Michael Laudrup has slammed the manner of his sacking by Swansea and revealed he is considering legal action against the Premier League club.
Denmark football great Laudrup was dismissed as manager of the south Wales side on Tuesday following a poor run of results, barely a year after leading the Swans to the League Cup, the first major trophy in their history.
"I am deeply disappointed to have been dismissed as manager of Swansea City," Laudrup said in a statement issued Tuesday with Swansea 12th in the table and still involved in the FA Cup and Europa League.
"In particular, the manner in which it happened and the actions the club has taken since notifying me in the briefest of letters which gave no reasons why such hasty and final action was deemed necessary. I am, of course taking legal advice and the LMA (League Managers' Association) have already written to the club asking for a proper explanation as to why I was summarily dismissed."
Laudrup added he'd been banned by Swansea from visiting the training ground to thank the players.
"The club has informed me that I cannot visit the training ground to say my farewells to the players so I do that now through this statement. The players have been fantastic and their contribution under the very professional guidance of my coaching staff has been absolutely fundamental to the club's recent successes. Three members of my staff have also been dismissed.
"Whilst league results have been disappointing of late, we are still 12th in the table and it is there for all to see the fine margins in the league this season in terms of points that separate 11 clubs."
Swansea have collected just six points from their last 10 matches and are just two points above the relegation zone heading into this weekend's derby against Welsh rivals Cardiff.
Laudrup added: "I have thoroughly enjoyed my time managing in the Barclays Premier League which I consider to be the one of the best leagues in world football.
"Of course the obvious highlight during my time in charge was leading Swansea to the first major trophy in the club's history in winning the Capital One (League) Cup at Wembley resulting in European qualification.
"I wish the club the very best for the future and for the rest of the season in the Barclays Premier League, Europa League and the FA Cup."
Defender Garry Monk and first-team coach Alan Curtis will be in charge of the team for the Cardiff match.
Swansea chairman Huw Jenkins, explaining the decision to sack Laudrup, said Tuesday it was the first time in nearly a decade the club had taken such action.
But he insisted removing Laudrup was necessary "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".
Jonjo Shelvey was literally left speechless by today’s sacking of Michael Laudrup.
Swansea parted company with the former Denmark international after a run of just one win in 10 games citing “constant uncertainty surrounding the club and Michael's long-term future with us” as the reason.
Laudrup led the club to the league cup last season, their first major honour, but he has struggled this season and leaves the club two points and six places from the relegation zone.
In the wake of the sacking Shelvey tweeted three images of a shocked emoticon, the events of Tuesday leaving him speechless. The tweet was later deleted by the midfielder but not before it was captured by his twitter followers.
Shelvey was signed by Laudrup from Liverpool during the summer and has impressed in patches for the Welsh side scoring 4 goals and 3 assists in 22 games.
The England midfielder is currently nursing a hamstring injury and is a doubt for the Swans upcoming league clash with rivals Cardiff.
Long serving defender Gary Monk is set to take charge for the game.
The club's chairman Huw Jenkins talked to the official Swansea City web site about the decision taken and gave their main reasons of doing so: “It is a decision we have taken reluctantly,’’ Jenkins confirmed.
“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 back room team to secure the results we need over the final 14 Premier League games." He said.
“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.’’
Jenkins finally concluded by saying that: “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.’’
Danish football legend Michael Laudrup left Swansea two points close to relegation zone, about 20 points away from European spots in the Premier League and with a last-16 Europa League face off against Napoli. Laudrup's sacking comes also in a very difficult time just four days before the South of Wales derby against Cardiff City.
Laudrup's contribution to Swansea City ended up in a League Cup trophy last year but this year's numbers were not the ones expected by the Swansea board, he only won one of the past 10 games played in the Premier League.
Swansea City have parted company with manager Michael Laudrup, the Premier League club announced on Tuesday.
The 49-year-old Dane was appointed on a two-year contract in June 2012 and led Swansea to a maiden trophy in the League Cup last season, but they have won only one of their last 10 league games in the current campaign.
"It is a decision we have taken reluctantly," said Swansea chairman Huw Jenkins in a statement published on the club website. "But it's a decision made in the best interests of Swansea City Football Club and our supporters."
Swansea said that former captain Garry Monk would work as head coach alongside current first-team coach Alan Curtis "for the foreseeable future".
Two deflected second-half goals by Jonjo Shelvey and Chico Flores gave Swansea City a 2-0 win against Fulham on Tuesday as Michael Laudrup's side gave themselves breathing space in the Premier League relegation battle.
Shelvey set Swansea on their way in the 61st minute with an effort that took two deflections on its way into the net, and Chico's near-post header came off Dimitar Berbatov to double the hosts' lead with quarter of an hour remaining. The victory was a timely one for the hosts, ending a sequence of three straight Premier League defeats and eight top-flight matches without a win.
The Welsh outfit move provisionally six points clear of the relegation zone, while Fulham remain just one point above the danger zone after this, their third successive league loss. Fulham head coach Rene Meulensteen made 11 changes to his side following the weekend draw at third-tier Sheffield United in the FA Cup, and there were numerous changes to the Swansea side too.
After coming off the bench to score twice against Birmingham City in the Cup, Ivorian striker Wilfried Bony was rewarded with a starting slot and he almost got an early opener for the hosts, heading narrowly over from Wayne Routledge's cross. Fulham came into the game and an unmarked Brede Hangeland headed over the bar from a wicked Kieran Richardson free-kick delivery before an Alexander Kacaniklic cross was headed goal-wards by Ashkan Dejagah, only for Gerhard Tremmel to save.
Shelvey then saw a superb first-time curling effort from 25 yards come crashing back off the bar just before the interval, but it was the former Liverpool man who got the breakthrough shortly after the hour mark. There was more than a touch of fortune about the goal, as Nathan Dyer teed up Shelvey, whose shot came off Steve Sidwell and then took a huge deflection off Hangeland before nestling in the back of the net.
Shelvey got the winner when the Swans won 2-1 at Craven Cottage in the reverse fixture in November and they made sure of the points against a flat Fulham side when Chico scored on 75 minutes. The Spanish defender, who made headlines last week following a training ground bust-up with teammate Garry Monk, got his head to a Jonathan De Guzman free-kick, and this time the ball came off Berbatov to trump Maarten Stekelenburg.
The Premier League champions lost to Tottenham Hotspur on New Year's Day and that result was followed by an FA Cup exit at Swansea before more cup misery came in the shape of a 2-1 reverse in the first leg of their League Cup semi-final with Sunderland. United now lie 11 points behind Premier League leaders Arsenal heading into this weekend's fixtures, with their hopes of finishing in the top four and so qualifying for next season's Champions League under severe threat.
United's supporters have also watched their team lose four times already in the Premier League at Old Trafford this season, the defeats adding to the pressure manager David Moyes already faced in succeeding the retired Alex Ferguson.
But Rooney, battling to be fit to face Swansea after missing the last two games with an abductor problem, urged fans to remain loyal to both the team and Moyes.
"The fans' support is very important. The fans have been great here, especially now when we are not in the best of form and we have lost the last few games," he said.
"We need them to support us through this time," the England striker added. "We will get stronger and we will get better. The fans are vital in being patient with us and letting us try to get there. I am sure we will."
It is not clear if Robin van Persie will be fit to return to action against the Swans. The Dutch forward has been out for a month with a thigh strain and media reports in Britain suggested he has returned to training but Moyes is expected to provide an update on his fitness on Friday. Jonny Evans was taken off in the midweek defeat by Sunderland with a back problem and it is not clear if he will be able to feature while Rio Ferdinand, Nani and Marouane Fellaini are all sidelined.
Swansea will be without wingers Pablo Hernandez and Roland Lamah who have hamstring and abductor problems respectively, while goalkeeper Michael Vorm is not ready to return yet from a knee operation. And after sending United out of the FA Cup last weekend with their first-ever win at Old Trafford, Swansea boss Michael Laudrup said there was no reason they couldn't do it again.
"In many recent games we played with a lot of confidence but just needed the win and sometimes that win comes when you least expect it," he explained.
"Maybe others didn't expect us to win at Old Trafford but we believed and we maybe had a bit of luck scoring in the last minute," the Denmark football great added.
"Our aim is to do it again and we know it's possible because we have confidence, but on the other hand we know it is more difficult than last time because of the circumstances and with United losing at Sunderland. We will expect them to come out and want to go at us and want to win because they have to win this game. So we have to be ready for a very tough game because I don't think the United players will like what they hear about the negative record at the moment."
Having dumped Manchester United out of the FA Cup last weekend, Swansea head back to Old Trafford this weekend looking to repeat the trick in the Premier League on Saturday evening. It has been well documented that Swansea’s victory was their first ever at Old Trafford, and after another abject display from United in the midweek Capital One Cup surrender at Sunderland, it isn’t difficult to imagine them pulling it off again.
Swansea boss Michael Laudrup hasn’t exactly been one for playing mind games during his time in England. While his latest assertion that this weekend’s game is a “must win” for Manchester United definitely piles the pressure onto a clearly struggling David Moyes and his team, it is difficult to accuse him of anything more than telling the simple truth.
Under Sir Alex Ferguson, United had a reputation for responding to defeats with ferocity; many teams can attest to having been hammered after they had lost a game unexpectedly. Given that United have lost their last three, the big question is surely whether Moyes has the ability to lift the players and get that sort of vengeful, spiteful performance out of them.
Speaking at his pre-weekend press conference, Laudrup told the assembled press he expected a response, saying "Manchester United will come out and have a real go at us. This is a game they want to win, they have to win this game and we must be ready for that.
"I don't think the United players like what they are reading and what they are hearing at the moment about these negative records so I know this will be a very tough game for us. But football can change in a very short space of time. If they beat us, win their next game then beat Sunderland 1-0 in their second leg, suddenly they're back near the top four in the league and in a final at Wembley."
Whether Moyes and United can handle the pressure remains to be seen on Saturday evening.
"I'm very pleased because we played against a very difficult team," Pellegrini said.
"Swansea play very good football, away and at home, so to beat them here, in their stadium, is very important for us. I think the most important thing of the performance was the second and the third goals. We knew that it would be very difficult for us, but the team had the character to change things. Yaya was very important because he scored the second goal at the right moment. That character is very important because at the beginning of the season we dropped too many points away from home.
"I think it's not good for this team to win just 11 points out of 27 that we played in the first half of the season. Winning here, the first game away of the New Year, is very important for us. I think the key to our improved form away is to continue playing exactly the same way we did at the beginning. We didn't lose the games against Cardiff and Aston Villa because we didn't play well; we made a lot of mistakes and conceded easy goals." He added.
Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho has tried to put pressure on City by declaring them clear favourites for the title, but Pellegrini says he is happy that his side are raising expectations: "Yes, there is pressure, but it's impossible to be in a good team if you don't want pressure. You must be used to playing with pressure," he said.
"I think all the other teams have the same pressure -- Chelsea, Arsenal, Liverpool, Manchester United, Tottenham, Everton. If they want to say that the pressure is on Manchester City, it's no problem for us."
Swansea manager Michael Laudrup, whose injury woes were deepened by the first-half loss of Pablo Hernandez, said: "To concede three goals against a team like this makes things tough. I thought we were excellent in terms of our first-half performance and attitude and then to come back like we did was great. You always know that if you play teams like this, even if you are on top, they have players that can turn the game in a split-second and that is what happened for Toure's goal."
Laudrup was also delighted with the brace scored by Wilfried Bony, who cancelled out Fernandinho's 14th-minute opener and then struck again in injury time after Toure and Kolarov had put City in control: "I thought this was by far the best performance we have seen from Bony as a Swansea player," Laudrup said.
"If he can do it against a side like this, he can do it against anyone." On Hernandez's injury, the Dane added: "I don't really know. When I first saw it I thought it was one of those hamstring problems that can keep you out for four or five weeks: "But the doctors said it may not be bad and maybe it might be like Bony's injury against Valencia, where we thought it would be serious but he was out for just two weeks."