Everton take on Swansea City in the Premier League on Sunday. As we always do, we catch up with old friend Steven who runs the Swans blog SOS Fanzine. His side have fallen upon some hard times and currently hover above the relegation zone. RBM answered some questions for his blog too, click here to read.
RBM - Francesco Guidolin is the new manager at Swansea City. How do the fans feel about the appointment?
SOS - I'd say the fans are happy we now have an actual manager rather than a caretaker. No disrespect to Alan Curtis who is a club legend but he isn't managerial material and he'd happily admit that himself. He works better in the background and only stepped in because he's the kind of person who would do anything for Swansea City. Guidolin was relatively unknown to the majority of the fanbase including me so most of us have been brushing up out knowledge of him online and it's fair to say on the whole his track record is good, particularly in his last job with Udinese where he took them into the top four of Seria A twice. So all in all cautiously optimistic would be the best way to describe the feelings of the fans right now.
RBM - The January transfer window is closing soon,and Guidolin doesn't have too much time to build - will he get any money to spend? On what positions?
SOS - Now that we've sold Jonjo Shelvey there should be money available. We need to replace him ideally but most importantly we need a striker. We've scored less than a goal a game this term which is a key reason why we've struggled. We've been linked with various strikers but nothing has happened yet which is a concern, we don;t usually like doing business on deadline day but its starting to look like needs must. If we fail to strengthen we're in real trouble, everyone else seems to have realised the need to improve their squads, we must do the same.
RBM - Anything new to report on the ownership situation for Swansea? Are fans happy with the current situation?
SOS - Nothing, it's all quiet on that front. Charles Noell and John Moores who have recently been linked with buying Everton had discussions with our board but in the end it came to nothing and we were happy about that. I'd prefer the club to stay in the hands of people who have the club at heart. Although saying that the board have taken more stick recently than in most of their reign. Garry Monk was left hanging for a couple of days with intense speculation about him being dismissed before he was which was bang out of order. And then it took ages to find a replacement with Curtis being announced for rest of season before Guidolin came in just 11 days later and we still have no new signings. Their stock has undoubtedly been higher but of course no one wants them to go, more just want them to stop being tight and to spend to make sure we don't go down.
RBM - Who have been the Swans best players this season? Who needs to get better for the Swans to turn things around?
SOS - Now this is tough. Hardly anyone deserves universal credit here. Andre Ayew has done well and is our top scorer, Leon Britton has been brilliant since returning to the fold. Other than that not many deserve credit, they've all been inconsistent which even includes Mr reliable Ashley Williams although he has improved recently. Ki Sung Yeung player of the year last term has been a shadown of him former self while Bafetimbi Gomis has been a waste of space since August. He has racked up a ridiculous 32 offsides which includes two on Monday night before he even touched the ball. Jefferson Montero has also disappointed and for that reason he can't get a game at the moment.
RBM - Any young players in the system who might be making the breakthrough to the senior squad in the near future?
SOS - Not really and with our current predicament it's unlikely anyone will get a chance. Liam Sheppard a young right back made his debut at Oxford in the Cup and did okay but obviously that game was a disaster for us. The likes of Matt Grimes and Jay Fulton were in Monk's thoughts at the start of the season but have barely featured. Fulton has gone out on loan while Grimes has struggled to make the bench.
RBM - Finally, your score prediction for this weekend? Who are you expecting to shine on either team?
SOS - In terms of entertainment you could do a lot worse than have a season ticket at Goodison this season. There seem to be goals at both ends most weeks and I'd expect that to continue to I'll say 3-1 Everton as we have a poor record against you lot. Romelu Lukaku is the danger man from our point of view while you'd better keep an eye on Andre Ayew and if he starts Mo Barrow although he can also be great from the bench!