Monday, 5 October 2015

Where have all the blog posts gone?

It's the question on everybody's lips (I am assuming...) - where are all the Forza Swansea blog posts this season?

You may recall a few weeks back I said that this season I would be blogging about Swansea City for Yahoo! Sport. And I have been.

Here are my first three posts, in case you missed them:

Five Swans who should have played for England - At the start of September, Jonjo Shelvey was about to become the first Swansea City player to play for England while at the club. I wrote a piece on five previous Swans legends who should have worn the Three Lions.

League Cup Misery - Swansea were dumped out of the Capital One Cup by Hull City a couple of weeks back. I took a look at the club's poor history in the competition, as well as a few times we really enjoyed ourselves.

Swansea City: Time To Panic?! - Written just before the game against Spurs, when results hadn't been going our way, I took a look at whether it was time to panic (basically, it wasn't - and still isn't!)

From now on I will post a link to each new blog post - around one a week - on this site too. See you soon!

Friday, 18 September 2015

Swansea City Miscellany - Book signing at Liberty Stadium

My second book, the Swansea City Miscellany, is now available from all good bookshops, online, and direct from the club shop.

I will be at the Liberty Stadium club shop from 1-2pm tomorrow ahead of the Everton match, signing copies of the book which is £9.99 (a bargain for the hours of entertainment you'll receive!)

Visit the official Swans website for more details on the launch.

If you're around the stadium, please pop in and say hello!

Tuesday, 8 September 2015

NEW BOOK: The Swansea City Miscellany

Welcome to the long-awaited announcement of my new book, the Swansea City Miscellany!


After the success of Swansea City's Greatest Games last year, I decided it would be fun to tackle an equally challenging project, although in very different ways from the first book.

What the hell is a miscellany, you ask? Essentially it's a little encyclopedia of everything Swansea City; club history, player profiles, top ten lists and unique records, along with funny stories and memorable trivia, all rolled into one easy-to-pick-up read. The kind of book that would be a great friend on a long train journey or a short bathroom break.

Our genius chairman Huw Jenkins has contributed a foreword to the book, while there are some excellent nostalgic photos throughout.

The Miscellany will be available from the start of next week, although you can pre-order it on Amazon. However, as a Swansea City fan, I recommend you purchase it directly from the club shop as the club will benefit from the sales.

A signing at the Liberty Stadium club shop and Waterstones will be announced very soon.



Sunday, 6 September 2015

Cup o' coffee and the Swans (Sunday Catch-up - 6th September 2015)

It's September - that means autumn is summer is pretty much over. However the sun is actually shining, and this is probably the only time you'll be able to enjoy an iced coffee all year.

You sort out the coffee, I'll sort out the writing, and we'll meet back here in five minutes... GO!

International Swans

There's been no Swansea City action this weekend, but a handful of first team Swans have been playing for their countries over the past few days.

Williams was on top form

Ashley Williams and Neil Taylor both featured in Wales' crucial 1-0 win against Cyprus on Thursday, with Williams putting in one hell of a shift - definitely the Dragons' star player.

Gylfi Sigurdsson scored from the spot in Iceland's surprise 1-0 victory against Holland, while Jonjo Shelvey featured for England in their predictable 6-0 blitz of San Marino last night - making him the very first player to feature for England while playing for Swansea City.

And it was a good performance, showing off the best of his passing game. Definitely one to show Roy he's not a one-cap wonder.

Dyer gone

One of the biggest surprises of the transfer window was Nathan Dyer making a loan move to Leicester City for the rest of the season.

It's not gone completely to plan for Dyer over the past few years. While he certainly made the step up to the Premier League - wowing in some games - he failed to consistently deliver, and has recently lost some pace and confidence.

And with an abundance of talent available on the wings these days including Montero, Ayew and Routledge, Dyer will be more likely to start for a team like Leicester. Who knows - he may find his Championship form again and be a big part of Swansea's future. But for now, thank you Nathan and see you next year.

20 more legends

The next 20 names are set to be added to Swansea City's Robbie James Wall of Fame, on the external wall of the Liberty Stadium ahead of the Everton game on Saturday, 19 September.

There are some huge names on there - players that made a great difference to Swansea as both Town and City, such as Harry Hanford, Reg Weston, Jimmy Rimmer and Leighton Phillips. If you don't recognise the names you need to do some reading - get yourself a copy of Swansea City's Greatest Games!

The following 20 players' names will be fixed to the wall: Jimmy Collins (1919-30), Alex Ferguson (1927-35), Harry Hanford (1927-36), SJ Lawrence (1930-39), TB Olsen (1930-39), Trevor Ford (1946-47), Reg Weston (1946-52), Frank Burns (1946-52), Tom Kiley (1947-57), Alan Williams (1968-72), Des Palmer (1950-59), Ray Daniel (1958-59), Mike Johnson (1958-66), Brian Purcell (1958-68), Brayley Reynolds (1959-64), Dai Davies (1969-70,1973, 1981-83), Jimmy Rimmer (1973-74, 1983-86), Leighton Phillips (1978-81), John Mahoney (1979-83), and Dave Stewart (1980-81).

Sunday, 30 August 2015

Cup o' coffee and the Swans (Sunday Catch-up - 30th August 2015)

It's Sunday morning again, and I'm up early for a change!

As it's a Bank Holiday weekend, why not make your coffee a little Irish? Then, when you've sobered up, have a read of my quick round-up of Swansea City news.

Into the Third Round!

A very different looking Swansea City saw out a comfortable 3-0 Capital One Cup win against York City on Tuesday night.

Garry Monk made a host of changes to his team, with players like Kristoffer Nordfeldt, Leon Britton and Franck Tabanou making starts against the League Two side.

And even though York had a few moments of their own, the Premier League Swans made light work of the Minstermen. Nathan Dyer opened the scoring in the second minute, with Matt Grimes and Marvin Emnes adding a second and third in the second half.

A straightforward day at the Liberty Stadium, and Swansea move into the Third Round where they'll face Hull City at the KC Stadium on Tuesday, 22 September.

Swansea City vs Manchester United

Let's get all the 'giants' out of the way now shall we?

I'm sure I'm not alone in feeling that it's the perfect time to take on Man United. We're unbeaten in the first three games, we've already seen a good draw against Chelsea, confidence is high, and we're at home - so what's to fear?

Of course United are looking pretty good themselves, sitting in 4th place in the early Premier League table, with wins against Spurs and Villa. Plus their squad looks a little more coherent than last season, with plenty of danger men. Perhaps read a more detailed preview here.

It's a tricky scoreline tricky to call, so I will go for a very acceptable 1-1.

New home of Forza Swansea

While this blog is going nowhere, I can tell you that during the 2015/16 season I will be blogging for Forza Swansea in association with Yahoo Sport.

It just means the content will have an even bigger audience than before, hopefully spurring me to write more than I do now! I will publish more details next week.

Sunday, 23 August 2015

Cup o' coffee and the Swans (Sunday Catch-up - 23rd August 2015)

It's Sunday, I've woken up later than planned. Let's get a quick catch-up out while my filter coffee is being prepared by Jeeves.

Sunderland 1 - 1 Swansea City

We're already three games in to this new season and Swansea are yet to lose, earning a fair point against Sunderland yesterday.

Although this was the first match in which we as fans could be forgiven for getting a little frustrated. Swansea, after all their domination in the opening quarter, lacked that cutting edge in front of goal and could well have taken the win, through the likes of Ayew or Sigurdsson in the second half.

But Bafetimbi Gomis's enjoyable opener on the cusp of half time was enough to secure a precious point. A more in-depth look at the game and some photos here (don't click if you hate the Daily Mail, because that's where you are being sent today!)

But it can only be a positive, drawing away from home to stay sixth in the league with 5 points. Onto United at the Liberty next Sunday!

Britton stays put...

As the transfer window slowly closes, the moment we dreaded all summer is no longer imminent - Leon Britton is staying with Swansea!

The 32-year-old stalwart had toyed with leaving the club over the last few months, looking to go somewhere that could offer him more regular football - MLS in particular. However, after a chat with his pal and manager, Britton has decided to stay with the hope of playing more often.

In his own words:
"I've always said the first place I want to play is here at Swansea. Maybe things will change a bit and I can be involved a bit more, which would be great."
Whether or not we will actually see him on the pitch this season is now the question. But with the quality and depth already in that area of the field, that's not the prime reason Swans fans are so keen to see him stay.

We don't want to lose such a longstanding player, who offers club pride in bucket loads and is a boost to spirits both on and off the field. does Montero (but not Michu)

Thankfully we are all on the same page - me, you, Garry Monk and Huw Jenkins: none of the Swans stars are for sale.

This comes after speculation over the immediate future of Jefferson Montero, who has been linked with Bayern Munich and most recently Man United, after Reds fans - including Rio Ferdinand - voiced their want over social media.

But as Monk said:
"No-one is for sale, we’re looking forward to the season, the players are looking forward to going forward with Swansea and this is the squad I want."

Meanwhile Michu - who we sometimes forget is still on Swansea's books - is now very likely to head off, maybe to Celtic as latest reports suggest. Let's face it, unless he completely returned to the form he displayed in his first season with the club (which seems nearly impossible) he will never get back into the current squad.

Sunday, 9 August 2015

The Triumphant Return of 'Cup o' coffee and the Swans' (Sunday Catch-up)

UPDATE: I'm really sorry, but for personal reasons I am unable to write a Cup o' Coffee and the Swans update this Sunday (16th August). I will return next week.

Let's make it a decaff coffee - we're all still catching our breath after yesterday's blistering match at Stamford Bridge.

More on the game in a bit, but for now I formally announce my return to Forza Swansea, after a summer of... well, no blogging action.

(*Pause for applause*)

Of course, I am genuinely sorry for the lack of content on this blog over the summer. It's a combination of me focusing on other projects, while being a little lazy at the same time.

But let's face it - there's enough Swans speculation, rumours and filler without me further cluttering up the internet. Yes, I could have covered the good-looking (not in that way) acquisitions of Andre Ayew, Kristoffer Nordfeldt, Franck Tabanou and Eder; the 'will he, won't he' surrounding Leon Britton; or the mild panic because Mark Lawrenson thinks we'll do well this season.

But, with so many other blogs, news sites and social media streams around, I decided to let others do the hard graft, while I sat back with a beer and watched the rain ruin everyone's summer.

However, for this new season, I'm back and will carry on with my Sunday morning catch-ups, and perhaps a few nostalgic articles here and there. On to the match...

Chelsea 2 - 2 Swansea City

What a great season opener for Swansea. Apart from a win, no-one could have asked for better.

It's standard now that the Swans produce something of note in the first game of the season, and they almost surpassed themselves yesterday.

The 2-2 draw at Stamford Bridge gave us a chance to see the squad put together the things they were working on over the summer, in the most entertaining way possible.

Gomis was showing plenty of pride and fight

Ayew was exciting - his goal in particular was thanks to a touch of quick thinking and plenty of talent. He'll undoubtedly be a pleasure to watch this year. Gomis had a good game, which peaked in the 55th minute when he both won and scored the penalty, reducing Chelsea to ten men in the process. Overall he looked much sharper and stronger than last season, even if he dragged his heels with a few chances.

Montero was part of every good Swansea move going forward, while Shelvey was up for it all match, scaring Courtois with some nifty attempts direct from his corners! Ashley Williams and his defensive team were solid enough, with the two goals the only blemish on a good game. Overall Fabianski probably came off the worst yesterday, but still produced some fine saves.

I guess the only disappointment was that Swansea didn't go on to win the match. Still, away to the champions, an opening day draw works pretty well... we'll take it!

The Swansea City Miscellany

Finally, I've written another Swansea City book, which is being released at the start of September (i.e. next month). It's called the Swansea City Miscellany, and is a hardback encyclopedia packed with stats, facts, trivia history and stories about the Swans.

It is officially endorsed by the club and the legendary Huw Jenkins has written the foreword. I will make a more detailed announcement on this in the next few days. But for now, you know why my Swans content on the blog was perhaps lacking over the last year!