Swansea Start FA Cup Run

swansea city afcSwans go to Oxford this weekend. The match is actually on tv at 4am local time. A perfect spot to catch my team before I head to church for 8am Mass. Except for the hideous early morning hour.

From a continent and an ocean away, I sense the excitement about England’s FA Cup. It’s like the first round of March Madness here in the States, with people wondering, hoping which double-digit seed will pull out an underdog victory against a ranked opponent.

I noticed the FA Cup allows every team, pro and amateur to compete. Makes me wonder if 68 teams aren’t an underestimation of a tournament’s potential impact. I’ve suggested elsewhere that putting every basketball team into the NCAA tournament might be an interesting thing.

Oxford UnitedBack to the Swans match, I was surprised to learn Oxford United has a storied history, playing in the top flight of English football for a few years in the 80’s. Their crest, right, is interesting and I didn’t get it at first. Do you?

Swansea has depth on the squad, though. Their 12th through 22nd best players should be enough. I suspect that team and supporters will not want a defeat to throw poop on a team’s effort to turn things around and launch itself clear of relegation.

About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in the Pacific Northwest, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
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6 Responses to Swansea Start FA Cup Run

  1. David D. says:

    “Swansea has depth on the squad, though. Their 12th through 22nd best players should be enough.”

    Oops!

  2. Todd says:

    Oops, indeed. This team was built for deep cup runs and they’ve been bounced from both competitions without a win. The BBC commentators harped a bit about discharging a coach without one to replace him. As it is, I have to hope this team has enough to finish 17th. That’s the only goal left this year.

    On the other hand, other minnows had some nice results against the Premier League. What do you make of Liverpool? A long injury list and a long list of matches this month.

  3. David D. says:

    Arsenal, United and Norwich in the league, the replay against Exeter [!] in the FA, and Stoke in the second leg of the league cup. That’s a lot of matches in 2 weeks for a banged up squad though all but the Norwich tilt are at home.

    Swans really need and should take 3 crucial points this Wednesday. Though the rumor is seeming more and more unlikely to come to fruition – at least as far as the January window is concerned – how would you feel about a return of Bony?

  4. Todd says:

    For his own sake, Bony perhaps should never have left Swansea. He’ll have his European aspirations satisfied, and perhaps a more robust bank account. But he’ll never get regular time on the field for Man City.

    I’m a little more excited about unloading Jonjo for Nigel De Jong. The Swans probably need more toughness at midfield, and De Jong is also versatile–at least in how he’s been utilized in the past. I wonder about some acquisitions who have been struggling. Montero and Ayew have been battered a bit and they haven’t been at all the same since August. It seems that adjusting to the PL is a significant hurdle for some foreign players. I wonder if Swansea will reconsider some of their foreign scouting finds as a result.

  5. David D. says:

    I was trying to think of examples of players in recent years who, having had success, left a small club, bombed at a big club, then returned to success at their old club but that task was way above my meager football knowledge. The closest I came was Shaun Wright Phillips. He spent 6 years at Man City – the last 3 when City had come back to the top flight but well before the petro-dollars started to flow – and was considered an up and comer for both club and country. He moved to then champions Chelsea for 3 years of limited appearances and then back to City for 3 years of mediocrity before moving on to QPR and finally MLS. The only other examples I could come up with were older stars returning in the twilight of their careers, e.g. Didier Drogba at Chelsea.

    Bony’s actually had a good amount of opportunities with the various injuries to Aguero this year and has 8 goals in 23 appearances across all competitions. Most fans seem to be fairly down on him with most of those thinking it’s a matter of Bony being a bad fit. Most are resigned to him remaining on the squad this year given Aguero’s penchant for niggling injuries, the fact that City are still in 4 competitions, and the only other available striker being a 19 year old academy product (who is scoring at an impressive rate in his very limited appearances). I think a signature moment such as a late winner would do him and the fans a great deal of good. It will be interesting to see where he goes this summer with his current 100,000 pound/week wages.

    De Jong was part of City squads that won the FA Cup and the league and there are still quite a few fans who miss him or at least the 26 year old version of him. Is he still a player of any consequence?

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