Sheffield Wednesday: Nine key numbers that tell the story of Garry Monk's time as Swansea City manager
Swansea City arrive at Hillsborough on Saturday four points ahead of their hosts and five years to the day on from a famous victory over Arsene Wenger’s Arsenal.
Sat in the Swans’ dugout that day was current Sheffield Wednesday manager Garry Monk, who, at the age of just 35, was being held up as a future England manager with his side sat handsomely in the top six of the Premier League.
Kicking off with a dream 3-0 win over bitter rivals Cardiff and ending with a lonely 3-0 reverse aagainst Leicester, Monk’s 10-month spell brought to an end 12 years at Swansea as a player, captain and manager.
Let’s take a look at some of the numbers behind his reign in south Wales.
35.8% – Monk’s win ratio in the Premier League
Picking up a Swansea side locked in a relegation dogfight after a laboured end to Michael Laudrup’s reign as manager, Monk’s win ratio of 35.8% is more than commendable. It was much higher, too, ahead of a downturn in fortunes towards the end of his reign. At the time of his sacking, the ratio was the tenth-highest of 47 Englishmen to have managed in the Premier League.
1 in 10 – Wins in his first six weeks as manager
That famous south Wales derby win proved to be the only win in Monk’s first 10 matches as Swansea’s role in the relegation shake-up intensified. That run included Europa League matches against Italian giants Napoli and a League Cup defeat to Everton. An impressive 1-1 draw at The Emirates proved to be a pivotal moment, though, and would go on to record four wins in their final seven matches of the season, finishing 12th.
33% – Swansea’s possession against Everton
Much has been mused about Monk’s role in the demise of ‘the Swansea way’, a short-passing, high-possession system adapted by his predecessors Paulo Sousa, Roberto Martinez and most famously Brendan Rodgers in the years leading into Laudrup’s reign. A 3-2 defeat at Everton in Monk’s sixth league game saw the Swans retain just a third of possession and was held up as an example of his more pragmatic approach.
18 from 21 – Points taken from April 19 to August 30 2014
Six wins in seven is title-winning form, and that’s what Swansea enjoyed under Monk across a four-month period straddling two seasons. The end of their skip away from the relegation zone in 2013/14 was followed up by three wins on the trot in August 2014, including an eye-catching opening day at Old Trafford. Unsurprisingly, Monk claimed the Premier League manager of the month award.
8th – Swansea’s highest-ever finish
Shorn of their European responsibilities, Swansea thrived in Monk’s only full season in charge. The club did well to overcome the loss of Wilfried Bony, who had fired them to the upper reaches of the league with a return of nine goals in 16 games, after he was sold to Manchester City in January. It was during this time that Monk’s achievements saw him linked with the England job.
100% – Monk’s win ratio against Manchester United
Little Swansea City have no right taking on the might of Manchester United, but that’s exactly what they did under Monk, securing three sensational 2-1 wins during his time as manager. The 2-1 win at Old Trafford was followed up by back-to-back wins at the Liberty Stadium, the latter of which provided his penultimate win in a Swansea dugout.
1 in 12 – The final march
From September 12 to December 5 2015, Swansea’s fortunes faded and Garry Monk was sacked as manager, bringing to an end 12 years at the club. Injuries, suspensions and a Bony-shaped hole at the front of Swansea’s attack conspired as the Swans dropped into the relegation mire and were booted out of the League Cup by Championship Hull City. A 3-0 defeat to fellow strugglers Leicester was the final straw.
2.5 – Average shots on target in Monk’s last 10 matches
Without Bony up top Swansea struggled and their failure to replace him cost Monk dear. In his last 10 matches in charge the Swans averaged less than three shots on target per match. They scored only seven in his last 12.
673 – Days spent at Swansea
Ten months and 673 days was the time Monk spent as boss at the Liberty Stadium, which represents his longest spell as a manager to date. Next up was Leeds United, where he spent 328 days, Middlesbrough where he lasted only 175 days and then 471 days at Birmingham. His Sheffield Wednesday spell will be at 64 days on Saturday.