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Europa Opponents Sack Manager

Swansea City make a big change just over two weeks from their tie with Napoli.

Mike Hewitt

For those of your looking for more info on Napoli's Europa League opponents, here's a doozy for you: Swansea City have just sacked their manager, Michael Laudrup.

Laudrup, who led Swansea to a League Cup title last season, has been under fire as late as Swansea have slipped closer to the relegation zone in the English Premier League. They currently sit in 12th place in the league, but are just two points ahead of 18th-place West Ham thanks to the brawl developing in the lower half of the EPL table. Swansea's play had taken a bit of a step back this season, but that seemed to be more attributable to a thin squad, a congested schedule, and a swathe of injuries during the fall.

Swansea's statement on the matter indicates a belief of "instability" with Laudrup at the helm. It's tough to know exactly what they meant by that, but it was no secret over the summer that he was courted by several bigger clubs for managerial openings. Between that and Swansea's decline in form this season, it could be understandable that they might want to make a change, though the timing seems a little bizarre.

It's believed that Garry Monk, a 34 year old center back who had literally just retired and taken a coaching role with the club earlier in the day, will be given the keys to the club, with Laudrup's assistant coach Alan Curtis staying on in the same role. Monk will have two matches to get used to managing before Napoli heads to Wales on February 20th for the first leg of their tie. He has a tough task to start off with, as Swansea face rivals Cardiff City this weekend.