Francesco Guidolin: Swansea boss deserves time, says Hartson

Francesco Guidolin
Former Udinese boss Guidolin joined Swansea in January 2016 as head coach and was given a two-year contract in May

Former Wales striker John Hartson says Francesco Guidolin has "earned" the right to prove he can turn Swansea City's season around.

But the Swansea-bred pundit says if they are going to sack Guidolin, it must happen before January.

They are a point above the relegation zone after Saturday's 3-1 defeat by Manchester City.

Hartson told BBC Radio Wales: "I genuinely feel he should be given another six or seven games."

The former Celtic striker says Guidolin's stewardship after succeeding Garry Monk and replacing interim boss Alan Curtis in 2015-16 underlined his case to stay in charge.

Ryan Giggs
Ryan Giggs has been tipped as a potential successor to Francesco Guidolin at Swansea

"He earned that time - steering Swansea away from the danger zone with some terrific results at the back of last season," said Hartson.

However, Hartson says even if the club are intent on replacing the Italian, money must be made available to bring in new players in the January transfer window.

"If a manager is going to come to Swansea, he's going to want money to spend and I think there will be some money, either for Guidolin, if they keep him, or if a new manager comes in in January.

"The club need to make a decision before then. Do they trust [Guidolin] to bring in the right players in terms of the recruitment?

"If they don't feel he's the right man, then the new manager is going to want those funds to come into Swansea in January."

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Hartson's fellow former Wales international Ryan Giggs, Italian Gianfranco Zola and American Bob Bradley have been linked with the Swansea job.

The Swans host Liverpool on Saturday, followed by a trip to Arsenal and Hartson says they need to rediscover their playing identity.

"Those fixtures are scaring the fans to death at the minute and scaring the team and the manager and the staff, whereas two or three seasons ago Swansea welcomed all-comers to the Liberty," said Hartson.

"We were quite confident going away at tough grounds and getting results and I just think at this moment in time the team is lacking that little bit of identity.

John Hartson
John Hartson's clubs included Arsenal, West Ham, West Brom and Celtic

"I think we need a bit more competition at the top of the field from [£15.5m record signing] Borja Baston, who's only made the odd appearance so far this season.

Hartson also cited a lack of pace in wide areas and urged the manager to settle on his team and tactics.

"I'm not too sure whether Guidolin actually knows his strongest side," he said.

"He needs to do that quickly and Swansea need to get back to having their identity where they have pace, they keep the ball.

"We used to pass teams to death at the Liberty. We would pass and pass and pass and always have more of the ball in terms of stats than the opposition."

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