Swansea City have confirmed the appointment of Francesco Guidolin, who will work alongside Alan Curtis for the remainder of the season.
The Swans had been without a permanent boss since early December, when they sacked Garry Monk following a poor run of results. Curtis was placed in caretaker charge as Huw Jenkins sought a long-term successor, but having failed to land any of his targets such as Marcelo Bielsa, he revealed earlier this month that the 61-year-old would remain in charge for the rest of the season.
That was 11 days ago, since when the Liberty Stadium club have exited the FA Cup at the third round stage after losing to Oxford United of League Two, and have also seen their Premier League plight worsen with a 4-2 home defeat to fellow strugglers Sunderland. And now the club have confirmed the appointment of Guidolin, who has been handed a contract until the summer.
“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,” chairman Jenkins told the official club website. “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. 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.”
Although it has been stated that Guidolin has been brought in as head coach to work alongside Curtis, it is widely accepted that the Italian will have the final say on the key decisions such as team selection. He will be in the stands when the Swans host Watford in the Premier League on Monday night, a match which they hope will lead to them moving out of the relegation zone.
Guidolin is most noted for his spell at Udinese between 2010 and 2014, when he twice led them into the UEFA Champions League. He has also managed 13 other clubs, the majority of which – such as Bologna, Palermo and Parma – are based in his homeland. In fact, his only previous spell outside of Italy came in France, when his Monaco side finished 30 points behind champions Lyon in 2006.