Fan Focus: When Roker Report Met Forza Swansea

Beauty and the Beast - Stu Forster

We caught up with Chris Carra from Swansea Blog "Forza Swansea" for all the low down on Michael Laudrup, Wilfred Bony and of course Michu ahead of Saturday's fixture

This term marks Swansea's third season in the top flight with Europa League football to boot. Just how much has the club evolved over recent years?

Chris Carra: Every season seems to top the last, so the evolution of the club has been progressively brilliant, especially in the last four years with the Premier League, the league cup and now Europe! It's a great time to be a Swans fan.

Much is made of the effect that competing in the Europa League can have on a club. Are Swansea feeling such effects and do you have a squad capable of competing on both fronts?

CC: The squad is actually looking the healthiest it has for years, with enough players to field two first class starting elevens! However playing some of the top players like Michu and Bony so much will result in a few knocks and fatigue, which I am sure we will feel later in the year. Some fans have noticed it already, with Bony not starting several Premier League games.

How far can Swansea go in the Europa League? Peter Schmeichel seemed to tip you to go a "long way"...

CC: I see no reason why Swansea can't win it. It's not going to be easy, but if the team can focus and outplay the top teams like they did away against Valencia, they have a good chance. Michael Laudrup won't be with Swansea long term, and going as far as he can in Europe is probably more of a priority for him this season than the league.

Michael Laudrup's future at Swansea seemed in doubt for a while over the summer, is this all now water under the bridge or are their still fears this could rear its ugly head again?

CC: As I just mentioned, he won't stay with the club for years to come - he's made that clear. I reckon he may leave at the end of this season if the Swans do well in Europe.

Wilfred Bony became the club's record signing over the summer, how has he fitted in?

CC: He's been brilliant, but - as I mentioned above - he hasn't started a lot of Premier League games. He seems to tire easily. However when he is playing he is very alert, has a great shot and is scoring plenty. He's proving his worth!

Michu earned his first call up to the Spanish setup for the recent qualifiers. Much is made of the transfer fee as opposed to the actual impact he has had on Swansea, just how good is he week in, week out?

CC: As many are saying - he is our best player. Not just for the goals he scores, but for his work rate and passion for the club. He's always chasing down opposition keepers and running back to mop up defensively. He won't stay at Swansea for long, but he has been brilliant to have!

How would you assess Swansea's Premier League season so far?

CC: We'd prefer to have won a few more games than we have, but the Swans have had tough opening fixtures this seasons, and European football obviously plays its part in fatigue. There is a long way to go yet though.

Sunderland, perpetually in a state of turmoil, sit bottom of the table. What have you made of the Di Canio saga?

CC: I like Di Canio as a character - he's passionate and loves the spotlight, but Sunderland needed a manager not a character so it's best you have parted ways.

Any thoughts on Gus Poyet?

CC: He will do better for the club than Di Canio. Poyet was tipped to be heading for Swansea before Laudrup - that would've been an appointment most Swansea fans would have been satisfied with I think.

How would you expect Swansea to setup on Saturday afternoon?

CC: My guess would be: Vorm, Rangel, Williams (if he's fit), Chico, Davies, Shelvey, Canas, Michu, Dyer, Routledge, Bony.

Any Sunderland players that give you particular reason for concern?

CC: As a big supporter of Italy and a fan of Juventus, I really like Giaccherini although I understand he hasn't been performing so well for you? I also think Borini is a great player and Swansea fans will be well aware of his potential on Saturday.

Prediction?

CC: It's very important for Swansea to win this one, and I think the team will be up for it - I'm going for 2-1 Swansea!

Many thanks to Chris for taking the time to speak with us this week. be sure to look him up on Twitter and over at Forza Swansea

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