You should be well aware of the news by now: Michael Laudrup has been confirmed as the new Swansea City manager on a two-year contract, replacing Brendan Rodgers who left the club two weeks ago.
|A recent photo... 2011 I think|
It's not much of a surprise as Laudrup has been the bookies favourite for a while, with numerous 'leaks' and media chatter backing it up. Still, it's superb to have confirmation, after the two manager-less weeks. Even one day without a manager is a day where the club can't move forward.
Firstly, let's take a moment to consider the shrewd moves by Huw Jenkins over the past fortnight - he's secured £7million for Brendan Rodgers and brought an exciting new manager to the club for free. Add that to the £7million that we won't be spending on Gylfi Sigurdsson and Swansea theoretically have £14million to play with. Nice one Mr Jenkins.
So, while Michael Laudrup has been described as the best player ever by many through the years, what do we know about him as a manager?
He has held the reins of four other clubs in the past ten years and was assistant manager of Denmark for a couple of years before that. While his playing career saw him well decorated - with medals for league wins with Juventus, Barcelona, Real Madrid and more, in addition to many Player of the Year awards - his managerial career hasn't particularly wowed anyone (but neither did Brendan Rodgers', and we all know what he achieved...).
Laudrup did well with Brøndby over four years, revamping the team and winning the Danish Superliga and the Danish Cup, before moving to Getafe. He stayed with the Spanish side for only one season, but implemented a similar easy-on-the-eye style of passing football there and took them to the UEFA Cup quarter finals. He then moved to Spartak Moscow where he flopped and was sacked after just seven months, before spending a season with Mallorca where he kept them from relegation, but resigned in September 2011 after his assistant was sacked.
So a colourful ten years for the Danish manager, all of which has led him to Swansea City.
The good news is he'll be bringing a similar brand of football to the Liberty Stadium and fields a 4-2-3-1 formation, so very little tinkering with the squad will be needed (though be sure to read my Swansea City Summer Shopping List article for what should still be considered this summer).
There is little in the way of bad news in this appointment. If you need a point of view from Mallorca, who were supposedly glad he left, read this article.
The only real thing I'm worried about is trying to find another manager two years from now, when Liverpool ultimately steal him from us (in this scenario, Brendan Rodgers was sacked after his first season with The Reds. He is now the assistant manager of Dagenham & Redbridge).
We've all discussed loyalty, and it may seem a little pessimistic – even inappropriate – to discuss this on the day he's been appointed, but is Laudrup in it for the long run? Early indications seem to say... no, he's not.
It's hard to predict, but we'd be fools to believe that loyalty to a team - for players and managers alike – is anything more than a bonus these days. I guess, as long as he is able to keep the team playing as they are, or better, and continues to build on the work of the past three managers, we will be satisfied.
Whether this scenario is more than fiction, and whether he does a brilliant Brøndby or a sluggish Spartak Moscow with Swansea City will be revealed over the next few seasons. But for now Michael Laudrup has the full support of the Jack Army behind him.