We've had several brilliant blog posts from some top contributors over the past month, but now ForzaSwansea editor CHRIS CARRA returns with a post of his own, discussing the likelihood of Swansea City's biggest rivals making the leap into the Premier League
There is no point hiding the fact that most Swansea City fans have been keeping a close eye on the Championship table recently and not for nostalgic reasons. It's about time we addressed the possibility of sharing the Premier League with another Welsh team next season.
We've seen how many times Cardiff have thrown away the opportunity to propel themselves to the top flight, usually in the most painful way - the play-offs. However this season it looks almost inevitable that they will finally be successful in their attempt.
With seven games to go, the Red Dragons are seven points clear at the top of the table and have a game in hand. The teams that can stop them all seem to be slipping up. This year seems to be the year Swansea City's greatest rivals will shake off the bluebottles label. But is it a bad thing?
Instantly I would say yes. It is ingrained in Swansea fans that we do not want Cardiff to succeed. They don't want Swansea to succeed. How many Cardiff fans were cheering us on in the play-off final? How many were willing us to beat Man City, Arsenal and Chelsea? None (or a very few odd ones). Yes, the rivalry between the clubs and the fans is historically mental.
However Cardiff being promoted would see the return of the South Wales derby which is certainly one to be celebrated, and is up there with the best 90 minute rivalries in the
world - Italy vs. Brazil, Real Madrid vs. Barcelona and
Xiangxue Eisiti vs. Guangzhou Pharmaceutical F.C. (I've discussed this
before - it is an actual
derby, albeit less media friendly as others).
It's been a while since the last one - we have to go back to February 6th, 2011 when Brendan Rodgers was still wooing us with David Brent-isms and Yves Ma-Kalambay was making an impact on the bench. Cardiff came down to the Liberty Stadium and won 1-0 in a match where they were hungrier for the win (though a few poor refereeing decisions helped their case). We were close to witnessing a South Wales derby in the play-off final later that season but thankfully that was an M4 bubble match that didn't happen.
And this time around the derby will be on the biggest stage - probably a Super Sunday 3D affair! The whole world will have the opportunity to watch, including the newer fans that Swansea have collected over the last few seasons.
Some may say Cardiff's promotion is good for Welsh football but I don't fully buy into it. Unless it's a team bursting with Welshmen it won't do that much good - not as good as Swansea's promotion anyway. Apart from Craig Bellamy, Cardiff don't have much Welsh talent to brag about and less to develop. Yes some of the younger reserve players may fall into the same category as Ashley Williams, Ben Davies, Joe Allen, Neil Taylor, but with only Bellamy in the first team it won't be groundbreaking move.
Ultimately if Cardiff do achieve promotion they deserve it. They've played well enough throughout the season and look to be making the step up as champions of the second tier. While no-one in Swansea will applaud, no one should really begrudge.
Besides, they will probably be relegated anyway.
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