Former Addicks managers, newly available bosses, and serial EFL contenders dominate the early stages of Charlton’s search for Lee Bowyer’s successor.
We have ex-bosses Alan Curbishley and Chris Powell in the mix. Neil Harris and Danny Cowley, who have featured in three different manager markets in the space of three days, are also in the frame according to the betting. Then there’s the recently unemployed duo of Chris Wilder and Kenny Jackett.
Wilder, of course, nearly joined Charlton in 2016.
Some of those names could prove to be concrete contenders, others a pipe dream.
But one manager that has garnered particular interest is Michael Laudrup, 56, who suddenly emerged as the 4/1 second-favourite on Monday evening (Bet Victor).
It’s fair to say that if Twitter is anything to go by, the reaction from the Charlton faithful has been overwhelmingly positive so far.
Most will be fully clued up on Laudrup the player; a supremely talented playmaker who lifted silverware at Barcelona, Real Madrid, Juventus and Ajax.
But, what’s his track record like as a manager?
Laudrup got a taste for coaching as an assistant manager to Morten Olsen at the Denmark national team, who would lose to Sven-Goran Eriksson’s England in the last-16 of the 2002 World Cup.
He ventured out alone at Brondby, where he won four trophies in four seasons, including a league and cup double.
An impressive single season in Spain followed, at Getafe, with whom he took to a Copa del Rey final and the quarter-finals of the Uefa Cup; complete with a neat and attractive brand of football.
These showings caught the attention of Barcelona, however in the end the Catalan club appointed a certain Pep Guardiola who was upgraded from his role in charge of the B team.
- League title and domestic cup glory with Brøndby— The Sack Race (@thesackrace) March 15, 2021
- Football League Cup with Swansea
- League and cup success at Lekhwiya
Michael Laudrup is now the 4/1 second-favourite for the Charlton job! 🇩🇰
Be Gamble Aware | +18#CAFC #Swans
Man City and Chelsea were also reportedly interested in Laudrup’s services back then, but in the end his next step was perhaps a surprise one over in Russia at Spartak Moscow. For the first time in his managerial career things didn’t quite go to plan for Laudrup who was sacked after seven months, during which he won only four games.
A year later, in the summer of 2010, Laudrup opted to return to Spain at Mallorca. The club, who had surpassed all expectations to finish 5th the previous season, were in administration at the time. They would finish the campaign a point and a place above the relegation zone, with the Dane departing early doors the following season.
Michael Laudrup as a manager
- Seven clubs in five countries
- Seven trophies
- 445 games
- 48% win rate
In 2012, on his 48th birthday, Laudrup signed a deal to become the new Swansea manager following Brendan Rodgers’ departure to Liverpool. In his first season he led the Swans to League Cup glory - their first ever major trophy - and employed an attractive brand of free-flowing football, spearheaded by the magic of Michu.
Swansea finished the season up in 9th, Laudrup would then take his side into the Europa League knockout-stages but lost his job before he got a chance to face Napoli, following a run of one win in 10 games.
He remains the first and only Dane to manage in the Premier League.
So, what’s Laudrup been up to since leaving Swansea?
Laudrup’s Swansea spell may have come to a disappointing conclusion, but you’d think his prior success would have seen him attract attention in England or elsewhere in Europe.
Instead, he opted to head to Qatar where he managed Lekhwiya and Al-Rayyan SC.
At Lekhwiya he won a double, the Qatar Stars League and Crown Prince Cup, in his only season in charge and set his successor up with a quarter-final in the AFC Champions League.
Could he manage Charlton?
In 2015 Laudrup said: “I wasn't tempted to go back to La Liga or the Premier League. I have managed on three occasions in Spain and England, I had fabulous times with them, I want to leave it like that”.
A few years later he followed this up with: "I am in my final stages as a coach, this job in Qatar will be my ultimate or penultimate.”
He left Al Rayyan in the summer of 2018, and has not managed since, although he was tentatively linked with Birmingham last summer.
As for Charlton, Laudrup’s name is undoubtedly in the mix because of the club’s owner Thomas Sandgaard, a fellow Dane who is looking to make his first managerial appointment since taking over the club in September.
The Danish link could be a big factor here. There’s no question that Laudrup would add a sprinkling of stardust to The Valley dugout.
Charlton will be gutted at losing Lee Bowyer, but on the plus side they are well placed in 8th. The fact that they are just two points off the play-offs makes them an attractive proposition, but we’ll have to wait and see if Laudrup is the man who will come in and cannonball the club back into the Championship.
Johnnie Jackson is in temporary charge for now, and he can bolster his own credentials with a win at home to Joey Barton’s Bristol Rovers tonight (Tuesday).
Check out the full list of managerial contenders below...