Category Archives: Swansea City

Brentford crowned EFL Football Manager Cup Winners

Brentford supporter Sam Jacques successfully managed the Championship side to FM2020 EFL Cup glory this past weekend.

The Bees overcame Welsh side Swansea City in the final of the competition in a nerve racking penalty shoot out after the match finished 1-1 after 120 minutes of action.

The final was ultimately decided by David Raya’s penalty saving heroics after saving spot kicks from Andre Ayew and Conor Gallagher meaning that the shootout finished 5-4.

In truth, Jacques’s team should have won before it reached the penalty stage having created more than enough chances to win the contest in normal and extra time but were kept at bay by the Swansea’s impressive keeper, Freddie Woodman.

It was however the Welsh side, managed by supporter Gareth Roberts, who took the lead through Conor Gallagher who latched onto a long ball from Matt Grimes.

The lead lasted a mere 79 seconds as Emiliano Marcondes headed in Mathias Jensen’s free kick to make it 1-1 before half time.

The second half saw a number of missed chances from the Bees, Marcondes and striker Ollie Watkins both wasted good chances.  In extra-time Marcondes also saw a goal disallowed for offside.

Ultimately, these missed opportunities did not come back to haunt Brentford as they were able to keep their nerve from 12 yards to bring to an end a compelling virtual tournament organised by EFL and partnered by Mind UK.

Overall 54 teams took part in the tournament, which lasted over four weeks.  The JustGiving page set up has so far managed to raise £7,929 for the Mental Health Charity and there is still time to donate to this very worthwhile cause.

Carabao Cup: Round One Draw Announced

The Carabao Cup Round One draw was made on Thursday evening from Morrisons, Colindale, North West London.

There were two stand out ties from the draw with AFC Wimbledon playing MK Dons, while newly-promoted Salford City will face Leeds United.

The draw was conducted by two former England internationals in John Barnes and Ray Parlour and was split into two regions – North and South.

Huddersfield Town, the hightest-ranked team in the Northern Section, will face Lincoln City while the highest ranked Southern side, West Bromwich Albion, will face Millwall.

Every club from Sky Bet League One and League Two enter the Carabao Cup in Round One, along with 22 Championship clubs.

Only Cardiff City and Fulham – who finished 18th and 19th respectively in the Premier League last season, will enter in Round Two, alongside the clubs from the Premier League, not in European competitions.

The first round matches are scheduled to take place week commencing Monday 12thAugust, with the final due to take place on March 1, 2020.

Full Round One Draw can be seen below:

North Draw

Tranmere Rovers v Hull City

Grimsby Town v Doncaster Rovers

Wigan Athletic v Stoke City

Port Vale v Burton Albion

Nottingham Forest v Fleetwood Town

Bradford City v Preston North End

Blackpool v Macclesfield Town

Blackburn Rovers v Oldham Athletic

Mansfield Town v Morecambe

Accrington Stanley v Sunderland

Scunthorpe United v Derby County

Rochdale v Bolton Wanderers

Huddersfield Town v Lincoln City

Middlesbrough v Crewe Alexandra

Shrewsbury Town v Rotherham United

Sheffield Wednesday v Bury

Salford City v Leeds United

Barnsley v Carlisle United

South Draw

Colchester United v Swindon Town

AFC Wimbledon v MK Dons

Oxford United v Peterborough United

Queens Park Rangers v Bristol City

Plymouth Argyle v Leyton Orient

Wycombe Wanderers v Reading

Charlton Athletic v Forest Green Rovers

Gillingham v Newport County

Stevenage v Southend United

Luton Town v Ipswich Town

Walsall v Crawley Town

Bristol Rovers v Cheltenham Town

Brentford v Cambridge United

Coventry City v Exeter City

Swansea City v Northampton Town

Swans Swoop In For Cooper

SWANSEA City have appointed England Under-17 Head Coach Steve Cooper as their new Head Coach.

Cooper, 39, has signed a three-year deal to replace Graham Potter who joined Brighton and Hove Albion earlier this summer.

He will be joined by former Liverpool and West Ham United midfielder Mike Marsh, who becomes the assistant first-team coach, with further backroom appointments to come.

Marsh worked alongside Cooper at the FA and is also the former Liverpool and Huddersfield Town first-team coach.

Cooper, who during his career played as a defender, is the son of former top-flight referee Keith – was on the books of Wrexham as a youngster before joining the clubs academy coaching set-up, acheiveing his UEFA Pro Licence coaching certificate at the age of 26.

After becoming Head of Youth at Wrexham, he moved to Liverpool in 2008 and became Academy manager in 2011. During his time at Anfield, he worked under technical director Pep Segura, who is currently, general football manager at Barcelona and he helped develop players such as Raheem Sterling and Trent Alexander-Arnold and Ben Woodburn.

He first joined the FA set-up in 2013 as a youth coach educator and coached the England Under-16s in 2014 before moving to under-17 level a year level.

Cooper’s Young Lions reached the 2017 European Championship finals, where they lost against Spain on penalties, but they gained revenge later in the year when they beat the same opponents 5-2 in the World Cup final.

The England Under-17 World Cup final side featured the likes of Phil Foden, Rhian Brewster, Morgan Gibbs-White and Callum Hudson-Odoi, whilst Jadon Sancho, who has since made his senior debut, was also in the squad for the tournament.

Swansea chairman Trevor Birch told the clubs official website:“We are excited and delighted with the appointment.

“Together with Leon (Britton) and Alan (Curtis) we went through a long and thorough interview process covering a lot of very good candidates. The quality was extremely high, which speaks volumes about the attractiveness of the opportunity and how well respected this football club is within the game.

“At the forefront of our thinking was the appointment of a head coach who was hungry, ambitious, had a clear track record of playing our style of football, plus a pedigree to work with and develop young, talented players.

“Steve matched all those requirements in abundance and his views, coaching ethos and presentation were extremely compelling.

“It may be his first senior role, but he has been coaching for over 20 years and, let’s not forget, our young squad saw more game time for under-23 players than any other team in the Championship last season. And not many people can say they have won a World Cup, even at under-17 level!

“He is highly regarded as one of the best young coaches in the country and at some stage was always going to be given an opportunity by someone. I’m delighted we are that club because Swansea has a great track record of success in doing just that with the likes of Roberto Martinez and Brendan Rodgers, for example.’’

Birch also revealed that the club were targeting appointing a head coach rather than a manager saying:“We were targeting a head coach rather than a manager because we feel the work on the training pitch will be vital to our success. The appointment of Mike Marsh as his assistant – who has a wealth of knowledge and senior experience – will play a vital role in supporting Steve.

“We will also ensure he receives support from a strong infrastructure around him. Leon and Alan will be regular and familiar figures down at the training ground who, together with the impending new head of recruitment and other backroom hires, will form a strong collaborative team behind the scenes.

“We believe Steve is ready for it, but more importantly he believes he is ready for it as well. We are excited by the appointment and have every confidence and belief in his abilities to be successful.’’

Swansea City: Who is Dan James?

That was a question being asked by a lot of people this week, especially outside of Wales, when Dan James, scored on his full debut for Wales

So who is Dan James?

 

He is a winger, yes that dying breed of wide player, who plays for Swansea City, they who are currently in the EFL Championship under the guidance of Graham Potter, the likeable and unassuming English Manager, who was in charge of Ostersunds, when they beat Arsenal in the Europa League last season

James, is a rising star for Swansea, but such have been his performances, that they have drawn attention from Clubs such as fellow Championship rivals Leeds United, who had a £10 million bid accepted and had agreed terms with the player, before Swansea pulled the plug at the last minute… A move they are glad they did given his form this season.

His goal for Wales, is only going to see his stock rise further in this crazy football market.

James is contracted to Swansea until the summer of 2020, and speculation about where he might end up, have not been helped by the fact that Swansea have admitted there will be redundancies this summer, with all Football Staff, both playing and admin wise, with the exceptions of Graham Potter and his management team.

As Manager Graham Potter explained recently

“My thing with Dan is quite consistent. He hasn’t indicated anything other than he wants to be here, he wants to play and improve, and it is my responsibility to help him do that.

“The rest is a process we will have to do behind the scenes.

“You have to find a solution for everybody and that’s where we are at.

“Progress is being made, as with a lot of other players. We have those conversations and when we have something to announce, we will announce it.”

 

There is no doubting he is hot property at this time, and it could be suggested, that he is premier league quality, which is why Swansea pulled the plug on the Leeds Switch.

No disrespect to Leeds, but they are playing good football, in the top two in the Championship, but as it well known in football, that doesn’t guarantee a Premiership return.

There are a host of clubs, including Arsenal and Newcastle after him and these two clubs might suit him in terms of getting more game time, than somewhere like Man City, where it is likely he will be on the bench or even loaned out to get more experience.

One thing for sure is that this summer is going to be an exciting time for Dan James.

Top 3 Welsh Wonders in the Premier League

Since the evolution of the Premier League, there have been a flurry of Welsh players such as Joe Allen and 2016 Premier League winner Andy King. But who are the top three players?

 

Ryan Giggs

The former Manchester United captain has won (nearly) everything there is to win in club football, from league titles, to cups, including European glories and the FIFA Club World Cup. He also holds a unique record of scoring in every Premier League season (except in 2013/14).

Just a pity he never played in any international tournaments, but at least he was part of Team GB.

 

Gareth Bale

Since being plucked from Southampton by Tottenham Hotspur, Gareth Bale went from strength to strength, having first experienced Champions League football with the North London side back in 2010/11, and captured the imagination of fans with a memorable hat-trick against Inter Milan. Since then, he’s achieved more than he could ever imagine with Real Madrid, having won a league title, one Copa Del Rey, and four Champions League titles. Three of which were consecutive.

 

Aaron Ramsey

Aaron Ramsey signed on at Arsenal from Cardiff City in the summer of 2008. During the period, he showed promise, and his confidence improved from there on. Although he was showing he was the real deal, it all came crashing down in February 2010. A horror tackle by Ryan Shawcross saw Ramsey out for the rest of the season.

Thankfully, he recovered from that, and returned to form to help his Arsenal side end their wait for a trophy in 2014, and win two more along the way.

 

Special mentions: Ashley Williams – He’s been instrumental in the rise to prominence of Welsh football, having been part of the Swansea City side that won promotion in 2011 – thus being the first Welsh club to compete in the Premier League, and the side that won the League Cup two

 

Joe Allen – comically known as “the Welsh Xavi”, like Williams, he was part of a successful Swansea City side that won promotion, and was a regular feature at Liverpool until his unfortunate injury just before the 2015/16 season.

 

Andy King – Having signed for Leicester City as a teenager in 2006, the Barnstaple-born (qualified to play for Wales through his grandmother who is from Wrexham) midfielder didn’t experience Premier League football until 2014. His side stayed up in their first season back in the top flight, which included a memorable 5-3 win over Manchester United. He was a instrumental part of the incredible 5000-1 side that exceeded expectation. In doing that, he became just the fourth Welsh international to win the Premier League.

 

So, those are my top three Welsh players who have graced the Premier League. What are yours?