Under pressure Swansea City boss Francesco Guidolin faced the media today in the usual pre-match press conference, fully aware of the importance of Saturday`s early home game against Liverpool – a match that the media believe could well be his last.
The media have been shameless in their reporting of Swansea`s managerial situation, showing absolutely no respect for Guidolin – the man who actually occupies the managerial position at the club. If you were coming back from a long holiday, and suddenly picked up one of the local rags, you`d assume that we were searching for our second manager in 10 months.
In fact, the media coverage has been quite relentless. We`ve constantly seen reports about the likes of Ryan Giggs, Huw Jenkins supposedly meeting with former USA coach Bob Bradley, and countless other stories about bookies odds, and comparisons between the two names mentioned over who would be the best man for the job.
But what job is that exactly?! There isn`t a vacancy! Guidolin is currently in charge and will take charge of Saturday`s game against an in-form Liverpool side. The Italian has had to deal with constant doubt over his position all week, whilst trying to prepare his side to produce a similar performance to the one that was unfortunate to suffer a 3-1 defeat against Manchester City.
Does he deserve all of this speculation? Absolutely not. Does he deserve to get sacked? In my opinion, no – not yet, and he deserves a few more winnable games before his time is up. The performance, not so much the result against Liverpool will again be crucial.
But even if the club do decide to sack, one of the main concerns amongst the fans has been the names mentioned as possible replacement. None of them are at all inspiring and would convince you that results would improve.
A total lack of respect and support for Guidolin from the board has frustrated and embarrassed a large number of Swansea City fans. Whether our fans want him out or want him given more time to put things right, they seem pretty unanimous that he hasn’t been treated with the respect that he deserves.
Huw Jenkins` silence and refusal to come out and rubbish all of these media reports about Guidolin`s expected sacking has been nothing short of disgraceful. He`s allowed it to build up and grow all week, not to mention that he has apparently met with Bob Bradley at Bristol Airport according to BBC Sport Wales.
Now, why would he need to do that if he already has a manager in place? Some fans have said that it`s simply to get a replacement in as soon as possible, and to avoid the same troubles they had when Monk was sacked back in December. But surely that spell proved that Alan Curtis was more than capable as an interim boss. Therefore, if the board and Americans want a new manager, then put Guidolin out of his misery and get the replacement in that they are seemingly already lining up anyway.
But while Guidolin has had to deal with this week`s media circus over his job, he hasn`t shown any signs whatsoever that it`s bothering or affecting him in any way. His persona and attitude shown during the pre-match press conference has proven what many of our fans have been saying about him this week.
? Gary griffiths (@gazzington78) September 29, 2016
? Sarah Butler (@Liberty_Butler) September 29, 2016
? Brian Mannebach (@BrianManny) September 29, 2016
? Brian Mannebach (@BrianManny) September 29, 2016
@VitalSwansea the clubs having a laugh at our expense. Scandalous stuff from HJ
? Dylan ⭐ (@dylanrhysgrant) September 27, 2016
@VitalSwansea Didn’t Huw have a reputation of signing the right managers? Now he’s building a reputation of mistreating and sacking them!!!
? Leighton Davies (@Mist_R_E) September 27, 2016
@VitalSwansea why all the talk of 1 game to save FG job after our best performance of season. Fixture list has not been kind so far
? Paul (@paulads56) September 27, 2016
Huw Jenkins hasn`t done his reputation much good at all this week, not amongst Swansea fans anyway. Judging from social networks, fans have turned their attentions away from questioning the manager`s position, to questioning that of the chairman.
But back to today`s press conference, there was a particular quote from Guidolin that really stood out. His ease to say the words that it`s not his position that worries him, and but the position the club is in in the Premier League table. Watching the press conference, his comments seemed completely genuine and honest.
‘At the moment my position is not important, Swansea’s position is important,’
‘The most important thing is that we get a good result to improve our position. It’s clear for me, it’s clear for the chairman, it’s clear for everyone – it’s important to win games.’
‘I see them work very hard [in training] and with passion, They are behind me and this is important.
‘They have to play with freedom on Saturday and they have to play a good game without pressure.’
Guidolin has done a good job in re-directing the attention away from himself and his doubtful position at the club, preferring to concentrate on the matter at hand – the actual reason that he was sitting there in front of the media who have been shamelessly speculating all week about his job.
After an improved performance last week against Manchester City, there were signs that the Swans can produce good performances to win games, it was just unfortunate that we were up against the best side in the League, and that we conceded a harsh penalty with the scores at 1-1.
In the Premier League, no other side that`s faced Guardiola`s has been level for more than 61 minutes. No other side has also managed as many shots on target against the clear favourites for the title.
There were no signs on show last Saturday that Guidolin has “lost the dressing room”. Not only have the media been all over his job, but also making accusations of his time during the USA Summer Tour and making the most of Taylor and Ki`s “acting like spoilt kids” moments when being taken off.
But if anything, it`s brought the group of players closer together and inspired a team performance and work ethic that`s been sorely missed. At Southampton the team played as individuals, but it was the opposite last week. Can this week`s continued media speculation have the same effect ahead of another big game?