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Most fans have a belief that their club can and should do better.
I didn’t jump on the bandwagon of success so to speak as I just turned up at the Liberty one day for the inauguration game, a friendly versus Fulham I believe.
What I saw on my first visit to the stadium was the potential that was set out in front of me. It was only later into my first ever season watching the Swans that I realised that we were on an upward trajectory with, at the time at least, “by the fans for the fans” owners who had the best interests of the club at heart.
Looking back now we can safely say that from 2003 up until the sale of the club, everything just clicked. Despite whatever teething problems that the owners of 2003 had to face initially, they ran the club in such a way that gave it every opportunity to thrive. Many more right decisions were made than wrong ones and this can be put down to owners who cared just as much as the fans about what they were invested in. The momentum generated from this led to what felt like an irresistible force which was irrepressible and culminated in the eventual promotion breakthroughs from the 2nd division right up to the pinnacle of the Premier League.
The journey through the leagues for the fans must have felt like a dream and yet it did happen and I have no doubt that it can happen again. The two seasons prior to the upcoming one were near misses with the last one almost being yet another breakthrough into the top tier of football.
This was done with little to no investment from the current owners so my belief is that with the right setup the Swans has the potential to thrive once again. The club can always draw on its footballing past and more specifically it’s recent successes for inspiration. There is a priceless template to refer to that proves that the club has true potential in its DNA to succeed.
Of course there is no divine right to be in the Premier League. Structurally, the footballing pyramid puts paid to that notion for all the clubs in their various leagues. However if a club is run in the right way, as was the case with the Swans not so long ago, then there should be nothing to prevent that club from hitting the heights at some point in its future.
For every fan who puts the time, effort and money into their respective clubs, this should be the bare minimum expectation. The whole purpose of the promotion/relegation dynamic is to in-still that belief that in sport anything is possible. For as long as the dynamic remains as it is then all fans can feel entitled to feel that way about the club that they are passionate about.
It definitely baffles me why certain opinions are shouted down like they are too controversial and need to be cancelled. If everyone was singing from the same hymn sheet then that would defeat the object of what a forum acts as. A place where people can express their views freely and without the fear of being taken down by sniping posters. Come one come all to what should be an open discussion where every view, for, against or somewhere in between, is valid.
Your being a little on the revisionist side there Pablo. Not all the fans jumped on what I feel was a bandwagon that didn’t truly exist. I can only speak for myself but I didn’t interpret it that way at all. To me the next level which was confidently bandied about by the selling owners at the time like it meant something, was for me taken at face value. I didn’t read anything into it any more than what was being sold to us as a new and improved, more exciting dawn for the Swans. The quoted statement above quite literally says that they will deliver on all fronts to take us to this tantalising next level. The next level to me was an improvement on what had gone before which was quite frankly a tall order, especially as we were still in the Premier League at the time reaping the fruits of our labours. The only improvements that they could have been alluding to was either for us to go further in the Europa Cup with an aim to winning it, an FA Cup win or Champions League football. I really do feel that these were achievable with the right owners. Instead what Kaplan and Levien delivered was a downturn in fortunes which culminated in relegation from the top flight and 3 failed attempts at regaining our place in that league. Some fans need to face up to the fact that we were sold a dud when the next level was put on the table to get us all on board.
Pablo - With all due respect your lumping us all together as just typical fans who don’t know better really is the most insulting, offensive comment that you could possibly make.
Your spat with Gary is one thing but you don’t do yourself any favours by slinging the mud at all and sundry on this forum.
Let’s face facts here. You don’t know me or any other poster on here from Adam. Heck we don’t even know each other’s names let alone what kind of fans we are.
The typical fan will have good days and bad days with their respective beloved clubs much like the clubs themselves. They will either praise the club/team to the high heavens or vent their spleen accordingly. My glass is sometimes half empty/half full, and at other times brimming over the edges or bone dry. Such is the life of a fan. You can’t seriously expect us to believe that you don’t sometimes have any negative feelings about how the club is being run both on and off the pitch? You say that the only time that you felt negatively about the club us during the Tony Petty days. Why only then and not at other deeply troubling times relating to the Swans? There have been plenty of them I’m sure.
As for the owners we will have to agree to disagree. I don’t believe that they are a good fit for the club based on their track record especially when you compare it to the previous owners. It took them only eight years to take us from a backwater club in the 2nd division to the heights of the Premier League. Not only that but they kept us there for 5 consecutive years and delivered European football off the back of a fabulous Caraboa cup win in 2013 and an 8th placed finish despite the sacking of Laudrup in the 2014/15 season.
It took only 2 years for the current owners to relegate us from the Premier League and they have failed to return us there now for the 3rd season running. This will have been their 5th year in charge now and they are fast running out of years to match or improve on the previous owners incredible list of achievements.
My hope for the club is as always that promotion is to the Premier League is achievable once more. My fear is as it was when they came on board, that these owners are simply not suitable for the task ahead. Time will tell as ever.
There is a misconception that Twitter and such like is like some sort of Wild West environment. Most people who use these platforms are decent law abiding people who wouldn’t dream of being abusive in whatever form it takes. To me the adage “you live by the sword you die by the sword” is better served when applying it to gambling. That is a much more cutthroat environment where the chances of losing money and getting into debt are a certainty and a real problem. It can apply to driving a car as even if you are a careful driver who abides by the law, there’s always a chance that something might go wrong to ruin your day, or worse still ruin your life or end it. For me the MSM have largely spoon fed the MSM good/SM bad narrative mostly because they have something to lose by it which is their captive audience. As I’ve already mentioned Twitter has its bad points but for the most part it a force for good. Let’s not forget that the forum we use falls under the same umbrella as Twitter and I for one am reliant on it for the latest news and rumours about all things SCFC related. As for the abuse that Morgan Whittaker’s girlfriend suffered let’s not forget that she didn’t invite it. It was unprovoked and therefore it wasn’t merited. The opinion that somehow she invited it just by virtue of the fact that she is a Social Media user is quite frankly ridiculous.
The fine margins as Clement liked to refer to them are exactly the kind of tactics that will get you nowhere in the end.
Yes Steve Cooper got the Swans to two playoffs with one leading to a playoff final and I applaud him for that and thank him for his services.
And yet it’s still a case of so near and yet so far, especially when you consider his tactics for that particular final.
Ultimately the bid for promotion in that game helped Steve Cooper’s stock to rise more so than his tactics did to help the Swans and its players of bettering themselves with promotion to the Premier League. Ultimately he let the club down and the fans, whilst at the same time giving himself the boost he needed to put himself in contention for a move to the Premier League. Although it didn’t pan out as anticipated it was looking like he was off to sunnier climes even before a ball was kicked in that ill fated final. He was sitting pretty in a win/win position whilst the Swans team and club were still on a knife edge going into the Championship decider.
Southgate’s tactics were almost a carbon copy of Coopers’s with the end result being very much the same.
Neither team was set up to win their respective finals and the opposition exploited this mercilessly overall. Apart from the England fans that will no doubt bang on about almost winning the European Championship forever more and the Swans fans bemoaning having rolled over for Brentford when they should have put up a fight, these two results will go down as mere footnotes in history.
And yet, for the managers themselves, in all likelihood their reputations would have remained largely intact if not boosted by these achievements of reaching a Championship play off final for Steve Cooper and a European Championship final for Gareth Southgate. Both of them have come out on top despite what are essentially the failures they themselves orchestrated.
Steve McLaren epitomises this type perfectly, as someone who likes to play the percentages game of football. For the most part they are unremarkable throwbacks who fail to realise that their bland brand of football is stuck in the past as are they. These garden variety versions of managerial mundanity are not able to access the visionary levels that some managers exhibit. Once any footballer is able to tap into this sort of tactical/artistic brilliance a transformation can take place over time whereby they can become a better player, sometimes to the point of being exceptional. The bravery required to push the envelope to the point of being expressive on the field of play is something which requires a commitment to the cause and an almost zealot like belief in the unorthodox instructions that are being communicated.
As the saying goes, “fortune favours the brave” and never was this epitomised more than in the performance that Jason Kenny gave to secure his 7th Olympic gold medal. He expressed himself in a way that no one anticipated and it paid dividends.
They may be completely different sporting events but the one overriding connection between them and other sports, for that matter, is how attitude and application are so important. In sport you have to seize the moment by grabbing your opportunity with both hands as those opportunities don’t come around very often.
Italy and Brentford applied themselves in the same way that JK did in the Keirin. That is they went all out to win their respective sporting events and achieved just that.
It’s early days yet but I’ve a feeling that we have something of a visionary in our midst, who wants to be bold and ambitious. This bodes well for the players, club and fans of the Swans.
The Kick it Out campaign has been part of the footballing furniture for quite some time now but nowhere near as long as the racism that has been and still is on display in the terraces and has crept onto social media. I feel that taking the knee helps to flush out and expose all those apparent racists that sadly still attend a community based event such as a football match. The stance taken by the players of those football teams that still decide to take the knee, or alternatively stand and clap against racism that is both verbal and physical, should be applauded as it helps us to see through those that were hidden from view and were free to be racially abusive without any comebacks. Those people that are attacking the players and what they stand for by booing them at the beginning of the matches need to take long hard look at themselves and what they themselves stand for.
The new kid on the block, AKA Social Media, isn’t the problem per se. It’s the centuries old racial prejudices, discrimination and abuse rearing its all too often ugly head that is the real issue here. All that’s happened is that it has found another outlet. It’s like water, somehow it finds a way. The Prime Minister himself isn’t averse to spouting off racist comments in the column inches of his newspaper articles. Nigel Farage was allowed to voice his xenophobic thoughts and feelings through the medium of TV via the MSM platform. You won’t be able to stamp this out completely unfortunately as it will find an outlet somehow. And to throw the baby out with the bathwater isn’t the answer either. It would be like putting a stop to football all because the some fans of their respective clubs display racist behaviour and tendencies. What’s needed is for it to be tackled head on. Just as the clubs are in theory able to issue lifetime bans to those undesirable fans who hurl racist abuse from the terraces so too can Twitter and suchlike do likewise. Root them out by all means and the way forward to doing this is to remove the anonymity that these people are not deserving of.
Don’t get me wrong, as much as I appreciate someone getting behind the team and praising them to hilt I wouldn’t want this forum to be awash with one viewpoint and one viewpoint only. I love the insights, debate, stats and titbits of information that either are at odds with or chime with my own take on things. And a big well done to those that called it right on a change of tactics/formation for the team. It looks as if we’ve found our next manager on this very forum. Throw your hat in lads and lasses.😊
Another I shan’t forget is the game against Liverpool when their fans applauded our players at the final whistle. It was spontaneous, it was heartfelt and it was brilliant to witness. According to Wayne Routledge he had never experienced anything like it in his whole career. Those were special times at a time when it felt like we could do no wrong.