It's one of those days when you know that you're blessed.A typical crisp,sunny late Autumn when you can't yet see your breath condense but you know that it can't be long before a heavy overcoat becomes not so much a comfort as a necessity.Whatever.
In just over 5 hours time Swansea City v Queens Park Rangers will kick off and Roberto's collection of footballing dreamers get to take on what I've seen regularly described as "the richest club in the world" until very recently.Having had that title snatched from them by Manchester City,acquired,as these rich men's playthings are, by the Abu Dhabi Investment Group, I guess Lakshmi Mittal,Flavio Briattore and Bernie Ecclestone will have to settle for charging £50 for a Category A battle against mighty Derby County.I wonder what they'll make of the Liberty? What on earth would they have made of the Vetch?I shall definitely be trying to get a view of them both pre-game and in our Director's box.Will they even deign to grace us with their presence, or is that particular treat reserved for their retro-chic haven at Loftus Rd.?Such is Championship football in 2008.
I remember well their blue and white hoops in the old Division 1. Gerry Francis,mullet streaming,captaining a side of real talent. One that included , at various times, players as talented as Rodney Marsh,Stan Bowles,Dave Thomas(google them if need be). A team that was good enough to challenge for the title(and all but win it) in an age that seems fairly recent but is as far removed from the reality of football today as white horses at Wembley. Now there's another thing- is today's corporate "home of football", with it's swathes of empty red plastic seats 10 minutes into the second half a real improvement on the twin towers?Discuss
Gerry,incidentally,was in the flesh last weekend prior to Stoke v Tottenham.....nowadays,apparently,coaching Stoke for 2 days a week. Those of an unkind bent might be tempted to think that's reflected in the way Stoke play.......a sort of muscular version of the sorts of team we played regularly last year in Division 1.Perhaps he ought to think of a third day.And then there's Tottenham. Whereas Stoke seem to be looking for ways to breed the seven foot footballer(have they considered Usain Bolt?), Tottenham,with Modric,Bentley,Lennon et al seemed to think they could sneak between their legs.Anyway.
So it's 7.45 tonight.Can we continue to play the successful,posession based game that Roberto favours before that troglodyte section of our own fans start not only muttering but actually booing some of OWN players. Some of us can remember when Mamady Sidibe played for us, and we,like Stoke, seemed to think that the long ball launched from centre back into the opposition's penalty box was de rigeur.
Come on you Swans!!