Now I’ve got your attention, ladies and gents, I’d like to introduce you to a rare phenomenon – a calm, unassuming, even self-effacing Dane who displays all the best qualities of a manager. No, not in Formula 1, but in football! Yes, I know, that’s really boring.
His name is Michael Laudrup, who only yesterday took his Welsh team, Swansea, to a Wembley final and won, albeit against lowly opponents, but the style of his victory was noteworthy for its quiet precision – a quality he has instilled into his team. Except for one young lad, Nathan Dyer, for whom the occasion was too much and who threw a tantrum because he was not allowed to take a penalty and turn his 2-goal tally into a hat-trick. Despite protestations from his support staff, Michael refused to ‘punish’ the lad’s behaviour but allowed him to play on for another quarter of an hour and to calm down. He then substituted him and took him aside for an avuncular chat. No fuss, no histrionics.
Some of the other Premier League bosses could learn from him, including those at the helm of the Manchester clubs and Arsenal, whose regular ego-trips at the touch-line do themselves and their clubs no credit.