Apr 14, 2014, 10:22 PM EDT
Well if this isn’t a “relegation scrap,” we’re not sure what is.
The last time we visited Swansea City’s training ground fight club, there were reports of “bricks brandished.” Now-manager Garry Monk was a player on the team and he was certainly “not” sparring with Chico Flores during practice.
Oh, how the times have changed. Sure, it’s only been a couple months, but things are vastly different in Wales.
Because leading up to last week’s 1-0 loss to Chelsea, the whole whole team was fighting (or at least a half-dozen Premier Leaguers)… each other… at training… with chairman Huw Jenkins in attendance.
Reports in the British press had claimed a high-intensity intra-club practice match last week was marred by several dangerous tackles, which led to a six man punch-up.
But Swansea dismissed the fight as something that happens at clubs ‘up and down the country’ and declared the Premier League outfit had already ‘moved on’.
“These things often happen on training grounds up and down the country, so despite the media reports, Swans fans shouldn’t be concerned,” a Swansea spokesman told the South Wales Evening Post.
Right. We’ve gone from “not uncommon” to “these things often happen” in such a short spell of time. What’s next? During preseason we hear reports of Nathan Dyer and Jordi Amat playing Russian Roulette while Jonjo Shelvey and Michel Vorm knife-fight a la the “Beat It” video and Swansea’s PR department’s response is something like:
“Look, cutlery dust-ups and other weaponized games are a longstanding tradition in football. Swans supporters can ignore this ‘War on Swansea’ by the mainstream media.”
You can’t possibly believe a story like this is good stuff for a Swans club still striving to stave off the drop. Just three points ahead of No.18 Fulham, things can get dicey when a team is not “pulling together.”
Swansea travels to listless Newcastle on Saturday, and here’s one more chuckle-worthy note from a Daily Mail report:
There are other issues at the club and a source claimed one player was caught refuelling with crisps at half-time in a recent match.
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