Alan Biggs' Sheffield Wednesday column: Garry Monk acutely aware of the need for a Hillsborough revamp

Garry Monk is facing up to the truth that until now, in so many words, could not be spoken - Sheffield Wednesday need a shake-up.

Wednesday, 8th January 2020, 12:33 pm
Sheffield Wednesday manager Garry Monk during the Sky Bet Championship match at Hillsborough, Sheffield. PA Photo. Picture date: Sunday December 22, 2019. See PA story SOCCER Sheff Wed. Photo credit should read: Richard Sellers/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: EDITORIAL USE ONLY No use with unauthorised audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 120 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications.

The Owls boss will have been aware of that from the start of his reign back in September.

But he has kept any such thoughts under the radar, sensibly concentrating instead on coaxing the maximum from what is a stale and ageing squad.

Now, with the window open and his first - limited - chance to put his own stamp on the group, Monk is spelling out what needs to happen.

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And what, in this column’s opinion, needed to happen two or three years ago, or at least a start made.

Monk is playing catch-up on refreshing and overhauling the squad.

On change, he told me: “It’s a process that needs to happen, not just now but going forward.

"I think that’s clear - for any club. You have to process the team and move the team on.

“Obviously it hasn’t moved on for quite a while.

“But you need to do that to be successful and you need to do that as a club anyway.”

Even Saturday’s Yorkshire derby at Leeds, where Monk returns to face his former club, can’t distract from the bigger picture.

An average age of around 29 for the core group tells the story.

How refreshing to see the surprise and highly successful debut of young defender Osaze Urhoghide in the excellent FA Cup third round win at Brighton.

Monk had put his stern words - the first of his reign - into action after condemning his players for “not doing enough” across a trio of defeats in the holiday period.

Taking such a line with the transfer window just open made it doubly effective - and ominous.

He is finally in a position to start making changes and the players, chivvied along previously, could not be more aware of that.

Supporters, too, are understanding of the fact that no manager can be properly judged until he puts his own imprint on a team.

They will have to continue cutting Monk some slack in that regard because this could be a two or three window exercise - with the financial clock not being reset until the outcome of the EFL charges.

The start being made now will likely see a number of players offloaded in one way or another, not necessarily only ones on the fringe.

More significantly perhaps, the targets to whom Monk has been linked are in the young, athletic bracket.

Wednesday’s squad certainly needs freshening up with youthful vigour.