Swansea City made an impressive start to life under Garry Monk this season, winning their first three games, only to then lose to Chelsea and Southampton before draws against North East duo Sunderland and Newcastle United. Nevertheless, Monk has earned plenty of plaudits for continuing the attractive brand of football in South Wales.
One of his former Swansea team mates has moved to praise the ex-Swans captain, with now-Blackpool midfielder Andrea Orlandi saying that the club's decision to sack Michael Laudrup in February in favour of Monk was the best decision the club have made having been hugely disappointed by the legendary Dane.
"He [Monk] was my team mate in Swansea and I believe that sacking Laudrup and getting Monk to replace him was the best decision the club has made," said Orlandi. "I was very excited about Laudrup. I admired him as a footballer and I liked everything about him. But I got very disappointed. Sometimes you get a shock when you meet people who are your idols. It happened to me with Gullit and also with Jordi Lardin, a very good winger who played for Espanyol."
"I cannot say much about Laudrup as a person, always correct and diplomatic, as I never got to know him enough to be able to judge him at that level," added the Spaniard. "But as a coach he was a great disappointment and I promise I am not saying that with resentment, that is a word that doesn’t exist in my vocabulary. On the other hand, I think he did me well by showing me the door from Swansea because my time there was over and I am convinced of that given the experience of that pre-season in 2012."
Orlandi left Swansea in the summer of 2012 for a move to Brighton and Hove Albion, scoring seven goals in 52 games at the Amex Stadium before being released this summer. In search of a new club, the 30-year-old ended up joining Blackpool - but will always remain a popular figure with Swansea City.