Last week may have seen the first significant news of the football off-season, but it certainly wasn’t the last. Following the retirement of the legendary Sir Alex Ferguson, and David Moyes’ arrival at Old Trafford as his successor, there has been plenty more big news in the past seven days.
Category: Swansea City
In case any of you were too busy watching the relegation battles on Tuesday night, you may have missed the news that, after three straight years of play-off heartache, Cardiff City were promoted to the Premier League after a 50-year absence from the top flight.
The achievement has been heralded as a landmark moment in the history of Welsh football. Ten percent of next year’s Premier League teams will be Welsh… but is there really much that Welsh footballers stand to gain?
When Capital One took on the sponsorship of the League Cup, as it is traditionally known, it may perhaps have been dreaming of a showpiece final pitting Manchester United against rivals and Premier League champions Manchester City.
As a worst-case scenario, the banking firm would surely have expected two teams of a similar calibre to Everton and Liverpool to be contesting the final at Wembley Stadium in front of 90,000 supporters.
Not in a million years would Capital One have ever anticipated that its brand name and image would be projected around the world on the basis of 90 minutes of football played between Bradford City, of League Two, and top flight outfit Swansea City.
Deadline day once again produced its usual mix of excitement, hyperbole and confusion yesterday, with a standard assortment of a couple of ‘blockbuster’ moves and many, many loan deals done between Premier League teams and lower-league clubs.
As is our duty, though, we’ve dredged through the rumours, the hopes and the hogwash to bring you the ten most intriguing deals of yesterday’s shopping frenzy…
With one Premier League match played, and football having returned from its slightly shorter than usual summer break, if the season were to abruptly end before tomorrow’s action begins, Fulham would have narrowly lost out on their first ever Premier League title to neighbours Chelsea, while Norwich City and Queens Park Rangers would be heading back to the Championship having failed to find the net in the top flight.
Although, while Cottagers supporters struggle to contain their nosebleeds and Swansea City fans organise an open top bus parade for legendary manager Michael Laudrup, we must remember that there are 37 games remaining (for most sides), and plenty of time for the table to take on a more predictable appearance. However, although it is impossible to assess a side’s ability and probable fortune this early on, it is worth taking a look at what is likely to transpire over the next nine months.
Brendan Rodgers yesterday signed a three-year contract to become the new manager of Liverpool Football Club. Replacing folk hero Kenny Dalglish, the 39-year-old has performed excellently to bring Swansea City into the Premier League and lead them to survival in their first year back in the top flight.
The Merseyside club have had to pay around £4-5m in compensation to the Swans for the Northern Irish boss, who guided his former club to a 1-0 victory over Liverpool on the final day of the season.
Well, the inevitable happened again. Chelsea fired a manager. Big deal.
Andre Villas-Boas has looked ready for the chop since Christmas. The youngest manager in the Premier League, in his third season as a manager, sitting in the hottest seat in world football? Working for the most trigger-happy owner in top-class sport with a record of three wins in 12 games? Fighting a losing battle in seemingly trying coerce a group of veteran superstars into his new-age training and tactical methods? It could never last.
And yet, after casting aside numerous more successful managers without a second blink, that trigger-happy owner didn’t want to fire this one.