Today's media round-up
13th August 2013
In today's media round-up, Leon Britton talks about his longevity at Swansea City while Nathan Dyer looks ahead to Saturday's league opener with Manchester United.
Meanwhile, Ryan Giggs and Robin van Persie give United's view as the defending champions visit the Liberty Stadium looking to get their campaign off to a winning start under David Moyes.
South Wales Evening Post
Britton: 'Barring injuries, I feel I can go on for another 5 years'
Leon Britton has been there, done that and got the Swans shirt. He has seen players and managers come and go, and he has heard plenty of pre-season chatter about how he might struggle to land a place in the Swansea City team.
And then invariably, he has played 40-odd games that season.
It is unsurprising, therefore, that this stalwart of Swansea's successes in the last decade is unruffled by talk of how hard it might be to win a place in Michael Laudrup's midfield this term.
Britton is well aware that his role as the fulcrum of Swansea's side will not last forever.
He will be 31 next month, so the bulk of his playing career is now behind him.
Britton, however, insists there are plenty of chapters still to be written in his remarkable Swansea story.
"Barring injury, I feel I can go on for another five years," he declares.
"Obviously a lot depends on how the club do - how we progress and what managers come into the club in the future.
"There are so many factors, but I still feel fit and, even though I am now 30, I have played in quite a lot of games."
There is nothing new there.
Britton has played for seven different Swansea bosses since Brian Flynn made the inspired decision to bring him in on loan from West Ham back in 2002.
There was a spell during Kenny Jackett's tenure when it seemed Britton may move on, for the 5ft 5in ball player was not that manager's idea of a perfect central midfielder.
Even in those trying circumstances, however, Britton found a way into the team, transforming himself into a wide player and thriving down the flank.
Roberto Martinez's return as Swansea manager saw Britton restored to the heart of midfield - and he has been there pretty much ever since.
There was a brief intermission, when Britton's frustration with life under Paulo Sousa saw him make an ill-fated move to Sheffield United.
But he was soon back in SA1 - and playing a central role in the most spectacular period in Swansea's history.
It is no wonder Britton is planning to stick around given how much fun he has had in the white jersey.
"I still feel I have got plenty of years left in my legs," he adds.
"I think I have proved in the last couple of seasons that I can perform in the Premier League - I feel like I have got better with age.
"With the experience of playing more games, you get better I think."
Dyer relishing catching United cold in Premier League opener
Swansea City winger Nathan Dyer admitting he's relishing the chance of catching Robin van Persie and his Manchester United team-mates cold on Saturday.
The Swans held United in their last Liberty meeting, a 1-1 draw last December, but were denied a repeat result at Old Trafford in May when Rio Ferdinand struck late into Sir Alex Ferguson's home farewell.
Now, having been thrown into competitive action early by virtue of their two Europa League qualifiers with Malmo, Dyer admits the preparation can give hopes of an early upset a boost should United be slow to get into full form.
"We haven't looked too far ahead and we weren't thinking about United before the European games," said the 25-year-old, who recently penned a new four-year deal. "As a club we've always taken one game at a time - that's the way you need to be to not get caught looking weeks ahead as that is when things start to go wrong.
"But to have United first up it can't get any better.
"To have them so early you definitely want to try and catch them cold. When you play a team like that in the season and they're free-flowing it makes it tougher."
Swansea will have genuine confidence of a first Premier League win over United after excitement over the new signings to add to last season's squad was coupled with a stunning showing to beat Swedish title-challengers Malmo 4-0 over two legs.
Dyer added: "You have to give us credit, we're a good side and we've shown we can give any team in the Premier League a game.
"Since I've come here every season has got better and better and the squad has improved again."
The squad's preparations, though, have been slightly affected by the international break that has seen seven players head out for international duty, including star striker Wilfried Bony, who will feature for the Ivory Coast against Mexico in New Jersey, while Jazz Richards was yesterday called up by Wales to join Neil Taylor and captain Ashley Williams for tomorrow's game with the Republic of Ireland.
Jonathan de Guzman and Michel Vorm are in the Dutch squad for their friendly with Portugal, while Jonjo Shelvey is with England Under-21s for their game with Scotland tonight.
Still Shelvey admits he is eager for the United opener after admitting he has enjoyed his start to life as a Swan following his £5m move from Liverpool.
"It's good down there, I'm really enjoying it," said midfielder Shelvey, sent off and involved in a war of words with Sir Alex Ferguson when he appeared against United at Anfield last season.
"We performed really well in the first leg against Malmo and it gave us a little bit of breathing space for when we went out there and got a draw, but the main one is on Saturday against Man U."
South Wales Evening Post
Silverware sure to give Moyes the taste for more
Until last Sunday, David Moyes had not held a piece of silverware aloft since landing the Division Two title at Preston North End.
That was in 2000, when Graham Alexander, Paul McKenna and Brett Angell were among the stars of his team.
Just as Moyes's Preston were sealing Second Division success, Swansea were clinching the Third Division championship thanks to a final-day draw at Rotherham United.
Thirteen years on, the stakes for both Moyes and Swansea have changed. Moyes has just taken on one of the toughest jobs in the football world by agreeing to succeed Sir Alex Ferguson as Manchester United manager.
And after Community Shield victory over Wigan Athletic, the Moyes era begins in earnest at the Liberty Stadium this Saturday evening.
United, not surprisingly, start as warm favourites to begin the new manager's reign with a Premier League victory.
But Swansea are not the long-shot underdogs they would have been not so long ago.
"We need to be ready for Swansea because they have been in good form and it is always a tough game at their place," said Old Trafford's Welsh legend, Ryan Giggs.
United eased past the Latics, Robin van Persie scoring in each half to give his new boss a prize.
"We wanted to win for the manager - it's important for him and the staff to win trophies ," van Persie said.
"To get the first one in after only a month or so is great."
Moyes would love to make a statement in his first league game, to chalk up a convincing victory to begin the process of moving out of his predecessor's shadow.
Whether Wayne Rooney will play any part is in question, for the England forward has been suffering with injury through pre-season and, more significantly, seems determined to leave before the transfer window shuts.
Rooney is expected to feature for England in their friendly with Scotland tomorrow night, but there is no guarantee that he will be involved come the weekend after a summer of speculation about his future.
One man who is definitely out is Rafael after the Brazilian right-back limped out of the Wigan win with a hamstring injury.
But United are unlikely to struggle for defensive options - Chris Smalling and Jonny Evans were on the bench at Wembley, while Rio Ferdinand did not feature because his testimonial took place last Friday. Moyes faces a tricky start in the league, with Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester City all on the fixture list in the early weeks of the campaign.
"Now we look ahead to next week's game against Swansea," van Persie added.
"The first five games are very tough. We have to look at things game by game, but there are some big challenges there."