Tag: Swansea City

The 200% Premier League Pre-Season: Swansea City

It has been, by any stretch of the imagination, an extraordinary last ten years for Swansea City. A new home, the end of a spell of financial misery which threatened the very existence of the club, and a magnificent rise to the Premier League which didn’t end upon the club’s arrival in the division. Over the last couple of years this club has become a symbol for a different way of doing things. Twenty per cent owned by its supporters trust, ensuring that the club’s financial position can never be seriously threatened again, making an inspired and innovative choice in bringing in Michael Laudrup as manager upon the departure of Brendan Rodgers to Liverpool, the ascent has continued with a solid, mid-table finish in the Premier League at the end of last season and, even more significantly than even this, winning the Football League Cup with a win against Bradford City at Wembley earlier this year. With new achievements, however, come greater challenges. The major significance of winning the League Cup – setting aside for one minute the simple pleasure of winning a major English trophy for the first time in the club’s history and so on – is the return of European football to Swansea for the first time since 1992. The Swans have already brushed aside the Swedish club Malmo in their first competitive match of the...

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The 2012 Football League Cup Final Marks A New High For Swansea City

This afternoon’s Football League Cup Final proved to be a game too far for Bradford City. This was a match that proved to be as one-sided as we might have expected their epic wins against Wigan Athletic, Arsenal or Aston Villa to be, but the Yorkshire club’s supporters can return home this evening proud of the way that they and their team carried themselves today. Amid the many eulogies that will be offered for their efforts this afternoon, however, one aspect of this match might well be relatively under-represented, and that is just how polished Swansea City’s performance was. This afternoon, the Wembley crowd witnessed a display of consummate professionalism from the Premier League club which demonstrated – as if we haven’t seen enough of that in the Premier League over the last couple of years or so – the extent to which Swansea City Football Club has transformed itself over the last decade or so. For all of the talk of Bradford City’s achievement in reaching this stage of the competition, though, we should probably pause this evening to consider just how far Swansea City have come over the last few years or so. This is a club which has consistently made great decisions in every aspect of how it is managed in recent years. At any stage over the last three or four years or so, the...

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Hazard Vs The Ball Boy Shouldn’t Have Been Last Night’s Main Talking Point

With so many people standing on either side of it screaming at each other, there is no room for sitting on the fence in modern football. So it is that we have to take sides over the tiny incident that will,by the time you read this, have swamped the football media to the exclusion of anything else. So, here’s a viewpoint on the matter, for what it’s worth. The ball boy involved in the incident during last night’s match was acting like a little scrote, and there is something about ball boys seeking to deliberately time waste towards the end of a match that is a little galling. But here’s the thing about teenage boys: they frequently act like little scrotes. It’s kind of what they do, up to a point. Eden Hazard, on the other hand is a fully grown adult. A young adult (only five years older than his momentary nemesis last night), but an adult nevertheless. Moreover, he is one of the most successful employees in a high profile business that pays its star performers lavishly for their abilities. He, for better or for worse, has little excuse for allowing himself to get into the position in which he found himself at the Liberty Stadium last night. It was a rush of blood to the head, and it has been reported that apologies have been offered...

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Match Of The Past: Swansea City

Our summer historical tour of twenty clubs of the Premier League turns to Swansea City. Thirty-one years ago, Swansea were preparing for a season in the First Division, and the majority of our matches come from that golden period from the early 1980s. First up is a match from 1980 at Ninian Park against Cardiff City, and the second match is a home league match at the Vetch Field from the 1981/82 season. Next up are three matches from that First Division, against Leeds United, Liverpool and West Bromwich Albion. We then have a European Cup Winners Cup match from 1981 against Lokomotiv Leipzig and, finally, highlights from their Championship play-off final against Reading last year. You can follow Twohundredpercent on Twitter by clicking...

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Swansea & Norwich: Cities Counting The Hidden Costs Of Success

This weeks news concerning the apparent departures of Brendan Rodgers and Paul Lambert to Liverpool and Aston Villa respectively means that the warm glow of satisfaction hanging over The Liberty Stadium and Carrow Road following a job well done last season seems unlikely to last for much longer. Swansea City and Norwich City were treated with derision by many upon their arrival into the Premier League a year ago, but the two clubs confounded expectations to complete their first seasons in their new home with so much as the concept of relegation crossing their minds. Indeed, the last day of the season saw, with hindsight, two results that would throw a light on the inner workings of the managerial merry-go-round with Swansea beating Liverpool and Norwich beating Villa. The costs of such success, however, cam be high. The significant achievements of Rodgers & Lambert last season drew the attention of two clubs with larger fan-bases and greater resources. This week, those who had romanticised these two clubs may have died a little on the inside as the occasionally intangible considerations that football frequently throws those lucky enough to be in its employ persuaded these two to jettison the work that they had put in at the modestly run clubs that they have been calling home of late. It is, arguably, possible to criticise either of these appointments for having...

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