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The Obvious Case for Michael Laudrup to Be the Next Barcelona Manager

Samuel MarsdenFeatured ColumnistOctober 17, 2013

When Tito Vilanova was forced to step down as Barcelona manager in the summer, current Swansea City manager Michael Laudrup was among the list of names touted as his replacement.

Speaking to the BBC at the time, the former Barca and Real Madrid player downplayed the link:

"I really can't comment on that because you are asking me something I don't know anything about."

As events transpired, Gerardo "Tata" Martino got the job and the likes of Celta Vigo manager Luis Enrique and Michael Laudrup were no doubt left pondering what could have been if they'd had the opportunity to set up ranks at Camp Nou.

That said, both managers are young enough to still envisage themselves getting another chance to take the Barca job.

And with the work Laudrup has doneand continues to doat Swansea, there's every reason to believe he could yet become La Blaugrana's coach one day.

The Dane won nine trophies in five years as a Barca player—we'll conveniently forget his betrayal to Real Madrid—but it is his management style which prompts the obvious conclusion that he could be a solution for the Catalans.

Barca and Laudrup could be a perfect fit
Barca and Laudrup could be a perfect fitShaun Botterill/Getty Images

In fact, if a fast-paced passing game is a prerequisite for the job, then he is the perfect candidate.

Swansea were already developing that style of play under Brendan Rodgers, but Laudrup has since elevated them to a higher level. They won the League Cup last season and played Valencia off the Mestalla on their return to Europe this season.

Stats taken from Who Scored go as far as revealing the Welsh outfit are a match for anyone in the Premier League when it comes to possession, passing and accuracy.

They rank fourth when it comes to who has had the most possession (56.5 percent per game) in England's top league so far this season—just Manchester City (58.8 percent), Tottenham (58.5 percent) and Manchester United (57 percent) sit above them.

Nobody beats them when it comes to the amount of passes made each match, though.

The same statistics reveal that the Swans are making 516 passes in every league game, placing them 32 ahead of their nearest rivals in that department, Manchester City.

Laudrup's pass masters
TeamPasses completed per gamePass accuracy
Swansea City51686.8%
Manchester City48486%
Arsenal48085.3%
Chelsea47284.7%
Manchester United46684.4%
whoscored.com

They're not aimless passes, either. Laudrup's side also sit top of the table when it comes to pass completion percentage.

With a success rate of 86.8 percent, they're above all of England's recognised bigger sides—including Liverpool, who Rodgers left for, and Everton, where Catalan Roberto Martinez is trying to introduce a Catalan style.

The 49-year-old is hardly likely to be phased by the step up, either.

As a player, he won titles in Spain, Italy and Holland, while also listing the European Cup and the Confederations Cup among his honours.

Respected throughout the game, he'd immediately draw respect from the players at Barcelona—particularly considering he can still do all this with the ball.

In terms of age, style, persona, pedigree and experience, Michael Laudrup should tick all the boxes when the time comes to think about a new Barcelona manager.

For now, though, they're going quite well under Tata.

 

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