Laudrup: Being manager is harder
Michael Laudrup does not believe the stresses he endured in his playing days come close to comparing with those he has to deal with on a daily basis as a manager.
It seems the demands of a top-level career on the pitch are minimal to those he has experienced off it. Although his reputation is blossoming, he lasted only seven months at Spartak Moscow, and left Mallorca after a fall-out with the club's director of football.
So, whilst more productive spells at Brondby, Getafe and, last season, Swansea, have led to Laudrup becoming one of the most sought-after coaches in Europe, the suggestion life is a breeze just brings a wry smile. "It is much more difficult to be a manager than a player," he said.
"The two jobs are obviously completely different. As a footballer you are one of 25. As a manager you are on your own.
"You do have the group to work with, but in the end, you are alone. You have to take the decisions and be responsible for everything."
It is a brutal fact of life for clubs of Swansea's size that they are always at risk of losing key men to wealthier rivals.
The balancing act is always whether the sale of a star player can help fund an overall strengthening of a squad to make it more durable and able to cope with the strains of life in the world's most lucrative league.
And for Laudrup this remains the truth despite steering Swansea to the calm waters of ninth in the table, their highest finish since 1982, in addition to the glory of winning the Capital One Cup and in the process securing a place in next season's Europa League.
"Unless we find a couple of hundred million pounds I think last season we achieved nearly the maximum we can in terms of the table," he said. "There are always things you can improve but there are not many higher positions we can look at. Even consolidating is going to be very difficult."
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