Blogs & Opinion


Swansea v Cardiff: Wales set for biggest Premier League game, says David Jones

David Jones - David Jones Posted 6th February 2014 view comments

Derbies don't come much more fierce; rivalries more intense; games much bigger than the skirmish in South Wales this Saturday.

When Swansea and Cardiff meet for only the second time in the top division of English football there will be so much more than the usual quarrel to resolve. Both proud clubs are fighting for their futures.

Cardiff won the first derby between the sides in the Premier League

Cardiff won the first derby between the sides in the Premier League

Cardiff, the Premier League newcomers, have been catapulted from crisis to crisis off the pitch but they've been thrilled by the ride and they want more.

Swansea, who for three seasons have strolled amongst the elite with style and grace, have been hit hard by the demands of their success; a European adventure which has tested their resources to the limit and a slump in domestic form which this week cost Michael Laudrup his job.

It seems football fans were outraged by Laudrup's exit from the Liberty stadium: all those apart from the Swansea fans themselves.

David Jones
Quotes of the week

Swansea v Cardiff

Saturday Night Football\nSky Sports 1 HD\n5.30pm

It seems football fans were outraged by Laudrup's exit from the Liberty stadium: all those apart from the Swansea fans themselves.

They knew it was never a comfortable marriage. There had been too many tales of player unrest, of dressing room cliques and quarrels that never end well. They had seen performances decline in front of their eyes and they knew change was coming.

There had been notable highs along the way, such as the League Cup success, but the slip in standards was troubling chairman Huw Jenkins long before he made the decision to sack a manager for the first time in almost 10 years.

Enemy

You will do well to meet a calmer, more thoughtful and reflective chairman than Jenkins in any league; so steeped in his club and it's traditions, so inherently linked with his club's legendary rise and for that he has earned almost total trust from Swansea fans.

They will feel that even in the hands of a managerial novice like Garry Monk, they are better placed to take on the pressures and demands of a relegation scrap, which just happens to start against the enemy.

To make matters worse the Bluebirds are flush with confidence after coming from behind to beat Norwich last Saturday to record their first league win under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

Kenwyne Jones and Wilfried Zaha have added a more potent attacking thrust to Solskjaer's team, while the manager has already shown he has the guile to affect games from the sidelines just as he once did as a player.

It was a win Cardiff desperately needed after four straight defeats had threatened to leave them cast adrift, but now they know a victory on Saturday would leave them with an identical record as their neighbours.

Should they lose, the gap will open up to six points again. Both clubs could survive and prosper; both could fall from grace. Wales has never seen a more important Premier League game.

back to top

Other Football Experts:

Latest Posts in Football:

Gary Neville

Nev: Consistency key for Danny

Gary Neville says Arsene Wenger can turn Danny Welbeck into a great striker, as he did with Thierry Henry....

Graeme Souness

Souness: 'Liverpool lightweight'

Graeme Souness says Liverpool’s defeat in Basel proves that the current side is a shadow of their former selves....

Peter Beagrie

Beagrie: Vardy deserves cap

An England call-up would be rich reward for all of Jamie Vardy's hard work, says Peter Beagrie....

Latest News RSS feeds

Gerrard blasts 'soft' Liverpool

Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard accused his side of being "soft all over the pitch" in their 1-0 defeat at FC Basel.

Wenger hails electric Welbeck

Arsene Wenger says hat-trick hero Danny Welbeck showed the "instinct of a goalscorer" in Arsenal's win over Galatasaray.

Welbeck fires Arsenal to win

Danny Welbeck's hat-trick helped 10-man Arsenal ease to a 4-1 Champions League win over Galatasaray at the Emirates.

Liverpool slump to Basel defeat

Liverpool paid the price for a disjointed performance as they fell to a 1-0 defeat to FC Basel in the Champions League.

Nev: Consistency key for Danny

Gary Neville says Arsene Wenger can turn Danny Welbeck into a great striker, as he did with Thierry Henry.

Features

Midfield master

Midfield master

Match-winner Nemanja Matic is now an integral part of Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea team, says Roberto di Matteo.

Manuel Pellegrini is still struggling to bring the best out of Manchester City after Champions League draw with Roma

Manuel Pellegrini is still struggling to bring the best out of Manchester City after Champions League draw with Roma

"I am absolutely sure that Manchester City will eventually win the Champions League," said Manuel Pellegrini before City's 1-1 draw with Roma. The key word being 'eventually'. On this evidence, City's date with destiny still lies far in the future.

Champions League: Andre Villas Boas has made a strong start to his time in charge of Zenit St Petersburg

Champions League: Andre Villas Boas has made a strong start to his time in charge of Zenit St Petersburg

“If we win all nine matches, Zenit will be champions.” The words of Andre Villas Boas upon being named Zenit St Petersburg manager in March seemed wildly optimistic given the circumstances.