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Thursday 21 August 2014

Michael Laudrup sacked as Swansea boss

Andy Hampson

Published 04/02/2014 | 20:01

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Speculation about Michael Laudrup's Swansea future has been rife of late
Speculation about Michael Laudrup's Swansea future has been rife of late

Swansea have "parted company" with manager Michael Laudrup.

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Veteran defender Garry Monk and first-team coach Alan Curtis are to take charge of first-team affairs, the Barclays Premier League club have announced.

Laudrup had been under increasing pressure with the team winning just one of their last 10 league matches.

Laudrup's relationship with the club had reportedly been strained since a disagreement last summer.

The Dane's reputation was high at that point having guided the club to success in the Capital One Cup.

He was linked with other positions but stayed on at the Liberty Stadium.

Form on the field, however, appeared to desert him and the Welsh club are now facing the prospect of a relegation battle.

Chairman Huw Jenkins said: "It is a decision we have taken reluctantly, but it's a decision made in the best interests of Swansea City Football Club and our supporters.

"It is the first time in nearly 10 years that the club has parted with a manager in this way, but 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.

"However, after thinking long and hard about the best way forward, I felt it was unlikely we would achieve a stable environment at the club to allow us to get back to basics and produce the performance levels that have served Swansea City so well over the last few years.

"Now we need to put that uncertainty behind us and move forward as a united football club on all fronts, while placing on record our gratitude to Michael for the work he has done over the last 18 months and wish him well for the future."

Laudrup, the former Real Madrid, Barcelona and Denmark midfielder, was appointed in the summer of 2012 having previously managed at Brondby, Getafe, Spartak Moscow and Real Mallorca.

He initially carried on the good work of Brendan Rodgers, who oversaw promotion and took the club to 11th in the Premier League before leaving for Liverpool.

Laudrup's departure comes four days before the club take on arch-rivals and fellow strugglers Cardiff in a crucial derby at the Liberty Stadium.

Swansea are 12th in the table but their position is a precarious one as they are just two points above the bottom three.

It had been understood that Monk, 34, who has not played since September after undergoing knee surgery, was being lined up for a coaching position.

He and Curtis have now been put in charge for the "foreseeable future".

Jenkins said: "I hope all our supporters can fully understand how difficult this period has been for us and I would urge everyone connected to the football club to get behind Garry Monk, the staff and players."

MICHAEL LAUDRUP FACTFILE

1964: Born June 15 in Frederiksberg, Denmark.

1981: Makes professional debut for KB after joining the club along with his father Finn Laudrup.

1982: Moves back to boyhood club Brondby and helps them to gain promotion back to the Danish top flight where he then scores 15 goals and finishes third top scorer in the league - also winning the Danish Player of the Year award. Becomes second youngest Denmark international when he makes senior debut on his 18th birthday.

1983: Signs for defending Italian champions Juventus after a potential move to Liverpool falls through and is immediately loaned out to Lazio.

1985: Scores only one league goal in a second season on loan at Lazio, who finish bottom of Serie A, before returning to Juventus for the 1985/86 season and picks up his second Danish Player of the Year award.

1986: Wins Serie A title and Intercontinental Cup in his first season playing in Turin.

1989: Joins Johan Cruyff's Barcelona side and becomes part of one of the most successful teams in Spanish football history.

1991: Wins first of four successive Primera Division titles at Barca.

1992: Plays as Barcelona win their first-ever European Cup with an extra-time victory over Sampdoria at Wembley. Makes himself unavailable for selection for Denmark at Euro 92 - a tournament the Danes would go on to win.

1994: Not selected by Cruyff for the Champions League final against AC Milan, which the Italian side win 4-0, and subsequently moves to Barcelona's arch rivals Real Madrid.

1995: Helps Madrid break Barcelona's run of four back-to-back league titles as they win La Liga for the first time since 1990.

1996: Moves to J.League side Vissel Kobe for a single season.

1997: Joins Ajax and wins the Eredivisie title in his final season as a professional footballer.

1998: Captains Denmark to the quarter-finals of the World Cup in France, where they are narrowly beaten by Brazil.

2000: Appointed as assistant coach to Denmark boss Morten Olsen.

2002: Becomes manager of Brondby and guides them to a Danish Cup success in his first campaign at the helm.

2005: Wins the Danish league and cup double.

2006: Guides Brondby to a second-placed league finish but leaves the club after failing to agree a new deal.

2007: Takes managerial job at Getafe and reaches the Copa del Rey final but loses to Valencia and leaves the Madrid club after one season.

2008: Signs an 18-month contract to manage Russian giants Spartak Moscow.

2009: Sacked as Spartak manager in April after just seven months in charge.

2010: Returns to manage in Spain with Real Mallorca and keeps the struggling side in La Liga.

2011: Quits as boss of Mallorca at the start of the 2011/12 season.

2012: June 16 - Appointed Swansea manager on a two-year contract.

2013: February 24 - Guides Swansea to first major silverware in the club's history with 5-0 win over Bradford in Capital One Cup final at Wembley, also booking the Swans a Europa League berth.

March 8 - Signs one-year extension to his contract at the Liberty Stadium.

May 19 - Swansea end the season in ninth place in the Premier League after a 3-0 home loss to Fulham on the final day of the season.

July 11 - Breaks the club transfer record by signing Ivorian striker Wilfried Bony for £12million from Dutch side Vitesse Arnhem.

September 19 - Guides Swansea to one of the most famous wins in their history as goals from Bony, Michu and Jonathan De Guzman seal a 3-0 win over Valencia at the Mestalla in the Europa League. The Swans go on to qualify from Group A and are drawn to face Napoli in the last 32.

2014: January 5 - Oversees another notable victory as the Swans win at Old Trafford for the first time in the club's history, beating Manchester United 2-1 in the third round of the FA Cup.

February 4 - Parts company with Swansea after a run of just one win in 10 league matches.

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