Wednesday, February 05, 2014

ONE YEAR AFTER WINNING THIER FIRST MAJOR TROPHY, SWANSEA SACKS COACH MICHAEL LAUDRUP

On the way out: Michael Laudrup has been sacked by Swansea with immediate effect English premier league side Swansea, have sacked manager Michael Laudrup, one year after winning the Carling Cup for the club and has appointed club captain Garry Monk to in charge for Saturday's clash with arch-rivals Cardiff City and the foreseeable future

It has being revealed that the club's hierarchy believed the Dane was no longer capable of inspiring the struggling team, with questions also asked about the intensity of his training sessions and whether he retained the support of senior players.
The news came a day after chairman Huw Jenkins dismissed rumours that they had discussed Laudrup's future. 

Rumours had been circulating about Laudrup's future since the Swans lost 2-0 at West Ham on Saturday.
                      Moving on: Alan Curtis will team up with Monk for Saturday's match against Cardiff after Laudrup's sacking
It was their sixth defeat in eight Premier League games, leaving them only two points off the relegation places.

Monk had been tipped to join the club's backroom staff as part of a mooted reshuffle of the club's coaching set-up, but instead finds himself in the role of head coach "for the foreseeable future".

Swansea attacking legend Alan Curtis, already part of the coaching set-up at Liberty Stadium, will assist Monk as they seek revenge over the Bluebirds for their 1-0 Premier League defeat at Cardiff City Stadium in November.
Monk is expected to be given a good chance to prove his credentials, while chairman Huw Jenkins is a long-term admirer of Everton coach Graeme Jones and Dennis Bergkamp, who is currently coaching at Ajax.

Former Athletic Bilbao coach Marcelo Bielsa also has admirers at Swansea for his dedication to passing football. He is currently without a club. And Glenn Hoddle is also reportedly in the frame.

The hope of chairman Jenkins had been that they would get to the end of the season after a summer in which Laudrup nearly left the club and his agent, Bayram Tutumlu, was banned from acting on Swansea's behalf. 

Those issues left the relationship between Laudrup and club strained to the extreme and the club's dreadful form, in which they have won only one game in 10 in the Barclays Premier League, has forced Jenkins to sack a manager for the first time since Brian Flynn was shown the door 10 years ago.

It was revealed on Sunday that key elements of the board had decided after the dismal defeat at West Ham on Saturday that it was time for a change. Laudrup had a year and a half to run on his £1m-a-year contract.

Matters came to a head yesterday when Laudrup, who orchestrated their Capital One Cup triumph last season, returned from a two-day holiday in Paris to discuss his future.
                      Flying high: Laudrup led Swansea to Capital One Cup glory last season after they beat Bradford 5-0 in the final
It was also revealed that Jenkins initially spoke with Laudrup to propose a change to his backroom team. 

His plan was to introduce Monk to the coaching set-up, which is believed to have been accepted by Laudrup, but Jenkins later changed his mind and opted to axe the 49-year-old. 

According to a club insider, the relationship wasn't just working. 

'It just wasn't working. There have been concerns about the training for some time and it has been obvious from the performances this season that things were not improving. 

'Huw is patient and he has shown that over the years. The players are not happy with the intensity in training and they have not been as well prepared for games as you might hope.'

The writing has been on the wall since the summer, with tensions first surfacing in the months which followed Swansea's triumph in the Capital One Cup.

The fact that so much ill-feeling has spread since that historic day at Wembley last February is a true shame. 

The club had picked up seamlessly from Brendan Rodgers' departure in the summer of 2012, with Laudrup taking them to ninth last season and into Europe via Wembley.

But they struggled in the second half of last season and Jenkins is understood to have been unhappy about the slump. 

The problems escalated severely in the summer when Laudrup and Jenkins clashed over transfers. In the fallout, the club accused Laudrup's agent, Tutumlu, of trying to sell Ashley Williams without their permission.
                             
The Turk, who has worked with Laudrup for more than 20 years, was effectively banned from the club, leaving Laudrup without a key ally. 

Intriguingly, during those summer rows the Laudrup camp complained about the club's lack of ambition in the transfer market, citing that Jenkins wanted to sign Marvin Emnes from Middlesbrough. 

In the most recent window, Emnes was one of only two players signed, indicating that Laudrup's influence was fading. 

While some players have criticised Laudrup's management, he has generally been respected for his sterling playing career.

Indeed, the long-term future of players such as Michu, Pablo Hernandez and Chico Flores is now in significant doubt.

Observers of Laudrup's management career will notice the continuation of a theme, whereby he has left all bar one of five posts within two seasons. He has spoken of needing 'challenges' and 'projects' to keep him excited.

Indeed there are people at Swansea who believe his appetite for the job had gone, which marks a sorry end at the club for a man whose achievements there should not be easily dismissed. Nor should it be discounted that this season's failing have been aided by 10 extra Europa League games and a number of serious injuries. 

Jenkins said: '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.

'I had a meeting with Michael in a final attempt to support him and establish a way to improve the work of the backroom team to secure the results we need over the final 14 Premier League games. However, after thinking long and hard about the best way forward, I felt it was unlikely we would achieve a stable environment at the club to allow us to get back to basics and produce the performance levels that have served Swansea City so well over the last few years. 

'Now we need to put that uncertainty behind us and move forward as a united football club on all fronts, while placing on record our gratitude to Michael for the work he has done over the last 18 months and wish him well for the future.'

Centre of attention: Michael Laudrup's position as Swansea boss had become strained following the club's poor form
Laudrup succeeded current Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers in south Wales in June 2012 and went on to lead the Swans to their first major trophy when they won the 2013 League Cup.
That success won them a place in this season's Europa League, a campaign that produced a memorable 3-0 victory at Spanish top-flight side Valencia in September. They face Napoli in the last 32 of the competition this month. 

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