Francesco Guidolin is undoubtedly a man under pressure. Player fallouts, tactical tinkering and subpar performances have left the Italian with vital questions to answer. With a nasty run of fixtures approaching, how can Guidolin save his job?
Any manager under pressure will look to their fixture list hoping to see a run of easier games in which to build confidence, experiment and secure results. Guidolin, on the other hand, will google “Swansea fixtures” and see pictures of Pep Guardiola, Jurgen Klopp and Arsene Wenger pop up, a reminder of the fierce challenge that confronts Swansea in the coming weeks.
To remove the pressure on his position, Guidolin needs to provide Swans fans with glimmers of hope. Wednesday’s League Cup sparring match with Guardiola’s Man City provided the first crack of light in the darkness. For forty-five minutes, Swansea matched an admittedly stripped-back Man City side, and will need to learn the lessons of that encounter when the big boys come to play today.
Swansea look more secure and confident with club legend Leon Britton at the base of midfield. Dictating tempo and pulling the strings, the diminutive midfielder brings a poise and passion to the Liberty Stadium that will appease expectant fans. If Guidolin can surround Britton with plenty of willing runners and creative players, Swansea will go a long way towards restoring their reputation for playing “the Swansea Way”.
No Swansea fan will look at the next few fixtures and declare that Guidolin requires three historic wins to save his job. Instead, a positive approach, committed performances and the odd point or two will begin to appease a recently frustrated fanbase.
In the coming weeks, Guidolin must show a clear, consistent tactical approach, avoid shuffling the deckchairs around and motivate his players to show the passion expected by fans. The next few weeks will shape Guidolin’s reign as Swansea manager, positively or negatively. It’s up to Guidolin to ensure the perspective is positive.
Who should Guidolin pick to start against Man City? Have your say in the comments.