So the football fixtures have been announced for the forthcoming season, football fans up and down the country can now start planning their trips across England and Wales – apart from fans of Premier League clubs who have to wait for the TV fixtures to be announced unfortunately!
The fixture announcement does mean that the start of the season is edging ever closer though, but I have been wondering whether some people do over analyse the fixture list too much? We all knew that we would play the other 19 teams home and away, just didn’t know the order.
Looking at Swansea’s fixtures, we start with Champions Man Utd at home and then Spurs away, both tough looking games of course, but what is an easy game in the Premier League? Swans generally tend to play better against the better teams than against teams in the bottom half (apart from QPR last season!) anyway.
I have already seen comments from Swans fans saying that we’ll be bottom after those two matches. Maybe we will, but so what? Does it really matter? I’d rather be bottom of the league after the 1st two games rather than the last two, as I’m sure every Swans fan would. Plus we will have gotten the games against the top sides out of the way early on, when the pressure isn’t on the manager and players so much.
We aren’t realistically expected to win those games anyway, its how we do against the teams around us for me, whilst trying to remain tough to beat at home. The key components to staying in the Premier League. Or am I missing the point? Having enough points to stay up over the 38 matches is the only important thing surely?
I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised, similar comments were said in our first PL season, in 2011-12. Swansea’s first 3 away games were: Man City, Arsenal & Chelsea and our last 2 fixtures were Man Utd (a) and Liverpool (h). We lost all of them, apart from the Liverpool game, which didn’t matter in the end as we stayed up comfortably.
I just think it is impossible to predict what is going to happen in the forthcoming season just by looking at the recently announced fixture list. We may play a team that is on a great run of form, like Norwich last season when they beat us 4-3 a week after we beat Arsenal away 2-0. We may play a team that is missing a few key players, or vice versa. Way too early to tell either way.
Though saying all this, had we been due to play against newly promoted Palace and Hull, for example some fans may have had higher expectations and would be attempting to grab sharp objects early on if we didn’t win them.
Lastly at least Swans are home for the first time on opening day since 2006 (when we lost 2-1 to Cheltenham). Bring on the Champions and roll on August!