|Jacks on the Silver Screen|
Written by BarneyLW on Sunday, 14th Sep 2014 15:45
Friday was a strange night. On the eve of undoubtedly Swansea's toughest game so far this season (which eventually proved to be the case, as the Blues secured a 4-2 victory) I went to see Swansea in a different way. I have yet to even see the highlights of the Chelsea game, yet I have seen a movie about them. How many fans of other clubs can say that?!
It was always going to be fun watching it in Odeon Cardiff, especially with a few fans braving the journey to the pictures in shirts. Something that would normally get you chased down Cardiff Bay. As for the film itself, it was as enjoyable and inspiring as predicted, more so in fact. Everyone loves a fall and rise story, underdog stuff, but I genuinely believe the club is an inspiring story whether you follow Swansea, or even football, or not.
Luckily, as it is a docu-film, there won't be any spoilers in here. Unless you have just awoken from a coma, or decided to support the club since promotion to the Premier League. It happens. Although the culmination of the film was the playoff final that led us to promotion, there was such a sense of teary nostalgia, looking back at the Old Vetch. Brilliantly described as such an ugly, lovely ground. Much like the way the poet Dylan Thomas described the city of Swansea.
Like any good film, documentary style or a motion picture, there is great disruption of equilibrium. There was a fascinating look back at the days under the Tony Petty regime, who I must say, to some extent I do have some sympathy towards. An obviously business minded man, but seemingly no concept of how to run a football club, or the potential backlash of disgruntled supporters. Very much the pantomime villain of the debt-ridden days in the doldrums of League Two. Also, an interesting look into the underground fan groups who attempt all sorts the limit the flow of cash into the former chairman's pocket. I won't go into things they did, as I don't want to ruin it for people yet to see it, but it was great for someone like me, as I was only about 7 or 8 at the time.
As a fan, I consider myself one of the luckiest in football. I support my local club, and my first ever game was Hull in 2003. Since that game, which kept us in the football league and most probably out of extinction, it has been nothing but up. I obviously could never have predicted it, and even if I am arguably not a fan who has ever been tested, to see if I will keep going back when the Swans eventually fall from the top flight, I believe it is just luck. Incidentally, I will, I am only 20 and have been fortunate enough to see promotion after promotion, is all.
I digress. My main point was that to see that game back was fantastic. I found myself repeating the euphoria of all those seasons ago with tiny little silent celebrations as James Thomas scored a hat trick for his home town club.
Whether you've heard the story before or not, the film showed a great insight into the takeover of the club from the Supporters' Trust. It was hardly a model takeover, with one member confessing they were all very much hiding behind each other before heavily suggesting to Huw Jenkins to become chairman. Obviously the success that followed has had Swansea praised as a 'model club'. But at the time, it was more of a temporary plan just to keep the club surviving.
A great focus too was made on club legends Leon Britton, Roberto Martinez and Lee Trundle, the latter being easily my favourite person in the game. Once described to me as a Championship player, playing in League Two, I looked back in such fondness of old clips of him and his famous skills. I heard a few 'ooohs' in the cinema as he turned defenders inside out.
Roberto Martinez undoubtedly started the philosophy the team now plays with, which was well documented, although I was a little disappointed there was no interview with Brendan Rodgers. Since he guided us to promotion, the climax of the film itself, it would have been nice to gain an insight into his experience.
Anyway, Wembley looked unbelievable on a cinema screen. It definitely made me recall the sheer awe I had when I first walked into the seating area and saw wave after wave of fans who has descended on North London. Everything that followed was just unbelievable to watch again, even if I have seen the highlights of that game around 793 times.
All in all, a superb film, definitely one to catch if you haven't yet. A huge congratulations to everyone involved in making it, as well as those featured in it. Enjoy everyone!
In other news, and this is just a side tale really, not particularly linked to anything, but yesterday I was taken into Cardiff for the day by my girlfriend's brother, where it was revealed to me I would be attending the Bluebirds vs Norwich game. I felt slightly nauseous, especially after the previous night's entertainment, but I am happy to report back to Jack-Land our South Wales rivals look poor at best. After going 2-0 up, despite only 2 decent chances, they were taken apart by the Canaries in the second half, culminating in calls for Ole to be relieved of his duties. Thought that may cheer people up who are down about the Chelsea game. Have a great week everyone.
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