TH: How do you rate Swansea’s season so far?
MB: Where to start? It’s been great in fairness, we’re comfortably in the top half of the league with a cup final on the way. We started well and dropped off a bit in September but since then we’ve been quite consistent and we’ve had some amazing matches in the process, the wins at the Arsenal and at Chelsea sticking in the memory. I also think it’s the best squad we’ve had in years.
TH: Brendan Rogers departed for Liverpool in the summer and was replaced by Michael Laudrup. How do you think the Dane has done since arriving at the in Wales?
MB: Well I think some fans were concerned after Brendan left but I think the £7m in compensation that Liverpool paid sweetened the loss. Laudrup has been absolutely brilliant since he’s come in. Very astute purchases in the summer and some great football, rumours of player unrest now seem to have disappeared and we’ve got the results.
TH: Swansea made a number of signings in the summer, how do you think they’ve adjusted to life in the Premier League?
MB: The stand-out player has to be Michu. I personally never thought we’d have a player of his quality in team. He’s immense to watch and it fills the team with confidence knowing he’s in the team. Jonathan de Guzman has also impressed me and has quite rightly been called up to the Dutch national team. Chico Flores has been a good buy and has given us options at the back. Pablo (Hernandez) provided extra width and pace without which we might have lacked this season.
TH: What was your view of ball boy-gate, whereby Eden Hazard kicked a ball boy?
MB: I tell you what I’ve never liked ball boys, not even our own ones so I don’t blame Hazard. What was he doing covering the ball in the first place? Also I thought ball boys were supposed to be 10 not 17.
TH: Talking of the Swansea V Chelsea match, do you think Swansea are a ‘dead cert’ for the League Cup now?
MB: I think you can never be certain in cup games otherwise Bradford wouldn’t have got to the final in the first place. I think we have to be confident going into it especially after the Chelsea matches.
TH: Michu has been a revelation this season. How much of a steal do you think he’s been and do you think you’ll be able to keep him at the club in the summer?
MB: I think having a player who scores so consistently for the price we paid makes him the transfer of the season. He’s recently signed a new contract but I think we’ll struggle to keep hold of him as I think a big club will come in for him.
TH: Ashley Williams has been impressive in defence of you leading to rumours of interest from Liverpool. Do you think he’d move from the Liberty stadium?
MB: I’m not sure where these rumours have come from. I can’t see Ashley moving away from Swansea especially to a club like Liverpool where he wouldn’t be assured of first team football. Added to this the fact that he’s 29 in the summer and that muddies the waters. I know most fans want him to stay.
TH: Who should West Ham fans be wary of in the Swansea first XI when the club’s meet?
MB: I’ve spoken about Michu and de Guzman but they are both very dangerous players to play against. Danny Graham has a lot to offer and we saw that last season. Ex-West Ham player Leon Britton also has real talent and is such an amazing passer of the ball.
TH: What’s been your opinion of West Ham this season?
MB: Typical of a Sam Allardyce team – hard to breakdown, physical, long ball and non-football. I don’t think fans mind when the team is winning but if the team starts losing then the fans start to the question the quality of football. I think Joe Cole has been a good buy but I think Jussi in goal is a bit of a liability.
TH: Which West Ham players would you have in your squad?
MB: Like most teams in the Premiership I’d like to see Diame in our midfield. I’ve always thought James Tomkins is a good player as well.