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Swansea City Supporters Deserve Answers to Why Michael Laudrup Was Sacked

The decision by Swansea City’s board of directors to sack manager Michael Laudrup today makes very little sense at a side that has been a role model on how to successfully run a Premier League club.

There’s no denying that Swansea have had a poor run of form — only winning one of its last 9 league matches. But numbers often don’t tell the whole story. Not included in that statistic is the FA Cup wins against Manchester United and Birmingham City. And out of the matches that the Swans did lose, they were against Manchester United (1-2), Tottenham (1-3), Manchester City (2-3), Chelsea (0-1) and Everton (1-2).

The one and only loss Swansea experienced in this poor run of form was the 2-0 defeat to West Ham United at Upton Park on Saturday at a stadium and against a type of opposition that Swansea always have a problem playing well against away. In fact, the last time Swansea beat West Ham United at Upton Park was 1956.

The decision to effectively sack Michael Laudrup only days before Swansea’s biggest match of the season at home against Cardiff City smacks of either desperation or chaos inside the club, not the pitch. Under the leadership of Swansea City Chairman Huw Jenkins, the club has always been focused on the future and has been one never to make rash decisions, so the decision to let Laudrup leave the club now is particularly mysterious.

In reviewing the statement by Jenkins on the club website, here’s portions of what he said (with words bolded for emphasis):

“…We had to remove the constant uncertainty surrounding the club and Michael’s long-term future with us.

“I had a meeting with Michael today 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.”

Reading between the lines, the only plausible explanation is that Laudrup had already lined up a new job in the summer with a different club, or that he refused to discuss the topic in more detail with Jenkins. It also sounds like Jenkins wanted to bring in a new coach or assistant coach to work alongside Laudrup, and that the Dane refused to work with the new person.

Whatever the case, Swansea City supporters deserve to know the complete story. The decision by Jenkins and the board to sack Laudrup doesn’t make sense. Swansea City is not the type of club that makes reflexive decisions.

I honestly don’t believe that the decision to sack Laudrup was based on the team’s run of form or performances on the pitch. Except for the match against West Ham United, Swansea have continued to play the style of football that they’re renowned for and have been unfortunate not to get more points from recent games. Plus, add to that the injury problems the side has faced with Michu and Michel Vorm out, while other footballers (De Guzman, Hernandez, Britton, Rangel, Dyer and Bony) have recently returned from injury.

If Swansea had continued under Laudrup playing the type of football they’ve done this season, I would have been confident they would have stayed up. They’re not playing as well as they ought to, but given that Michu is close to returning to full fitness, a player of his quality could have been the difference to turn the season around.

Meanwhile, Swansea City captain Garry Monk is in charge of the Swans team for the foreseeable future, a defender with zero managerial experience. How Monk could be a better option that Laudrup at this stage of the season, I do not know. But for Swansea to sack Laudrup at this stage of the season only days before the game against Cardiff is completely irresponsible of Swansea City FC. That’s why the Swansea fans deserve to know the whole story behind why the club would sack the manager, the man who helped the club win the League Cup and qualify for Europe for the first time in 22 years.

Perhaps Laudrup’s vision for the future of Swansea City no longer mirrored that of the Swansea board of directors. If that’s the case, then I believe Swansea City supporters deserve to learn more. If Laudrup was no longer making Swansea his priority and not being in line with the club’s ambitions, then perhaps it was best for him to leave. But based on the little information that the club has shared thus far, it’s difficult to understand why he has been let go.

For more Swans coverage, read the Swansea City team page for news, analysis and opinion.

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  1. Ken

    February 6, 2014 at 8:52 am

    I think most Swansea supporters know why he’s gone.
    In his last 35 league games they have W8 D9 L18. Translated to points that’s 33. Less than 1pt a game for almost a season. If that continued for the next 14 games Swansea would be on 36 pts come the end of the season. Relegation?

    A new manager usually comes with a short burst of form and in Swansea’s case that could be the difference in getting them safe.
    Pretty easy to see why they chopped him.

    • Christopher Harris

      February 6, 2014 at 9:50 am

      Valid points, but Swansea currently sit in 12th position and are one win away from moving back into 10th. I would argue that given Swansea’s success in qualifying for the latter stages of the Europa League, that they’re not doing as badly as some would argue — especially given that they’ve just come through several tough games against Chelsea, Manchester City, Spurs and Man United.

      • Ken

        February 7, 2014 at 7:27 am

        And if results go against them they could be 17th after another loss.

  2. Pakapala

    February 5, 2014 at 8:49 am

    • scrumper

      February 6, 2014 at 8:47 am

      If it’s in the Daily Mirror it must be true.

  3. scrumper

    February 5, 2014 at 8:39 am

    This has all the hallmarks of a middling club hanging onto a big name too long. There are some similarities with the initial outcry with Southampton’s sacking of Nigel Adkins, yet look at them now.

  4. Josh

    February 4, 2014 at 9:35 pm

    That said, your point about deserving answers? Valid.

  5. Josh

    February 4, 2014 at 9:34 pm

    One win in the last nine is only part of the story too. Over the year, we’re talking 8 wins in 35 games. As John Hartson said, that’s relegation form. And that’s over a long period of time. So to call this rash feels disingenuous, especially when you throw in this past summer’s near-falling out. Is this the right decision? I don’t have any idea. But I can’t say I was in any way confident that Laudrup could keep this team up. I get the sense that the management felt the same way, and that was based on way more than an admittedly rough stretch of fixtures since the holidays.

    • IanCransonsKnees

      February 5, 2014 at 2:01 am

      Similar figures to Steve Clarke who was similarly feted at West Brom.

      If The Mirror’s article on Laudrup is true then there are your answers for his sacking, which raise the question why was he allowed to remain in charge this long?

  6. Flyvanescence

    February 4, 2014 at 7:38 pm

    Honestly this kind of reminds me of what happened with Man City and Mancini last season. Most outsiders not at all surprised and argued why he was sacked, while the majority of supporters were enraged.

    I, for one, was one of the enraged supporters. Mancini brought us our first trophy in 35 years and first league title in 40. It felt wrong how he was sacked without even allowing him to finish the season so that the supporters could give him a proper farewell and show of appreciation.

    Laudrup brought you Swansea supporters your first ever major trophy last year and i can completely understand your disappointment in this decision.

    • Christopher Harris

      February 4, 2014 at 8:39 pm

      Flyvanescence, that’s a good comparison. There are Swansea fans who are glad to see Laudrup go, and they’re looking forward to someone new.

      I’ll be sad to see him go.

      • Felix

        February 5, 2014 at 8:10 pm

        Now it may be belittling, but “little old Swansea” is certainly not Man C, and for them to think they are, will lead to no good.

        For Swansea to sack any given manager when they are above the relegation line, is uneccessary gamble with little to gain and much to lose.

  7. count jack

    February 4, 2014 at 6:40 pm

    cant agree. Mediocre at best for too long with good players but this does it for me.

    loose to west ham in the biggest rubbish match swansea played for years and the reaction should be. Hey, i need to fix something. It was, lets give the squad 2 days off so i can go to paris.

    Seems to me he couldn’t give an f, or a sh.

    • Felix

      February 5, 2014 at 8:07 pm

      Laudrup last season prepared his squad for the Capital Cup by having them all go to Dubai for some resort luxury. He chose a gap in the program and used it to refresh batteries and give a new go, and it worked.

      Even trying to assume that Laudrup wouldn’t care about a Derby on home turf, is frankly admitting to not knowing why things have happened as they did.

      The management have been amatuerish I suspect, and forgotten they were/are “little old Swansea”, and instead they are selling the skin before the bear has been shot.

      I guess relegation, I think they will drop hard now in the table. Cups are certainly out.

      What a shame.

      • Christopher Harris

        February 5, 2014 at 9:07 pm

        Personally, I’d like to hear Laudrup’s side to this story. All we’ve heard as far as details go (however reliable or not they are) have been from the tabloid newspapers.

  8. Daniel

    February 4, 2014 at 5:27 pm

    Well said.

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