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Monday, 10 February 2014

Swansea 3 - Cardiff 0 Stats and Chalkboards

Time will tell about the decision to sack Laudrup and bring in Monk but so far, so good! I'm not normally a defender of Robbie Savage but I didn't understand why he ended up getting so much stick on Twitter for saying that it was an 'easy' game for Monk to have as his first match, his point being that the whole City was up for this match, it may be harder on the cliched rainy Wednesday night in Stoke.
I never get tired of this picture, I admit it wouldn't be funny if he'd broken his legs, but he didn't so it is.
That said, Monk certainly did a few things different to how things have been recently (good corners for a start), there seemed to be more width and it seemed as if everyone was lining up to take turns in trying to get past Fabio.  I don't know if it was because I was particularly looking out for it but the long diagonal from Ash to Dyer seemed to be back.
Along with the lateral balls, definitely felt like the long out ball was used more often than recently
It may be that Laudrup would still be in a job if he'd picked Leon against West Ham, not just because of Leon's ability but it felt like an over-reaction to West Ham's threat, Amat was there to clear up the second ball from any Carroll knock downs but anticipation is one of Leon's may strong points and I can't imagine him ball watching and ignoring Noble as Amat did for West Ham's first.
Leon's passing (left), simple but effective. Leon also had the most ball recoveries as he has the knack of being in the right place at the right time
After a fairly cagey first half there was only really one team in it in the second half (Bellamy's long range effort that hit the crossbar excepted). I thought Emnes impressed with his work rate in the first half but some of Pablo's play in the 2nd half showed why it's so frustrating when it doesn't work out.
Shots by Minute: Cardiff with only 2 efforts in the second half and only 1 shot on target all game
The Laudrup era provided some truly great moments and it's a real shame it couldn't have all happened at the end of the season on much more amicable terms.  Before he got sacked I was planning to write a piece comparing the situation to a relationship that had just fizzled out and whether there were grounds for divorce.
Ultimately results drive attitudes, I doubt Laudrup's approach changed much over his tenure, but what's considered calm and relaxed when you're winning is considered lazy when results aren't great (and it doesn't help when your closest associate calls the chairman a liar and you say it's nothing to do with you).

Huw Jenkins obviously felt it had gone far enough and felt a clean start was best rather than dragging it out over the next few months, but that shouldn't overshadow the good times.  Laudrup had a chequered CV before he joined us but everyone was doing cartwheels when he joined.  He's still got a chequered CV but also a trophy and will probably make another club very happy for 12-18 months or so.

Other Posts: The Domino effect of Injuries on Squad Strength

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Match Stats: Created using Statszone , Whoscored  and Squawka