The past is in the past, let's make new history
23rd September 2014
Okay, let's get the old chestnut out of the way from the off.
The Swans have never beaten Everton. There, I've said it.
In fact, lots of people have said it in the run up to this game.
Whenever the Swans play Everton, you can be guaranteed it's the first statistic that's dusted off and given pride of place in the intro of every match preview.
Look, even I've gone and done it!
But that's history, and we all know where history is don't we? That's right, in the past.
The statistics are indisputable so I won't attempt to argue against them, but so what if the Swans' record against Everton is played 20, lost 15 and drawn 5.
I got those stats from the history books, and that's where they belong.
Fair enough, if the Swans were a struggling League Two side taking on Everton tonight, then I wouldn't be holding out a lot of hope.
As well as history, Everton would have form and class on their side.
But this isn't a match between two teams of vastly differing class or form. Tonight we will see two relatively equally matched teams taking on each other. What's happened in the past isn't relevant.
These two clubs first faced each other back in 1930 in the old Second Division. Dixie Dean scored twice for the Toffees - that's how long ago it was! How can that result have any bearing on tonight's match?
If we're going to talk about history, when was the last time Everton won the League Cup?
The answer is never. I won't need to remind Swans fans, the home side picked up the trophy as recently as 2012.
But those League Cup facts have about as much relevance to tonight's match as the Swans having never beaten Everton in any competition.
Here's another stat for you . . . the Swans have never lost to Everton in the League Cup. Granted, we've never played each other in the League cup! So, there's further proof that you can throw history out of the window for this match!
Still not convinced? Well, if people are insistent on use the "Swansea have never beaten Everton fact" you could turn it round and say " Everton have never lost to Swansea".
I'm going to use some reverse psychology here. Think of the pressure the second statement puts on the Everton players!
Every game Everton win against the Swans piles another few pounds of pressure on the next Everton team to play the South Wales outfit.
And with every game Everton win, they are one game closer to the one they are going to lose!
When you look at it that way, I'd hate to be in that Everton dressing room tonight. You could argue that the visitors have the weight of history and expectation bearing down on their shoulders. They will be nervous wrecks as they walk down the Liberty Stadium tunnel!
Of course, that's nonsense, just as it's nonsense to claim their past record will affect the Swans players tonight.
Every losing run between relatively evenly matched teams comes to an end sooner or later.
Up until last season, Norwich were reported to be the Swans' Premier League "bogey" side, having won three and drawn two of the sides' clashes since the Liberty Stadium side gained promotion.
But that particular bogey was emphatically ended at the sixth attempt in March when the Swans ran out 3-0 winners here.
Everton themselves have had poor sequences in the past. In 2002, a youngster called Wayne Rooney scored the only goal of the game as the Toffees beat Leeds United in a league game at Elland Road for the first time in 51 years.
If you think that's a long losing run at an away ground, what about Tottenham's drought at Anfield, which lasted for 73 years between 1912 and 1985, when a Garth Crooks goal finally broke the "hoodoo", which started the year the Titanic sank! But end it did . . . eventually!
And up until last season, the Swans had never won in 10 visits to Old Trafford, spanning more than 80 years. Then, like buses, two wins came along in quick succession as the Swans triumphed at the Theatre of Dreams first in the FA Cup and then the Premier League. Another bogey well and truly picked!
While we're on the subject of "bogeys", isn't it incredible that in 2014, we are talking about "bogey sides"?
In this era of sports science, Opta stats, Prozone, GPS tracking, statistical analysis, nutrition, etc, isn't it remarkable that the word "bogey" can still pop up in the footballing vocabulary?
Apparently Manchester City employ 11 people to analyse players' data. I wonder if the words "bogey team" often crop up in their reports?
There is no disputing that teams can have bad runs against certain teams. There can be many factors that contribute towards this, including luck and the fact that one team is simply consistently better than the other over a period of time.
But when sides are evenly matched these runs will come to an end and it will have nothing to do with ancient history or sequences that started by in 1930. It will be decided by a piece of skill or a piece of luck on the night.
I'm not saying the Swans are going to win tonight, but I am saying that Everton's record over the them has absolutely no relevance over the outcome of this evening's match.
So let's make some new history tonight and roar the Swans on to what would be a particularly sweet-tasting success over the previously unpalatable Toffees!
C'mon you Swans!