Swansea City cannot go gentle as season kicks off against Manchester United
DO not go gentle has been the motto at Swansea City this summer.
It is fitting, therefore, that their Premier League season begins with a bang.
Swansea versus Manchester United is always a grand occasion in these parts.
But this weekend's game will draw attention from all corners of the globe because one man will not be present.
Life after Sir Alex Ferguson begins in earnest tomorrow, and that makes this one of the biggest sporting events this city has ever seen.
An institution at United, Sir Alex reigned over Old Trafford for 27 years and was the heartbeat of a mighty football club.
One of the big questions on the eve of this Premier League season is how United will cope without the leader who ruled, riled and inspired during almost three decades at the helm.
Some who will be among the sell-out crowd at the Liberty Stadium this weekend have never known anything other than Fergie being United's manager.
Indeed, there could be five players in the Swansea starting line-up — perhaps even more — who were born after Sir Alex was appointed as successor to Ron Atkinson.
The next in line at United is another Scot, David Moyes.
He was in SA1 a couple of weeks back, checking on Swansea in their Europa League tie against Malmo.
He must have been impressed, for Michael Laudrup's team were scintillating that night, racking up nearly 800 passes and four goals — and the latter tally could easily have been higher.
Malmo, of course, are not Manchester United.
They were once European Cup finalists, although that was so long ago that it was seven years before Sir Alex got the call from United.
A clue about Malmo's status these days came with the news this week that Bournemouth are trying to sign Tokelo Rantie, the striker who was the Swedes' stand-out performer against Swansea.
Laudrup's men face a different class of opposition now — but there is no reason for Ashley Williams and company to be fearful.
United were flying, after all, when they came to Landore last December, and Swansea emerged from that game with a well-deserved 1-1 draw.
And in Manchester last May, Swansea were unfortunate not to bring a goodie bag home from Sir Alex's farewell party, Rio Ferdinand scoring late on to seal a 2-1 win for the hosts.
Now the two clubs square up again, with Swansea full of confidence and United still moving through the gears.
The experts always said that the next man in after Sir Alex would have a hard time, and Moyes's first couple of months in the job have not been easy.
There have been shaky pre-season results to contend with and, as yet, the new man at the top has had precious little joy in the transfer market.
Moves for the likes of Cesc Fabregas, Thiago Alcantara and Leighton Baines have come to nothing, meaning United will go with what they had last season at the start of this new campaign.
And it could be that one of their more influential players in recent years, Wayne Rooney, does not feature against Swansea.
He played for England in midweek but, after a summer of injury and stories about the forward's desire to join another club, Moyes has offered no guarantee that he will be involved.
Robin van Persie will be, however, and Swansea must smother the brilliant Dutchman if they are to chalk up an opening-day result.
Williams will be required to lead a big defensive effort against van Persie, Danny Welbeck and the rest, though it might be for the best if he does not kick the ball at anyone in a red jersey.
Williams's clash with van Persie was one of the stories of last season, one of the many moments that will live long in the memory after Swansea's glorious campaign.
The challenge now facing Laudrup's team is a daunting one.
Expectations rise very quickly in football and, having raised the bar in 2012-13, Swansea now have to try to live up to the achievements of last term.
It is unrealistic to expect them to win another trophy — though of course it is not impossible — but Laudrup sets out at the start of the new year with another mid-table finish as his primary aim.
This is only Swansea's third season in the Premier League, yet some people are talking about them challenging for the top six.
Were he offered a top-half finish now, Laudrup would surely accept.
After the furore in the first half of the close season, Swansea look to have done some sound business in the transfer market.
Alejandro Pozuelo has the tools to join the list of Iberian bargains who have shone in Swansea colours in recent times, while Jonjo Shelvey seems like a young man on a mission to prove Liverpool were wrong to let him leave.
And then, among others, there is Wilfried Bony, scorer of a couple of goals against Malmo and the man charged with netting many more as the campaign unfolds.
Swansea have moved to a new level in the transfer market this summer by spending £12 million on one player.
But as so many other clubs have proved, splashing cash does not ensure success on a Saturday.
Swansea's squad looks stronger than it was in May as the end of the transfer window approaches but, with Europe to think about as well as the Premier League, caution is required at this time of year.
Many of the pundits who are now tipping Swansea to compete in the top third of the table are the same ones who said they would be relegated last August.
Laudrup's players must ignore all the hype and concentrate on digging out results in the most demanding division of all.
There will be few harder examinations than the one which awaits tomorrow evening. A point or more then would be a superb way to start.