Summer Break - Swansea
It has become something of a received wisdom within the present day that the mainstream media exist as the pinnacle of what is possible in sports journalism. Whilst it is not in our interest to reject this assumption, here at A Team of John O’Sheas we believe that some of the most perceptive insight regarding the top teams in the country comes from the fans themselves. In the course of this podcast series, we will be bringing together some of the most influential fans from across the Premier League to give you the low-down on the teams that they watch week in, week out. We’ll look back over the season just gone, try to get a handle on the transfer activity that rumbles on through the summer months, and look forwards to the next season which, as always, seems to creep up on us with ever increasing speed.
In this episode, we find ourselves at the home of the only Premier League side in Wales. Promoted into the division in 2011, Swansea City joined Stoke City as the clubs with the inauspicious honour of being the only promoted teams to never be relegated. Of course, other teams have joined them now, but Stoke and Swansea pioneered the way in becoming dependable Premier League sides, albeit with Swansea generally doing it more attractively than Stoke. The Swan’s achievements were generally attributed to a finely-tuned infrastructure which allowed new managers to be brought in with little disruption so that, in the event of a successful manager being poached (or an unsuccessful one sacked), the club could continue in a generally upwards trajectory regardless. Until, that is, the wheels came off last season. The only club to go through three managers in the season, Swansea sacked Francesco Guidolin, replacing him with Bob Bradley, whose tenure never really progressed above ‘nose-dive’. The only positives arrived when Paul Clement came on the scene along with all the experience that working as Carlos Ancelotti’s assistant brings with it. The result was impressive: rock bottom when he joined, the team eventually finished a respectable 15th. The question remains: was this just a managerial blip bringing Swansea back to their level? Or will Paul Clement continue to take the club up the table?
Joining us today is one of the biggest names in the world of Swansea City fan media. Steven Carroll is the editor of the Swansea Oh Swansea fanzine and a regular on the popular JackCast podcast. Swansea Oh Swansea Fanzine has gone from strength to strength since publishing its first issue, a free 24-page magazine back in January 2010. Steven has been editing the publication for a number of years now, a responsibility he balances along with his appearances on JackCast and attending Swans matches as the owner of a season ticket which he has held since 1997.