pace sartorially, but so far that's all that's changed. Of course, the Swans incredible home record has kept the team afloat, so the panic hasn't set in yet. It's safe to say Brendan will be looking for points away from home in the new year, because, assuming the team can maintain that awesome home form, those points will be the key to staying up.
2) Michel Vorm to sign a 10 year extension
Michel Vorm has been the signing of the season, not just for Swansea, but across the whole Premier League. With all due respect to the rest of the team, there is little doubt the Swans owe a big part of their midtable safety to the Dutchman, who has been nothing short of a revelation. The threat of a big team making a sizeable offer for Vorm's services in the near future are a cause for concern, and the better he plays, the sooner that scenario is likely to come knocking, cash in hand. Nothing would give the team more security than getting Vorm locked down long term; if the adage about a good goalkeeper being worth 10-15 points is true, then Vorm might just be worth 20.
3) Darren Pratley
There is talk that Pratley hasn't settled in Bolton; meanwhile Swansea are crying out for an athletic all-action midfielder in the Pratley mold. Perhaps Pratley will come back in the January window, but if not Pratley, then someone else with similar skills. Brendan Rodgers has typically been setting out his midfield in one of two ways this season; three deep against the stronger teams, and two deep with one in the hole against others. When playing three deep, Swansea's wingers and lone striker begin to starve for service. With the extra man in the hole, the team lacks numbers and physicality deeper in the field. It's an imperfect balance that could be addressed with a Pratley type player; a player with the engine to work both roles at once.
4) Better team fitness
On the subject of physicality, the Swans got a rude awakening at the start of their Premier League campaign, looking leggy and falling off the pace noticeably after the first 60 mins or so of many of the first matches. Late goals conceded in injury time to Manchester City and Chelsea won't help the teams goal difference, which might become important at the end of the season, and the less said about the meltdown versus Wolves the better. The team has been catching up bit by bit. Against Liverpool, the fatigue didn't noticeably kick in until the 75th or 80th minute. Whilst it is encouraging that things are improving in this area, it's something the team need to keep working on. After all, technical ability might be god given, but world class physical fitness is attainable by any athlete, and should be mandatory for anyone playing at this high a level.
5) Some goals
Swansea's leading scorer last season, Scott Sinclair, has been largely shut down by Premier League defences this season. Or that's how it might seem. In truth, Sinclair has been finding enough space to lead the team in shots taken; his accuracy has left something to be desired, but that is mostly a by-product of his tendency to aim for the corners and away from the keeper, which on the surface at least seems like a good idea. Danny Graham has been finding the net, and is starting to justify the team-record £3.5 million outlay on him. Leroy Lita and lately Luke Moore have each looked dangerous and likely to make something happen. If the Swans could fuse their build up play to a fast gear switch in the attacking third with more service and support from midfield, the goals will come. The lack of goals is mostly a side effect of the missing midfield piece I've already talked about above. Finding that player will unlock Swansea's goalscoring potential, which exists in an under-rated abundance.
6) A straight-forward transfer
The Rory Donnelly saga is unfolding as I type. Before that, there was the Darnel Situ situation. And the Rafik Halliche debacle. Whilst it wouldn't be fair to say Brendan Rodgers player signings and transfers always go wrong (quite the opposite - Sinclair, Graham, Lita, Routledge, Moore, Moras and Vorm are proof to the contrary), it does sometimes seem like the Swans run into problems a little more often than most. Rodgers has proven himself to be an astute scout, his signings to date almost all successful to some extent or another, so it is easy to imagine his frustration when something does goes wrong, usually involving agents or paperwork or both. It can't be any fun identifying your man only to have matters taken out of your hands by other powers. Working within a small transfer budget and a tight wage structure narrows the field for potential signings considerably; if Rodgers does find the missing pieces in January, here's hoping he can sign his targets without any more annoyances, obstacles and obstructions.
More than anything, here's to a happy new year for the Swans.