Friday, 10 January 2014

Swans On Film: "Goals from the Beast"

We've always been fans of Wilfried Bony on this blog, despite his slow start for Swansea City.

Well, I call it a 'slow start' but he's already knocked-in 10 goals in all competitions, and has taken the most shots this season. He's now looking strong, fit and growing in confidence with each passing game.

So I dug out a video which features an array of his goals for past clubs (and a healthy dose of dancing in between the football!)

Check it out and leave a comment if you think there's a better Bony video out there.

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Wednesday, 8 January 2014

ForzaSwansea Exclusive: Alan Curtis interview!

From time to time we have some great interviews on ForzaSwansea, and today we have a true Swansea City legend grace the pages of this fine blog.

I've interviewed former Swans player and now club coach Alan Curtis over topics such as the Cardiff game, his favourite memories and this season's expectations, along with some fun quick-fire questions. Enjoy!

Chris: You've been a player and a coach, but which have you enjoyed more?
Alan: Coaching is a close second but nothing beats playing. That's why I tell everybody to play as long as they can.

What is your favourite memory as a player for Swansea?
My two favourite games were playing against Preston and Leeds - both great occasions.

And what has been your favourite Swans game as a coach?
It would be both Wembley appearances (play-off final and league cup final) and wins at the Emirates and Stamford Bridge. A special mention goes for the first 45 minutes against West Brom last season!
Alan playing for Swansea City back in the day

In the current squad, who do you enjoy working with the most?
I can't pick anyone out individually, but I enjoy working with all the forwards and the attacking players.

Who's usually the first and last out on the training field?
Both first and last are Ben Davies and Jazz Richards - they're always practising.

What are the main differences between Michael Laudrup's coaching style compared to Brendan Rodgers?
Both managers are very similar in footballing principles - lots of possession drills and small sided games.

We've had a tough winter but have got through it intact - in May, where would you be happy to see Swansea finish the league?
I'd be happy to try and finish in the top ten again, and hopefully we can have another good cup run in both competitions.

If we survive Napoli, can we go all the way in the Europa League?
Absolutely - if we play to the top of our game we can beat anyone.

What went wrong in the last South Wales derby?
We underperformed badly and talked too much about the occasion, rather than concentrating on the game itself.

So, despite Solskjaer's intentions, do you see us finishing above Cardiff?

Some fun ones to finish - if Swansea could sign any dream player (from today or anytime in history), who would you choose?
Diego Maradona - he was an unbelievably good player.

Who's going to win the World Cup this year?
Playing at home will give Brazil a massive advantage but I wouldn't discount Germany.

We have readers from countries across the world - but can you speak any foreign languages?
Not really... but I can order a round of drinks in six languages!

Okay so you're at the bar - what are you drinking?
I'm a beer and lager man.

And, finally, what's your favourite blog?
Forza Swansea!


A massive thanks to Alan for taking the time to answer our questions - it's proved a very enjoyable read!

To read more about Alan and his brilliant career, you can buy his book Curt: The Alan Curtis Story in good bookshops or online.

Monday, 6 January 2014

In case you missed them first time around...

We're all busy people and some articles are easy to miss. So here are some highlights from ForzaSwansea over the past few weeks:

(The links will take you to the relevant blog post)

  • To complement the season of copious booze and football, our American writer Jacob Cristobal gave us the rules to The Jonjo Shelvey Drinking Game (enjoy at your peril)!

  • Our newest contributor, Gavin Tucker, put together a brilliant game-by-game recap of Swansea City's Europa League adventures so far.

  • Former Swans player, football agent and now ForzaSwansea writer Alec Johnson gave us his expert opinion on the Swans at the half-way stage this season.

  • I spent ages setting up a vote and collating the results to bring you the Swansea City Team of the Season so far, as voted for by you the Swans fans.

  • And to finish it all off, the contributors and myself collaborated our opinions on the upcoming January transfer window with an always popular Blogger Q&A (titled "Vazquez is this season's Shechter").

Save them, read them, share them and - as always - let us know your thoughts via the comment form below or the Facebook page.


If you have a small business and don't already have a free blog, check out this new blog which offers free small business blogging advice.

Sunday, 5 January 2014

Swans On Film: Pratley... 60 yards

I bet the majority of you knew exactly what this video was before you even clicked on it!

In 2011, when Swansea were battling a last minute effort from Nottingham Forest in a game that would decide who would be heading to the Championship play-off final at Wembley, something mental happened. Forest pushed their keeper up for a corner that was punched away by De Vries and the ball eventually found its way to Darren Pratley. The midfielder ran to the halfway line then hit it as far as he could...

Seconds later Swansea City were on their way to Wembley! Just watch the crowd in the background!

If this doesn't give you goosebumps...

Friday, 3 January 2014

Exclusive Sunderland POV: "Ki has been a revelation"

The transfer window is open and Swansea City are desperate for something to freshen up a tired squad. But who exactly are we looking for?

Apart from a goalscoring striker to take the pressure off Bony, we are after someone strong, someone with good feet and someone who can pass the ball. But who?

The answer is actually pretty obvious - Ki Sung Yeung! He's already a Swansea City player, but he's currently on a season-long loan to Sunderland (with a mid-season re-call option, which may prove to be important).

So how has Ki been doing up north? By all accounts very well. But who wants to hear all accounts? We want a concrete answer! So I've recruited David Boyle from the popular Sunderland website The Roker Report to give us the Sunderland perspective on Ki and how effective he's been for the Black Cats:

Ki has, quite simply, been a revelation on Wearside, especially under Gus Poyet. That may that sound like a ridiculous thing to say given Sunderland’s current predicament but Poyet has pretty much set his side up around your man and has given Ki licence to dictate play from the middle of the park with basically every attacking move we make going through the South Korean’s feet first.
It is no secret how Gus Poyet likes his teams to play - very much a style which is especially reminiscent to that of your own which won Swansea many plaudits over recent seasons and given the freedom to play in a central midfield of three, Ki has flourished.
Obviously transfers are a hot topic up and down the country at this time of year and I would not be exaggerating when I say that Ki would be top of my shopping list such is his importance to the side.
Quite whether or not a deal can be agreed either now or in the summer remains to be seen and would ultimately hinge on whether or not the club can beat the drop come May, but either way, we look incapable of playing possession football without Ki in the middle of the park.
Ultimately I fear the Ki situation on Wearside may well play out just like Danny Rose’s loan stint last year where he too caught the eye and won the admiration of the home fans for his superb performances at left-back only to play his way back into contention at White Hart Lane.
Selfishly, I’m desperate to see Ki make his spell with Sunderland a more permanent arrangement, although I could perfectly understand if Swansea were to give their man a second chance given the level of performance he has put in of late.

That's some praise! Perhaps we at Swansea didn't see the potential of Ki when he was sent out on loan, but it seems he's one loan player who would be in our best interests to get back as soon as we can.

A big thanks to David for taking the time to give us his opinions on Ki. You can follow David on Twitter.

Thursday, 2 January 2014

Swans On Film: "Leon is King!"

Swans On Film is a very simple new feature for ForzaSwansea, where we show a Swansea City themed video! It could be a fan-made tribute, an amazing goal, a funny off-field skit or a blast from the past. Basically anything to do with the Swans!


Today's Swans On Film is: "Kings of Leon - Leon is King"

This is a parody of a famous Kings of Leon song with a Swansea City twist - it's a dedication to our legendary midfielder Leon Britton! It was originally created for and performed by Swans fan Dan Edwards.

Leon! Leon! Leon!

If you've got a video you'd like to nominate for Swans On Film, just tweet me, leave a message on our Facebook page or just comment below!


Are you a Pescetarian? If you've given up meat or want to read about a Welshman who has, check out a new blog made by a friend of mine, charting his meat-free adventures for the next six months!

Wednesday, 1 January 2014

Blogger Q&A - The Transfer Window (or "Vazquez is this season's Shechter")

It's that time of year again! The Christmas tree is being taken down, the hangovers are settling in and football managers are making changes to their squads - it's the transfer window!

And what better way to judge what kind of action Swansea City need to take than by a quick-fire Q&A with the ForzaSwansea bloggers. I've set three questions and we all have a go at answering them:

Chris's dream signing - Juve's "atomic ant" Sebastian Giovinco

Q1: What kind of player do Swansea really need to sign this January?

Alec Johnson: We need a nuisance with a creative edge - somebody to pop around the final third and wander into the gaps. A young player without fear to add the same edge that Borini and Siggi did.

Gavin Tucker: Firstly - an option that would cost Swansea nothing - I'd like to see Ki return. His consistency at maintaining possession in the middle of the park would surely be of value to our heavily rotated squad. As signings go, a pacy winger who can beat a defender, delivering an early, accurate cross or reaching the by-line and cutting it back for Bony or Michu would give an added dimension.

Jacob Cristobal: We need a striker!

Jules Price: Ideally another striker and a wide player. Unfortunately, Laudrup seems to have his favourites and this has meant limited time for Routledge this season. However I'm intrigued by the possibility of Luis Alberto being linked to Swansea. Judging by the reaction of some Liverpool fans, they really don't want to see him leave Anfield.

Chris Carra: Where do I start... a striker is vital as Vazquez is not much use and if Bony gets injured we are pretty much buggered. Elsewhere another assured goalkeeper could be a good investment. Anyone with some quality that we can get our hands on as the squad is suffering from so many games.

Gavin's dream signing - Alfred Finnbogason

Q2: Your super-cool Swansea City dream signing?

AJ: Cesc Fabregas. He would slot right in and add 20 extra goals together with a corner that beats the first man.

GT: Icelandic striker Alfred Finnbogason. 17 goals from 15 games so far this season, the 24-year-old currently plays under Marco Van Basten at Dutch side SC Heerenveen. A product of the youth team of Breidablik playing alongside Gylfi Sigurdsson and a recent transfer target of Celtic. He is available for around £5 million and would offer a quality alternative up top to Bony.

JC: Alvaro Morata - this kid is going to be special!

JP: I would like us to sign a big-name player who has played at the highest level but may be slightly passed his very best. Such a signing could lift the team and certainly the supporters. Just look at how well former Swans target Marcos Senna has done for the New York Cosmos this season. Del Piero is still a hero of mine and fits the bill nicely, however I think Falcao of Monaco would suit Swansea and Swansea would suit him.

CC: I always say someone Italian and 2014 isn't going to be a change of habit... I would love to see someone like Sebastian Giovinco (Juventus and Italy) who would offer a completely different attacking threat to Bony. He's tiny, fast and could change a game when needed (which is quite often with Swansea if we're being honest!)

Q3: Who wouldn't you really miss if the Swans let them go? 

AJ: Vazquez has offered nothing more than giving Bony a rest for parts of a game - he's nowhere near good enough for this level.

GT: Tiendalli - he just doesn't seem up to the job that Laudrup is asking of him. When he pushes up in support it's usually too slowly, and once he does he usually fails to track back if the move breaks down. I'd like to see him go, but in reality nobody paying attention would buy him.


JP: Dare I say it but would we miss Tate or Monk if they left the club? It is quite apparent these two players will not see any first team action while Laudrup is in charge. You only had to look at the body language between Laudrup and Monk at Wembley in February to see there isn't a close relationship between them.

CC: Vazquez isn't great - he's basically this season's Itay Shechter (or is that too harsh?). Either way he is giving the illusion that we have a qualified striker on the bench when we really need someone more capable of scoring on demand.


So there we go, that's the ForzaSwansea blogger's opinions on the transfer window. What are your thoughts? Who should we get rid of and who should we grab with both hands? Let us know in the comments box below (just leave your name and write a comment - simple!) or via our new Facebook page.