Monday, 9 February 2015

Audio Jacks podcast - Episode Three

It's another Monday and another Audio Jacks podcast!

In this short episode we discuss the Sunderland game, a controversial post on Planet Swans and we ask why the Liberty Stadium is so quiet these days.

You can stream it by clicking on the link below, or head to the SoundCloud website to download it.

All feedback is very welcome! Catch us on Twitter @ForzaSwansea and @LMScreamer.

Sunday, 8 February 2015

Cup o' coffee and the Swans (Sunday Catch-up - 8th Feb 2015)

Whether you're hungover from the rugby or - more than likely if you're reading this - the FOOTBALL, wake-up and put the espresso machine on, it's time for our weekly catch-up.

Swansea City 1-1 Sunderland

A bit of a frustrating game, but one with plenty of positives.

Sunderland scored the first goal in the first-half, thanks to a solo effort from Jermain Defoe, who literally cut straight through Swansea's flustered defence and deservedly hammered the ball past Fabianski.

Gomis against Sunderland - he gave it a good go, but he's still not impressing.

But a wonderful diving header for the newly returned Ki Sung Yueng made it all square in the second half. Ki was a great presence on the pitch yesterday and deserved to be man of the match. However I was impressed with Kyle Naughton at times, while Jack Cork looked well at home in the centre of the pitch.

Federico Fernandez was pretty solid all game too. Nathan Dyer had spells where he looked like the Dyer of old, although he's just not as consistent as before. A mention must also go to Nelson Oliveira, who came on and looked very keen. I'd like to see him start against West Brom on Wednesday as Bafetimbi Gomis really isn't doing it for me.

But I can't be the only one to notice this? Yes he's committed his allegiance to Swansea (for now...) and he's certainly upped his work rate, but he never looks like he's going to score. He's no Bony (I'm done stating the obvious now).

We told you so!

A small news item about former Swansea City star Scott Sinclair, who said he would now 'think twice' about leaving regular football to sit on the bench for a bigger club.

I'm not sure why it's taken him that long to realise, but at least he does have some career awareness. He was a big talent for Swansea, but he's basically starting from scratch again... let's hope it works out for him at Villa (apart from his away days at the Liberty).

Boring old Swansea?

The transfer window closed on February 2nd, and - despite all the transfer rumors around - nothing really happened with Swansea on the final day. But then why would it? We had a busy enough month of ins and outs, so there was little need to panic buy in the final hours.

The biggest news for the Swans in the window was, of course, the departure of Wilfried Bony, who left for Manchester City for around £28million at the start of the month.

But the club used a little of that cash to bring in a few new faces, with the biggest signing probably being Jack Cork from Southampton for a rumoured £3million. The previous week Kyle Naughton arrived from Spurs for an eyebrow-raising £5million. He's perhaps less of a catch than Cork, but he will give Rangel some much-needed competition, as he showed yesterday.

The Swans also secured Nelson Oliveira on loan from Benfica earlier in the window, but he's not been able to make much of an impact during his limited time on the pitch. As I've already said, it would be nice to see him make a start or two.

And finally Exeter City midfielder Matt Grimes came to the club for £1.75million - the youngster is a decent prospect, but definitely one for the future.

One year on...

Last Wednesday, Garry Monk celebrated his one year anniversary as Swansea City manager. And he's done a great job. Of course he's made his fair share of mistakes, but he's also enjoyed his moments of genius and has pretty much led Swansea to Premier League safety with most of the season to go.

Doesn't it seem like yesterday that the club was wrapped up in rumours and controversy as Michael Laudrup was sacked? Hang on... that means that today - February 8th - is the one year anniversary of that glorious 3-0 win against Cardiff City!

Now, surely that's a good reason to crack open a few cans this Sunday morning!


Read all about that epic Cardiff City match in Swansea City's Greatest Games - the city's best-selling sports book of 2014!

Sunday, 1 February 2015

Cup o' coffee and the Swans (Sunday Catch-up - 1st Feb 2015)

Happy new month! We all survived the bleak and rainy month that is January.

So, to kick off February, get your cup of coffee ready and enjoy my weekly round-up!

Southampton vs Swansea City (4pm today)

For a change, I can't start this blog with an angry reaction about the match just gone because Swansea don't play their weekend Premier League fixture until 4pm this afternoon. Rest assured we'll probably see the Swans take an early lead, before two of them are sent off, leading to a 6-1 defeat.

In all fairness Swansea are without an array of key players at the moment including Sigurdsson, Ki and - let's admit it - a gifted striker, so it'll be tough to get much of a result at St Mary's against a team who are excelling again this season.

I'm expecting a loss for Swansea... perhaps 2-0. I'm usually wrong, so we could see a nice draw instead. And with the talent left in the team, there's no real reason why a 0-0 draw couldn't be on the cards.

Jack Cork... finally

One of Garry Monk's final January transfer window signings was Southampton midfielder Jack Cork - a player who has been linked with Swansea for a couple of years now. Cork was officially unveiled on Friday night for an undisclosed fee, reported to be in the area of £3million.

Cork is a holding midfielder, who has played around 110 times for the Saints since 2011. He's not a goalscorer, but seems to have been drafted in to play in alongside Ki/Britton/Carroll in a defensive midfield role.

Of course, the name Cork may be familiar to older Swans fans who will remember his father Alan, who briefly managed the club from October 1997 until the end of the season.

He comes to Swansea looking for more games, but with an already healthy midfield, will he find them? I'm guessing that yes, he will. But that begs the question: who will make way for him?

Filthy little Swans

It seems Swansea are the naughtiest boys in the Premier League! However we all know that this truly isn't the case. Most of the red cards have been second yellows (for silly little occurrences) or pretty questionable straight reds.

Of course there's rarely smoke without fire and sometimes a red card is justified. But when it comes to Swansea - who we know are not a dirty team - something is not quite right.

Garry Monk summed it up best when he said earlier in the week:

"We make one of the least amount of fouls in the division, have one of the lowest yellow card counts and yet one of the most fouled against. It really doesn’t add up."

Ki returns to Swansea

Ki Sung Yueng is on his way back to South Wales following his Asian Cup campaign with South Korea. And what a cup he had, captaining his country through the competition right up until yesterday's final against Australia.

Unfortunately for Ki, South Korea finished runners-up as the Aussies made history by winning their first ever Asian Cup competition, in a 2-1 final.

His big midfield presence had certainly been missed over the past month or so, and he'll be a very welcome addition to the team next week, hopefully ready in time to take on his former team Sunderland at the Liberty Stadium.


If you're looking for a freelance writer in Swansea to help with advertising or social media, make sure to check out my website.

Friday, 30 January 2015

The new series of The Audio Jacks - Episode Two

Here's the second episode of the revived Audio Jacks!

In this episode we have a brief summary of the Blackburn match, a rant from Matt about red cards, Chris plays the bizarre transfer window game, and they both take a short look ahead at the Southampton game on Sunday.

Have a listen below. You can also download the episode, if you want to listen to the show while walking, driving or waiting on a bus!

(Note: there's a slight problem with the audio in the first minute or two but it sorts itself out soon after!)

Sunday, 25 January 2015

Cup o' coffee and the Swans (Sunday Catch-up - 25th Jan 2015)

Hungover? Good - it serves you right for drinking that final beer last night.

Anyway, it's Sunday morning so grab a cup of coffee and settle your stomach by catching-up with some of the Swansea City news from the last week.

Blackburn Rovers 3 - 1 Swansea City

As always we'll start with the most recent game, which was an FA Cup fourth round tie against Championship side Blackburn Rovers at Ewood Park.

Unfortunately after just six minutes every Swans fan was shouting 'are you f****** joking?!' as Kyle Bartley was shown an early red card - not so much for the referee's decision, which seemed correct, but because it was another red card for Swansea, leading to yet another uphill climb from the off.

Gylfi Sigurdsson uncorked a beautiful shot in the 20th minute to give Swansea the lead, but that was quickly cancelled out by an equaliser from Chris Taylor, who capitalised on poor defending in the box.

In the second half, the home side extinguished any suggestion of a Liberty Stadium replay with a second and third goal (from Rudy Gestede and Craig Conway respectively). Then Sigurdsson was sent off for a stupid foul, leaving nine man Swans side to see out the final few minutes. Makes for grim reading doesn't it?

Garry Monk had called for a reaction from the players after the Chelsea hammering, but that clearly didn't help. Everything looked sloppy and a couple of players didn't seem like they wanted to be there, which brings me on to my next section...

Bafetimbi Gomis vs Swansea

It's been a while since Swans fans have been this riled up at a player. Yes Itay Shechter was dreadful and Michu was moody, but no player has been quite as full of themselves as Mr Gomis.

Sort it out Gomis
And it seems to be unjustified arrogance from the striker who hasn't particularly shone in a Swansea shirt, scoring just four goals in 23 appearances. He's 29-years-old, an infrequent international and - although capable of being good - he's not backing up his talk with any action.

Gomis wanted to be the starting striker but, due to Bony's great form and the fact Swansea only ever play one striker, it wasn't going to happen. Of course, no-one knows what promises were made to him originally, but now - with Bony gone - the Frenchman has his chance to impress.

Regardless of his disdain for the club, it seems that Monk has seemingly warned Gomis that he won't be leaving Swansea this month anyway, so he might as well settle in, keep his head down and try to score some bloody goals!

Hello Kyle

Kyle Naughton is now officially a Swansea City player. The surprise move resulted in a £5million bill from Spurs, and a right-back who hasn't particularly wowed during his time at the Premier League top six side, leaving a few Swans fans scratching their heads.

However, he will provide a new option at the tricky right-back position. And he's competition - not just cover - for the likes of Rangel and Richards, which can only be a good thing. Naughton didn't feature in the FA Cup match at Ewood Park (lucky him), but no doubt we'll see him on Sunday against Southampton.

We're in the money!

Earlier in the week it was reported that Swansea City are now in the top 30 wealthiest football clubs in the world. The Swans ranked an impressive 29th in the list, with a revenue of £98.7m during the 2013/14 season, making them the first Welsh club to make it into the top 30. It's nice to end this article on a positive!

Monday, 19 January 2015

The triumphant return of the Audio Jacks podcast!

Happy Monday to you.

You probably weren't expecting this (and neither was I until a few days ago), but I have a new Audio Jacks podcast for you!

About three years ago myself and Matt Barroccu (an expert Swans fan and broadcaster) created the Audio Jacks - a light-hearted weekly podcast all about Swansea City. However, after a few successful episodes we went our own ways as careers and laziness took over.

But now, a few years later, we have decided to test the water with a comeback podcast. Why? I don't really know. It's a nice way to vent views on the Swans through a different medium to blogging/books, and is something fun for you guys to listen to on the way to work.

Have a listen via the SoundCloud link below and let us know what you think. I'm reachable via the contact form, the comments section, or on Twitter @ForzaSwansea, while you can also reach Matt on @LMScreamer.


Sunday, 18 January 2015

Cup o' coffee and the Swans (Sunday Catch-up - 18th Jan 2015)

Wake up - it's Sunday morning and time for our new regular weekly Swansea City catch-up, featuring Bony's departure, Mario Gomez and the... *sigh*... Chelsea match.

Swansea City 0 - 5 Chelsea

Let's get this out of the way then...

A goal in the first minute really set the tone for a game that Chelsea dominated in every way. Another in the 20th gave the visitors a comfortable cushion. A third in the 34th minute killed the game off completely, and a fourth just over a minute later was just embarrassing. If you weren't watching (lucky you) it was Oscar and Costa who scored two each.

The second half wasn't particularly brilliant, but at least the gaps were filled and the Chelsea goals stopped coming... for a while. In the 78th minute, substitute Ivanovic got the fifth and final goal of the game.

Ruthless from Chelsea, who will become deserved champions of the Premier League this season. And overall very poor from Swansea. However, the Swans were without first choicers like Ki, Montero, Shelvey and Britton, while Routledge also hobbled off in the first half. It's no excuse, but it's worth pointing out.

It was only a loss at the end of the day, although the goal difference could hurt come the end of the season. It was never a game Swansea were likely to win, but no-one saw that coming! Oh well, onto Blackburn in the FA Cup - a game in which some pride can hopefully be restored.

Mario Gomez spotted in Rossi's?

BREAKING: German star striker Mario Gomez has been spotted having a rissole in Rossi's carpark!

Gomez - the one with the smaller eyes.

That's right, it seems Gomez - who plies his trade for Serie A club Fiorentina - is the latest in the series of unlikely players linked with a move to Swansea.

I mean, if he was willing to take a major pay cut then perhaps it would be a little more feasible, especially as he's clearly not loving his time in Italy. But please don't hold your breath on this one...

Bony officially gone

After perhaps a sliver of uncertainty over Wilfried Bony's exit from the club, on Wednesday Swansea City officially confirmed that he would leave for Manchester City for a fee of £17,000 (... just joking - it's an officially undisclosed fee, which is understood to mean the club will take £25million initially, with the possibility of £3million add-ons).

Stating the obvious, he's been immense over the past two years, almost single-handedly keeping the Swans from relegation last season before contributing some noteworthy goals this year too. We wish him the best of luck - he seems more likely to succeed with City than Scott Sinclair did.

Catching up with Ki

The Swans are certainly missing Ki Sung Yeung this month, who is still in Australia captaining the Korean team in the 2015 Asian Cup.

Korean Ki
And by all accounts Ki is playing very well, with Korea finishing top of Group A, having won all three of their games 1-0.

Korea are likely to play either Saudi Arabia or Uzbekistan in the competition's quarter-finals on Thursday. Let's hope the midfielder can keep injury free for the rest of the competition, then return to South Wales ready to slot in to a sloppy Swansea side!