August can't come soon enough
3rd May 2014
Many people have labelled the current Swans' season as being "disappointing".
Well, if this campaign has been disappointing I can't wait for the Swans to have a great one!
To be fair, there have been moments during the last nine months when fingernails have been chewed and brows have been furrowed.
Due to the congested nature of the bottom half of the table, there have been times when the Swans have flown a little too close to the relegation zone than we would have chosen.
That inevitably raised questions and tensions which led to difficult decisions being made and difficult situations being endured.
The sacking of Michael Laudrup and the training ground rumpuses were the most testing of those difficult times.
But looking back now, as the season draws to a close, there have been some incredible highs to enjoy along the way.
And let's not forget, if the Swans win their remaining two games and other results go their way, they could potentially finish tenth. Also, they would be just one point short of last season's tally and two points short of the previous season's total.
I don't recall either of those seasons being described as being disappointing.
For a club of the Swans' size and relative Premier League inexperience to finish mid-table in this division for the third season in a row is nothing short of remarkable.
I think sometimes people forget how far the club has come in recent years and just what an achievement basic Premier League survival is for a small club, which is still what we are.
It was interesting to hear what Cardiff City's manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer had to say before last week's match against Sunderland.
The Bluebirds' manager said: "It's a situation that at the start of the season we would have taken - I mean still being in with a shout with three games to go. It's the first time we've been here in 51 years so you can't expect us to go straight into mid table."
But that's exactly what the Swans - a smaller club than Cardiff, according to some - did two seasons ago. Fair enough, it had only been 30-odd years since we'd been in the top flight, rather than Cardiff's half a century, but it was still a magnificent achievement.
Achieving the third mid-table finish in a row would be a magnificent achievement.
And that's before we even start to consider the other pluses the Swans have chalked up this season.
Last term we won the Capital One Cup, which earned us a place in European competition for the first time in over 20 years.
The first match in the Europa League saw the Swans sweep former European Cup finalists Malmo aside 4-0.
When the competition kicked-off in earnest the Swans produced one of the greatest away performances ever by a British club in Europe.
Who will ever forget that night in the world famous Mestalla Stadium, when the Swans cruised past Valencia 3-0 and drew a standing ovation from the notoriously partisan home fans?
That has to go down as one of the best results in the club's 100-plus year history, and helped that prophetic line from the Swansea City Song to come true: "And once again all Europe will hear the Swansea City sound".
The result certainly made Europe sit up and take notice of the Swans and drew praise from all over the continent.
The Europa League adventure was the Swans' most successful European campaign ever, ending with a heroic performance against Italian giants Napoli, which drew even more plaudits.
In between those memorable European matches came another historic cup performance when the Swans beat Manchester United in the FA Cup third round.
The 2-1 win was the first in the Swans' history at the iconic Old Trafford stadium. Granted, this hasn't been the best season in United's history, but it was still a fantastic occasion for those who travelled north to see Wilfried Bony power in his late headed winner.
There have been plenty of other fantastic moments to enjoy during the season.
For example, the first ever South Wales derbies to be played in the top flight.
The first match at the Cardiff City Stadium was a great occasion - showcasing Wales and Welsh club football all over the world - despite the result.
But the second match was an occasion that Swans fans' dreams are made of.
It saw one of the club's most loyal players taking the reins as manager for the first time and guiding his recent team-mates to an historic 3-0 win over the Bluebirds in a match beamed around the globe.
There have also been a number of moments of individual brilliance, not least Jonjo Shelvey's contender for goal of the season last Saturday against Aston Villa.
The Liberty Stadium has seen some absolute crackers since it first opened almost nine years ago, but the England midfielders 47-yard-strike has to be the most remarkable of them all.
How fitting it was that he should hit it on the day the Jack Army showed its support for another mercurial midfielder - Ferrie Bodde.
The Dutch midfielder, who is currently recovering from pneumonia, smashed a similarly long range goal for the Swans against Preston at Deepdale back in 2008. Even his sliding celebration was similar. I hope the goal was the perfect tonic for Ferrie on his road to recovery, along with former Swans legend Leighton James, who recently suffered a suspected mild stroke.
Then, there has been the emergence of Wilfried Bony. To think at the start of the season some were questioning the wisdom of his signing.
Since he has settled down to life in the Premier League he has terrorised defenders up and down the country, not just with his muscular goalscoring power, but also his incredibly deft touches, which have set up goals for others.
So, while there have been moments of undoubted anguish and anxiety this season, there have also been plenty of historic and unforgettable moments which will ensure that the 2013-14 season should never be labelled as disappointing.
If nothing else, it ensured the Swans will be in the Premier League for a fourth season when it all kicks off again next August. I, for one, can't wait to do it all over again.