We asked a Leeds United broadcaster: What should Sheffield Wednesday fans expect from Garry Monk?
New Sheffield Wednesday manager Garry Monk is now in his fifth managerial job in as many years. Once lauded as a potential future England manager during his early days at Swansea, he has gone on to produce results at Leeds, Middlesbrough and Birmingham on his way to S6.
The 40-year-old spent the majority of his 2016/17 season at Elland Road in the Championship play-off places before a late implosion saw the Whites fail to qualify for the top six spots on the final day of the season.
- Monk arrived at Leeds with his stock high after his time at Swansea. Did he fulfil expectations at Elland Road?
In the sense that he arrived under a chaotic owner in Massimo Cellino the fact he lasted until the start of the campaign was an achievement in itself as the Italian would chop and change coaches. As I recall I did not expect Monk to work a miracle on the back of season after season of failure at Elland Road. Ultimately Monk resurrected United’s fortunes and by January we all thought a play-off place was guaranteed before the side imploded.
- His first signing was Marcus Antonsson for £2m - how did he perform in the transfer market?
In retrospect Rob Green and Kemar Roofe came in too. It did not work out for Marcus but Green was excellent overall and Roofe went on to be United’s top scorer for two season’s running before being sold to Anderlecht this summer. Matt Grimes struggled on loan but Kyle Bartley was superb in the middle of the defence. Luke Ayling from Bristol City has held down the right back berth since arriving under Monk bar injury. Less effective signings were Liam Bridcutt and Eunan O’Kane.
- What style of play did he adopt at Leeds? Should Wednesday fans expect more of the same?
Leeds became a lot tougher to beat and under Monk would stay in games before snatching a late goal. Ronaldo Vieira’s last gasp winner at Norwich City before Christmas was the highlight in a five goal thriller.
- He was part of an infamous spat with David Wagner. What is he like as a personality?
He is quite guarded and controlled but you know that inside he is very driven and occasionally will have outbursts like that touchline spat with Wagner. He does not give much away.
- Leeds flew through the middle period of his season in charge before falling away and finishing outside the play-off places - why was this?
A couple of things contributed I believe. Monk had Leeds in a great position by January but the club did not back him in the transfer window in my opinion. As I recall Mo Barrow and Alfonso Pedraza arrived on deadline day.
Two days before Monk had named a very weak side which lost in the FA Cup at non league Sutton United which angered fans but to many looked like he was making a statement about the lack of depth in the squad.
After that he was on the back foot a bit and two wins in the last eleven games tells its own story.
- Monk left Leeds in controversial circumstances after the takeover of Andrea Radrizzani - what was this down to?
I believe Monk felt affronted that he had not been approached about extending his stay for the long term when the club was riding high after Xmas.
By the time Radrizzani had taken over the campaign had started to fade and my impression is that the new owner was not at all happy with the collapse and had reservations about whether Monk should be kept on and so an offer for him to stay beyond a year was not forthcoming.
My own opinion is that both parties ended up with what they wanted as it became obvious that no middle ground existed between them and so Monk went to Middlesbrough.
- What is the opinion of Monk among Leeds fans in general?
Some refer to him as a snake for leaving when Boro came calling but it is more complicated than that. He wanted long term security and felt that he had proved he was worth more than a year’s extension.
Under his reign and coaching, striker Chris Wood was superb and scored 30 goals, a remarkable feat that saw him sold to Burnley the following season.
- How do you expect Monk will get on at Hillsborough?
Its hard to say but one thing he did do at Leeds was build a team spirit. It took a few months but the League Cup tie at home to Norwich which United won after extra time and penalties with 10 men was the night it all started to click.