Manager Watch: Were Swansea right to sack Laudrup?

Bradford V Swansea League Cup

Michael Laudrup guided Swansea City to their first ever major trophy, as well as European qualification, but was sacked on Tuesday night. A harsh decision?

From the heights of winning at Wembley - and a comfortable ninth place finish in the Premier League - to the humiliation of the sack: Swansea and Michael Laudrup have parted ways after less than two full seasons.

But were the Swans actually right to sack the 49-year-old?

Tensions behind the scenes

One factor that had potentially made Laudrup's position untenable was tension with chairman Huw Jenkins.

As far back as last summer, friction had arisen between the Swans boss and his employers - mainly centred on transfers. The Dane was rumoured to want more adventurous transfer targets than his board were permit, with the impasse that followed almost seeing him leave the club there and then.

At one point, Swansea refused to ever work with Laudrup's agent again - and the trouble only seemed to intensify from there. The Welsh club's lack of signings this January would not have helped.

Poor form

A second major issue that perhaps justified the 49-year-old's dismissal was Swansea's poor form on the field this season. However much success the Swans enjoyed last term, football clubs must live in the here and now - and a run of just four points out of a possible 18 in Swansea's last six games is unacceptable by anyone's standards.

Swansea are now just two points off relegation and Laudrup's approach had not been helping. The Dane can be credited for keeping calm but, sometimes, there is such a thing as too much calm. Laudrup simply seemed passive amidst his struggles and was reluctant to alter his tactical approach.

The club's lack of resources certainly didn't help, while Swansea's biggest problem was the stress of coping with the demands of the Europa League on top of their Premier League worries.

But the buck, nevertheless, must stop with the Dane. Most managers in English football are working with the best of a bad situation, not all of them are struggling.

Hit and miss

Interestingly, Laudrup has been here before - more than once. Indeed, the Dane's hit and miss tenure at Swansea can actually be used to sum up his entire career.

Laudrup achieved initial success at Brondby but then went on to endure years of inconsistency. At Getafe, Laudrup proved triumphant, reaching the Copa del Rey final and the Uefa Cup quarter-final. Yet he tendered his resignation and took over at Spartak Moscow the next season. There, the Dane was sacked by the Russian club after just seven months.

Laudrup then took the reins at Mallorca and managed to save them from relegation. But the 49-year-old resigned the following campaign, citing tensions with the owner of the Spanish club.

Less than three years on, Laudrup finds himself in exactly the same position.

image: © stephoto27

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