What do the next 9 months hold?
Sunday, 29th Jul 2018 19:00 by Planet Swans (follow us on Twitter @swansnews)
For the first time since the summer of 2010, the Swans have spent a pre-season preparing for life in the Championship but it is fair to say that it is a very different feeling to the last time around when optimism may have been significantly higher.
Last time we had just missed narrowly out on the play offs in two successive seasons (under two different managers) although you could suggest that there is a similarity when we were preparing under a manager who would not have been the first name on a list of successors much the same as Graham Potter is this time around.
We all know too well how that 2010/11 season panned out with that magical day at Wembley in May and if the bookie's odds are anything to go by then we will be close to the play offs come the end of the season next May as well.
The biggest difference of course this time around is that we go into the season still raw at the pathetic way we succumbed our Premier League place back at the end of last season. Quite simply we surrendered without so much as a fight when it looked, for all the money, in March as if we would pull off on of the greatest escapes in the division's history.
Those last week home defeats to both Southampton and Stoke summed up a side that was devoid of creativity and fight and means that after seven years in the highest division we are now preparing for a season in the second flight once more.
The Championship is described by many as the most competitive league in Europe and it is populated by 19 teams that have played Premier League football at some stage in the past. We will drop into it as nothing more than an average side or at least that is the case based on the summer so far where we have seen big name departures with very little incoming activity.
We paid the price last season for three or so years of poor transfer dealings and we have to hope that another summer of the same will not see us suffer equally this season. The Championship has seen several "double relegations" in recent seasons (sides relegated from the Premier League and the Championship in successive seasons) and we have to hope that we will not become another one of those statistics.
The fans and the club, probably rightly so, feel detached from each other with the sale of 2016 still raw in the fact that it is unresolved in the eyes of many and no changes at the top being forthcoming which is an equal frustration amongst the support base.
We have an ownership who will only speak when things are going well. An ownership that has promised to learn from the mistakes of the past but shows little sign of doing them and I remain to be convinced that we have a united boardroom as a direct result.
This is a pivotal season for the Swans. It is one that will show whether we have come out of the Premier League any stronger than when we went into it. Sure we have top notch training facilities and academy set up but it will mean nothing if the first team struggle on the pitch and face a fight to stay in the division at the wrong end.
The summer has not gone as most fans would have hoped (or even assumed) but when the action starts on Saturday afternoon we will get a much better idea of what the next nine months may hold ahead for us.
It surely just has to be better than last season?
Where will we finish this season?
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