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Reading vs Swansea, Championship Playoff Final: Open Thread

Over 40,000 fans left their homes in Wales this morning and invaded London to cheer on Swansea City in the Championship Playoff Final against Reading (live today at 10am on Fox Soccer Channel for viewers in the United States). More than 40,000 Reading supporters will be in Wembley too for what promises to be a loud and passionate crowd cheering on their club. The winning club will be the most substantial prize in world soccer.

As a Swansea City supporter, it’s hard for me to type this right now. I just want to match to start so the Swans can calm my nerves and play the game I know they’re capable of playing — a beautiful sight to see with lots of one-touch passing, quick runs down the flanks and creating excellent chances in front of goal. That’s not to take anything away from Reading who are equally capable. This promises to be a very exciting final with so much on the line for both teams (and both sets of supporters).

Before, during and after the match, use the comments section below as an open thread to share your rants, raves, observations and questions.

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  1. Alec

    May 30, 2011 at 8:55 pm

    And to top off the great day Cardiff sack their respected manager and Craig Bellamy is a front runner for the job, my god they must think it is Christmas in Swansea. 🙂 .

  2. jtm371

    May 30, 2011 at 6:42 pm

    to all the Swans fans congrats on the promotion coming from a Forest fan that is hard.i just hope Forest will get back to the EPL before i die.

  3. PaulFromMiami

    May 30, 2011 at 4:24 pm

    I think that it is good that a Welsh side has made it to the EPL. staunch loyalist lost while FOOTBALL won. I hope Scott Sinclair make it this time in the premier league. I wonder how Chelsea feels right now since they are in the market for wide players.

  4. tony

    May 30, 2011 at 3:41 pm

    I just need to rant. Start watching the final on FSC in the States, and the first item on their ticker “Sinclair hatrick propels Swansea into EPL”. Thanks Fox, no need to watch the game then. What a bunch of idiots.

  5. Kevin

    May 30, 2011 at 1:41 pm

    As a Reading fan I’m gutted. Didn’t think we played that bad to lose it. Our defending was terrible though. If only that shot hadn’t hit the post at 3-2 it might have been different. Congrats to Swansea.

  6. David

    May 30, 2011 at 1:38 pm

    Congrats to Swansea,I thought they were through to the Prem 30 mins into the game,then after 70 mins I thought they were gone back to the Championship!!! English Football Leagues are brilliant.

    Hope Swansea do well, except when they play Liverpool 🙂 .

  7. Nate

    May 30, 2011 at 1:28 pm

    Gaffer, is that when the Community Shield is played or when the first round of EPL fixtures begin?

    • The Gaffer

      May 30, 2011 at 1:30 pm

      Community Shield will be played on August 7. The league kicks off the following Saturday.

      The Gaffer

  8. IanCransonsKnees

    May 30, 2011 at 1:28 pm

    Swansea City Talk for the next season I reckon. 😉

    • Guy

      May 30, 2011 at 1:53 pm

      +1…..Like that.

  9. Guy

    May 30, 2011 at 1:13 pm

    Of course, my fellow readers, you know what this means. “Sneak peeks” at Swansea’s jerseys, primers on Swans’ chants and songs, a brief history of the club, introductions to the Gaffer’s relatives still back in the old country, insider directions on how to get to Swans’ home matches, endless articles a la, “Ten Reasons To Love The Swans”. And for those of you who have felt the Gaffer’s articles seemed to show he was some kind of closet Man Utd supporter… ain’t seen nothin’ yet!

    Bring it on, Gaffer! 🙂

  10. Nate

    May 30, 2011 at 12:52 pm

    Congratulations to Swansea. Looking forward to seeing you play some attractive socccer come August.

    Anyone know the exact date when the EPL season begins? I know the fixtures won’t come out for a few weeks but was wondering about the start date so I can plan my vacation.

    • The Gaffer

      May 30, 2011 at 1:00 pm

      The new season kicks off August 13, 2011.

      The Gaffer

      • Attaturk

        May 30, 2011 at 1:13 pm

        August 13th?!

        That only gives Drogba 10 weeks to contract beriberi or hepatitis, Arsenal only 10 weeks to not buy a central defender, Rooney 10 weeks to grow enough hair on his chest to spell “f-$-#-k”!

  11. The Gaffer

    May 30, 2011 at 12:26 pm

    WHAT A MATCH!! I thought Reading were the better team on the day, but Swansea City performed well too.

    My dreams have come true. Thank you everyone for your kind words and support.

    We’ll be releasing a special episode of the EPL Talk Podcast tonight with a discussion of the Swansea vs Reading match, a review of the 2010-11 season and our thoughts on Barcelona beating Man United.

    Thanks everyone! I hope you enjoyed the match and appreciated Swansea’s style of football. Feeling on top of the world right now!

    The Gaffer

  12. TGov

    May 30, 2011 at 12:22 pm

    As a Reading fan I am gutted by that game, especially with so many missed chances, but congrats to Swansea. I am actually happy for Rodgers and wish them well.

  13. somervillain

    May 30, 2011 at 12:16 pm

    Very happy for you and your Swans, Gaffer. Here’s to another memorable Premier League season for all invovled in 2011-2012.

  14. Guy

    May 30, 2011 at 12:12 pm

    There you go, Gaffer! Congrats!! 🙂

    I was out, thought I had the match DVRd….nope. Ackkk! That’s all right though because I see FS+ has it on today at 3:00 in HD. I’ll watch it just to enjoy the whole thing. You, too, might want to relive the glory! 😉

  15. Lyle

    May 30, 2011 at 12:09 pm

    Good for Swansea!

  16. soonerscotty

    May 30, 2011 at 12:06 pm

    question…I know they won the playoff, and got promoted, but how does one get awarded a trophy for coming in 3rd in the Championship?? Does the 2nd place team get a trophy too??

    • Thomas Hingley

      May 30, 2011 at 12:14 pm

      It isn’t for coming third. It’s for winning the Play-Offs!

      • soonerscotty

        May 30, 2011 at 12:17 pm

        But, winning the playoffs is essentially the same as finishing 3rd…crazy English and your Englishy ways! haha, all good.

  17. Madison

    May 30, 2011 at 12:05 pm

    Congrats Gaffer.

  18. soonerscotty

    May 30, 2011 at 12:02 pm

    That was a great game.

    I too will have a soft spot for the Swans next season…with the exception of two matches.

  19. Quincy

    May 30, 2011 at 12:01 pm

    What a terrific match this was. Loved it!

    Congratulations to Swansea. You deserved it. Well done to Reading too for making a game of it after halftime.

  20. Kristian Downer

    May 30, 2011 at 11:58 am

    Needs a pic though Gaffer if you have one, maybe a piece from you tommorow once you have recovered about what it means to a fan of a team promoted in the play off final.

    • IanCransonsKnees

      May 30, 2011 at 12:02 pm

      I’d agree with that, get across what it means following a club that’s has to struggle and battle to come back from the dead without being able to expect the TV money to sustain them.

      Expect a lot of patronising pats on the head though.

  21. IanCransonsKnees

    May 30, 2011 at 11:58 am

    Rosie Webster’s going to get a seeing to tonight from Scott Sinclair.

  22. Lance

    May 30, 2011 at 11:58 am

    Congrats Swans! Congrats Gaffer!!! I have a new, second-favorite EPL team to follow…

    • The Gaffer

      May 30, 2011 at 1:02 pm

      Excellent! Thank you!

      The Gaffer

  23. Kristian Downer

    May 30, 2011 at 11:56 am

    Congratulations to Swansea.

    Gaffer a reaction piece is already up on ChampionshipTalk


  24. Cricketlover

    May 30, 2011 at 11:54 am

    Congratulations to Swansea! A well-deserved win. True to form they did make it hard on themselves though. Good luck in the EPL. You can rest easy now, Gaffer.

  25. Kile

    May 30, 2011 at 11:52 am

    This has to be one of the best playoff finals in years! Swansea are in the Premier League!

  26. Mitchell

    May 30, 2011 at 11:44 am

    That’s got to be it for Reading now. Sinclair scores his third (2nd from the spot) thanks to an unnecessary challenge by Griffin.

  27. rej4sl

    May 30, 2011 at 11:43 am

    I am loving this game – rooting for Swansea – on the edge of my seat. At least we can see this game …. hehehehe

  28. Garry

    May 30, 2011 at 11:41 am

    Swansea, you lucky bastards! No need for that challenge. Now it’s welcome to the EPL.

  29. IanCransonsKnees

    May 30, 2011 at 11:40 am

    At this point in time The Gaffer should be feeling physically sick, wringing his hands, be pale and drawn, will snap and snarl at anyone who interupts him. He’ll have a massive turtle’s head too.

    • IanCransonsKnees

      May 30, 2011 at 11:41 am

      Not anymore!

    • The Gaffer

      May 30, 2011 at 1:03 pm

      The second half was agonizing for me. I couldn’t sit down for 1 minute. What a sense of relief that they were able to hold on in the end. And how calm is Scott Sinclair, ‘eh? He should be taking penalty kicks for England!

      The Gaffer

  30. soonerscotty

    May 30, 2011 at 11:31 am

    anyone know the results of the games between these two during the season??

    • IanCransonsKnees

      May 30, 2011 at 11:39 am

      Reading 0 Swansea 1

      Swansea 1 Reading 0

      • soonerscotty

        May 30, 2011 at 11:41 am

        awesome, thanks!

        I’ve got to admit, this may be the funnest game I’ve watched all season.

  31. Terry

    May 30, 2011 at 11:28 am

    Hey Swansea… Ever heard of defending? 🙂

  32. soonerscotty

    May 30, 2011 at 11:25 am

    I’ve got a fiver that says there’s dvd of Istanbul ’05 in Reading’s changing room. =]

    Though, I’m pullin’ for the Swans.

  33. Mitchell

    May 30, 2011 at 11:25 am


    Don’t punch those tickets for the EPL just yet, Swansea. You have some defending to do . . . All Reading at the moment.

  34. Lyle

    May 30, 2011 at 11:23 am

    Oh oh. Reading looks like they may end up drinking Swansea’s milkshake.

  35. Stephen

    May 30, 2011 at 11:21 am

    It looks like Swansea have been taking lessons from the West Ham school of defending a lead.

  36. Sam

    May 30, 2011 at 11:05 am

    Everton fans are already lining up for passports to go to another country now that Swansea are almost in the EPL. 🙂

    • soonerscotty

      May 30, 2011 at 11:06 am

      +1, haha

  37. Harry

    May 30, 2011 at 11:03 am

    Hey Reading… Ever heard of defending? 🙂

    Welcome to the world of nerves and heartache, Swansea. It’s good to have company from Wales to join in the pain of being an EPL club supporter.

    • IanCransonsKnees

      May 30, 2011 at 11:15 am

      ‘the pain of being an EPL club supporter.’

      I’m sorry but just f%*k right off. If you want to understand the reaction to that comment have a read up on Swansea’s recent history then come back and tell me that it’s painful following a Premier League team!

  38. IanCransonsKnees

    May 30, 2011 at 10:59 am

    Jay Tabb sent off in the tunnel for Reading.

    • IanCransonsKnees

      May 30, 2011 at 11:06 am

      Nigel Gibbs their assistant manager has been sent to the stands too.

    • The Gaffer

      May 30, 2011 at 11:07 am

      BBC is reporting that substitute Jay Tabb was sent off for abusive language in tunnel, while Reading’s assistant manager was sent to the stands.

      The Gaffer

  39. Jason

    May 30, 2011 at 10:56 am

    If Long had scored that sitter it might have given Reading some hope. I just can’t see then turning this one around. On the other hand they may still get into the game because Swansea are noted for turning off whenever they have a bright start.

    See you in the EPL, Swansea.

  40. The Gaffer

    May 30, 2011 at 10:54 am

    It’s half-time, but I thought Reading actually played better than Swansea in the first half. But the difference was that Swansea converted their chances. The Swans started to settle down a bit after the 30 minute mark, but the game is far from over.

    The Gaffer

  41. IanCransonsKnees

    May 30, 2011 at 10:45 am

    You coming over for a match next season at the Liberty then? I’ll guarantee the way you and any other Swansea fans will feel tonight will trump anything any ‘top four’ followers will ever feel.

    • soonerscotty

      May 30, 2011 at 10:48 am

      No offense, but if I never know the joy of earning a place in the Premiership I’ll die a happy man. YNWA.

      • IanCransonsKnees

        May 30, 2011 at 11:03 am

        You don’t know what your missing. Years of being laughed at and ridiculed for not taking the easy option by people who are ‘better’ than you because they follow some club on televeision whilst you travel to the arse end of the country watching your team. Then it all comes together and you can ram it back in their smug glory hunting faces. If you’re lucky yo establish yourself in the league, get to an FA Cup final and generally piss everyone else off becuase you don’t roll over and die for them by playing tippy tappy football.

        • soonerscotty

          May 30, 2011 at 11:24 am

          Not denying the sweetness one would feel…heck, I’m a Red Sox fan, that 86 year curse thing was hard to live with…just would rather not feel it myself.

    • The Gaffer

      May 30, 2011 at 1:05 pm

      ICK, I’m already making plans with the missus and kids to come over to Swansea to see a match or two in the Premier League. I can’t wait!!

      The Gaffer

  42. Attaturk

    May 30, 2011 at 10:43 am

    3-Nil —

    Unless Swansea sign Arsenal’s backline at halftime, the second half is going to be a celebration for Gaffer and other Swansea supporters.

    • Lyle

      May 30, 2011 at 11:25 am


  43. soonerscotty

    May 30, 2011 at 10:42 am

    3-0 in the first half…Reading need watch the Istanbul video for inspiration at the half.

  44. Cricketlover

    May 30, 2011 at 10:29 am

    What a start for Swansea! Kanishvilli is a very lucky boy do be still on the pitch.

    • soonerscotty

      May 30, 2011 at 10:41 am

      I agree, he should’ve seen red for the way he was pushing the ref…never mind that tackle.

  45. Kristian Downer

    May 30, 2011 at 10:29 am

    2-0 Scott Sinclair fires Swansea towards the Premier League with two goals in two minutes.

    One hour of play to go and I am sure that the Gaffer is in pieces!

  46. The Gaffer

    May 30, 2011 at 10:28 am


    The Gaffer

  47. BBC

    May 30, 2011 at 10:27 am

    The announcer is a Swansea supporter as well.

  48. RVPFan

    May 30, 2011 at 10:14 am

    All the best Gaffer. I’m pulling for Swansea as well. So far lots of nerves and nothing clear cut, but it’s promising to be a great match.

  49. John R

    May 30, 2011 at 10:04 am

    best of luck, Gaffer. Ill be pulling for Swansea today so you can see your team in the premier league.

    • The Gaffer

      May 30, 2011 at 10:06 am

      Thanks John!!!! I need it!

      The Gaffer

  50. Cricketlover

    May 30, 2011 at 9:57 am

    The much awaited day for Swansea supporters is here. Just 5 minutes to kickoff. FSC is doing a good job showing the various playoffs for promotion. Good lead up to the match. Good luck Swansea!

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