To the dream….

Tomorrow I will be attending my first ever FA Cup Final at Wembley stadium.  Even though I’m not a Wigan Athletic or a Manchester City fan, I am still very excited…oh, and those top chaps at Budweiser have only gone an included a couple of my pictures in the official promotional video, To the dream.  Happy days.

Swansea City show they have no respect for reputation or league position

No Premier League team will have enjoyed their trip to Wales this season thanks to the form of Swansea City who have taken on all comers with their brand of exciting passing football.  Reputations and league position could for very little in these parts as Abi Davies tells us after the visit of Manchester City yesterday.

Having been defeated just 3 times in the league this season prior to Sunday’s fixture, Manchester City should have felt confident that they could retain their place at the top of the division by taking 3 points from a side they beat 4-0 on the opening weekend of the campaign.

However Swansea’s character, determination and growth in maturity was prevalent at The Liberty as the Welsh side played with an air of confidence and belief that meant they were not remotely overawed by their big spending opponents.

In a game where the pressure was firmly off Swansea and solely on their high flying counterparts, Brendan Rodgers side were presented with the games first chance when they were awarded a penalty after Joe Hart brought down Wayne Routledge, following a great move from the home side. Continue reading

Swans come away with pride from painful debut

Abi Davies made the long journey north for Swansea City’s Premier League debut.  Despite the scoreline they can be proud of their team’s performance.

Less than 3 months since completing their rise from the brink of obliteration to the top flight of English football, Swansea City headed to Manchester to make their Premier League bow at The Etihad Stadium.

The Welsh side were without club captain Gary Monk, who sat out the game due to his foot injury. Whilst left back Neil Taylor also missed the fixture through suspension, following his dismissal in the first leg of their play off semi final against Nottingham Forest.

Brendan Rodgers handed full league débuts to summer signings Danny Graham, Steven Caulker and Dutch international keeper Michel Vorm.

Despite playing a pivotal role in Swansea’s promotion winning campaign, Joe Allen had to settle for a place on the bench as Kemy Agustien made his first start for Swansea since their FA Cup defeat on January 29th with the 24 year old Dutch man offering a larger physical presence in the middle of the park. Continue reading

Swans ready to peck at the top table

So, the time has finally come as Swansea City fans gather up their scarves and hats, don their new shirts, check their sat navs and AA Road planners, pick out their toilet stops and plan their trip to Manchester City and a journey to the Etihad Stadium.

For the converted, a four and a half hour drive is in order from Swansea as a convoy of 2,500 fans make the trip north from South Wales to face Roberto Mancini’s ‘fantasy’ football side on Monday night.

For most, the excitement is tinged with extreme tension. Swansea’s game is being broadcast live on Sky Sports, the nation will be watching. Panellists will study our squad, our formation, our line up and make their own opinions as to our strengths and weaknesses. Continue reading

My first game – Dave Mayor

Manchester City 3 Wimbledon 1
Football League Division 1
Maine Road
August 23rd 1986
Att: 20,756

Confession: This wasn’t actually my first game, that was a local derby between Stalybridge Celtic and Mossley (I think, certainly one of the other Tameside clubs) but I count it as such and it does have, more historic and personal significance.

Being six-years-old at the time there’s not a great deal I can remember about it in all honesty. One of the things was standing (or being sat on a railing) on the Kippax, the huge Platt Lane stand to my left looked empty. It often did. 8,000 seats was quite a large number to designate away supports when the average crowd across the league that season was just below 20,000. Continue reading

Once a Gunner, always a Hammer?

If Trevor Brooking wouldn’t have fallen over in the penalty area at 3.13pm on Saturday 10th May 1980 life would have been so different for me.  The moment a child chooses their  football team to follow is a monumental decision, the first right of passage into adulthood.  After being taken to Charlton Athletic, West Ham United, Leyton Orient and Arsenal I had to choose which route I would take.  Coming from a family of Charlton Athletic and West Ham United fans I obviously chose Arsenal.

Why the Gunners?  Well, I loved standing on the North Bank, watching the crowd sing and sway (this was before Highbury became the Library of course).  I loved the hot dogs, or “Gunner dogs” on sale outside the ground.  I loved the silky skills of Liam Brady and Graham Rix, but above all I loved the fact that by supporting them I pissed off my Brother and my Dad.  I used to love the fact that for my birthday my Dad had to drop my brother off in Green Street before carrying on to North London to watch Arsenal with me. Continue reading

A few more millionaires signing on tomorrow

Who wants to be a Millionaire?

According to Uncle Google, a millionaire is defined as someone who has a “net worth of a million or more units of currency”. In the good old days it was relatively easy to become a millionaire – simply take a flight to Turkey and you could have a million Turkish Lira in your pocket for no more than one US Dollar.  It also appears to be relatively easy to become one if you are a Premier League footballer.

Last week a strange email arrived in the TBIR inbox.  Every day we are blessed with offers to become a millionaire by simply sending our bank details to the relative of an African prince or a long lost relative in dire need of my help to smuggle our long lost fortune outside of some 3rd world country, but this showed an easier route to making a million. According to this email, “leaked” by someone at the club,  simply be an average journeyman footballer with a poor injury record and you too could soon be earning your million pounds per annum.  Someone, obviously unhappy with the way the Circus are/were running West Ham had got the squad list and how much they earnt each week, and it certainly would have pissed off a few players who for the first time were seeing exactly how much their team mates were earning. Continue reading