Swansea last night sacked manager Michael Laudrup — with veteran defender Garry Monk charged with rallying the team for Saturday’s Welsh derby with Cardiff.
Monk and first-team coach Alan Curtis are to take charge of first-team affairs. Early contenders for the job on a full-time basis include Oscar Garcia, in charge at Brighton, and Luis Enrique, who is coach of Spain’s Celta Vigo.
Laudrup left the club after a decision chairman Huw Jenkins said was “taken reluctantly”. The Dane was under increasing pressure with the team winning just one of their last 10 league matches, and paid the price for a slump since delivering the south Wales club’s first major trophy.
The news ends considerable speculation over Laudrup’s position, which has crescendoed since last weekend’s loss to West Ham meant a run of just one win in 10 Premier League matches.
The Capital One Cup-winning boss’ relationship with the club was strained since a major disagreement over transfer policy last summer. Laudrup’s reputation was high at that point having guided the club to League Cup success. This season, however, form has deserted him and Swansea now face a relegation battle.
The difficulties led to the club’s refusal to deal with Laudrup’s representative Bayram Tutumlu in transfer deals.
Tensions have remained this season and there has also been disquiet about the intensity of training sessions. There have been rumours of rifts between the squad’s British and Spanish players while police were called last month after a training ground bust-up between Monk and Chico Flores.
Prior to Laudrup’s exit, it is understood Monk, who has not played since September after undergoing knee surgery, was being lined up for a coaching role. Jenkins yesterday hinted at a bust-up over the make-up of Laudrup’s backroom team.
“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’d achieve a stable environment to allow us get back to basics.”
Laudrup, the former Real Madrid, Barcelona and Denmark midfielder, was appointed in summer 2012 having previously managed Brondby, Getafe, Spartak Moscow and Mallorca.
Last season he brought the League Cup in emphatic style with a 5-0 thumping of Bradford at Wembley.
This year, however, has been grim, despite highs including beating Spanish giants Valencia 3-0 in a Europa League away clash and knocking Manchester United out of the FA Cup.
Monk, 34, faces a tough task rallying the side for the crucial Cardiff clash.
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