Alan Curtis

Report: Swansea to name Francesco Guidolin co-interim head coach

Leave a comment

Garry Monk was fired as first-team manager of Swansea City on Dec. 9, 39 days ago. His permanent replacement is yet to be determined and installed.

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s PL coverage ]

Officially, Alan Curtis will manage the first team for the rest of the current season. Unofficially, the situation at the Liberty Stadium seems much more fluid and much less concrete.

According to reports on Sunday (above video), Curtis will be handed a new “co-head coach” for the remainder of the season, Francesco Guidolin, who was most recently the manager at Udinese from 2010-2014. Curtis himself admitted on Sunday he would accept a demotion, back to being an assistant, if the club were to bring in a new head man.

[ MORE: Saturday’s PL roundup | Liverpool 0-1 Man Utd | Stoke 0-0 Arsenal ]

Instead, Curtis and Guidolin will reportedly work as equals for the rest of the season, with the club to presumably continue its search for a permanent successor to Monk in the summer. Guidolin will reportedly be in attendance as Swansea host Watford on Monday (Watch live at 2 p.m. ET, on NBCSN and online via Live Extra).

Premier League preview: Swansea City vs. Watford

Adam Davy/PA via AP
Leave a comment
  • Watford lost 3 straight PL games
  • Hornets fallen to 12th in PL table
  • Swansea: 1 win in last 11 PL games
  • Swans now in the relegation zone

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s PL coverage ]

Swansea City’s status as a Premier League club is in clear and present danger, while Watford find themselves in the midst of the worst run of results during their current run as a top-division side. When the two sides face off on Monday (Watch live at 2 p.m. ET, on NBCSN and online via Live Extra), only will three points be on the line, but a bit of much-needed momentum for two spiraling-out-of-control sides, to boot.

When the two sides met for the first time this season, back in September, it was a 10-man Watford side that took all three points, courtesy of an Odion Ighalo game-winning goal. Ighalo has gone on to score 13 goals in 21 PL appearances this season for Watford, making him the third-highest scorer in the league; having scored 13 or Watford’s 25 league goals this season (52 percent), no other player has come close to accounting for a high percentage of his team’s goals (three players are responsible for 38 percent of their teams’ goals – Jamie Vardy, Romelu Lukaku and Georginio Wijnaldum).

[ MORE: Saturday’s PL roundup | Liverpool 0-1 Man Utd | Stoke 0-0 Arsenal ]

On the injury front, both sides come into Monday’s meeting remarkably healthy; not a single player from either side is listed on the latest injury report. With both sides struggling of late and sliding the wrong direction in the league table, managers Alan Curtis and Quique Sanchez Flores will feel a bit optimistic having a full squad from which to select their respective teams.

What they’re saying

Swansea interim manager Alan Curtis: “The most important thing is that we get back on track. It would be great to win the game because it would be demoralizing to lose three league games in a row. … The performances have been decent but our results have been a little disappointing. You can see the concerns of the supporters but that’s the situation we find ourselves in.”

Watford manager Quique Sanchez Flores: “Except for the Southampton match, we are playing very well against amazing teams. … It is our power that we are consistent; we have our rules when we play. We work together — as a block, as a unit.”

Prediction

Watford may be winless in three games, but losing consecutive games to Tottenham Hotspur, Manchester City and Southampton is a fate to which most newly promoted sides would be resigned. The pace and aggression with which they attack is exactly the type of intense pressure with which Swansea have struggled to cope this season. It’s a terrible matchup for Swansea, and the ideal opponent for a Watford rebound. Swansea 1-3 Watford.

Swansea interim manager Alan Curtis says he would accept demotion

Getty Images
Leave a comment

Swansea City hired longtime servant Alan Curtis to guide the club to safety while they look for the right man for the job long term. It hasn’t quite worked out the way they’d hoped out of the gates. The Swans have fallen into the relegation zone with their 4-2 home loss to Sunderland, marking three league matches without a win.

Curtis, who has been with the club as a player or staff member for nearly 40 years, understands that the good of the club is what he cares about the most, even if it means he must step down.

“I’d expect to be here until the end of the season,” Curtis said, “but if results go against us and the club deem it that they need to bring someone in at short notice, then so be it. I’ve got no sort of vanity (that I must) be here until the end of the season.”

Curtis, having been with the club for so long, can’t seem to fathom the idea of going down, and will do whatever it takes to avoid that, even so far as to give up his own job.

“I can’t contemplate [relegation]. We have to find a way,” Curtis said. “If you analyse the six games the performances have been good, and the win over West Brom was the least impressive. From those games we could have had an extra six or seven points at least, which would have given us a huge lift, and we’d be far more relaxed about our prospects for the rest of the season. But where we are now we need a change of fortune and the only way you can do that is keep believing in what you’re doing. The players certainly still have that belief. I’ve always said our style will be the thing that will save us or take us down, but I don’t want to think about that.”

Swansea has just two wins since beating Manchester United in August. Garry Monk was fired in early December, and Curtis has been in charge since on an interim basis.

Alan Curtis to remain in charge of Swansea City

Leave a comment

Alan Curtis will remain in charge of Swansea City until the end of the 2015-16 Premier League season.

The long-time assistant coach of the Swans was placed in caretaker charge in December following the firing of Garry Monk and in his five games in charge they have won once, drawn twice and lost twice.

[ MORE: Hazard to leave Chelsea?

Curtis, 61, has vast playing and coaching experience with the South Wales club having spent three spells with them as a player and working as a coach for many years under the likes of Roberto Martinez, Brendan Rodgers, Michael Laudrup and Monk.

In a statement on Swansea’s website chairman Huw Jenkins revealed that Swansea’s search for a new manager “hasn’t been easy because we didn’t want to make a short-term decision that would be detrimental to the club long-term.” Jenkins also revealed plenty of candidates for the job “didn’t want to put their reputations on the line by joining a club at the wrong end of the table.”

Swansea have only won two of their last 16 games in the Premier League which has seen them drop to 17th place and they currently sit just two points above the relegation zone.

The chairman went on to praise Curtis’ impact so far and hoped he would cement Swansea’s position in the PL and then this season could be reassessed in the summer.

“Alan Curtis and the current staff set-up will continue until the end of the season,’’ Jenkins said. “We firmly believe it is the right decision for Swansea City. Alan has been with us through good and bad times and was part of the management team that helped the club secure its Football League status over 12 years ago. He is fully aware of the next important job he has ahead of him to dig deep and find the required levels of performance and motivation to secure our Premier League status – our main goal this season.

“We believe there is nobody with more knowledge and experience of the club to do that than Alan Curtis. He has served Swansea City so well for more than 40 years and played an integral part in our recent success under the likes of Roberto Martinez, Paulo Sousa, Brendan Rodgers, Michael Laudrup and Garry Monk. We have a person at the helm who fully represents all Swansea City stands for; has the respect of the players and who will provide the calm reassurance and encouragement of our footballing beliefs.”

Curtis and Swansea face fourth-tier Oxford United in the FA Cup this weekend and then have two very winnable home games in the Premier League against Sunderland and Watford in the space of a week.

Swansea caretaker Curtis: “Looks have gone and my hair’s starting to go”

Photo by Ben Hoskins/Getty Images
Leave a comment

Swansea City picked up what could be a big point against Crystal Palace on Monday at Selhurst Park when they managed to hold the high-flying Eagles to a 0-0 draw.

[ MATCH RECAP: Palace 0-0 Swans — Eagles wasteful ]

And Swans caretaker boss Alan Curtis admitted that the hot seat’s been a wild ride for him since Garry Monk was sacked a few weeks back.

From the BBC:

“I’ve got to say I’m enjoying the job, but as I said to Palace boss Alan Pardew at the end, I don’t know how he keeps going as a full-time manager. I’ve only done it for two weeks, and my voice has gone, looks have gone and my hair’s starting to go!”

The caretaker is more or less a Swansea lifer, and has a win, a loss and two draws in his second stint in charge of the club. With Swansea just off the bottom three, his looks and hair may face more trouble.