Peter Crouch produced a timely nudge in the ribs for Roy Hodgson to secure Stoke their first Premier League victory in 12 games.
Crouch scored both goals to hammer out a reminder to the England manager that he could still have an international future – despite being cast into the wilderness after refusing to go on the standby list for Euro 2012.
The striker, who now has four goals in four games, was a nightmare for Swansea’s defence all afternoon as the visitors’ mini-slump extended to a fourth league game without a win.
Stoke manager Tony Pulis said: “Peter can’t do any more than score goals – I just wish he was a Welshman.
“Roy is an experienced manager and doesn’t need me telling him who to pick, but Peter was unplayable today.”
Backed by a ferocious wind, Stoke bombarded their opponents in the first half and took the lead with ruthless efficiency when Glenn Whelan’s corner eluded the visiting defence to present an unmarked Crouch with the simplest of headers from four yards out. Swansea were always susceptible at the back and Stoke increased their lead nine minutes before half-time when Crouch pounced from close range after Michel Vorm saved his first effort.
He could have claimed a hat-trick 12 minutes from time but headed Matthew Etherington’s cross off the top of the crossbar. He is not going to give up on England without a fight.
For Swansea and Michael Laudrup, this was a chastening experience. Laudrup said: “The figures never lie, three games, no wins, no goals. Everyone is learning, we must remember we have half a new team.”