Michael Laudrup out to spoil the Arsenal party but admits his Swansea side are up against it when the Gunners come to visit
Arsene Wenger will be celebrating 17 years in charge of the Gunners but Laudrup plans on spoiling his day in order to continue the Swans good run of late
Saturday 28 September 2013
Swansea boss Michael Laudrup hopes to spoil Arsene Wenger's anniversary party at the Liberty Stadium this evening, but is wary of an Arsenal midfield that is firing on all cylinders.
Wenger is celebrating 17 years in charge of the Gunners as he takes his side to south Wales, having succeeded Bruce Rioch in September 1996, making him the longest-serving current manager in the Barclays Premier League.
After an opening-day defeat to Aston Villa, Arsenal have responded with a string of four wins to move to the top of the table.
The Gunners have had their difficulties against the Swans, losing 3-2 at the Liberty Stadium in January 2012, before being beaten 2-0 on home turf in December of the same year.
Laudrup is hoping for a repeat, with the Swans having taken seven points from their last three league games, but is wary of the quality of an Arsenal midfield including the in-form Aaron Ramsey, Jack Wilshere and marquee signing Mesut Ozil.
The Dane said: "We will try to spoil his party. We are at home and we really want to go on as we have picked up seven points from our last three league games. We are playing really well so we want to continue that.
"But you never know if that is enough against these big teams as they have players who can change the game in a second.
"Santi Cazorla isn't there but players like Ozil and Wilshere are, and Ramsey has also made a good start to the season. There are players there we have to keep an eye on.
"Even if we are doing well, in one second they can win the game for Arsenal."
But Laudrup is full of praise for Wenger's qualities as a manager. The Frenchman has won three Premier League titles and four FA Cups, but the Swans boss believes his ability to draw out career-defining performances from the likes of Dennis Bergkamp, Thierry Henry and Patrick Vieira is an enduring proof of his class.
"I don't know how the other managers see him, but what I do know is everyone has a lot of respect for him, which he deserves for managing the same club for 17 years - that speaks for itself," he said.
"I think if you say 'what's the most important thing for a manager?', a lot of things are important. Results are obviously important because you can be so right about everything, but if you lose people will look at that.
"But I think in this job the key is to get as much out of players as you can. The fact some of those great players, like Henry and Bergkamp, played their best football under him is a huge compliment to him."
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