Tale Of Two Cities

Monday, 26 May 2003, 0:00
3 mins read

Home > Story Index >A Tale Of Two Cities

I was fortunate enough to have seats in one of the executive boxes at the Millennium Stadium this afternoon for this game. The 11.18 train from Port Talbot to Cardiff will be stopping only at Bridgend but taking the lovely scenic route to ensure that the journey takes an hour and a quarter. I was looking forward to this game. Sheffield United have had a glorious season with this game and two domestic cup semi-finals whilst a Wolves fan will always tell you that the Premiership is their rightful place.
I will confess that I went to today’s game hoping that the Blades would win. They have had a great season and I felt that they deserved something at the end of it. Nothing personal against the Wolves it was purely for that reason. The football side of things is history – Wolves tore them apart in the first half and at 3-0 half-time, the game was all but over.
Sheffield United made a fight of it at the start of the second half but a missed penalty, a post and a couple of decent chances begging the game was over and this is when my allegiance on the day swapped. Nothing to do with the score but it was to do with the fans.
As soon as they went a goal down (10 minutes) the Blades fans were silenced. A few half hearted attempts were made to get behind their team but in large they were quiet. These were the same Blades fans that had hammered out their club song less than half hour before kick off and made the hairs on my neck stand up. I appreciate that they were behind but at the same time the team needed encouragement.
Not surprising the Wolves fans were in full flow and believe me they are noisy in full flow. 35,000 of them but it sounded more were behind their team throughout. As I have said, the score would have had something to do with it but where were the Blades when their team needed them? Sitting on their Yorkshire a ses wondering how many John Smiths they could fit in before closing time?
But then they got worse. Ten minutes before the end of the game they started drifting away from the stadium. This is a pet hate of mine at the best of times but then you think at 3-0 down in a league game maybe you go to avoid the traffic. But this was a cup final several hundred miles from home – ten minutes is not going to make much difference when half the crowd will be there at least half hour after the final whistle. And it wasn’t one or two of them, it was thousands. So much so that by the time the final whistle blew there were less than (I estimate) 10,000 of them left in the Millennium Stadium. And with the whistle another third of those left.
We’ve lost a play off final and I know how it feels but at the same time I remember standing at Wembley in 1997 applauding the players off – and most other Jacks were still there too. This lot had seen their team have a hugely successful season which ended in a horrible way. But they couldn’t be bothered to stay and thank the players for what they had achieved. (And bear in mind that if someone had said to any of them at the start of the season what would happen, most would have laughed in their faces) Nope, this lot preferred to be heading to the train station or the M4 to start the haul back to Sheffield. Not even a thanks. The hardcore of about 7,000 said their thanks.
Meanwhile in the South End of the stadium it was party time. And the fans and players alike loved it and I have to say so did I. These were people who loved their football and they were milking every second of it. And I bet a decent number of them would have stayed even if they had lost the game. These fans deserved Premiership football today.
Outside the stadium there were very few red shirts to be seen. They had long gone and Cardiff was alive to the sound of "We are Premier League" from those in the gold shirts. And you couldn’t help but feel happy for them.
As for the Blades. This will sound harsh to any of yours who are reading but you simply didn’t deserve Premiership football. The whole game is about highs and lows but you stick with your side and if you can’t be there when it is hurting then you don’t deserve the chance to be there when it’s working.
Well done to Wolves and for the losers, hope you got home ten minutes earlier and don’t moan if some of your heroes move on in the summer – they deserve better.

For The Fans

You can comment on this article by visiting the Message Board or you can contact the author directly by clicking

Would you like to submit your story or become a regular columnist on JackArmy.net? If so, contact us here

JackArmy.net Links: This Season / Roger’s Testimonial Details / The Jack Pack Message Board / Division Three Table / Fixtures and Results / Submit Your Stuff / Play Don’t Know Jack / Photo Gallery / Jack Plug Fanzine / The Supporter’s Trust / SMS News / Ringtones / Travelling Away? / Poll Results / Contact Us / Site Stats / People In Gloucs Houses / Crocker Shit / Phil Yer In / Dave’s Raves / MB Awards / Poster Pictures

Thankyou for visiting www.jackarmy.net – Rivals Site Of The Month October 2001

Images courtesy of Getty Images, Athena Picture Agency and Swansea City Football Club.

League Table

Next Up

Forum Latest

Threads: 16,728

Messages: 246,478

Members: 4,656

Latest member: TheWatcher

Latest from Blog

Swans TV: Swansea City v Swindon Town | Highlights | Men’s

. . .Watch the best of the action with our short highlights package as Swansea City face Swindon Town at Fairwood. For more information, as well as all the latest Swansea City AFC news, log onto the club's official website at http://www.swanseacity.com Subscribe on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/SWANSPLAYER Like us on Facebook:…

Swans TV: Luke Williams on Swindon Town | Reaction | Men’s

. . .Luke Williams talks to SwansTV following his side's behind closed doors pre-season game against Swindon Town at the Fairwood Training Ground. For more information, as well as all the latest Swansea City AFC news, log onto the club's official website at http://www.swanseacity.com Subscribe on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/SWANSPLAYER Like us…

Franco signs on and new boy can’t wait to get started

The Swans confirmed the capture yesterday of Gonçalo Franco for an undisclosed fee yesterday in what was clear a good match for both parties as Swans boss talked up his new signing whilst the midfielder talked about his happiness in joining the Swans. Franco posed for the media pictures with…

Ashley Williams: Location makes it tough for the Swans

Former Swansea City and Wales captain Ashley Williams says that he knows Luke Williams wants to bring more bodies in the door but believes that it is tough for the Swans because of the geographic location of the club. Williams, who represented the Swans more than 300 times in the…