How Swansea have thrived at Cardiff’s expense

Since their promotion from the Championship in the 2010/11 season, life has been going swimmingly for Swansea in the Premier League. For a side who were playing in League Two just 10 seasons ago, their success has been phenomenal. During that time period they’ve managed to surpass their once superior local rivals, and have now left them in their dust.

One of the main reasons for their recent success has been getting consecutive managerial appointments spot on. Two of Swansea’s most recent managers have moved on to bigger clubs after successful spells in South Wales. Roberto Martinez won League One with The Swans before moving on to Everton via Wigan Athletic and Brendan Rodgers won promotion from the Championship with Swansea before taking his current job at Liverpool.

The appointment of Michael Laudrup should not be undervalued either, as following Liverpool’s capture of Rodgers, the Dane arrived and was – for one season at least – fantastic. He won the clubs first ever major trophy in English football and he also developed a fantastic style of football, which the club are still renowned for.

It’s been a quite incredible decade for the South Wales club. However, following the disappointing end to Laudrup’s time with The Swans, things were not looking so bright.

Garry Monk’s appointment as a player-manager to see out the 2013/14 season came as a surprise and most expected this would be all Monk would be asked to do. Though that wasn’t to be the case, and when Garry Monk hung up his boots, he snapped up the managerial job full-time.

His maiden managerial job, and it just so happened to be in the Premier League – a daunting task for anyone. But still, after spending 10 years as a player with Swansea, not many know the club as well as Garry. The players already had a good relationship with Monk, and vice-versa.

Regardless of that, the transition from full-time player to full-time manager was a big ask. But after 11 games into his first full season as manager, and with his die sitting pretty in the top 5 of the Premier League having already beaten Arsenal and Manchester United, it’s safe to say that things are going just fine at the Liberty Stadium.

Due to the divergence of fortunes between Swansea and Cardiff City, they’re rarely thought of in the same bracket anymore. Cardiff City may be currently being run like a circus but it wasn’t always the case that Swansea were so considerably better than their arch-rivals.

Cardiff were only recently  fighting it out in the Championship while The Swans toiled in England’s lower divisions. Yet when Swansea finally caught up with The Bluebirds, it didn’t take them long to surpass them.

The gap between the two sides was to become larger still as Cardiff could only manage one season in the top flight, finishing it rock bottom, with the owner Vincent Tan making more headlines of the pitch than the team made on it.

Not only are Swansea now performing much better, but they still play in their traditional white kit which they’ve sported since their formation in 1912. Meanwhile over in Cardiff, their rivals had an uninterrupted 104 years of playing in blue before their delusional owner forced the club to play in red, to the dismay of the club’s fans.

As hard as it is for any football supporter to praise their main rivals, Cardiff City fans are now surely feeling just ever so slightly jealous of their neighbours. I can’t imagine how embarrassing it has become for The Bluebirds supporters, having once been ahead of their rivals and yet now so far behind.

The Jacks are now flying high in the Premier League under a manager with a strong affiliation to the club, and Cardiff are struggling to find any form in the Championship whilst their Malaysian owner attempts to destroy the club’s history and values.

The days of Cardiff supporters boasting over their south-Wales rivals have long gone, and they won’t be back anytime soon as long as Tan is the man in charge.