In-form Sebastien Bassong is relishing his Norwich City captaincy role

Sébastien Bassong helps maintain Norwich City's late pressure at Cardiff on Saturday. Picture by Tom Smith/Focus Images Sébastien Bassong helps maintain Norwich City's late pressure at Cardiff on Saturday. Picture by Tom Smith/Focus Images

Wednesday, February 5, 2014
8:34 AM

Sebastien Bassong is enjoying the spotlight as Norwich City captaincy – now his injury worries are behind him.

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The 27-year-old centre-back was appointed team captain by Chris Hughton in the summer, alongside Russell Martin’s club captain role. And although every team would love leaders all over the pitch, Bassong is enjoying his new responsibilities – even if some of Norwich’s results have not been the easiest to digest.

“It feels good being captain,” smiled the Cameroon defender. “I’m someone who likes responsibilities. People say it doesn’t change anything, which is true because I have not changed how I am on the pitch, with the armband or without. But you know people are looking at you more and expect you to lead by example, and I like that.

“When things go well people leave you alone. If things go wrong, the captain is the first person to get hit. I have played with loads of great captains in my career and they have shown me some great examples – that’s what I want to follow.”

Bassong’s start to the season was hit by a knee injury that took him out of last term’s final exchanges and required summer surgery.

The rehabilitation was far from quick, but Bassong is confident he is getting back to his best.

“At this point last season, I started feeling my knee – but this year I’m feeling great,” he added. “I had a scruffy start to the season because of my knee and as my surgeon told me, I was going to need time – but I didn’t expect it to be that long for my knee to be fixed and to be pain free.

“I had a couple of pains and it was sore at the beginning of the season, but now I’m all right. I’m going forward and running, I’m not limping after games. So it’s really nice to feel my body like this.”

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58 comments

  • Well said further down "jim". I resisted biting to that posters bait. From my ST seat in the lower barclay in block A I had perfect view. After all us fans have gone through and with it being Snodys 4th shocking delivery on a corner the fans understandably groaned. In true scotsman style he fired off into a shocking verbal fight with fans which isn't a good move with the snake pit part of the stadium. Fair enough if someone said something personal towards his family i'd understand it but its now clear they didn't. Was more just a case of both parties being frustrated. He apologied, the fans cheered him and clapped him after that. We move on. Case closed. Amazes me how people still drag it up with incorrect details. Lets move on people. Theres no bad fan good fan story here.

    Report this comment

    Mattias333

    Wednesday, February 5, 2014

  • It should be only a game to fans, M333. It`s far more important for those who have made it a Business. There is a lot of tribal, rude and stupid behaviour at football matches, how else would they sell replica shirts and the other junk to the gullible? Football is a nice decent sport. The `Business` of football is not nice, not decent and not a sport.

    Report this comment

    Mad Brewer

    Wednesday, February 5, 2014

  • "In form"??????? Tis is blatant toss-pottery! The man was obviously out of position, slow to cover, no situational awareness for both the Cardiff goals. "In form"??? You jest!

    Report this comment

    kenfoggo

    Wednesday, February 5, 2014

  • What does 'in form' mean for a centre half then? Defending badly and missing easy headers when you go up for corners?

    Report this comment

    Colin

    Wednesday, February 5, 2014

  • Brew - "Manifest Mouthpiecery". I love it - great phrase. Such a shame about Bassong. Such a monster last season, this season not great. Personally I don't think being made Crain has anything to do with it. He's always struck me as a "form" player. Usually more associated with strikers - potentially disastrous with defenders... I remember his season with Spurs the year they qualified for the CL. He was awesome. I also remember Wolves relegation season. He was awful. Interesting to think of that season for Wolves though - there are a lot of similarities to our position now. McCarthy was sacked with Wolves above the drop zone. To most external observers, Wolves were around about where they "should be" - ergo, he wasn't doing a bad job. But, many at the club (ie fans and ultimately their chairman) wanted faster progression and better playing style and thought they should be doing better in the league. The rest is history - he was sacked and Wolves went into free fall from which they've still barely recovered. I think it's often helpful to remember the lessons of history with so many crying out for CH to go. Of course, it can go both ways, but with no obvious replacement (assuming, as I do, that we couldn't land Laudrup), I still think, objectively, things could be a lot worse. Obviously many fans don't see it that way, and that's their prerogative, but I still think there's a strong case for keeping CH (and getting right behind him -not only the team (a distinction I've always found curious)). As (many) a wise old man has said: be careful what you wish for.

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    PutneyCanary

    Wednesday, February 5, 2014

  • Canary on the Moon! I think you will find that it was a bad tempered Snodgrass who started the abuse when all the fans groaned at the pass. He has apologised to the fans so let it lie - its history.

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    Jim

    Wednesday, February 5, 2014

  • In form ??? Am I missing something?

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    spanishcanary

    Wednesday, February 5, 2014

  • Hi Putney - I`ve been getting secret tuition in prolixity from The Padster! Reading material includes `The Complete Works of Stuart HaII`, with a foreword by Stanley Unwin, and `The Guinness Distended Dictionary of Dialectological D!arrhoea`, edited by Dr. Patrick O`Davitt. In 17 Volumes, itself a record. Pre-editing it was but a single tome. Of course you are right to point out that a knee-jerk sacking is not the panacea it`s cracked up to be. McCarthy`s a good example, but ex-Millwall man, Kenny Jackett, is doing a good job trying to get Wolves back up from L1. Mick McC is doing quite well at 1p5wich, too! These club\manager relationships run their course sooner or later. Maybe we won`t see too many more like Fergie & Professor Wenger? Though I`d wager `The Special One` would like to disprove that at Chelski! He was really funny in his post-ManC interview. I wonder what he`d been like had he lost, though?

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    Mad Brewer

    Wednesday, February 5, 2014

  • Canary on the moon have you watched any matches this season? Are you aware how embarrassing and inept our performances have been. The league position and points tally is not the problem, its the boring negative ineffective performances. We are all aware of the size of the club but there is no reason that means we have to be humiliated most weeks. PL managed to produce a strong competitive, attacking team that was exciting to watch, with much less money to spend.

    Report this comment

    Burglecut

    Wednesday, February 5, 2014

  • Perhaps the Laudrup sacking will help the board grow some b*lls and they will sack CH immediately after we lose to Man City on Saturday.

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    la barbe

    Wednesday, February 5, 2014

  • Michael Bailey you!!! "in-form Bassong" writing that is pushing the envelope, in fact an envelope would be a better CB than Bassong is at the moment

    Report this comment

    citycanary

    Wednesday, February 5, 2014

  • Jim, I don't know if you were at the game. I was and was sitting in the City stand towards the Snakepit so had a perfect view of proceedings. It wasn't the groans, it was the uncalled for foul mouthed abuse that accompanied it from a few in the crowd. Snodgrass was wrong to retaliate, but he was later big enough to apologise, so while I agree that it's in the past, I hope that the Snakepit will give him the support his apology and subsequent performance at Cardiff deserves. I mention it now because Saturday is the first opportunity for the crowd to return his gesture - that's all.

    Report this comment

    Canary on the moon

    Wednesday, February 5, 2014

  • I agree with most of your comments Canary on the moon, Im appalled at any abuse, it's just uncalled for but CH's negative tactics, substitutions and results speak for themselves, just not good enough to keep us in the premier. I've been behind houghton up to the 1-2 defeat by fulham, that was enough for me. Interesting point but if we do get relegated would CH be a different manager for us in the championship, away from the pressures of the premier?He has done well there. Not sure I want to find out. OTBC

    Report this comment

    MrCarrowIsInTheHouse

    Wednesday, February 5, 2014

  • Canaries 007 you know the chips are down when that is actually a good idea!

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    GossVolley

    Wednesday, February 5, 2014

  • Homework for Bailey. Look up " dissemble".

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    Mad Brewer

    Wednesday, February 5, 2014

  • Sack the Sports Editor too? Surely not. .......

    Report this comment

    el dingo

    Wednesday, February 5, 2014

  • I wouldn't want Michael Laudrup. They lost on the weekend so he gave the players 2 days off. Whilst he travelled to Paris to talk about a new job. He done well last season but since then has found it hard and has been looking to move to a bigger club. I'm no fan of CH either but the clubs around us with better paid coaches aren't doing that much better. Look at Fulham with an ex Man Utd coach. Sunderland & Palace are starting to turn it around but we should have got rid of CH back in Oct Nov last year. It's a bit to late now. I don't think Phelan or Malky would be any better or an instant hit either as people predict.

    Report this comment

    Oz Canary

    Wednesday, February 5, 2014

  • Like I said, I really doubt he would've left at the end of the season for a bigger club. Record does not exactly warrant it. Consistently does well 1st season & gets sacked 2nd or 3rd season when he struggles. Wouldn't be surprised to see him go abroad rather than stay in the UK. His signings this season have verged on madness. N'Gog, Emnes, a load of vastly unheard of players from spain who have not had the same effect as Michu did last season. He kept true to form and made me regret not putting money down on my own tip that he'd not be there at the end of the season.

    Report this comment

    Mattias333

    Wednesday, February 5, 2014

  • Brew, I might have once been hot for Thierry Henry but I sought help and am fully recovered. I think!

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    el dingo

    Wednesday, February 5, 2014

  • Michael Baily and Archant. Is the only reason you keep producing such rubbish, to ignite the message pages ??? Bassong as a captain, is not with it, he is invisible, he is a faceless entity on the pitch and off it. He may be a good guy but as a captain he is a nonentity. And why can`t you find some real journalists with some experience in football ??? Why is Laudrup featuring on this page ??? Do some think he should be captain of NCFC ???

    Report this comment

    willb

    Wednesday, February 5, 2014

  • Dear Mr McNally, Can we have Michael Laudrup as our manager? Please

    Report this comment

    norniron canary

    Wednesday, February 5, 2014

  • Thanks PutneyCan. Full reply twice ethered. Manifest Media Manipulation!

    Report this comment

    Mad Brewer

    Wednesday, February 5, 2014

  • Half a Captain I think it should be, he's on a job share.

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    OLDYELLA

    Wednesday, February 5, 2014

  • Perhaps not the best artical given the amount of posts calling for better leadership on the pitch.

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    Trevor Sadd

    Wednesday, February 5, 2014

  • I agree, M333, don`t think a `quick fix` to appease the fans is what we need. Last time that happened, poor Gunny got the job. I think of past-player type managers, only Dave Stringer had much success. O`Neill might have done but he quit.

    Report this comment

    Mad Brewer

    Wednesday, February 5, 2014

  • Canary on the Moon, I`m glad you mentioned Mike Walker. As you say, he seems not to get the credit due to him. Can you think of an ex-player, other than David Stringer, who made a success of managing City? It is almost beyond belief that serious abuse can be aimed at Delia. Without her & MW-J, we might`ve been sunk yonks ago. Her Complete Cookery Course, circa 1982, is the only cookbook I ever use. My gosh it`s tatty now, but all the recipes work! Trust in Delia! I agree that Snodgrass was the pick of the bunch at Cardiff; his work ethic is never in doubt. I sometimes wonder whether making him Captain might not help him overcome his egocentricity and become the on-field inspirational leader we so badly need? He clearly has the trust of his current manager. Much of the increased invective against Hughton is down to the Hoolahan business, but the Becchio\Vaughan episodes did not come across too well either. When Roeder upset the fans with his treatment of Huckerby, he was never going to be forgiven. Unfortunately, CH doesn`t seem to be able to convince people he`s a good guy. A bit too cold, bland, mechanical? Maybe all he needs is a good PR person...

    Report this comment

    Mad Brewer

    Wednesday, February 5, 2014

  • in form? relegation form

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    GossVolley

    Wednesday, February 5, 2014

  • In form? You're avin a Giraffe! He's been sh!te all season, probably our worst CB. Why write this carp?

    Report this comment

    kevin

    Wednesday, February 5, 2014

  • Dream on, unfortunately. They've sacked him because they know he'll be leaving them in the summer for a bigger club. He will not be taking a sideways step to us. Also, hughton is here till the end of the season, equally unfortunately.

    Report this comment

    MancCanary

    Wednesday, February 5, 2014

  • Mr Bailey, you need a red card, and not for comedy!

    Report this comment

    kevin

    Wednesday, February 5, 2014

  • Burglecut, I don't really feel that I have to justify my views to you in terms of games watched but since you ask, I am a season ticket holder and have been to a couple of away games this season. Having said that, I agree that the style of football is often dull and unexciting and I wouldn't want to accept it on a long term basis, BUT, we are still a work in progress, 5 years ago being beaten 7-1 at home by Colchester in League 1 and now trying to establish ourselves in the Premier League. Personally, I think staying up is the priority over open football - for now!! On the PL issue, yes his NC teams did play exciting football but 2 of his 3 seasons were in the lower leagues. In 200910 CH managed Newcastle to the Championship title as the highest scorers with 90 goals, 102 points and a goal difference of +55. The following season PL managed us to 2nd place with 83 goals and 84 points and a goal difference of +25. Yes, I'm sad enough to have looked up the detail, but my point is that it's a lot easier in the lower leagues.

    Report this comment

    Canary on the moon

    Wednesday, February 5, 2014

  • In form 'behave Archant!'

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    baguio

    Thursday, February 6, 2014

  • Get the Man City game out of the way, sack Hughton. Get Neil Warnock in as intrim manager till the end of the season, i dont like the man atall, but i would put a big wager on the fact he would get us playing. He would be on the players like flies on you know what. Then Sack him.

    Report this comment

    Canaries007

    Wednesday, February 5, 2014

  • Canary OT Moon, last time I watched from that bit of the ground was vs Watford - the 1st game back in the Championship. There was a row of guys in front of me who spent the entire 1st half telling Watford fans to `F- off back to London` (!). Three of them were quite literally frothing at the mouth. Rabid. As half-time approached these 6\8 objects disappeared to the bar, not to be seen again until about 10min from the final whistle. Just in time to see us lose 3-2 and chant "Lambert out". They must be "in" with the bar staff.... So I`m not surprised Snods reacted. Good man... el dingo, I`m shocked to hear that! Mind you, Thierry had plenty of Va Va Voom. I think Barking Mad is `Olly envious of Wise Brewer! ;-)

    Report this comment

    Mad Brewer

    Wednesday, February 5, 2014

  • Ps, we played well against Cardiff and Snodgrass played a blinder. I hope that will be acknowledged by the ignoramuses who abused him against Newcastle - particularly the normally quiet City-Standers who woke from their slumbers to join in.

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    Canary on the moon

    Wednesday, February 5, 2014

  • Fully agree with Brewer. Mr Bailey is quite simply a "codpiece" for club propaganda to counter the overwhelming view of fans and posters that SB is not captain material. Nothing personal, Seb, it's just that the burden of captaincy seems to weigh heavily on your shoulders and it's affected your form. I like a captain in the mould of John Terry, feisty, passionate, shouting at everyone for 90 minutes. How about Snoddy? He's usually first on the team sheet and he's got a mouth on him. Just needs to direct his passion towards the players instead of the snake pit. Btw, SB would still be my first pick for CB, and pairing him with Yobo might produce an even more heavenly marriage than.....I dunno......Brewer and Olly.

    Report this comment

    Barking Wise

    Wednesday, February 5, 2014

  • "In form" Bassong ? I hate to think of how bad he can become.

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    norman hall

    Wednesday, February 5, 2014

  • Have I missed something in that article? In fairness, from what I can see, it says "...Bassong is confident he is getting back to his best". Doesn't say he is 'in form'. Admittedly, I'd question whether he is even 'getting back' to anything.

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    Smudger75

    Wednesday, February 5, 2014

  • Brew I remember whilst working in Rochdale that the local had Robinson's Old Fart on handpump. The poor landlady was embarassed if anybody requested it. A bit like spotted dick at my local garden centre.

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    Steely Dan

    Wednesday, February 5, 2014

  • Barking Wise, we`ve simultaneously posted concurring views on "Snods for Captain"! People are going to start thinking we are the same person. Barking Mad, Brewer-wise. Btw, I wish you`d be a bit more discreet about my crush on Solskie..... but he IS Babelicious ;-)

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    Mad Brewer

    Wednesday, February 5, 2014

  • Can I just be the 1st to shed a different light on Laudrup. Not that we will, but if we sacked Chris Hughton today, Laudrup would likely be high on my list of candidates I'd want in. However its important to note his track record. He is notorious for brilliant 1st seasons in charge of clubs, but often struggles in the 2nd & 3rd season ultimately getting sacked. Called this happening at Swansea at the start of the season, especially with them being in europa. Never helps teams like Swansea's league form. Would he be the answer to NCFC problems. Maybe, but still a gamble in my eyes and would it be a long term answer. I dont buy the "he was going to go to someone bigger anyway" talk. Based on this season he couldn't warrant that. Purely my opinion but I always felt alot of the ground work was already there at Swansea, left by Bredan Rodgers. That isn't to take anything away from Laudrup as I do like him as a manager, just noting he isn't the god that some make out. On topic with Bassong though, im a big fan of his but he has undoubtly struggled this season. Is the armband a problem? For me yes, he seems more focused (naturally) on what everyone else is doing on the build up to goals we've let in rather than doing his own warrior like performances we saw last season. Question is who else could be captain. Im pretty sure if Hughton was 100% set on Martin being his 1st choice Right Back he'd have picked him, but the doubt is clearly there the way he keeps switching Martin & Whittaker so I can see how they came to this bizarre double captain thing.

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    Mattias333

    Wednesday, February 5, 2014

  • Putney, I totally agree re the Wolves analogy. We're where we should be on crowd size and the history of our club -both recent and more long term. Ron Saunders started the transformation from a lower league side with occasional cup success to one "hoping" to compete in the top division and Paul Lambert sensationally got us back to where we feel we should be from L1, which is clearly below our natural position. We've had our successes under John Bond, Ken Brown, Dave Stringer and the great and underrated Mike Walker in the meantime but it's not "little old Norwich" syndrome to be realistic about our expectations. We've been spoiled at times in the last 50 plus years but there are a fair few clubs who regard themselves as bigger than us who would relish being in 15th place in the Premier league, 2 points off the drop and 3 points off the top half. Sorry for the history lesson, but we need to be realistic. Personally, I find the level of abuse aimed at CH offensive, and the occasional stuff aimed (admittedly by a minority) at Delia and the board uninformed and ignorant.

    Report this comment

    Canary on the moon

    Wednesday, February 5, 2014

  • He needs to relish kicking a few butts and stop gifting goals to the opposition.Then he can call himself a captain

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    leslie cater

    Wednesday, February 5, 2014

  • Yeah, that's a good point. He hasn't really hit form yet.

    Report this comment

    MancCanary

    Wednesday, February 5, 2014

  • Agree ref Malky etc Oz Canary. Short term they would please a majority of fans and unify the club which is great but long term the style of football and im sure results would be no better. Even though Malky is a certain no go anyway due to the legal action against Cardiff I do get the feeling he is who the club would opt for. I hope im wrong but just get the feeling they'd want the fans back onside first and getting Malky would be a quick fix for that with most fans.

    Report this comment

    Mattias333

    Wednesday, February 5, 2014

  • OK, time to come clean. BP, MB and BW are NOT the same person, but they DO work as a team. A bit like Norfolk Magistrates: one can read, one can write and the one in the middle keeps an eye on the two intellectuals.

    Report this comment

    Barking Wise

    Wednesday, February 5, 2014

  • 20,000 season ticket holders and the same dozen or so contributors in Pinkun so the other 19,988 fans either don't care or must be happy with the team. As for changing managers, you can't make a silk purse out of a sows ear. I think we are all expecting too much from NCFC with their low budget and how many top players would want to come and live here when they have great big wedges in their pockets to go into town and have the best of everything.

    Report this comment

    goldie

    Wednesday, February 5, 2014

  • In-form? Bassong? Yeah and I suppose Chris Hughton is aiming for a Champions League place this season too!

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    Powers1902

    Wednesday, February 5, 2014

  • Bassong is in form is he? Bloody glad he is not out of form I hate to think what that would be like. This is a total nonsense he has looked a shadow of the player hewas last season, he shows no leader ship on the pitch. Do the journo s actually watch the games or are they scared of being critical for being frozen out Newcastle style.

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    Burglecut

    Wednesday, February 5, 2014

  • Well, that`s putting `ordinary` fans (aka detractors, dissenters and those on the periphery) in their place, young Michael. There has been much discussion of late about the need for an inspirational captain, and Bassong`s decline in form. So everybody was wrong, eh? This has got to be NCFC `puff` issued under the guise of an article by Michael. Manifest Mouthpiecery. On Laudrup, I think he has hinted quite strongly that he didn`t expect to be at Swansea next season. Sadly, I agree with MancCanary. Btw, Manc, I`m surprised you elected for a pint of IPA. Thought you`d prefer Holt`s, Hyde`s, Robinson`s or John Willie Lees`!

    Report this comment

    Mad Brewer

    Wednesday, February 5, 2014

  • I can tell you 2 players who aren't relishing life in the team. Both Fer and RVW are regularly seen commuting via Norwich airport and KLM flights. Neither look very happy and have mentioned life in the team isn't good. A friend of mine has to commute to Amsters for connecting flights and has seen them on several occasions. Even if we stay up I would imagine they'll both be off.

    Report this comment

    Oz Canary

    Wednesday, February 5, 2014

  • I watch the games live from many thousands of KMS away, I have not seen Sebastien play particularly well this season and from my TV, I have not observed any obvious leadership from him, he has a big chance to show leadership this weekend and he must both show and demand a great effort from himself and the team ON THE FIELD, where the manager is not present.

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    Adelaide Canary

    Wednesday, February 5, 2014

  • "In form"??????? Tis is blatant toss-pottery! The man was obviously out of position, slow to cover, no situational awareness for both the Cardiff goals. "In form"??? You jest!

    Report this comment

    kenfoggo

    Wednesday, February 5, 2014

  • Is Bassong really our captain? Hard to tell because he doesn't appear to have any kind of commanding role on the pitch. As for being on form....that is a work of fiction!

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    malaga flier

    Wednesday, February 5, 2014

  • Buglecut, first of all, not that I need to justify my right to an opinions,I am a season ticket holder and have been for many years. Secondly, difficult as it may be for you to consider facts over rhetoric, In 200910 CH managed Newcastle to the Championship title with 102 points, 90 goals and a plus 55 goal difference. The following year, PL guided us to 2nd place with 84 points, 83 goals and a plus 25 goal difference. Chew it over and let me know who you think is the more attack minded MANGER.

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    Canary on the moon

    Wednesday, February 5, 2014

  • Doesnt make sense to pay 3 million to fire Laudrup now just because they think he will leave in summer. Swansea have been on a terrible run, and there was a big fallout between laudrup and the board a few months ago. Also from what I read this morning the Chairman had accused Laudrup of spreading a "mentality among some staff and players, whom he accused of adopting a defeatist approach against the better teams in the league." Anyway, whatever the reasons not sure he would be the right person to save us from relegation, and I doubt anyway our board will do anything this late in the season

    Report this comment

    mike_dyke

    Wednesday, February 5, 2014

  • Laudrup seems to have form for leaving when things start to go against him so don't know that he would be the best fit for us. What I would ideally like to see is for CH to keep us up this season and then for the Board to reassess where we go from here in the summer.

    Report this comment

    Flying Canary

    Wednesday, February 5, 2014

  • Oh dear. I've just spotted it. I read that article three times as well. I'm sure that headline didn't say that earlier!.......

    Report this comment

    Smudger75

    Wednesday, February 5, 2014

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