By Billy the Dog McGraw
Swansea is a Stone Age settlement which has been run at different times by the Italians (then going under the name of “Romans”) and the Vikings who set up a trading post known as Sveinn’s Island.
The Welsh didn’t really get going until the 13th century, by which time everyone else had lost interest in the place, and the Welsh began writing poetry, for reasons that will not become clear at this time.
But before then the Normans toddled along and in the 12th century William de Newburgh, 3rd Earl of Warwick, used it as a feeder club for his Warwickshire United site. He gave Swansea a charter which meant the burgesses had the right to play football on Sundays.
In 1215 King John, who was a turnip of the first order, gave the marshland a second charter which was rather bizarre since it already had one. This meant that the local football team could play from time to time in the top division, but must spend much of its time in the lower leagues.
He also gave the town a seal, which honks and makes rude noises by slapping and flapping its flippers together. The seal was thus known as a slapper, and so King John called the town Sweyne-she.
After this a marcher lordship was created which meant that all the seals had to march up and down the River Tawe, barking out incomprehensible sounds. These sounds can still be heard today.
Now here is an interesting thought. Although our long term injured players (Lukasz Fabianski, Vito Mannone, André Santos and Abou Diaby) are all out, Emmanuel Frimpong is back with us. Could he play? I suspect a bench place for him. Or he could be on the beach, and for once that would be an accurate prediction.
Djourou and Chamakh have gone on loan which leaves a couple of beach towels available.
But here is another dilemma – how do we accommodate Walcott and Giroud in the same team, along with Podolski. Do we revert to Walcott the winger, with a licence to roam inside, or do we try to create a Giroud Walcott partnership with the same flexibility and options as the Henry/Piries partnership had?
Swansea have beaten us in the last two games 0-2, and 3-2, so we are due a win (the last one was in September 2011 when Arshavin scored the only goal of the game.)
Quite honestly I don’t know what’s going on (as usual), although Dennis Bergkamp told me that he suspects the defence and midfield will be the standard one that we have seen in recent games. Which gives us:
Bacary Sagna, Thomas Vermaelen (c), Laurent Koscielny, Kieran Gibbs
Mikel Arteta, Jack Wilshere
Lukas Podolski, Theo Walcott, Olivier Giroud
Substitutes: Damian Martinez, Per Mertesacker, Francis Coquelin, Aaron Ramsey, Tomas Rosicky, Gervinho, Emmanuel Frimpong
Or not, as the case may be.
- Woolwich Arsenal: The club that changed football – Arsenal’s early years
- Making the Arsenal – how the modern Arsenal was born in 1910
- The Crowd at Woolwich Arsenal FC: crowd behaviour at the early matches