Two stats that prove Laudrup sacking was wrong for Swansea

Swansea City have sacked manager Michael Laudrup following the Swans’ 2-0 defeat at West Ham last weekend.

The defeat to the Hammers leaves Swansea in 12th place in the Premier League after achieving just one win from their last ten games.

The Danish legend and former Juventus, Barcelona, Real Madrid and Ajax midfielder is widely regarded as one of the finest footballers of his generation in world football.

He took charge at the Liberty Stadium from Brendan Rodgers who had succeeded Paulo Sousa and Roberto Martinez – the style of play the Swans have become synonymous with was ideally suited to a coach with his background; the continental flair of total football.

This is demonstrated aptly by Swansea’s performance in the Premier League this term – whilst 12th place is by no means where the club would have expected to be after 24 games played, there are tell tale signs that Laudrup had the team functioning well within the parameters of that total football philosophy based on possession and movement.

When you think of the attractive continentally-influenced style of play of the likes of Manchester City, Arsenal, and Liverpool at present, one would expect to find those teams dominating the passing and possession stats this term but in fact it is Michael Laudrup’s Swansea that, to date, have the best record when it comes to possession retention and pass completion.

Laudrup had the Swans performing with an 86.4% pass completion rate, which is the highest of all twenty teams in the league this term. Manchester City work off an 86.2% pass completion rate with Arsenal behind on 85.8% and Liverpool on 83.9%.

Swansea, unsurprisingly considering their passing accuracy, also hold the highest percentage of possession over 24 games, ahead of the other 19 teams in the league. The Swans have retained 59% possession of the ball overall – Manchester City have attained 56%, Arsenal 56%, Martinez’ Everton 56% and Liverpool 53%.

TeamPass Completion %Possession Percentage
Swansea City 86.44 59.42
Manchester City 86.19 56.88
Arsenal 85.76 56.50
Liverpool 83.89 53.83
Manchester United 83.58 54.46
Everton 83.47 56.00
Chelsea 82.80 53.83

Phil Sumbler, the chair of Swansea City Supporters’ Trust has stated he was surprised at the timing of Laudrup’s sacking.

After one win in ten, I personally am not overly surprised by the timing but I am certainly surprised at the sacking in general, given his success achieved last term in the Capital One Cup and, despite appearances given their current position in the league, it’s evident that Laudrup had the team playing to the highest standard, in some ways the highest standard in the league.

image: © Christopher Elkins

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