Wednesday, February 5, 2014
Some disgruntled Norwich City fans have today been calling for the Carrow Road board to make Michael Laudrup the club’s manager, but is the Dane really a sensible option?
The Canaries are one of the four clubs in the bottom half of the Premier League who have decided to not change their manager mid-season so far, along with West Ham, Hull and Stoke.
Swansea became the sixth club to twist rather than stick last night, despite Laudrup steering them to their Capital One Cup triumph last season, the Swans currently sitting 12th in the table and a Europa League last-32 clash with Napoli fast approaching.
It seems a rather farcical situation in South Wales, particularly as Laudrup was being linked with jobs as high profile as Real Madrid in the last year.
The situation is perhaps even more ridiculous when you look at the Welsh club’s previous eight league results, since drawing 1-1 at Carrow Road on December 15.
Laudrup’s side lost six of those eight matches, however five of those came against teams in the top seven; Everton, Chelsea, Manchester City, Manchester United and Tottenham.
Just over a week ago they beat Fulham 2-0 but then lost 2-0 at West Ham on Saturday to leave themselves just two points clear of the relegation zone – in an incredibly tight bottom half which sees just six points separate Stoke in 11th and bottom-of-the-table Fulham.
So hasn’t Laudrup been hard done by? Surely the quality football his side have often produced demands more respect? He must be a better option for the Canaries than Chris Hughton?
Well, if today’s national newspaper reports are to be believed, perhaps not.
A lack of discipline in training, dressing room cliques, fights between players, a boozy training camp abroad and even Laudrup refusing to take training in the rain are just some of the accusations levelled at the former Barcelona, Madrid and Juventus midfielder.
If there’s one thing that has never been disputed by Canaries supporters, it is that Hughton is a nice and considered man who often represents the club in a very professional manner.
It could be argued that his managerial style is also centred around discipline, so would the grass on Laudrup’s side of the fence necessarily be greener then on Hughton’s?
There is no way of knowing without trying but if Hughton wants to make sure Laudrup’s shadow doesn’t start to loom large over him, he has little time left to fight his case.
The battle for survival must start in the most difficult of circumstances this Saturday when free-scoring title hopefuls Manchester City arrive at Carrow Road.
Somehow find a way to beat Manuel Pellegrini’s team, and Laudrup’s shadow will not matter.
Lose heavily again and play as poorly as in the 7-0 defeat to City at the Etihad in November, then those calls for Laudrup are going to start getting much louder.