LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 21: Leighton Baines of Everton takes a free kick during the Barclays Premier League match between Everton and Swansea City at Goodison Park on December 21, 2011 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Matthew Lewis/Getty Images)
Everton travel to Wales this weekend to take on Swansea City in a Premier League fixture. We had a chat with the fine folk over at the Swansea Oh Swansea Fanzine, and the editor Steven was kind enough to answer a few questions for us.
Read on after the jump for more.
RBM - Swansea were off to a flying start before coming back to ground a little this year in the Premiership. Do you think the team will be able to maintain its lofty position in the top six?
SOS - I'm not thinking about top 6 at this stage to be honest. Naturally I am very satisfied with our start to the season but we must continute to pick up points over the next few weeks as from the end of October the fixtures become a lot tougher. The number one target as with last year is to make sure we remain in the division although I would like to think we could finish in mid-table.
RBM - How much of a change has it been for the players getting to learn Michael Laudrup's system? How different is it from the Barcelona-esque football Brendan Rodgers had the Swans playing?
SOS - Not a great deal has changed. Since Roberto Martinez arrived the philosophy of the team has remained the same and the board of directors now appoint managers based on this. The only real difference is the wingers are now playing more in field with the full backs being relied upon to provide more width.
RBM - Speaking of Rodgers, did his departure leave the fans with a bad taste in the mouth? Were the fans disappointed with how Swansea fell away towards the end of the season?
SOS - We were all disappointed that Rodgers left but I personally didn't blame him too much. Liverpool was a big opportunity for him even though if he'd hung on he may have got the Tottenham job which would have suited him better. I think the fans were so pleased to be safe from relegation by the middle of March that we weren't too bothered by the drop off in results, there was still a great feel good factor at the club right through until the last game.
RBM - Michu has already been turning heads throughout the Premiership. Apart from him, how did Swansea City do in the transfer market? Are there any youth players that you feel are ready to make the big step up?
SOS - Not too bad, we obviously lost Joe Allen which was disappointing but there was no way we could turn down £15 million for him. Scott Sinclair has also left but he's overrated and we've replaced him with Valencia's Pablo Hernandez who was cheaper and there's high hopes for him. Elsewhere we've bought centre half Chico Flores and midfielders Jonathan De Guzman and Ki Sung Yeung. Most fans are happy with this business and we've made a net profit as well so we can't complain.
RBM - Finally, what do you expect to see from Everton on Saturday, and what are your score predictions?
SOS - To be fair Everton were probably the best team to visit the Liberty last season and did an excellent job stopping us from playing and exploiting us on the break. I'm expecting more of the same on Saturday making the fixture quite tricky for us especially with us missing a few players (Taylor, Chico and possibly Williams, De Guzman, Britton and Graham) through injury and suspension so I think Everton will win 2-1. Hope I'm wrong!