Swansea cannot progress as a club if they keep faith in manager Francesco Guidolin

Swansea cannot progress as a club if they keep faith in manager Francesco Guidolin
Aug 29, 2016

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At one point in time Swansea City were revered as one of the Premier League’s best footballing sides, and many teams feared coming to the Liberty as it used to be a fortress for Swansea, and they have recorded many famous wins there, such as the 2-1 wins over Manchester United and Arsenal. However this is not the case anymore, and it was proved last weekend when Hull City attended the Liberty that teams are no longer scared of playing in Swansea, and that Swansea have regressed as a team in the last two years. Obviously the reason is partly due to Garry Monk, who is still a Swansea legend no matter what he did in his managerial stint, but any Swansea fan who watches their team week in week out would admit that Garry Monk’s teams were tactically inept and this had to be down to his lack of managerial experience as well as the low quality coaching staff, especially James Beattie. So with all of these factors considered, when Italian Francesco Guidolin came in I was quite optimistic, I had the mentality of ‘we can’t get worse than how we were under Monk – we’ve got to improve now, surely?’ and although Guidolin helped us stay afloat in the Premier League, along with the help of once caretaker manager, now assistant manager Alan Curtis, who managed us to a crucial 2-1 win over Arsenal at the Emirates in a period where we were lacking points and goals when the teams around us had started winning, I still believe Guidolin holds major responsibility in the regression of my beloved club in recent times, and this article will not be a rage fueled attack against Guidolin, I will try to fairly justify my reasoning for why we cannot progress as a club if we keep Guidolin employed.



Guidolin’s Defensive Mentality Is In His Italian Nature 

As I previously stated, and as many people will know, Swansea City were once known for their style of play which brought them nicknames such as ‘The Welsh Barcelona.’ and their passing ability supported that nickname, however now I cannot help but feel that Luis Enrique would feel greatly offended if Swansea City (if he’s ever heard of them) were compared to his team, as in recent times we have pulled away from being known for our technical ability, and I’d have to be biased to even place Swansea City in the Top 5 best passing sides in the league. Unless you are in denial, or are keeping strong faith in Guidolin, any Swansea fan with a footballing brain can see that a big reason as to why we are not longer revered as the best passers in the league is down to our manager’s defensive mentality. Countless times last season we would take a one nil lead, most famously (in my opinion) against Tottenham, and Guidolin would proceed to order the team to sit back, inevitably inviting pressure and resulting in an equaliser, and in the case of the Spurs game, a winning goal for the once losing side too. I fail to understand how Guidolin can believe we could sit back and invite pressure on ourselves for 70 minutes and not once be broken down and equalised against, however it is historic that Italian manager’s have an overly defensive mentality, and we should have expected to watch boring, nerve-racking football week in week out. He even had a habit last season of bringing a full back, usually Rangel on for one of our right wingers when we had a lead, forcing us into defending for large periods of the game.

sspurs graphic

This graphic shows the average position of each player in the Spur game, demonstrating how much Spurs attacked compared to Swansea’s defensive strategy. [IMAGE CREDIT: OPTA]

Guidolin Has Displayed Little Faith In Youth

Swansea City have always had great youth teams and facilities in which these teams train, and they have produced the likes of Joe Allen and Ben Davies, along with players currently coming through the ranks such as Joe Rodon and Owain Jones, however Guidolin has yet to place much faith in these youngsters, and this is another thing which frustrates me. Granted, the Italian has done one thing right with the youth team, and that is bringing in Scottish left-back Stephen Kingsley, a workhouse who can attack the byline and whip in fierce crosses, as well as demonstrating his defensive abilities, most notably against Arsenal at the Emirates, where he kept the Gunners’ pacey wingers at bay, almost warranting a man of the match award, had Fabianski not been so amazing in goal that game. However, Guidolin cannot exactly be hailed a tactica genius for his inclusion of Kingsley in the first team line-up as any man with a brain, nevermind an experienced professional football manager, could recognise that Neil Taylor is not cut out for the pace and technical ability of the wingers he was being faced with, and it would have been farcical for Guidolin to keep Taylor in the first team. But where there is (slight) praise, there is criticism, and criticise I will, because Francesco Guidolin has created discontent for me by loaning out Matt Grimes and Kenji Gorre, two players who I believe deserved to breakthrough into the first team this season following their success in the u21 team, the latter displaying great goalscoring ability and the former being likened to Glen Hoddle in terms of his passing ability, however Guidolin obviously did not share the same beliefs as me and a lot of Swansea fans, and this deeply concerns me as surely he was told by the media team that thousands of people believed Gorre deserved a first team appearance.



Guidolin Is Tactically Inept

This segment of my article will not be as long as the other two, as I do not want to be repetitive in how I justify my reasoning for claiming what I have said in the sub heading, however all Swansea fans should agree with me that the teams Guidolin has put out at the start of the 2016-17 season shows his inability to recognise when something isn’t working. Wayne Routeledge has started the first three matches of the season, which in my opinion is completely farcical, as although I respect Wayne and what he has done for the club in the past, as of late he is bang out of form and has displayed nothing which should warrant him three first team appearances ahead of the pace and dribbling ability of Jefferson Montero. The fact that Guidolin has consistently placed so much faith in Routeledge so far this season shows his complete inability to produce a reactive response to failure and change what isn’t working. I also believe Oliver McBurnie deserves more time in the first team following his success in pre season and in the EFL Cup, where he scored a brace against Peterborough, however this is more debatable as Fernando Llorente does have experience on his side. I hope my opinions throughout this article have come across as fair and justified as I do not want this article to be viewed as propaganda to fuel my Guidolin agenda, I just genuienly believe that the club will continue to go downhill fast if we keep faith in the Italian, and if we want to remain in the Premier League we must get rid of Guidolin and bring in a manager who has PL experience and who can hopefully bring Swansea back to the glory days of cup finals and top 10 finishes.


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