Whenever a Premier League team lose a manager to another club the same old names are normally banded about as a replacement. Alan Curbishley will be linked with any job going, up and coming young managers like Brighton’s Gus Poyet will get a mention and a random ex player of the club looking to hire will come out in the press asking for a chance at the club. When Swansea City lost their highly regarded manager Brendan Rodgers to Liverpool it would have been easy for them to go down either of the routes mentioned above, however in bringing in former Brondby, Spartak Moscow and Real Mallorca manager Michael Laudrup, Swans chairman Huw Jenkins has ensured that transition from Rodgers to Laudrup should be seamless.
Danish legend Laudrup was known as a classy, elegant footballer when he became the big name in Scandinavian football in the 80s and that is the style of play he likes to impose on his teams. Rightly so as well given that as a player he notched up an impressive haul of honours with some of the world’s biggest teams. Having represented the likes of Juventus, Barcelona, Real Madrid and Ajax it’s safe to say they have a manager in place who has experienced the most high pressure situations during his career.Having won titles in Italy, Spain and the Netherlands playing in the famous “Cryuff’s Dream Team” of the early 90s the Dane can certainly boast a playing career to surpass any other manager in the Premier League.
However, as a manager his career has been more modest. Appointed as Brondby manager in his homeland in 2002 he built a side around promising youngsters, at the same time clearing out many of the club’s more established stars. A complete overhaul of the playing squad gave Laudrup the chance to impose the style of play he wanted on his young charges. It was a decision that was to pay dividends as he led them to a Danish Superliga title, two Danish Cups and a single Danish Super Cup win. That initial success didn’t go unnoticed and he was given his chance to manage in La Liga, where he had experienced such success as a player. However it wasn’t to be in the glorious settings of the Nou Camp or Bernabeu where he had graced as a player. It would be in the somewhat modest surroundings of Getafe, the third club of the Spanish capital, Madrid. Languishing in the shadows of Madrid giants Real and Athletico, Laudrup dragged the club to a mid-table finish and even reached the Copa Del Rey Final(losing 3-1 to Valencia) and gained a Quarter Final spot in the Europa League only narrowly going out to German giants Bayern Munich on away goals. Laudrup had done it again, putting together an impressive young side that played an attractive style of football.
That’s not to say his managerial style has always worked. When he moved to Russian side Spartak Moscow the Dane failed to make much of an impact and lasted only seven months before moving back to La Liga with Real Mallorca in July 2010. He seemed the perfect fit for a debt ridden club who were at one point on the brink of going out of existence. As a manager who could develop youngsters he would save the Mallorcans a fortune in transfer fees and somehow managed to retain their La Liga status against all odds. He would leave the club in September 2011, a breakdown in his relationship with Director of Football Lorenzo Serra Ferrer being cited as the reason for Laudrup’s exit. However now he has been put in charge at the Liberty Stadium he takes over a side that matches his philosophy and style of play. Under former manager Rodgers the Swans were roundly lauded for their impressive passing football although sometimes suffered for a lack of genuine firepower in front of goal.
Should Laudrup be able to carry on the good work done by Rodgers ensuring that their quick passing style of play continues, whilst also finding a solution to their striker issues then there’s no reason why he can’t bring success to the club.