Gary Monk had found himself without a job this summer after spending his last summer holiday plotting to make Swansea a competitive Premier League side, perhaps one that even challenges for Europe. Swansea survived relegation last season fairly comfortably in the end but before the appointment of Francesco Guidolin the Swans looked in real danger of returning to the Championship after 4 years in the Premier League.
Monk started life well, with a home win against Manchester United leaving fans wondering if the sky was the limit for the Welsh side. But form dipped, a run of just 1 win in 11 games saw Monk relieved of his duties. Many saw this as your typical early season sacking of a mid-table side but for me this meant more.
I have no affinity with Swansea but I am a big believer in the right for English players and managers to have a fair crack of the whip in their own country. Monk was one of only 6 English managers in the league this season, with 4 of them sacked, including Monk. There is an urgent need to produce more talented managers in this country, particularly ones that could go on and lead England to triumph in a major tournament which happens to be about as rare as a truly successful English manager. In recent years we've seen Sven Goran Eriksson and Fabio Capello, two foreign managers who have promised so much, flop at the pinnacle events of football leading England fans with further heartbreak. But to be fair, the two English managers have fared no different but there seems to be a general acceptance to the fact that English managers, who know the language so well, can come out after matches and express their opinions coherently to fans who have already smashed their TV’s back in. In truth it’s one less excuse to hide behind but I find it easier to accept the unfortunately inevitable failure.
Anyway back to Monk who many saw possibly as the next top manager in the English game. Perhaps his sacking was harsh at Swansea as it came so early in the season but unfortunately that is part and parcel of football nowadays. The ex-Swans defender is now confirmed as the new manager of Championship side Leeds United, a side, let’s not forget, that were once a European powerhouse. But unfortunately times have really moved on since those days at Elland road.
The Yorkshire side have been stuck outside of the top flight for 12 years now and controversial owner and manager sacking machine Massimo Cellino is causing a divide between fans who are simply furious at how he runs their club. In the Italian’s 2 year reign he has appointed and then sacked 5 managers (Monk becoming his 6th manager), 3 of those English, culminating in the sacking of Steve Evans on Wednesday.
Monk seemingly doesn't stand a chance at Leeds looking from the outside, with limited funds and say over transfers (yes, you've guessed it, Cellino controls most of that too) he may as well not even bother to unpack his suitcase. It’s a move that will be a real shame I personally believe as Monk looks to rebuild his reputation at a club that has repeatedly destroyed reputations. As an England fan I wish Monk the best of luck with his task at Elland road and I hope to see him back in the Premier League in the near future, proving the sceptics wrong as at the end of the day he is a young, hungry, methodical English manager, exactly what are game seems to lack.
Leeds fans, can you see Monk being different to all of the other managers and being a long term appointment for the club? Let us know in the comments below!