ALAN Curtis up front with Michael Laudrup playing just behind — it sounds like a front pairing in the ulti- mate fantasy football team.
But that was the potent attacking threat the South Wales press team had to nullify in our annual match against the Swansea City staff yesterday.
The pre-match excitement that had been bubbling in the Liberty Stadium’s away dressing room started to drain when our opponents’ team sheet came through.
As well as facing a Swansea legend and one of the greatest footballers to ever play the game, we would also be coming up against former Danish international Morten Wieghorst and Kristian O’Leary, a man with almost 300 league appearances to his name.
There was plenty to think about as we trudged through the car park to Swansea’s Landore training base where the match took place.
Along our route we passed the Swansea first-team squad, who had just finished a training session and were on hand to offer their encouragement.
Michu shook his head with a wry smile and said simply “No”, while Neil Taylor offered to “write the headlines for this one”.
As we approached Swansea’s sparkling new facility, it was time to talk tactics.
“Who wants to man-mark Laudrup?” came the question. No hands went up.
After wrestling with the merits of starting with three central defenders and wing-backs, it was eventually decided we would play a five-man midfield and attempt to frustrate our much-fancied hosts.
After five minutes of frantic ball-chasing, defenders appeared up front and wingers in defence. We had lost our discipline.
And that was the story for the rest of the match.
Laudrup twisted and turned, evading every tackle with breathtaking ease, and Curtis showcased that famous hip swerve and drop of the shoulder that graced the top flight 30 years ago.
For an hour, journalists were nutmegged, skinned and passed around for fun.
The final score was 10-4 to the Swans staff — but you couldn’t help feeling our opponents had a fair few gears left should they have needed them.
Watch the video here: