Jack the Lad: Could it be deja vu at Anfield?

25th December 2017

Swans fan and website columnist Jack the Lad salutes some famous Swansea City names - and eyes another joyous trip to Anfield.

Leon Britton's status as a Swansea City legend in the eyes of the club's faithful had already long been established.

But the little midfielder added another chapter to his sensational Swans story on Saturday by stepping into the breach as caretaker manager following the departure of Paul Clement last week.

The player-assistant coach steered the Swans to a creditable point against an in-form Crystal Palace side who arrived at the Liberty on the back of a seven-match unbeaten run and a 3-0 win at Leicester.

There was a sense of déjà vu seeing a fans' favourite player and club legend taking over the reins during the festive season. Alan Curtis has performed the role over the past two Christmas and New Year periods, including another pivotal match against Palace, which the Swans won 2-1.

There was another famous Swansea City name involved in the draw against Crystal Palace last Saturday.

The man regularly seen at Britton's shoulder discussing tactics on the touchline was the club's successful under-23 coach Cameron Toshack, son of the manager who led the Swans' meteoric rise from the Fourth to First Division back in the late 1970s and early 1980s.

Indeed, John Toshack, who went on to also manage the likes of Real Madrid, Real Sociedad and the Welsh national team, was up in the West Stand on Saturday, watching his son help to do the job that he himself did 40 years ago.

And with Britton and Toshack, along with fellow under-23 coach Gary Richards and goalkeeping coach Tony Roberts, possibly in charge for the Boxing Day visit to Liverpool, there's the prospect of the famous surname returning to Anfield.

Toshack Senior, of course, made his playing name with the Merseyside club, making almost 250 appearances and scoring 96 goals as he enjoyed a prolific attacking partnership with Kevin Keegan.

His son's potential return as a member of the Swans managerial staff will surely prompt memories of the emotional afternoon Toshack Senior made his return to Anfield for a First Division match as the Swans manager, just a few days after the death of legendary Liverpool boss Bill Shankly in 1981.

On Boxing Day, the current Swans managerial team and players will hopefully take heart from a more recent trip to Liverpool.

If they are looking for some inspiration before taking on the red half of the city once again, they only need to look back as far as January.

The Swans were also bottom of the Premier League when they travelled north to Merseyside last season.

Few people gave the Swans any hope at a venue where they had never previously enjoyed a league win, against a team who were unbeaten at Anfield for a whole year.

However, the Swans produced a superb performance to seal a memorable 3-2 win, which helped to kickstart their surge to Premier League survival.

What better way for the Swans to bookend 2017 than with consecutive league wins at Anfield!

Come on you Swans!