Monday, 25 February 2013

From Landore to London: Swansea City Champions!

Once again we came, we saw and we conquered Wembley!

Swansea City are champions of the Capital One Cup 2013 - quite a feat for Michael Laudrup's first season in charge!

Around 30,000 Swans fans made their way from South Wales along the M4 to London for their second Wembley final in three seasons. After a frosty early start, the beer (on my bus anyway) was cracked open at around 8am, along with chants, singing and a hefty case of sausage sandwiches!

We made it to Harrow at around 11:30am and continued drinking in the warmth of The Moon on the Hill, which was rammed with Swans fans. Maybe a little too rammed, so we eventually moved to the slightly more manageable one a few streets away - The Junction. The atmosphere was superb - I can't imagine the Bradford-designated pubs were as loud as our ones!

I made my way to Wembley via tube and arrived at 3pm and found my seat which had a great view. Only as I sat down I realised how cold it was... any energy I had left was knocked out by the icy chill that swept the stadium. I knew I should have bought a half/half scarf...

The interesting opening ceremony was atmospheric as you would expect, as were the fireworks and dramatic music. And the flags left on the seats were also a nice touch.

With the long build-up over, the main event - the 90 minutes of football - was actually a bit of an anti-climax for me. Not the five goals or Swansea winning, but the actual feel of the match. It felt more like the first round of the cup, only at Wembley.

Unfortunately this was down to Bradford not really turning up. Unlike their fans - who were superb throughout, out-singing Swansea at times and celebrating until the end - the actual team seemed burned out and/or overawed by the situation. Probably the case of one massive game too many. Even though I wanted Swansea to win, a couple of nerve-wracking Bradford chances - similar to the play-off final vs. Reading - would have made for a little more excitement. But it felt a little bland.

Still, 10,000/1 at the start of the cup, Bradford surpassed the expectation of their fans to get to the final, but it was always going to be Swansea City's day and the team thoroughly deserved to lift the cup.

From what I remember, Swansea dominated possession and territory, outplaying Bradford in every aspect. Take nothing away from Swansea though, who would have probably beat any opposition yesterday, such was the quality of football they played.

The goalscorers were a little unexpected. At no point did I have Dyer to be on a hat-trick - I don't think many would have. It's a shame he didn't get his third goal. It's undecided whether de Guzman should have surrendered the ball to him for the penalty, but de Guzman was in his right to want a goal on a plate at the final and therefore was probably right to take the kick.

Ashley Williams lifting the trophy with Garry Monk was another nice touch of the day - both men deserved it for their service to the club.

We shuffled out of the stadium and found the way to the mini-bus that would take us back to Swansea. Five hours later we arrived - knackered, hungry, cold but happy! A great day and one which may not be topped for some time!

Europe, here we come!


Check back soon for an important announcement about the future of

Wednesday, 20 February 2013

The Wembley Preview

Remember this?

My view last time - slightly closer to the halfway line this time around!

Well it's time to relive it once again. We're off to Wembley!

For most of us it means cracking open a lovely can of beer at 7am while sailing down the M4 on a bus that smells like anticipation and (if you go with the bus company I do) a little bit of urine.

There will be plenty of beer and plenty of anticipation on Sunday. Hopefully more excitement than nerves like the last time the Swans were at the stadium. While the 5-0 hammering by Liverpool last weekend wasn't ideal preparation for Wembley, rest assured there is nothing to worry about on Sunday.

While a heavy defeat isn't cause for celebration, it does clear the air. It gives the team - the whole squad - a shake up. One thing Swansea City definitely won't do now is swagger into the final and slip-up by being too casual.

In theory, Swansea should win comfortably on Sunday. Despite no obvious striker (excluding Michu), the Premier League team should wrap this historic cup final up in the first half - again, in theory. But, as we know, the cup loves an upset and things rarely go the way we plan.

Remember, Bradford are not in the final because they have been poor in this competition. They beat other Premier League opposition (including Arsenal) to claim their Wembley spot and won't have any fears about being up against Swansea. Their fans believe, their players believe, the Dalai Lama believes, and sometimes a little belief goes a long way.

But against a mid-table League Two side, this is only Swansea's game to lose.

Michael Laudrup played a second string side against Liverpool, ensuring some of his top players were rested (some may say unnecessarily), so his strongest eleven will be out on Sunday. Laudrup is taking this cup very seriously. Let's face it, his time at Swansea is likely to be short, and he knows that if he is to go down as a Swansea City legend in such a brief time-slot, a cup final win will be the way to do it.

Tremmel will have to start in goals. Not just because he has been this cup's designated keeper, but because his overall form has increased dramatically, with some fans insisting his performances have been better than Vorm's in recent weeks.

Unfortunately, the consistent, fiery ponytail of Chico Flores won't be fit in time for the final. So, more than likely, lining up with Ashley Williams and wearing the captain's armband will be Garry Monk. He's by no means a Chico Flores, but he is the club captain and his cool head will be vital. We all know what he can do at Wembley. Most of us are still confident that, had Monk not put his body on the line for the club against Reading, Swansea would not be in the Premier League today.

Either side of the centre two will undoubtedly be Angel Rangel and Ben Davies. It will be a big occasion for Davies, but he's handled himself well in the past year in Taylor's absence and will cope with the pressure and whatever Bradford can throw at him.

Onto the usual headache in Swansea City's game-plan - the midfield. Starting with the wings, I'd go for Pablo Hernandez and Wayne Routledge. Nathan Dyer hasn't been as electrifying as he has in the past, but will be a superb little sub, should Swansea need him in the second half.

Leon Britton is first for me in the middle, and is probably your first choice too, despite Laudrup occasionally overlooking him. De Guzman and Ki would make up the other two for me.

This leaves little option up front apart from Michu. This isn't particularly a problem - he can score against Arsenal, he can score against Chelsea so he should be able to score against Bradford.

Despite Bradford giving it their all I can't see any other result than a Swansea City win in normal time. It won't be an easy 90 minutes but Swansea will win 3-1 (though I do see Bradford netting the first goal).

It's odd, Swansea being outright favourite... there's something a little unsettling about it. Or is that just me? It's probably just me. Swansea will win.

Let's get ready to make history - see you in Wembley!

Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Beware: The Curse of Swansea City

Danny Graham is the central figure in the current 'I want to leave Swansea City' rumours. Though nothing is confirmed, he's clearly not happy starting behind Michu every week and it looks like he wants out.

In Laudrup's defence, Graham hasn't particularly wowed recently.
In Graham's defence, he is a footballer who wants to play football (we assume).

Can we blame him? If he really wants to play, maybe Swansea isn't the best bet for him at the moment. Then again he may just want to go for the money, like so many others have done in recent years. But be warned Graham - bad things tend to happen to those who leave Swansea, especially for the money.

To commemorate this event, and the closing of the transfer window, I'm dedicating a blog post to look at some victims of the satisfying curse:

Scott Sinclair
This is the best one for me. Greed and nothing more led him away from Swansea City. Sinclair clearly had visions off knocking the likes of David Silva to the bench and cementing himself as one of Man City's starting wingers. However he was the only one in the whole country who could not see he would be a reserve player and nothing more. For a man who spent much of his career hopping clubs, he clearly made a massive mistake - but he'll receive no sympathy from us.

Joe Allen
Local-boy-makes-good Joe Allen was one of the key figures in Swansea's midfield last season. However, he was very quick to follow Brendan Rodgers out of South Wales to Liverpool. Unfortunately for Allen he hasn't really shone under Rodgers the second time around and has seen more of the bench than he probably wanted to. And, with Rodgers on the hunt for new midfielders, will he have much of a chance to impress at Liverpool in the future?

Darren Pratley
There was plenty of hoo-hah (finally managed to use that phrase) surrounding Pratley's departure but he officially left the club for Bolton on a free transfer, immediately after Swansea reached the Premier League. He now plays regularly for the Championship club which sit in an uninspiring 16th position. After his amazing halfway-line goal against Nottingham Forest, getting relegated with Bolton must have been a little anti-climactic.

Dorus de Vries
If there was ever a case of why you shouldn't leave Swansea for reasons of greed, The Cautionary Tale of Dorus de Vries is one people should tell their grandchildren. The highly-respected goalkeeper was adorned by Swans fans for many a season, including his awesome promotion-winning final season. On his departure, De Vries said: "Wolves are going into a third season in the top division and ... the difference for me is that while Swansea will hope to maintain their Premier League status, Wolves will expect to survive."

While Swansea are now 9th in the Premier League, Wolves are currently 18th in the Championship, and de Vries is a reserve player. While we can't hate him, we can chuckle at the fact that he may be sitting on the bench for a League One team next season.

Brendan Rodgers (not a player, but still...)
Rodgers ditched a place where he was loved, to join a bigger club where he was initially hated. Fans have warmed slightly to him - from hatred to indifference - but with Liverpool off the mark and Swansea heading for another Wembley final, Rodgers must have some regrets now. Not that he would admit it. Okay? Okay.

Alan Tate
Just joking - Tate's loan move to Leeds was the right decision for everyone involved and he is welcome back at any time.

Out of all these players, can we really be that bitter? The answer is no. They all helped Swansea get to where they are today in one way or another, and their exit made room for an even better successor to come in. Still, there should be no guilt in smiling at their misfortune.

This post was kindly sponsored by

Thursday, 24 January 2013

Swansea City: Historic semi-final and a boy with a ball

Another trip to Wembley looms after Swansea City hung on to a 2-0 aggregate victory over Chelsea at the Liberty stadium last night. The game certainly had its share of drama, but the important thing is a cup final is now just a month away and a trophy is just 90 minutes from that.

Swansea performed very well over two legs - first nicking a good win at Stamford Bridge, then playing their away game at home, with deep defending and exciting counter attacks, absorbing Chelsea's limited pressure.

Ashley Williams and Chico Flores were both outstanding and deserved to share man of the match (though Williams took the award himself). Gerhard Tremmel showed why he has made first choice keeper throughout this cup. Leon Britton was rapant as usual, despite the golf ball sized lump on his head after an accidental elbow. Wayne Routledge was, again, brilliant - he has really found his stride and has been consistent for so many games. Overall there were no underachievers last night.

But, annoyingly, most of the post-game chatter wasn't about Swansea's historical feat of a Wembley league cup final. Instead talk was shadowed by #ballboygate. And it seems this blog post will be overshadowed by it too...

Firstly, I don't believe Hazard should have kicked the ball boy, no matter how frustrated he was. But looking into it, 'ball boy' (whose real name is Charlie Morgan) is not an innocent child as we all first thought. He is 17 - and he actively planned to time waste. Check his Twitter account for the full confession.

I feel a little sympathy for Hazard, despite him being a diver himself. It wasn't the 'Hazard kicks a child' scenario we all thought at first, but more 'a 22-year-old kicks a 17-year-old for interfering with the game.'

The ref had no choice but to red card him, but I can see why Hazard was frustrated. Ultimately, ball boys aren't there to interfere with games, they're there to assist - no matter what the team, no matter what the competition. I may take stick for saying that, but it's what I believe.

I'm not complaining as such - Swansea had an easier ride after Hazard was sent off - but the truth is Swansea didn't need time wasting from an adolescent to see them through. They were doing a fine job of making their way to Wembley by playing good football. 

The only other things of note in the match, I felt, were a few of the Swans' chances were wasted. Many was the time that players (notably Ki and Hernandez) had an opportunity to uncork a shot at the target but hesitated and/or passed. Sometimes a shot is worth taking, even if it is way off target. It's not always easy to pass it in, like in the Championship days (remember those)?

Onto Wembley next month for a certain cup win against minnows Bradford! Not so fast - Bradford aren't in the final for no reason. It'll be a tough game, but the Swans certainly have to fancy their chances now. Favourites going into a final - who'd have thought it!?

Thursday, 3 January 2013

Swansea City: one week, three competitions

It's been a busy few weeks of footballing action for Swansea City over Christmas, so what better way for the team to rest and recuperate than with a... well, another grueling week of football.

The Swans are about to embark on a week which will see three intense games, against three quality sides in three different competitions. Naturally all three are big games, but which should Michael Laudrup make priority?

First up is the FA Cup match against Arsenal on Sunday. This jumps out at me (and probably to 99% of you) as the one game, if any, that doesn't particularly matter.

Don't get me wrong - it would be nice to see Swansea progress and win the FA Cup, but with a demanding league and another cup run in progress, this is the last thing on anyone's mind this week.

I don't see Laudrup throwing David Cornell in goals, or feeding Kurtis March or young Henry Jones (that's a good old fashioned name) to Arsene's lions, but he may replace some of the key players with the fringe men. You'd hope he would.

Prediction: Swansea lose

Next we have Chelsea on Wednesday in the Capital One Cup semi-final. Despite being a cup match, this is important. A semi-final is the furthest Swansea have ever come in the competition and, with another Wembley trip in view, the Chelsea game should be taken very seriously.

Swansea have the goods to emerge victorious at the end of two legs and certainly have the advantage playing at the Liberty Stadium in the second leg. We all know how unlucky the Swans were not to take all three points against Chelsea last season (after the annoying last minute equaliser), and drew 1-1 with them again earlier in this season.

With a team who are now stronger and more able to score goals (apart from when facing Villa...), and providing they are able to keep themselves in the tie at the end of the first leg (ideally a win, draw or no more than one goal deficit), there is absolutely no reason why Swansea can't book a place in the final!

Prediction: Swansea draw

Finally Swansea will play Everton the following Saturday. The Premier League is the overall priority this year, but let's be realistic - are Swansea likely to be playing in the Championship next season? Not with the likes of QPR, Reading, Wigan, Southampton, and Aston Villa already battling it out for a spot in the doomed three. That's not to say Swansea are safe, but survival is much more certain this time around. I'd say a few points could afford to be dropped on Saturday.

However, a strong team will be needed if Swansea are to come away with anything against in-form Everton.

Prediction: Swansea draw

What the @ForzaSwansea Tweeters say:

Premier league, it's all about money these days and that's where the money is.

Going to have to say points in the league everytime, but a trip to Wembley in a major final would be nice.

Chelsea two legs for me... we will not go down this season and have never won anything worth winning... need to win in this cycle!

Chelsea is the one I'd like us to win, beat them 1-0 over 2 legs!! Great chance to win a trophy.

Chelsea - lets go and win something. 

Chelsea for me. Our best ever chance of a major cup final.

What do you think? Cup final? Points? Another Arsenal scalp? Leave your opinions below!

Sunday, 30 December 2012

Swansea City: 2012 Review

2012 - another eventful year for Swansea City.

From securing a second season in the Premier League, to a dramatic managerial change and the addition of some of the best players Swans fans have ever seen at the club.

Here is my brief (as brief as I could make it) snapshot of the club's centenary year, highlighting the best bits and worst bits that have made 2012 so memorable.

Though I've checked and re-checked, I would appreciate a comment below if you spot a glaring omission or silly inaccuracy... it happens to the best of us.

Happy New Year!

January 2012

Swansea started 2012 well under Brendan Rodgers (remember him?). The team kicked-off with a 2-0 away win against Aston Villa, before the outstanding 3-2 victory over Arsenal, where the Swans came from behind to beat them - the first big scalp of the debut Premier League season.

Then, despite thoroughly deserving it, Swansea were unable to take all three points away from the first home game against Chelsea. Swansea drew in the worst possible way with an injury time equaliser from Bosingwa (deflected off Neil Taylor), which made the 1-1 scoreline feel like a 4-0 defeat.

Meanwhile, David Cotterill left the club after his contract was cancelled by mutual consent. Swans fans across the globe shrugged their shoulders.

The Swans were also dumped out of the FA Cup by Bolton in January.


An international break saw relatively little Swansea City action this month. The highlight was a 2-1 away win at West Brom (and that's scraping the barrel!), with a low point being the 3-2 home loss to Norwich.

Also in February, Brendan Rodgers signed a new three-and-a-half-year contract that was set to keep him with the club until July 2015. We all know how that turned out.


A good month for Swansea City - three wins in a row, comprising three clean-sheets and six goals.

However the one goal everyone will remember from March is Luke Moore's header which secured a superb three points against eventual Premier League champions Manchester City. The only thing that could top the euphoria of Moore's goal was the close up of Sian Massey as she flagged Micah Richards offside to deny him an equaliser in the dying minutes of the game. Brilliant!

However, the winning streak stopped at the end of the month with a 2-0 home defeat to Everton. Typical.


A poor run for the Swans, with three back-to-back losses against Spurs, Newcastle and QPR; conceding eight goals and scoring just one.

The last game of the month saw Swans fans welcome back Dorus de Vries to the Liberty Stadium, who started the game for Wolves. Brendan Rodgers' new 3-4-3 formation looked to be working wonders with Swansea heading into the break 4-1 up. No-one is quite sure what happened next as we witnessed Wolves score three in the second half, turning a without-doubt win into an unsure draw. Entertaining, but annoying.


What can we say about May... one thing is for sure: Brendan Rodgers played a big part!

Firstly we said goodbye to Swansea City's first Premier League season with a 1-0 win against Liverpool in front of an Elvis-themed Jack Army - the wishes of Brendan Rodgers. This was a superb end to a superb season. It was also Brendan Rodgers' last game as Swansea City manager.

Swansea ended their debut Premier League season in 11th place - outstanding considering the odds against them.

However, the joy soon turned to shock as two weeks later Brendan Rodgers silently left the club for Liverpool. Twitter broke down with Swans fans unsure of what to do next. It was truly the end of an era. A very bitter end at that.

My blog post on the issue was well received and worth checking out again to relive the heartbreak.


If May was a month of heartbreak, June was a month of uncertainty. We all brushed ourselves off and began the search for a new manager.

After many names - Poyet, Zola, Bergkamp, Holloway... even Monk - were thrown around, one seemed to stick: Michael Laudrup. Soon the rumours became reality and Swansea City were in possession of their new manager. Some (including myself) were unsure, but most fans were euphoric with the high-profile Dane. Either way he had the full support of Swans fans everywhere.

June was also the month Adidas unveiled Swansea City's centenary kit, to the joy of many who felt the previous year's had been a little bland. This truly was a kit to celebrate the club's history.

Elsewhere, injury-riddled Ferrie Bodde was released by the club in June.


New prices for a home Premier League ticket were revealed by the club to the disgust of many fans - £45 seemed to be blatantly taking advantage. The ever-confusing revisions of the Jack Army membership scheme didn't help the club's case either.

In July Gylfi Sigurdsson left Swansea and signed for Spurs, joining Steven Caulker who returned home after a successful loan spell with the club.

Michael Laudrup brought some real talent on board, signing Michu from Rayo Vallecano (for around £2m), Chico Flores from Genoa (around £2million), while Jonathan de Guzman joined the club on a season-long loan from Villarreal. 

Swansea City began playing again, with the traditional Port Talbot derby (Swans won 5-0), before a more glamorous trip to the good ol' USA to play friendlies against Colorado Rapids Ventura, County Fusion and San Jose Earthquakes.


Swansea were heavily tipped to be heading straight back to the Championship by most bookies and FourFourTwo predicted Swans to be rock-bottom come May.

However, FourFourTwo looked to immediately eat their words as Michael Laudrup began his reign with two amazing Premier League wins and eight goals (five of which coming from the opener against QPR)! The winning continued with the first Capital One Cup match - a 3-1 win against Barnsley.

Elsewhere, Swansea made two record breaking signings this month - Ki Sung-Yeung from Celtic for a fee of around £6m and Pablo Hernandez from Valencia for £5.55m.
In August we also said goodbye to Joe Allen, who followed Brendan Rodgers to Liverpool for £15m, and Scott Sinclair, who left to sit on the bench at Man City for a fee which would amount to around £8m. In retrospect, this was great business! 

Other players leaving the club were fringe players Andrea Orlandi and Stephen Dobbie, who both went to Brighton.


September was much more sobering, and the defeats came heavily. Swansea failed to win any Premier League matches; losing three and drawing against Sunderland. However the Capital One Cup progress continued with a 3-2 victory against Crawley Town.

Swansea also signed Itay Shechter on a season-long loan from Kaiserslautern in September, while Dwight Tiendalli was signed on a free-transfer until the end of the season after being released by FC Twente. Tiendalli was set to replace Neil Taylor who fractured his ankle this month, in Swansea's 2-2 draw with Sunderland.

This was also the month that the club celebrated 100 years of football, since the first professional game against Cardiff ( in 1912.

Elsewhere, claimed the title of Best Sports Blog in Wales at the 2012 Wales Blog Awards. I was thrilled and very proud (I still am).


Swansea were unable to take a deserved point against Man City at the Etihad, but more worrying was the sight of Michel Vorm being stretchered off. Step forward Gerhard Tremmel.

The club also came up against Brendan Rodgers for the first time since he left, in the Capital One Cup on Halloween - Swansea travelled to Liverpool and beat them 3-1. We all cheered. 


Alan Tate did the unthinkable and left Swansea City on loan until January to Leeds United.

Brendan Rodgers and Joe Allen re-visited the Liberty Stadium for the first time since May, and took a point back to Liverpool following the 0-0 draw. 

No points were dropped this month, with three draws - including another 1-1 home draw with Chelsea - and two wins against Newcastle and West Brom. Gerhard Tremmel certainly proved himself in Vorm's absence and contributed greatly to the good month.


A month packed with football for Swansea City - seven games in all.

December began with two late Michu goals, which gave Swansea a 2-0 away victory to Arsenal - a wonderful feat which would set them up well for the... that's right, the 3-4 loss at home to Norwich.

The Swans then progressed to a semi-final clash with Chelsea in January after beating Middlesbrough 1-0 at home.

Back to the Premier League and, after a lacklustre performance and a 1-0 loss away to Spurs, the Swans came back to claim an incredible point against current leaders Man United at the Liberty Stadium. The exciting 1-1 game almost ended in tragedy as Robin van Persie was close to being killed by a ball to the face (as exaggerated by Sir Alex Ferguson...). Needless to say, van Persie survived and culprit Ashley Williams wasn't arrested for attempted murder.

Swansea ended the year with an edgy 2-1 away win against Fulham, using a team with seven changes. The club begin 2013 in 10th place in the table. Take that FourFourTwo.

An exciting end to a year full of drama. Phew.

ForzaSwansea Team of 2012

Rangel, Williams, Caulker, Taylor
Britton, Sigurdsson, Michu
Routledge, Graham, Dyer

Subs: Tremmel, Davies, Chico, Allen, Hernandez

Agree? Disagree? Leave your Swansea team of 2012 below!

Sunday, 23 December 2012

Swansea City 1 - 1 Man United: A Winter Warmer

"Glory, glory Swansea City!"

Okay, not quite 'glory' in the traditional sense, but a victory of sorts for Swansea, who have now taken points from all the "big" teams in the Premier League. A 1-1 draw against Man United see the Swans celebrate the festive period 11th in the table.

I'll keep this short as you'll all want to be over-indulging in festive cocktails and/or mince pies.

Swansea started very brightly today and we saw some impressive fluid football from the men in white in the first ten minutes. However the confidence seemed to vanish as soon as Patrice Evra scored from his head on 15 minutes. A soft goal, and another conceded from a set piece. Leon Britton was ultimately to blame as he moved from his position on the far post, but it shouldn't have reached him in the first place. Swansea do need to improve on set-piece defence, but we'll leave that for now.

Thankfully heads only dropped for about ten minutes, when we saw a wonderful pass from Routledge through to de Guzman in a great onside position, whose rebounded shot fell for Michu (who else) to tap in. A deserved equaliser and a goal that sees Michu crowned the current top goal scorer in the Premier League with 13 goals.

The second half is where it all kicked off. Really good, exciting, frantic football. United seemed a lot more likely to nick the second goal, with a few slaps of the cross bar and forcing a few good saves, but Swansea held on well and created a few chances themselves.

We saw a not-so-seasonal scuffle between Ashley Williams and Robin van Persie, after Williams kicked the ball against the head of a floored van Persie (accidental or not is still undecided, depending on who you support). I can sympathise with van Persie mainly because... well, it must have hurt. But that's football. Alex Ferguson claimed afterwards that the incident could have killed Van Persie - that's a little extreme. No, that's very extreme. I've had many balls to the face (not a euphemism) when playing football and I've never died. It was not attempted murder - relax Ashley, no jail for you.

Thankfully no-one was killed and the fight added some extra heat to a cold afternoon in South Wales.

Agustien won man of the match - well done Kemy, you deserved it. Dwight Tiendalli also made himself known today - a definite competitor for a first-team spot even when Rangel/Taylor come back from injury. He made a good go of attacking and placed some great balls into the box (even if they weren't met by anyone).

It was nice to see Michel Vorm back in action. It may be difficult for Gerhard Tremmel to accept, as he has been superb in Vorm's absence, but Vorm showed why he is first choice on a couple of occasions today.

For Swansea to claim a point again the most recognised team in the world is another testament of how far the team have come, and another thing to tick off the list of success.

Today's festive frenzy of football was the perfect build up to Christmas and a point was a justified gift to the team and the fans.

Happy Christmas!