Tag Archives: Wales

The Clubs: Cardiff City

All-Time Premier League Record (upto 11th September 2018)

Played Won Drew Lost Scored Conceded Goal Difference Points No of Seasons
42 7 11 24 34 79 -45 32 2

 

Most Premier League Appearances

Player Appearances Total
Steven Caulker 38
Fraizer Campbell 37
David Marshall 37
Jordon Mutch 35
Gary Medel 34
Peter Whittingham 32
Ben Turner 31
Kevin Theophile-Catherine 28
Kim Bo-Kyung 28
Aron Gunnarsson 23

 

Most Premier League Goals

Player Goals Total
Jordon Mutch 7
Fraizer Campbell 6
Steven Caulker 5
Peter Whittingham 3
Craig Bellamy 2
Juan Cala 2
Kim Bo-Kyung 1
Victor Camarasa 1
Aron Gunnarsson 1
Kenwyne Jones 1

 

Biggest Premier League Victories

Match Date Season
Cardiff City 3-1 Fulham 8th March 2014 2013-2014
Cardiff City 3-2 Manchester City 25th August 2013 2013-2014
Fulham 1-2 Cardiff City 28th September 2013 2013-2014
Cardiff City 2-1 Norwich City 1st February 2014 2013-2014
Cardiff City 1-0 Swansea City 3rd November 2013 2013-2014

 

Worst Premier League Defeats

Match Date Season
Cardiff City 0-4 Hull City 22nd February 2014 2013-2014
Sunderland 4-0 Cardiff City 27th April 2014 2013-2014
Cardiff City 3-6 Liverpool FC 22nd March 2014 2013-2014
Chelsea 4-1 Cardiff City 19th October 2013 2013-2014
Cardiff City 0-3 Arsenal 30th November 2013 2013-2014

 

Managers

Manager No of Seasons managed Left the Club
Malky Mackay 1 27th December 2013
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer 1 18th September 2014
Neil Warnock 1  

 

Highest Home Attendances

Match Date Attendance Figure Season
Cardiff City 2-3 Arsenal 2nd September 2018 32,316 2018-2019
Cardiff City 0-0 Newcastle United 18th August 2018 30,720 2018-2019
Cardiff City 3-6 Liverpool FC 22nd March 2014 28,018 2013-2014
Cardiff City 2-2 Manchester United 24th November 2013 28,016 2013-2014
Cardiff City 0-3 Arsenal 30th November 2013 27,948 2013-2014

 

Intro

Cardiff City defied the expectations of many experts to earn promotion back to the Premier League for the 2018-2019 season, four years after their one-season dalliance in the top-flight which ended with a swift return to the Championship. Their sole full season did have a few highs but their relegation was unsurprising after a controversial decision was made by owner Vincent Tan to sack the manager, Malky Mackay. This time round, it is the experienced Neil Warnock in-charge and he will make the Bluebirds tough to beat.

 

2013-2014

Popular Scot Malky Mackay guided Cardiff City into the top-flight for the first time in the Premier League era as champions of the Championship. Mackay spent big to acquire the services of defensive midfielder Gary Medel and centre-back Steven Caulker. Both impressed but the overall quality of the squad wasn’t quite good enough to ultimately avoid an instant return to the second-tier.

Cardiff started well enough and no supporter will ever forget their first-ever Premier League home game at The Cardiff City Stadium. Big-spending Manchester City arrived and were expected to turn the Bluebirds over. However, Cardiff dominated the aerial battles and two headers from Fraizer Campbell helped the newcomers to a shock 3-2 victory. Unseen at the full-time whistle was a frosty reception given by owner Vincent Tan towards Mackay. It was already the beginning of the end for Mackay.

Cardiff did beat Swansea City 1-0 in the maiden Welsh Derby at Premier League level and drew at home with reigning champions Manchester United. However, hours before a trip to Anfield, an e-mail was leaked into the press from Tan telling Mackay to resign as boss or face being sacked. Mackay came out fighting after the 3-1 defeat to a Luis Suarez-inspired Liverpool FC side but a 3-0 home beating by Southampton on Boxing Day was the final blow. A day later, Tan sacked Mackay, much to the fans’ disgust. The real reasons for his sacking weren’t fully revealed until his application and sudden withdrawal for the vacant managerial position at Crystal Palace eight months later.

Ex-Manchester United scoring legend Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was appointed as new manager but the club were in a tailspin and he couldn’t guide them out of it either. Poor business in the January transfer window, including a swap deal with Stoke for Kenwyne Jones to arrive in-exchange for Peter Odemwingie didn’t help matters. Cardiff’s Premier League flame was extinguished on the final Saturday of the season when they lost 3-0 to Newcastle United. They finished bottom of the table with just seven wins to their name and 30 points. Solskjaer achieved just two league wins during his five-month reign as boss.

 

2018-2019

After a four-season absence, Cardiff returned to the top-flight and despite not winning any of their first four games, will scrap for every point possible. Goalkeeper Neil Etheridge has already shown his penalty-saving instincts, saving efforts from Callum Wilson and Kenedy in the season’s early weeks. The save from the latter in stoppage-time earned Cardiff a goalless draw with Newcastle United for their first point back in the big time.

The Bluebirds came from behind twice in their last match against Arsenal before being narrowly beaten 3-2 by the Gunners but Neil Warnock’s side will battle throughout and will win plenty of admirers throughout the season for the never-say-die attitude that the manager will demand from his players.

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The Clubs: Swansea City

All data correct upto 3rd April 2018

All-Time Premier League Record

Played Won Drew Lost Scored Conceded Goal Difference Points No of Seasons
258 82 64 112 303 369 -66 310 7

 

Most Premier League Appearances

Player Appearances Total
Wayne Routledge 196
Ashley Williams 181
Angel Rangel 168
Nathan Dyer 158
Leon Britton 148
Lukasz Fabianski 142
Ki Sung-Yeung 133
Neil Taylor 131
Gylfi Sigurdsson 124
Federico Fernandez 112

 

Most Premier League Goals

Player Goals Total
Gylfi Sigurdsson 34
Wilfried Bony 27
Michu 20
Nathan Dyer 17
Wayne Routledge 16
Danny Graham 15
Fernando Llorente 15
Bafetimbi Gomis 13
Andre Ayew 12
Ki Sung-Yeung 12

 

Biggest Premier League Victories

Match Date Season
Queens Park Rangers 0-5 Swansea City 18th August 2012 2012-2013
Swansea City 4-0 Sunderland 19th October 2013 2013-2014
Swansea City 4-1 Queens Park Rangers 9th February 2013 2012-2013
Swansea City 4-1 Aston Villa 26th April 2014 2013-2014
West Ham United 1-4 Swansea City 7th May 2016 2015-2016
Swansea City 4-1 West Ham United 3rd March 2018 2017-2018
Swansea City 3-0 West Bromwich Albion 17th September 2011 2011-2012
Fulham 0-3 Swansea City 17th March 2012 2011-2012
Swansea City 3-0 Blackburn Rovers 14th April 2012 2011-2012
Swansea City 3-0 West Ham United 25th August 2012 2012-2013

 

Worst Premier League Defeats

Match Date Season
Liverpool FC 5-0 Swansea City 17th February 2013 2012-2013
Swansea City 0-5 Chelsea 17th January 2015 2014-2015
Tottenham Hotspur 5-0 Swansea City 3rd December 2016 2016-2017
Liverpool FC 5-0 Swansea City 26th December 2017 2017-2018
Manchester City 4-0 Swansea City 15th August 2011 2011-2012
Leicester City 4-0 Swansea City 24th April 2016 2015-2016
Swansea City 0-4 Arsenal 14th January 2017 2016-2017
Swansea City 0-4 Manchester United 19th August 2017 2017-2018
Swansea City 0-4 Manchester City 13th December 2017 2017-2018
Chelsea 4-1 Swansea City 24th September 2011 2011-2012

 

Managers

Manager No of Seasons managed Left the Club
Brendan Rodgers 1 1st June 2012
Michael Laudrup 2 4th February 2014
Garry Monk 3 9th December 2015
Francesco Guidolin 2 3rd October 2016
Bob Bradley 1 27th December 2016
Paul Clement 2 20th December 2017
Carlos Carvalhal 1  

 

Highest Home Attendances

Match Date Attendance Figure Season
Swansea City 0-0 Southampton 20th April 2013 22,561 2012-2013
Swansea City 3-1 Liverpool FC 1st May 2016 20,972 2015-2016
Swansea City 1-0 Chelsea 9th April 2016 20,966 2015-2016
Swansea City 1-3 Manchester United 6th November 2016 20,938 2016-2017
Swansea City 0-3 Arsenal 31st October 2015 20,937 2015-2016
Swansea City 1-1 Manchester City 15th May 2016 20,934 2015-2016
Swansea City 1-0 Norwich City 5th March 2016 20,929 2015-2016
Swansea City 0-1 Southampton 13th February 2016 20,890 2015-2016
Swansea City 2-1 West Bromwich Albion 21st May 2017 20,889 2016-2017
Swansea City 1-0 Liverpool FC 22nd January 2018 20,886 2017-2018

 

Intro

Swansea City became the first Welsh club to play in the Premier League when Brendan Rodgers guided them into the top-flight in 2011. The Swans have been a fixture in the Premier League ever since and achieved a top half finish in 2012-2013 and 2014-2015 under the guidance of Michael Laudrup and Garry Monk. American investment has led to some chaotic moments in the last couple of seasons but under Carlos Carvalhal, the south Wales club look set to extend their Premier League stay to an eighth successive campaign.

 

2011-2012

Swansea City became the first Welsh club to play in the Premier League and found the going tough initially; failing to score or win any of their first four matches. However, a 3-0 victory over West Bromwich Albion in September was the galvanising result that lifted their season. Brendan Rodgers’ side played expansive, attacking football throughout the season using a 4-3-3 formation. Arsenal, Liverpool FC and champions Manchester City were among the sides beaten at The Liberty Stadium.

The Swans also scored the fastest goal of the season, as Andrea Orlandi netted after just 24 seconds in a fixture against Wolverhampton Wanderers which ended in a 4-4 draw. Swansea were never under any serious relegation threat and finished a tremendous 11th in their debut Premier League season. However, they lost their manager in the summer as Rodgers left to fill the vacancy at Liverpool.

 

2012-2013

It was another successful season for Swansea who had a new manager with Michael Laudrup succeeding the departing Rodgers. The club celebrated its centenary, and to mark the occasion released a new crest. In keeping with the centenary theme, the home kit for the season used the colours white and gold, rather than the more traditional white and black.

There was trophy success in the League Cup and a top 10 finish in the Premier League, despite with one fewer point than they amassed in 2011-2012. With 18 goals, new summer acquisition Michu was one of the surprises of the season and the best results came on the road. A 5-0 opening day success at Loftus Road over Queens Park Rangers remains Swansea’s biggest Premier League victory, whilst two Michu goals sank Arsenal at The Emirates Stadium in early December.

 

2013-2014

Swansea broke their transfer record in the summer, paying Vitesse Arnhem £12 million for the services of Ivorian forward Wilfried Bony. Bony was the star turn in a frustrating third campaign at this level for the Swansea faithful. He scored 16 Premier League goals which ultimately kept the team away from relegation trouble.

That didn’t look so secure in early February and after a 2-0 loss at West Ham which was their sixth Premier League reverse in eight games; owner Huw Jenkins sacked Michael Laudrup with the club just two points above the drop zone. Former skipper Garry Monk took over on an interim basis and was given the job permanently in May after securing safety with the Swans ultimately finishing 12th.

This was the only season the Welsh Derby took place in the Premier League. Swansea won 3-0 in February in Monk’s first game in-charge to make amends for the 1-0 loss they suffered to Cardiff City in November.

 

2014-2015

2014-2015 remains Swansea’s best season, both in terms of finishing position and points tally. They finished in eighth position, amassing 56 points and they never dropped outside of the top 10 throughout the season. In his first full season as a manager, Garry Monk was a revelation as his side recorded some amazing results.

This included league doubles over both Arsenal and Manchester United, whilst Bony scored nine further Premier League goals before he moved to Manchester City in the January transfer window. There was a heavy 5-0 loss at home to champions Chelsea in January but this was a blot in an impressive campaign which saw cracking performances from the likes of Jonjo Shelvey, Lukasz Fabianski and returnee Gylfi Sigurdsson.

 

2015-2016

Swansea went through the first month of the 2015-2016 Premier League campaign undefeated with two wins and two draws. Among those results was an opening day draw at Stamford Bridge against Chelsea and a third successive victory over Manchester United.

However, it all started to unravel from September onwards. A run of one victory in 11 games followed which saw Swansea drop from fourth to 15th in the table. After a lifeless display at home to Leicester City which ended in a 3-0 defeat, the club made the difficult decision to sack Monk. He was replaced a month later by the former Udinese coach Francesco Guidolin. He guided Swansea away from danger and they finished 12th, with late season victories at home to Chelsea and Liverpool FC among the highlights.

 

2016-2017

This was a chaotic season for Swansea City which nearly cost them their Premier League status. Guidolin started the campaign as manager but was sacked in early October after a 2-1 loss to Liverpool FC. Swansea had just four points on the board when he was dismissed. American boss Bob Bradley succeeded him but his reign was even worse and he was axed after a Boxing Day beating at home to West Ham United.

Swansea went into 2017 bottom of the Premier League and favourites to be relegated. Paul Clement, a former no.2 to Carlo Ancelotti at Chelsea, was chosen as the man to lead them away from danger. Four wins in his first six games in-charge showed a rapid improvement and gave them a fighting chance. A run of five defeats in six games in March and early April looked set to cost the club but a 1-0 victory in early May over Everton, coupled with Hull’s shocking home loss to Sunderland put their fate in their own hands.

A week later, a 2-0 success away at Sunderland ensured safety when Hull were beaten 4-0 by Crystal Palace 24 hours later. Swansea finished in 15th place, helped by 15 league goals from new signing Fernando Llorente and some more sizzling displays from the influential Sigurdsson.

 

2017-2018

Despite the return of Bony and the excitement over the loan arrival of Renato Sanches from Bayern Munich, there was concern around The Liberty Stadium as Sigurdsson was sold to Everton and Llorente joined Tottenham Hotspur on transfer deadline day. Those fears looked to be fully warranted as Swansea won just two of their opening 15 matches.

Clement was sacked five days before Christmas following a 3-1 loss to Everton and Swansea spent Christmas Day bottom of the Premier League table. Former Sheffield Wednesday boss Carlos Carvalhal came in as Clement’s successor and has inspired the club away from danger. Swansea go into the final six matches of the season with Premier League safety firmly in their own hands.

Great Goals: Ryan Giggs – Tottenham Hotspur vs. MANCHESTER UNITED (September 1992)

In the very first season of the Premier League, Ryan Giggs was one of the biggest stars. Still only a teenager, the Welshman’s lightning pace and box of tricks made him a nightmare to play against. He scored one of his best Premier League goals in September 1992 when Manchester United made the trip to White Hart Lane.

Still goalless with half-time in sight, Giggs took possession and beat two Tottenham defenders before rounding the goalkeeper and then with the angle tightening, produced a fine finish into the back of the net. This goal demonstrated all of Ryan’s strong attributes as a youngster.

Tottenham did score in the second half to ensure the game finished all-square at 1-1 but this match is only remembered for a wonderful individual effort by Giggs.

Premier League Files: Sam Ricketts

Premier League Career: Hull City (2008-2009), Bolton Wanderers (2009-2012)

Sam Ricketts represented nine different clubs over the course of 16 years before a knee injury forced him to retire from professional football in November 2016. At the time, he was the club captain at Coventry City.

The ex-Welsh international was commonly deployed as a full-back but could play on either side of a back four and should an injury crisis develop, he would also chip in with a role at the heart of central defence. Ricketts played for both Hull City and Bolton Wanderers in the Premier League. These clubs produced the most fruitful spells of his career.

Ricketts came from a showjumping background. His father, Derek Ricketts was the world showjumping champion in 1978 and Uncle John Francome is a former jockey champion in horse racing and a respected TV pundit. As a teenager, he was tempted by the world of horse racing but elected to concentrate on football instead.

He began his career at Oxford United in October 2000 and joined Swansea City four years later after a spell in the non-league with Telford United. He helped Swansea win promotion to League One during his time in south Wales before moving to Hull City for £300,000 in 2006.

Three years later, Ricketts played an important role in Hull’s shock promotion to the Premier League in 2009 and made 29 appearances in his debut Premier League campaign as the Tigers’ stayed in the top-flight by the narrowest of margins at the expense of Newcastle United. Although Hull wanted to extend his contract, Ricketts’ performances had caught the attention of Gary Megson who brought him to Bolton Wanderers in July 2009.

Four months into his maiden season with the Trotters’, Ricketts was involved in one of the most comical own goals in Premier League history. At home to Blackburn Rovers, Ricketts got himself into a big muddle with goalkeeper Jussi Jaaskelainen. As the Finnish goalkeeper came out to sweep up a Blackburn free-kick, Ricketts headed the ball towards his own goal, leaving Jaaskelainen stranded and Blackburn given a gift on their way to a 2-0 victory. The reactions of both players summed up embarrassment and massive strain.

In February 2011, he snapped an Achilles tendon in an FA Cup tie against Wigan Athletic which ruled him out of action for the best part of seven months. When he returned to the fold, Bolton were in the midst of a relegation dogfight. He scored on his first game back on New Years’ Eve against Wolverhampton Wanderers but it would be a losing battle against top-flight status. Bolton dropped out of the league on the final day of the season.

He stayed for one more campaign in Lancashire before moving to Wolves and therefore reuniting with his manager from the Swansea days, Kenny Jackett. As club captain, he helped spearhead the Black Country club make an instant return to the Championship with over 100 points. He ended his career with Coventry and played 56 times for the Sky Blues’ before quitting the game on medical advice. He won 52 international caps for Wales.

Premier League Files: Paul Bodin

Premier League Career: Swindon Town (1993-1994)

Paul Bodin’s career is often only remembered for being the unfortunate player to miss a crucial spot-kick against Romania that denied Wales a place at the 1994 World Cup finals in the United States. It is a moment that he admitted in 2015: “I have had to live with that hurt and it never quite goes away.”

This is slightly unfair considering he was a very good left-back in his day and he was one of Swindon Town’s standout players during their sole Premier League campaign in the 1993-1994 season. Bodin began his career as a schoolboy at Chelsea but he left the club without making an appearance for the senior side. He would go onto represent several sides in his career including Cardiff City, Crystal Palace and Reading. However, it was two spells at Swindon which is where he played his best football.

He had two spells at the County Ground, making 239 league appearances and recording 37 goals which are impressive figures for a defender. He scored against Manchester United and Arsenal in the Premier League; two of seven strikes notched in Swindon’s season in the Premier League limelight.

Bodin retired from playing in 2001 and returned to Swindon to spend 12 years in the youth coaching set-up. He also has worked at Southampton’s academy and was Rob Page’s assistant during the 2015-2016 season at Port Vale.