Having not sacked a manager in 10 years, Swansea City chairman Huw Jenkins cannot be accused of being trigger happy. Yet one must ask if Michael Laudrup was dismissed too soonCOMMENT
By Coling Ng
While rumours are abound that Michael Laudrup had lost the dressing room, Huw Jenkins’ own actions coupled with other external factors may have contrived to make the 49-year-old’s job more difficult.
Unrealistic expectations and bad luck
For one, Swansea have been hit by a spate of injuries to key players, notably goalkeeper Michel Vorm, who has missed 10 matches through injury, and forward Miguel Michu who himself has missed 12 matches.
Not only have Swansea been unable to call upon their starting goalkeeper and top scorer, other first teamers such as Nathan Dyer and Angel Rangel have also been injured at various periods this season.
Furthermore, while Laudrup’s critics may point to his abysmal home record this season which has seen him win just three games, a closer look at the fixtures reveal how the fixture list has not been kind to him.
Of their 12 home games, Laudrup’s men have already faced both Manchester teams, Liverpool, Arsenal, Everton and Tottenham, six of this season’s top seven teams.
Unsurprisingly, they have failed to win any of them.
Moreover, a win against Cardiff this weekend, coupled with other favourable results would have seen Swansea rise to a position as high as 10th.
We should also not forget the additional 10 games that the Welsh team have had to play due to their participation in the Europa League, which have increased the team’s propensity to picking up injuries.
Laudrup’s relationship with Jenkins
When Laudrup first joined Swansea, he described his relationship with Jenkins as “excellent”, yet the actions of those around them have caused their relationship to become strained in the past few months.
For one, Laudrup did not take too kindly to Jenkins’ decision to make changes to his backroom staff, one of which was the instalment of current caretaker manager Garry Monk as a player-coach.
Interestingly at Real Mallorca, one of Laudrup’s former clubs, it was also a change in his backroom staff which led to his resignation with the former Barcelona and Real Madrid player unhappy at the removal of his assistant Erik Larsen.
It must also be remembered that in the summer, Jenkins had already banned Laudrup’s agent of 20 years Bayram Tutumlu from the club after Jenkins felt the Turk had too much say over the Swan’s transfer policy.
Laudrup had also felt unsupported in the transfer market, disappointed by Jenkins reluctance to fund targets such as Peter Odemwingie.
Perhaps however, the issue lies with Laudrup himself.
After all, the former Brondby, Getafe, Spartak Moscow and Real Mallorca manager had spoken of the need for “challenges” and “projects” .
A look at his past managerial history also shows how he failed to stay longer than two years at any club, barring his first appointment at Brondy.
What next for Swansea?
Laudrup’s dismissal however, thus means the club are no longer entitled to the £10 million (SGD$20.6m) in compensation had a club decided to poach Laudrup.
Of more importance, is in Jenkins potentially losing the same scouting network and range of contacts which allowed them to bring in Michu and central defender Chico Flores.
Questions also remain about the player’s state of mind, especially those such as Pablo Hernandez or Julian De Guzman, players who Laudrup signed.
With former captain Monk installed as caretaker manager, Jenkins must plan his next move to ensure Laudrup’s dismissal was not a mistake.