Swansea: Arrogant Laudrup Grew Lazy Living Off Past Glories, He Had To Go
Cyfiawnhad (Welsh. tr. ‘vindication by faith’)
Let us attempt some regression therapy. Close your eyes and take yourself back to a childhood summer holiday. There you are, on a beach, admiring the excellent sandcastle you’ve taken ages to construct from scratch. Then a posh kid comes along and develops it further, creating exquisite ramparts, an elaborate bailey and complex moat systems that it becomes a vibrant Alhambra Palace. He then loses interest and kicks half of it over. Shocked, you’d be forgiven for not having anything further to do with the spoilt b******.
There are better off-the-shelf visuals which are analogous to current events; but for a Swansea fan, Chairman Huw Jenkins is you; clutching your black & white spade and watching your grand design and dreams collapse in the oncoming tides of relegation, because a self-centred brat ruined it.
Laudrup has in many eyes been shuffling on the Green Mile since last summer. Away on holiday; dining off a fabulously successful season for the Swans, stuffed to the gills with a fat contract and feeling somewhat insuperable that this provincial Welsh club feted him as a messianic figure who would have all his demands delivered to his feet by fawning celtic lackeys. However, like the old Ferrero Rocher Ambassador’s reception; the sweetmeats on offer would eventually make him fat, and his palace, like that of the sandcastle would be revealed to be built on collapsing foundations.
For militant ideologues; the thought of Laudrup cravenly using his agent Bayram Tumultu to destabilise the prudent steerage of the club to get his way, and the appalling slur on Jenkins’ integrity through Twitter was a crass betrayal of loyalty. The club had in many ways rescued Laudrup’s diminishing managerial stock as a one-season pony, a disinterested venture capitalist with a low attention span and seemingly carefree attitude in the face of crisis.
Laudrup did nothing to disassociate himself from Tumultu’s contemptible behaviour, and as such should have been sacked for breach of contract. Instead Jenkins blinked first; splashing out £12m and £5m respectively on Wilfried Bony and Jonjo Shelvey. Sums, that for many fans who carried begging buckets through the city centre or helped spruce up the North Bank with their own paint, were eye-watering. It somehow felt like protection racketeering, where the spoilt b****** returned to threaten complete demolition of that sandcastle unless you bought him an orange mivvy.
Consequently, Laudrup’s laissez-faire mind-set turned into a pernicious and soporific poison haunting the very structures of a game that rotated the turnip heads of punditry. Performances became progressively worse, evolving from the puzzling to the inept. The Liberty Stadium turned from a cascading volcano of decibel to a collective creaking ambience of sucking in through teeth like a car mechanic viewing your cracked exhaust pipe. Suddenly there was a sense that the horsemen of ambition, passion and ruthlessness -so evident during our Carling Cup run- had instead put on their onesies and novelty slippers, and parked their ever-fattening a***s on a couch named stupor.
Following the terrible West Ham performance, something had to be done. Jenkins and Leigh Dineen played a smart game here. The underwhelming activity in the transfer window and the imposition of Garry Monk onto the coaching team were inspired chess moves that would’ve exposed Laudrup’s vainglorious weaknesses and made his position as untenable as a Somerset potato farmer.
While fans bemoan the loss of Laudrup; bestowing him with that ‘true Jack’ emblem (which on reflection is now about as worthy as a Jim’ll Fix It badge); I make no apologies for any analysis of Laudrup as an egocentric, bread-head. It was always about Laudrup. It was always about the marketing of Laudrup. It was always about maximising his earnings potential. It’s not surprising then that he was one of the founders of the Danish conservative think-tank CEPOS, which aims to exploit the public sector and impose free-market reforms. One should not expect altruism or passion from a driven elitist multimillionaire. We should not mourn his passing.
But where does that leave Swansea? We now have people worthy of that ‘true Jack’ emblem (albeit) temporarily at the helm in time for the derby. Where Laudrup would’ve daubed the faces of his little Spanish pets with a damp nosegay before sending them out to face an aroused Cardiff, now we’ll be coming at them like those burning bulls in ’13 Assassins’. The players already have the tools; all they want now is an olfactory infusion of that perfume labelled ‘Passion’. Hopefully Garry Monk will be spraying it liberally around the dressing room to mask the stale odours of that hypnotic Laudrup nerve gas. Thank you, Huw. Now you can rebuild that castle.
Raise the pressure.