LONDON (REUTERS) - Michael Laudrup became the latest manager to fall victim to a jinx that has now claimed five of the last six men who led their clubs to victory in the League Cup final when the Dane parted company with Swansea City on Tuesday.
For apart from Alex Ferguson, every man who has led his team up the steps at Wembley to collect the trophy since 2007 has left their Cup-winning clubs before the next final was played.
There were other more compelling reasons rather than an alignment of the stars or a reading of runes that cost Laudrup his job, but few, if anyone, would have seen his departure coming when Swansea crushed Bradford City 5-0 to win their first major trophy a year ago this month.
The jinx began in 2007 and its first victim was Jose Mourinho, who was sacked by Chelsea seven months after his team beat Arsenal in the final.
Juande Ramos led Tottenham Hotspur to victory against Chelsea in February 2008 and was sacked eight months later with Spurs bottom of the Premier League after they won just three of their subsequent 20 league matches.
Alex Ferguson bucked the trend and kept his job after Manchester United won successive League Cups in 2009 and 2010 but Alex McLeish (Birmingham City 2011), Kenny Dalglish (Liverpool 2012) and now Laudrup departed before the following season's final.
Laudrup should find another job easily enough but, in an odd way, winning the League Cup could prove to be the turning point of his managerial career in a way he could not have envisioned.