Swansea City has a new head coach.
Ahead of their clash against Watford on Monday (Watch live, 3 p.m. ET on NBCSN and online via Live Extra) the Swans have appointed Francesco Guidolin to work alongside interim boss Alan Curtis.
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The Welsh side were quick to point out, however, that Guidolin will “have the final say on team selection” and will work with Curtis — who was only placed in charge on an interim basis 11 days ago — on a short-term deal until the end of the season to try and keep Swansea in the Premier League.
Guidolin, 60, most recently lead Udinese to third-place in Serie A and the Italian coach has vast experience in getting teams promoted to Serie A and has previously managed Parma, Palermo and Vicenza.
He will watch on from the stands on Monday as Swansea aim to climb out of the relegation zone with a win.
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Both Guidolin and Swansea have agreed to review the situation at the end of the season with the option in place for his contract to be extended at the Liberty Stadium.
Chairman Huw Jenkins gave the following explanation for adding Guidolin just over a week after appointing Curtis in temporary charge.
“Although we recently appointed Alan Curtis as manager until the end of the campaign, he was aware and comfortable with the fact that we were still looking to bring someone in to assist if we found the right person,” Jenkins said. “We believe we have found that person in Francesco. He has an excellent record, especially with Udinese over the last few years. He created an Udinese side from a relatively small budget – compared to the rest of the league – that competed with the big teams in Serie A. He instilled a belief and motivation to compete and beat the best Italy had to offer. It is similar to what this football club is trying to do in the Premier League.”
“He also has a wealth of knowledge of players throughout Europe which will be a big boost on our recruitment side; something we have been reviewing in a lot more depth over the last few months. When the need arose to look for a new manager or head coach, those characteristics stood out from a number of other potential candidates, together with the enthusiasm he has shown to come in and help us turn our season around and retain our Premier League status.”
Following the firing of up and coming manager Garry Monk in December, this appointment of an experienced Italian coach with no background in the PL does seem very strange from a club who have previously appointed young managers such as Brendan Rodgers, Roberto Martinez and Michael Laudrup to lead their rise up through the leagues.
Guidolin and Curtis have a heck of a job on their hands to keep the Swans up as they’ve won just once in their last 12 games in all competitions.