Belfast Telegraph

UK Website Of The Year

Alan Curtis doing his homework on prospective Swansea boss Marcelo Bielsa

Published 18/12/2015

Swansea caretaker manager Alan Curtis, pictured, says he has been Googling Marcelo Bielsa
Swansea caretaker manager Alan Curtis, pictured, says he has been Googling Marcelo Bielsa

Swansea caretaker manager Alan Curtis admits he has been Googling Marcelo Bielsa this week with the former Argentina and Chile coach the favourite to take over at the Liberty Stadium.

Talks between Bielsa and Swansea remain ongoing as club chairman Huw Jenkins attempts to pull off an audacious coup by making the colourful 60-year-old Argentinian a shock successor to Garry Monk.

Bielsa has had a celebrated coaching career in taking Argentina and Chile to World Cup finals as well as managing Athletic Bilbao and Marseille in Europe.

But Curtis says he has still been doing his research on his iPad this week, checking out the man christened 'El Loco' for his volatile character and eccentric ways, and whose high-intensity coaching methods have inspired the likes of Pep Guardiola and Mauricio Pochettino.

"Obviously I know his reputation," Curtis said, ahead of taking charge of Swansea for the second time at home to West Ham on Sunday.

"But I don't know a great deal about him, so I have been Googling him.

"When a new manager comes in, you're never quite sure how he's going to react or how he deals with players, training and the staff.

"But Bielsa's reputation as a coach is fantastic, and if Pep Guardiola rates him as the best coach ever then he's obviously somebody you're bound to learn from."

On the back of Monk's sacking, Swansea produced a far better performance under Curtis' stewardship last week when Yaya Toure's deflected shot in injury time gave Manchester City a fortuitous 2-1 victory.

But Swansea's fifth defeat in six games left them outside the Barclays Premier League relegation zone by virtue of goal difference.

Curtis feels a permanent manager must be appointed sooner rather than later, although he says he is prepared to take the team for the Boxing Day home game with West Brom and beyond.

"As I said last week, the important thing is that we get the right man in," Curtis said.

"If that takes a little bit longer then so be it because we are prepared to carry on for as long as possible.

"But it's probably best for everybody that the new man is appointed sooner rather than later.

"A new manager could come in next week, but if no-one presents themselves we'll carry on for the West Brom game and possibly thereafter.

"But it could change so quickly."

Swansea will find themselves in the bottom three at kick-off against West Ham if Norwich pick up at least a point away to Manchester United on Saturday.

But Curtis insisted that despite the club's current plight the next manager should not be regarded as a short-fix appointment.

"We need the right person to deal with the current situation because we find ourselves at the wrong end of the table," Curtis said.

"That has to be addressed, but there also has to be a medium to long-term aspect to the club.

"It's an important decision but the chairman has got these decisions right in the past.

"We've got to trust in Huw and the board members that the decision is going to be the right one again."

Your Comments

COMMENT RULES: Comments that are judged to be defamatory, abusive or in bad taste are not acceptable and contributors who consistently fall below certain criteria will be permanently blacklisted. The moderator will not enter into debate with individual contributors and the moderator’s decision is final. It is Belfast Telegraph policy to close comments on court cases, tribunals and active legal investigations. We may also close comments on articles which are being targeted for abuse. Problems with commenting?

Read More

From Belfast Telegraph