Tuesday 12 March 2013
Michael Laudrup has been voted as the most impressive manager in the Barclays Premier League so far this season, according to a survey of his peers.
"Laudrup has probably made the shrewdest signing of the season in Michu and deserves the praise from his peers"
Laudrup, who took over at Swansea City in the summer earned praise from his fellow top-flight managers with nearly half of those surveyed picking the former Denmark international as the most impressive performer after guiding his side into the top 10.
The survey, conducted for Barclays by the League Managers Association, produced a Swansea double with Michu also voted as the best signing of the season (47%) ahead of Manchester United’s Robin van Persie (35%).
Swansea’s style of play under Laudrup has also been commended with a third of top-flight managers surveyed believing that a more positive attacking style adopted by various recently promoted sides has had the greatest tactical impact on the division over the past five years.
When it comes to identifying the best formation to deploy, managers overwhelmingly voted that flexibility is the key (58%) rather than sticking to a rigid formation such as 4-4-2 (12%).
When assessing the top three attributes players needed to succeed in the Barclays Premier League, managers said mental rather than physical abilities were more important. Tactical awareness (53%), mental strength (47%) and confidence (47%) all rated in their top three, while strength was surprisingly low, with just one manager highlighting this attribute.
“At the beginning of the season many wondered whether Swansea would be able to maintain their impressive start to Barclays Premier League life, but Michael Laudrup has come in, managed to sustain their Barclays Premier League progress and recently won the League Cup,” said Gerard Houllier, the former Liverpool and Aston Villa manager.
“He has probably made the shrewdest signing of the season in Michu and deserves the praise from his peers. Overall the survey highlights that promoted clubs can establish themselves in the Barclays Premier League, gain the respect of the established managers, play quality football and excite fans. It’s good for the future of the Barclays Premier League and football in this country.”
And when it comes to future prospects, Raheem Sterling rates highly on the managers’ list. The Liverpool winger has been voted the best young player in the Barclays Premier League so far this season, ahead of Southampton’s Adam Lallana (18%) and Chelsea’s Oscar (12%).