With things going quite badly for Swansea recently, it’s only natural to see Michael Laudrup under the microscope. However, to see him getting fired felt like a shock to everyone, especially when there wasn’t enough substance to justify the decision.
Looking at Laudrup’s management career that began in 2002, this fits well with the trend of not staying in one place for too long. Except for his 4 years at Brondby, his first gig as a head coach, he has never lasted more than a year at any club, including spending only 7 months at Spartak Moscow in Russia.
But the Dane is the one who led Swansea to a 10th place finish, winning the League Cup and taken them through the Europa League group stage, setting them up with a round of 32 double-clash against Napoli. The firing comes only three days before a crucial derby against Cardiff. Surely something quite extreme has happened to justify the decision.
The Swansea announcement of the firing didn’t provide more information, only a canvas for more questions: It is the first time in nearly 10 years that the club has parted with a manager in this way, but we had to remove the constant uncertainty surrounding the club and Michael’s long-term future with us.
Constant uncertainty? Was the press speculating a good enough reasons to have the man sacked? Swansea are 12th in the Premier League with 24 points, putting them only two points above the relegation zone. Surely the board expected more from this season, but is it really the time to shuffle the deck?
The team’s terrible league form might provide a clue: Since beating Newcastle on December 4, the Swans have won only once in the next 10 games, drawing three and losing six. They’ve struggled finding the net, held goalless four times. But was that stretch the only thing that got Laudrup fired?
There are suggestions with certain players bypassing the chain of command and complaining about Laudrup and his staff not going about training as it should be and the lack of discipline in the squad. The shake ups in the managerial staff came from there, with Laudrup quite unhappy with the changes. Taking two days off to go to Paris, which also gave the players 2 days off, might have been the final straw for the board, who were also unhappy with Laudrup spending £12 million on just one player, even if that player (Wilfried Bony) is their best this season.
So now it’s Garry Monk and Alan Curtis’ job to steady the ship. Those who feel this is similar to Chelsea in 2011-2012 you’re not mistakes: The players are now running things, although Monk, according to certain reports, isn’t all that popular with some players, not to mention that many of the Spanish players came to Swansea just because of Laudrup.
How does this end? Laudrup will find another job, and Swansea will miss out on the £10 million release clause he had in his contract, with many feeling a big club was sure to reach for the Danish manager this summer. With Monk and Curtis it’s hard to say what kind of Swansea team will see and if their appointment will be the energy boost this team needs. It won’t be surprising if things between players and cliques worsen now that Laudrup is gone.