The Swans first season back at Championship level (Division Two to us oldies) in 24 years came to a close this afternoon with a 1 nil defeat against Blackpool.
With neither side having anything to play for – apart from pride and the odd contract perhaps – the whole atmosphere and approach to the game was more akin to a pre-season friendly than a league game.
It was little wonder then perhaps that the rather sleepy Swans defence leaked the only goal of the game inside the first half hour. Despite dominating possession – as per most of our home games this season – the Swans failed to capitalise on a host of chances.
I guess the fact that one of the biggest cheers of the afternoon was the news of Cardiff’s play-off capitulation at Sheffield Wednesday said it all really.
The final whistle blew and no-one was seemingly bothered by the result. Why, well quite simply it was put into context by the Swans having exceeded my (if not everyone’s) expectations. What a season it’s been!
Who’d have predicted an 8th place finish in our first season back at this level or the 2 nil humiliation of FA Cup holders Portsmouth at Fratton Park.
Other highlights include being undefeated in 3 games against our arch-rivals Cardiff and the emergence of Joe Allen in midfield. But the biggest highlight for me has been the way we’ve played football and in doing so outclassed a number of the teams in the top 6 – including Wolves and Birmingham.
The most bizarre game would have to be QPR at home which saw Iain Dowie was sacked a few days after. It was little wonder really as his side camped in their own half for the entire 2nd half, quite surprising really as we had Alan Tate in goals (due to a Dorus DeVries injury).
The games against Reading and Preston stick in my mind the most though. Simply because of the way we dominated, outclassed and quite frankly annihilated the opposition – both of which were the ‘form’ teams at the time and riding high in the division.
So what better way to sum it all up than with a video of the Swans players doing a lap of honour at the end of the game today. Well done lads you did the Jack Army proud!