Ahead of the long trip to South Wales, true faith caught up with Steven Carroll, editor of the Swansea fanzine, Swansea Oh Swansea.
We fired a few questions at Steve and here’s the crack:
How long have you supported Swansea and what was your first game?
SInce 1997 I’ve been a regular and I’ve had a season ticket since 1997/8. My first game was in October 1991 against
Bradford at the old Vetch Field when I was 4 years old. I remember very little about it, we drew 2-2 though my father tells me. I remember my 2nd game more clearly. Bristol City in March 1996. We won 2-1 and Jan Molby scored a trademark free kick, it was his first goal for us after taking over as player/manager.
Favourite and least favourite games in your time as a fan?
Very tough to answer as I’ve been spoilt over the last few years and before that it was low after low for years!
Towards the top are beating West Ham in FA Cup in 1999, beating Hull to stay in Football League in 2003, any win over Cardiff, all three promotions, especially the play-Off final against Reading in 2011 to get into the Premier League. Since then winning at Old Trafford last term, winning 0-2 at the Emirates and Stamford Bridge, winning the League Cup.
But of course winning 0-3 in Valencia has got to win out hasn’t it? For the 2,000 of us who travelled it was a night we’ll never forget. I’d love to experience Europe again!
The worst – Losing one Play-off final in the last minute in 1997 and losing another one in a shootout in 2006 were really hard to take. Losing to Cardiff in the last minute in 2010 too. A derby defeat in the last minute is just horrific, it doesn’t get much worse but there is one moment that tops it. Losing 0-4 at home to Kidderminster in 2002. Yes you did read that right, I was one of the poor souls there that night thinking we’d be going into non-league if this carries on. Thank goodness it did not happen!
Who is your favourite ever player and manager and why?
I’ve got a few, Roger Freestone for being a brilliant keeper and as loyal as they come, Alan Tate and Leon Britton for
similar reasons and what they achieved with us over the last decade but ultimately it’s Lee Trundle. He gave us hope and pride in our club. Even if the game was crap he’d do something to light it up, I’ve never seen a player like him in the lower leagues and probably won’t again. If you’re ever bored it’s worth looking at some of his tricks on YouTube. Some of the stuf is amazing.
Manager is also tricky. Brian Flynn started the journey, Kenny Jackett continued it before Roberto Martinez gave us the philosophy we now use today, Brendan Rodgers won us the ultimate promotion, Michael Laudrup guided us to our first major honour and now Garry Monk is doing a brilliant job.
I’ll plump for Rodgers I think, purely because I never thought I’d see us in the top flight and he realised our dream.
How Is Garry Monk doing?
Brilliantly in short. 8th place last year was fantastic, exceeding expectations easily. The challenge now is the fans expect a similar result this term so that will be a big test. I’m confident he’s up to it though.
Are you happy with your transfer dealings so far? Very pleased. We now have two platers for every position. A new keeper was needed to challenge Fabianski and Nordfeldt will do that, Neil Taylor needed competition at left back and Franck Tabanou has arrived there, a new wideman was on the list and Andre Ayew made a great start at Chelsea last week while Eder should take some pressure of Bafetimbi Gomis. I don’t think we’ll be seeing any more major transactions before the window shuts unless someone leaves.
What other positions need strengthening and is anyone else likely to arrive before the window shuts?
I don’t think we’ll be seeing any more major transactions before the window shuts unless someone leaves. As I’ve said we’re quite strong all over the pitch now so there’s no need to spend any more money. Michu and Dwight Tiendalli may leave but that’s about it.
Swansea have a good record in this fixture with 5 wins in the last 6 meetings. Why do you think Newcastle have struggled?
Giving away daft goals is the main one. On our last two visits to your place we have scored from a corner which is something that never happens. That says a lot for a start. You’ve been unlucky in 1 or 2 games, the one in April 2014 could easily have ended in a draw and we needed the Bony penalty at the end to win. Hope fully the run will continue anyway!
What do you make of Newcastle United and what players if any will you have to watch out for?
It’s a shame to see Newcastle just seemingly happy to survive in the Premier League. When I first started watching football you were seen as one of the best clubs around and one that had the ambition to be the best in the country. Sadly these days money seems more important than that. It’s a shame for the fans because you’re vast support deserve better than that. On the pitch you were poor apart from that mid-season surge last year and John Carver was scarily out of his depth at the end of the season. I think the new signings you’ve made should give you some impetus and Mitrovic is a player I like. I spoke to some Anderlecht fans in Cardiff after Wales beat Belgium in June and they were raving about him.
Predict the score and where both teams will finish?
I’ll go 2-1 Swansea with 10th place for us and 13th for you
Thanks very much to Steve for his time.