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It is so mainstream these days to sack a football manager that almost every one of them has a sacking on their CVs. And Michael Laudrup follows in the growing trend. It was different a couple of years ago; clubs were on the lookout for young, talented and hungry coaches. It wasn’t that there were no sackings then; only that the frequency has increased these days. Seven Premier League clubs have already got rid of managers this season; the latest casualty being the Great Dane Laudrup. Laudrup in the process continued the trend of getting sacked a few months after winning the Football League Cup; it was Kenny Dalglish the year previous who was sacked by the powers that be at Liverpool. But things at Liverpool tend to be different than things at Swansea. It is sickening to see a manager linked with the mighty Real Madrid in the summer to get himself on the wrong side of the axe only months after leading his club to a first ever major silverware. But results are the yardstick these days, and no amount of emotional attachment can save a man from being relieved of his duties at a job when things get tighter.
Will Swansea regret letting Laudrup go? Possibly yes, but neither you nor I have a crystal ball in front of us; it depends on who the newcomer is. The new man could be the catalyst to further success or be the harbinger of gloom. Here we analyze three things why the kingmakers at the Liberty could live to rue their decision.
- THE CONTINUING LEGACY, HOW FAR AND LONG WILL IT CONTINUE?
By the legacy of Swansea, it is meant to be their aesthetic ethos of passing football. Introduced in the lower leagues by an unknown certain Roberto Martinez who has done ever so well to continue it at Everton, Swansea’s passing football is a thing of beauty and a thing of their own. With unknowns and nobodys of the football world, they decided to play football the proper way. Brendan Rodgers then came and opened the Premier League doors for them until the brighter Liverpudlian lights came in with an invitation letter. Up stepped Laudrup to replace Rodgers, and he took a step ahead of everyone else at the club by winning the shabbily-named but still-a-trophy Capital One Cup. Laudrup has made his bunch of average footballers playing exactly the same passing, on-the-ground football introduced at the club by Martinez. It was a legacy that continued until the wee hours of yesterday when the news of his sad sacking broke. Whether the new man to lead Swansea will have those attributes to preserve the continuity is the big question; the fans certainly don’t want somebody who would rip apart templates and introduce an orthodox variety of football at the club. At least I don’t want it; and I am not a Swansea fan either.
- THEY MIGHT JUST FIND THEMSELVES DRAGGED DOWN INTO A DOGFIGHT
Swans playing dogfight seems to be such a mismatching phrase; but that’s what is going to happen now that some serious reshuffling would be done at the club. Swansea lost to West Ham at the weekend. And that result proved to be the proverbial final nail for Laudrup. But still, Swansea have a two point lead over the Hammers and the new regime would now find it more difficult to keep up in the ensuing battle. The decision to sack Laudrup seems odd at a time when most of the clubs below Swansea have started to show some form. Crystal Palace, Sunderland and West Ham all have slowly notched up a few good results and by the looks of it, things could go extremely ugly in the coming days and months. Who makes the cut as the new boss is up for punts, but whoever gets the nod will have some serious thinking to do. And some points collecting too.
- WAS HE SOLELY TO BLAME?
Every other sane soul out there would say now that it was the fault of the collective that Swansea have collected just 24 points from 24 games this season. Fair enough if you consider the fact that when the same team collected 34 points at the same point last season, everyone was intent on and busy glorifying Laudrup. When the tides have turned now, he is to blame. But the unfair bit revolves around the injury troubles faced by his playing roster. And Michu isn’t the same freescoring forward anymore. Swansea invested a lot over summer; even breaking the bank to land Ivory Coast’s Wilfried Bony. When they were thrashed at home on the first weekend of the season, the spiral started. It went through a few crests but the holistic scenario never changed. Beset by injuries and his best players’ lack of form, Laudrup didn’t have or was too reluctant to use a plan B. His principles held him in good stead when the sun was shining; but when the drizzle turned into a downpour, he had no answers and now finds himself jobless, with a tainted CV of all. Swansea was meant to be his launchpad into bigger things; but it was a shameful end to his time at the Liberty Stadium with all those memorable Wembley moments still fresh in memory.