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Swansea fear Laudrup is real target

Monday, 14 January 2013 - 8:48am IST | Agency: Daily Telegraph
Of more encouragement to Swansea supporters was how much Laudrup is relishing - as well as excelling in - the challenge of English football. He noted the differences, most notably in terms of his control over his team, compared to Spain.

It is often said that a fair measure of character is the quality of the company one keeps. That being the case, Swansea City - the magnet for Spain manager Vicente Del Bosque's esteemed presence here on Saturday - can now be considered one of the most endearing of Premier League teams.

Their manager Michael Laudrup is attracting 'A-list' admirers in a manner that will make the Welsh club both exhilarated and, perhaps, a little apprehensive. Hours before this sterile goalless draw, a poll of Real Madrid fans suggested Laudrup would be a popular choice to replace Jose Mourinho in the summer. A reflection that, rather like his predecessor at the Liberty Stadium, Brendan Rodgers, Laudrup may be in the process of improving on the foundations he inherited before moving on to inevitably greater heights.

It is the usual cruel dichotomy for emerging, smaller teams: the more success they have, the greater the inevitability their manager will be stolen by a bigger, brasher rival.

Laudrup was humbled his name was even considered in connection to Madrid. "When somebody talks well about you it is nice, but remember I played there and have a lot of friends there," he said.

Of more encouragement to Swansea supporters was how much Laudrup is relishing - as well as excelling in - the challenge of English football. He noted the differences, most notably in terms of his control over his team, compared to Spain.

"It is nice to work with players and it is different over here because the managers have a lot more influence on who is coming and going," he said. "I prefer that because it is my responsibility because if things are not going well I am the one being sacked.

"That is why the manager should have some influence instead of just being the trainer of the team with another person sitting behind a desk who can buy and sell players."

Let us not delude ourselves. The Real Madrid job would appeal, but for the foreseeable future, Laudrup is enjoying his coaching independence.

What he found most pleasing on Merseyside was the manner his defence repelled a team that has excelled on home soil for the past 12 months.

Del Bosque may have turned up hoping to feast himself on the delights of the prolific Michu, but it was defender Chico Flores who stood out. Michu hit the bar with his one glimmer of a chance, and Everton enjoyed a few moments of pressure without ever gaining any momentum.

Some goal-line clearances and a couple of second-half scrambles could not disguise the reality that a draw was a fair outcome. "It was just one of those days," said David Moyes.

 


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