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Why Michael Laudrup Is One of the Hottest Managerial Names in Europe

SWANSEA, WALES - FEBRUARY 09:  A portrait of Michael Laudrup, manager of Swansea City during the Premier League match between Swansea City and Queens Park Rangers at Liberty Stadium on February 9, 2013 in Swansea, Wales.  (Photo by Warren Little/Getty Images)
Warren Little/Getty Images
Sam TigheWorld Football Tactics Lead WriterFebruary 17, 2013

According to various media outlets (including talkSPORT), Michael Laudrup is a wanted man. First Chelsea, now Manchester City; Could Swansea really lose their second boss in as many years?

As much as the South Wales club would like to steady the ship after Brendan Rodgers' departure, there's a distinct possibility their beloved Dane could be working somewhere else at the start of the 2013-14 season.

And rightly so.

Laudrup arrived at the Liberty Stadium under the cloud of a highly successful, highly enamoured Rodgers reign. There were questions over Joe Allen's and Scott Sinclair's future—who both ended up leaving—making working conditions pretty difficult to start with.

But he was positive, and he did everything he could to ready his side for the first fixture of the season in a quiet and methodical fashion.

"Things here are done quietly and with common sense—something I really like and appreciate," Laudrup said in his first press conference as the Swans manager.

Clearly, this was a good fit. His troops traveled to Loftus Road and battered Queens Park Rangers 5-0 on the opening day with new signing Michu scoring twice.

His calm nature in dealing with the press, the fans and the players has helped build his stock. And after eight months in charge, it's easy to see he's got the qualities big clubs would want. 

He's dealt with immense pressure since setting foot in Wales: No experience in the English Premier League, no previous knowledge of the playing roster and a big legacy to live up to. If he tried to replicate Rodgers' work and things didn't go well, he'd be deemed a failure. If he changed it up completely and things didn't go well, fans would have been uttering "remember when we used to play like Barcelona."

Every signing he's made has been a perfect fit, showing an ability to scour for talent regardless of name and pedigree. World football aficionados knew Michu and Jonathan de Guzman would be excellent signings, but few could have charted the former's rise to prominence.

The pressure of replacing Allen was intense, and Pablo Hernandez soon solved the Sinclair-shaped void on the wing.

The ability to thrive under pressure, expectation and tradition are huge at clubs like Manchester City and Chelsea. Many will scoff at the idea of a successful season at Swansea becoming a true test of acclimation, but it's one of the biggest culture shocks in football.

To manage a "big club" you need just a few vital ingredients—ability to manage under pressure, tactical nous and belief in your own philosophies.

Does anyone doubt Laudrup possesses these qualities?

He's won the dressing room at Swansea, and he's impressed with his tactical innovation and ability to switch between controlling games and soaking up pressure.

Swansea a big step; Chelsea or Man City is a huge one—would anyone bet against him being a success?

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