Tag: Swansea City

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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Stick Or Twist? A Dilemma For Some Over The Welsh Cup

One of the quieter success stories of the last twenty years of British football has been the establishment of the Welsh Premier League. The foundation of this league, however, was far from harmonious with eight clubs which felt they were being corralled into leaving the English non-league pyramid ending up in a bitter dispute with the Football Association of Wales. Of those eight clubs – who were dubbed the “Irate Eight” by the press – five have since joined the league while two – Newport County and Colwyn Bay – remain in the English pyramid and one – Merthyr Tydfil – has subsequently folded without having joined the league and its successor club, Merthyr Town, opted also to stay within the English system. In spite of these difficulties, the Welsh Premier League is still with us with crowds at a reasonably healthy level and media coverage – thanks in no small part to S4C’s excellent programme Sgorio – has helped to keep the league firmly in the public eye. Still, though, there seems to be no significant pressure on the biggest of the country’s clubs to leave the English system and join up. At the end of last season, the potential benefits of staying within the English pyramid were shown to their fullest possible extent when Swansea City won promotion to the English Premier League at the end of...

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Michael Dye: The Death Of A Football Supporter And Tabloid Values

There will be a sombre mood in the air at The Cardiff City Stadium this afternoon, as the team takes to the field for its home league match against Doncaster Rovers. The death of Cardiff City supporter Michael Dye shortly before the start of Tuesday night’s European Championship qualifier between England and Wales cast am obvious pall over the subsequent discussion of that match and several articles written in the press about Mr Dye since then have reeked of a sadly all too familiar insensitivity on the part of a section of the British press. This behaviour has led to the The Sun being banned from attending this afternoon’s match at The Cardiff City Stadium – the other two newspapers concerned, The Daily Mail and The Daily Star, are understood not to have been attending anyway – and to a flurry of complaints to the Press Complaints Commission from supporters of both Cardiff City and Swansea City. In the immediate aftermath of Mr Dye’s death, facts on what had actually happened were hard to come by and a hastily set up Facebook tribute descended fairly rapidly into a series of small arguments, some of which represented what we could not unreasonably call the very worst of human nature. At first, it was assumed that Mr Dye’s death had come about as the result of fighting between England and Wales...

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Match Of The Week: Manchester City 4-0 Swansea City

In May of 1983, three clubs were relegated from the First Division. Brighton & Hove Albion were one, and the other two were Swansea City and Manchester City. Manchester City returned to the top flight a couple of seasons later but, for Swansea City, the intervening three decades have brought hardship and a couple of seasons during which even the league status of the club was thrown into doubt. This evening, though, they’re back, following an eight year period that saw them leap three divisions. Much has changed in that time. Maine Road and The Vetch Field are no more, replaced by The City of Manchester Stadium and The Liberty Stadium. The First Division is no longer the show-piece event of English football – it’s all about the Premier League. A lot has changed since 1983. Manchester City start this season with the burden of expectation that the lavish riches of Abu Dhabi brings with it higher than ever. An FA Cup win in May broke a curse of sorts, their first major trophy since 1976, but now the task is an even stiffer one, to bring the English championship to the sky blue half of Manchester for the first time since 1968. There has been plenty of denial of the fact during the pre-season white noise, but there can be little question that a serious championship challenge will...

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The Twohundredpercent Pre-Season Previews: Swansea City

Certain sections of the media have long had the mildly irritating habit of treating 1992 and the beginning of the Premier League as football’s Year Zero. In this world, “the history of football” is substituted for “the history of the Premier League”, as if nothing that happened prior to the twenty biggest clubs cutting themselves free in the pursuit of all the television money – to which we can only say, mission accomplished – and anything that happened prior to then is treated as at best an relevance. So it was that when Swansea City beat Reading in the Championship play-off final at Wembley in May, they became “the first Welsh club to reach the Premier League”, which, whilst it was true on the one hand, didn’t take into account anything that had happened prior to the great land grab of 1992. Swansea’s previous top division adventure had only lasted for two seasons during the early 1980s, but it left a lasting mark on the club, not least of which was the belief that it this status be managed again. How important might that have been during the dark days that have come between then and now? It’s worth bearing in mind because it it is only eight years since the Swans completed a then unlikely looking end of season double to preserve their place in the Football League. The notion of...

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