Relief: A Big 3 Points

Relief. That is the only word I can use to sum up my feelings as the ball bobbed into the Fulham net past Martin Stekelenburg. As Jonjo Shelvey pulled the trigger, I crossed my fingers in hope that this shot, after he had hit 3 similar chances over, wide and at the crossbar, would nestle where every Jack wanted it too. It did, but via a pleasant piece of fortune as the ball pinballed off Dan Burn and then Brede Hangeland leaving Stekelenburg bamboozled to where the ball was actually going. It wasn’t the prettiest of goals, but after a stingy December/January in the points department for the Swans we’ll take what we can get.

The goal seemed to be all we would need as Fulham looked as crestfallen as their lone striker Dimitar Berbatov, who’s non-chalant coolness seems to have morphed into melancholic disinterest. In fact, the only real threat Fulham seemed to offer all game came from Alex Kacaniklic, who they seemed determined to use as little as possible.

The Swans had the game in the bag by the 75th minute, as Chico headed home from a Jonathan De Guzman freekick. Whilst we are on the subject of the Dutch-Canadian-Fillipino midfielder, it’s safe to say that he has irritated large portions of the support with some tepid midfield performances over the past few months and his erratic corner taking; however, I thought De Guzman had one of his best games in a Swansea shirt for a while this evening and his delivery was much improved for a player who is described on his Wikipedia page as a ‘freekick specialist’. Keep it up Jonny.

The sheer madness that is the 2013/2014 Premier League season means that Swansea have gone from being doomed and absolutely torn to shreds by pundits over the weekend, to all of a sudden neatly slotting into the top half of the league. Obviously, it is still early days yet, but hopefully this victory will spur us over the next few weeks as we meet several teams in the lower regions of the league – West Ham, Stoke and of course our Welsh pals from just up the M4.

I was never as convinced of our supposed decline as others, although obviously it was clear that we did need to improve our lukewarm showings sooner rather than later. I’ve never been one to blame the Europa League for our poor form, but I think that our trvails on the continent have certainly help fill up our physio room a lot quicker and the sheer volume of injuries recently has certainly played a large part in pummeling our points total. It now looks like we are coming through the worst of it with injuries thinning out with the return of De Guzman and Dyer. (who I thought made a great difference when he came on tonight)

We have played a lot of tough fixtures over the opening months of the season and I think most would agree that the second half of our season appears much kinder having already played many of the ‘big clubs’ at the Liberty. Our record against teams in the bottom half is very good and better than the other clubs sitting in the bottom 12 (6 wins, 5 draws and 2 losses against the bottom 12) and this will surely mean a lot more points being attainable for us over the coming months. Plus, our Europa League games are now diminishing and maybe even becoming non-existent after we come up against a star-studded Napoli side.

The Swans didn’t set the world alight tonight, but a very professional and comfortable victory over a team desperate for points. 2 games undefeaten – let the run commence!

Matt

Advertisements

Introducing The Jack Cast

Twitter has become an amazing tool. For me, it has become my main resource for news and has led to a modern day renaissance in the sharing of information . Of course, the news and information I usually seek 90% of the time is about the football world and I think it is fair to say that football, at least on these shores, very much dominates much of Twitter – perhaps a reflection of the football-obsessed nation in which we live within.

Through Twitter I’ve found all sorts of wonderful and sometimes wacky (I’m looking at you Non-League Dogs) football websites and blogs, which have entertained me on my commute to work; whilst I’m relaxing at home and en route to football up and down the country for my own blog, Lost Boyos, which some of you may know.

I’ve always loved reading, especially about football, but over the past 18 months I’ve found a new form of media that neatly partners my love of reading:  the podcast. Podcasts are great and they have regularly entertained on my travels and made me look foolish in public as I laugh out loud listening to James Richardson’s cheeky puns on The Football Weekly podcast through my headphones. Once again, thanks to Twitter, I’ve uncovered a whole plethora of general football podcasts, but also various individual club podcasts, which are slowly becoming the modern day substitute to the old-school fanzine for some football fans. Which brings me nicely on to my club.

400658_10151607693091346_1470902209_n

Chelsea, Liverpool, Arsenal, Spurs, Manchester United and City all have several fan run podcasts centred around their club, a fact that is unsurprising considering the size of the clubs and their fanbases, but several Football League clubs have excellent podcasts being hosted by passionate supporters. I’ve heard some brilliant podcasts from Bradford City fans with Bradford Banter; Bolton have The Men in White and Wolves have the Wolves Fancast. Just three examples of great club podcasts off the top of my head. So why not Swansea City?

I did enjoy the short-lived effort of the Forza Swansea lads and it was a shame that they stopped their podcast. There has been a Swans shaped hole in the podcast market since, something I pointed out a few times to fans during last summer. As time has gone on and I have waited for some savvy young Swans fans to step into the Swansea City podcast void, the idea slowly began to come into my head that I might have to be the one to go with this whole ‘Swansea City fans podcast’ idea after all. After pitching the idea to a couple of people over the season, the idea was generally met with positive responses, which was encouraging; it was just the terrifying process of trying to sort it all out that daunted me.

The final straw came recently when I was asked to be the Swansea guest on the entertaining and light-hearted Spurs podcast Rule the Roost. I had great fun talking to the Spurs lads about my beloved club and when they also pointed out that they had not come across a Swansea City podcast, they made me feel duty bound to create such a thing.

So here we are. From not having the foggiest idea of how to create a podcast 2 weeks ago, to now feeling fairly confident that I can pull off this whole podcast malarkey; although it’s still early days and I’m sure there is still plenty of time for things to go tits up.

After the name was pitched to us by Swansea fan Josh Morris on Twitter, The JackCast was chosen as the title of our Swansea City podcast offering, although there was some opposition from the SwansPod camp

I’m pleased to announce that I will be joined on the podcast by two top Swansea fans: the first recruit was Steven Carroll, who is the editor of the excellent Swansea Oh Swansea (SOS) fanzine, which I cannot recommend highly enough if you see it being sold around the Liberty (and that’s not just because yours truly also contributes to it); and the second January signing for The JackCast was to be Scott Mackay of The Swansea Way fame, probably the best Swansea City blog out there at the moment. We’re going to plod on as a trio for now, but who knows, there may be an opportunity for a Dartagnan to join the Three Musketeers in the future.

Our first recording will be this upcoming Sunday (26th January) following Swansea’s FA Cup clash against Birmingham City at St. Andrews. The plan is to usually publish midweek, but as the Swans play Fulham at the Liberty on Tuesday night and because it is our first effort, we’re going for an earlier broadcast this week with the first episode of The JackCast (hopefully) being published on either Sunday night or Monday.

What can you expect from the podcast? Well, I guess it goes without saying that we’ll discuss and review all of Swansea City’s fixtures and preview upcoming games, as well as delving into all the latest talking points at SA1. As you probably learnt from the start, I’m a big advocate of Twitter, so we’ll also be tweeting out a topic questions from our Twitter account (@TheJackCast) each week and getting your responses to them and sharing them on the podcast. There are also plans to have our very own ‘JackCast Hall of Fame’, which we’ll give more information about once we are up and running. I’m also planning on putting articles, opinion pieces etc. on this site, but to what extent is still to be determined – watch this space. Any other ideas you have regarding the podcast or anything related, just give us a shout either via Twitter or through email (jackcast1912@gmail.com).

Right I’m going to stop babbling on. I felt I just needed to introduce the podcast, and this site, somehow so thanks for reading if you have bothered.

At the end of the day, this is supposed to a bit fun. None of us are pretending we’re anything more than fans, so don’t expect us to be pretentious and aloof with our views about Swansea City – we’re just looking for something for other Swans fans to hopefully enjoy and another platform to spread the word of the greatest club and fanbase there is.

Who are we?…..