Michael Laudrup will be a hard act to follow as Swansea City boss – but then again that was said when he took over a side that finished in mid-table in its first season in the Premier League under Brendan Rodgers.
But Laudrup had an incredible first season with the Swans, he ended up delivering their first trophy in their history by winning the League Cup – a run which included victories over Liverpool and Chelsea before their comfortable 5-0 win over Bradford City in the final, along with a respectable finish in the top half of the table.
He brought Europa League football to the club for this season, which has since seem then qualify for the knockout stages but things have hit a sticky patch with them embroiled in a very tight relegation scrap.
The Swansea City Supporters Trust indicated they had faith in the decision to relieve Laudrup of his duties, saying: ‘During its tenure at the club the current board, including a representative of the supporters’ trust, have made key decisions which have taken the club forward and ultimately we believe that this decision has been taken with the best interest of the Club in mind.
‘There has inevitably been a mixed reaction amongst fans to the announcement, with the club facing a critical period of key matches in three major competitions.’
The added factor of Europa League football has perhaps had an adverse effect on the form of the side domestically, along with the absence of influential striker Michu for long periods.
Those factors still remain for Garry Monk for as long as he is at the helm, as he takes over a side in the fifth round of the FA Cup, a glamour tie in the Europa League against Napoli, but the rather precarious position of a side just two points above the relegation zone.
Even if the time was right to move on, Laudrup has left his mark on Swansea in a positive way – even if the ending was not a happy one, and it is still a lot to live up to.
image: © Gareth Lovering