It’s been a solid start to the season from Swansea and although you recently went 5 games without a win, you got another three points at the weekend and find yourselves in 6th place on 13 points. Just how impressed are the Swansea faithful with Garry Monk and his side so far?
Overall it’s been a fantastic start to the season. There has been a couple of disappointing second half performances against Newcastle & Stoke but those aside it’s been very encouraging. Monk is obviously on a very steep learning curve and appears to be handling the pressure well. His in game management is still a bit iffy but all in all we’re all happy with how we are progressing.
The signing of Sigurdsson was a smart move over the summer, how big of a boost was it to get him back and how are your other new signings getting on this term?
I was more than a little excited when Sigurdsson signed in the summer. Having seen the impact he had in his previous spell it was no surprise really that he has hit the ground running. Our other new signings have done ok, Federico Fernandez is the other new boy who has had some decent game time and he is improving game to game. He will certainly keep Jordi Amat on his toes when it comes to competing for that second centre back slot.
Jefferson Montero is already a firm favourite with the Jack Army, his pace is phenomenal and it was great to finally see him get a start against Leicester. Bafetimbi Gomis and Carroll (loan from spurs) havent really had much chance to impress. Gomis’ time will come though as Bony is sure to be involved in the African Cup of Nations early next year.
You play a similar style of football to Everton – and we all know the Martinez-link – but how do you expect to set up at Goodison on Saturday and how will you approach the game?
We’ll set up no differently, there may be a couple of changes of personnel out wide but I fully expect us to start with Fabianski; Rangel, Fernandez, Williams, Taylor; Ki, Shelvey, Sigurdsson, Montero, Dyer; Bony.
We’d obviously expect to see less of the ball so will rely on the counter-attack a bit more which is why I think Dyer and Montero will get the nod out wide.
Last time we faced you we were embarrassing and deservedly beaten at the Liberty, and obviously on Saturday us Evertonians will be hoping to see a much different score line. How confident are you of getting a result against Everton – a side who you’ve notoriously struggled against over the years?
The Capital One Cup result was a big result for us, as you mentioned we have struggled so that win will give the team a lot of confidence. You are coming into this game on the back of three straight wins and a forward who has just found his feet so as usual this is going to be extremely tough. I’d settle for a draw.
Wilfried Bony is hitting form again and we’ll obviously need to be on our guard against the striker if he starts this weekend. Do you think he will remain with Swansea for the long-term or will he move on in January or next summer? I remember speaking to you on Twitter about this and you said Swans didn’t need to sell and would ask for 20+ million if there was interest in him, is this still the case, just how highly do you rate him?
I don’t envisage Wilfried Bony moving in January, the club have said in recent weeks they are opening talks with the striker about an improved contract so he will be with us until the end of the season at least. He is one of the best strikers in the Premier League and we are very fortunate to have him at our club, as we know players contracts don’t prevent them from moving to bigger clubs but it should mean we get a good price when he does finally move on.
A victory for you guys on Saturday could see you move into the top four but your away form is obviously not as good as your home form, what seems to be the problem on the road?
Put simply, bad refs and dodgy defending. I’m sure everyone is aware of the recent decisions that have gone against us, highlighted by Garry Monk’s rant after the Stoke game, but these aren’t the only reason we’ve struggled away from home. Yes sides are more physical but we do seem to lose concentration more away from home and gift teams goals. Liverpool’s goals in the Capital One Cup are a prime example.
Apart from the obvious Bony and Sigurdsson, who will we need to watch out for on Saturday?
Jefferson Montero, I have no doubt he’ll be involved at some point. His pace is frightening and he will cause a lot of problems out wide, he’ll just have to stay clear of the Premier League’s fastest player.
What are your thoughts on Martinez and his time at Swansea and also how he is doing now at Everton?
Roberto Martinez is a club legend. No matter what some sections of the Swans following think about the way he left the club he is the main reason we play like we do and continue to receive the plaudits for this attractive style of football. He’s doing a great job at the moment and whether the club knew it or not he was exactly the change you needed.
Finally a prediction for the game, and if you are travelling to Merseyside this weekend what is your match day routine?
I’ll go 2-2, there has been no shortage of goals in both of your recent league and cup games.
Unfortunately I can’t make it to Merseyside this weekend but my usual match day routine is quite simple. I’m someone who likes to get the ground early, grab a pint and get the match day programme read by the time the whistle goes.