Is Monk still the man?
06 May 2017 05:47pm, by weasel
A few weeks ago this wouldn't have even been a question. But here we are the question is, is Garry Monk the man to take us up next season? (Barring a miracle this season) After the poor start to the season it seemed Monk could do no wrong. Half time tactics seemed to regularly see us going from playing poorly in first halfs to dominating and winning games in the second half. We seemed to have a team that had togetherness and was getting stronger game by game, a superb home record and the ability to gain points when not playing well. We looked nailed on for a play-off place, occasionally flirting with the possibility of a top 2 place. See some of the best bookies online, for example sky bet who usually offer incredible odds online had us odds on for playoffs.
But then the wheels fell off, just a blip it seemed at first. For most of the season we'd bounced back from a defeat with a victory in the next match so even when we had two defeats on the bounce (v Cardiff and Huddersfield) and panic set it had all seemed like a huge over-reaction when we started winning again and gained 10 points from the next 4 matches. Everything seemed back on track and despite a disappointing draw at home v QPR we followed it up with a cracking display and win v Brighton. However the first sign of a crack in the team spirit seemed to have opened. Jannson dropped and no explanation given. It mattered not as Cooper stepped in, and despite nearly scoring an own goal, had a decent game.
The next match saw Cooper retain his place and Jannson then pulling out with injury. Whatever was going on behind the scenes seemed to have an effect as the team never got going against Reading and but for Green we could have lost heavily. Cooper seemed affected by it all as his needless stamp was completely out of character and rightly punished with a lengthy ban. With Cooper banned Jansson was healed in time for the next match and started but Leeds were all over the place as Brentford battered Leeds and again Green was solely responsible for keeping the score down. The alarm bells were ringing but once again the team seemed to respond well battering Preston and playing well, although if Preston had taken one of their early chances it could have been a very different game.
The team seemed rejuvenated and took the game to Newcastle. Pedrazza hit the bar but then we went into a shell and were pummelled for the rest of the game only to snatch an unlikely draw at the death. The fans were lifted and you'd have thought the players would be too but then a couple of days later and a woeful performance saw us slip to another home defeat and out of the play-off positions. The fighting talk began, we'd go on the attack against Burton but once again we hardly looked like scoring and looked a jaded team as the play-off place slipped away.
So we come to the start of the topic again and wonder is Monk the man to right the ship next year? Initially you would have to think yes and certainly he should be given the opportunity but the similarities between his time at Swansea and Leeds sees the alarm bells ringing. Great initial success with Swansea and counter attacking formations saw them beating Arsenal and Manchester United but when the wheels fell off it seemed he couldn't find a solution. Armed with a summer to find the answers will he be able to do so at Leeds?
A few weeks ago it looked like even if we didn't go up we'd still face a battle to keep hold of Monk due to the excellent job he'd done. His stock was high but perhaps chairman who were thinking of approaching him will not be rushing to do so any more. So can Monk and the backroom staff get Leeds challenging again next season or is Monk not the magician we thought he was now that the play-off curtain has been so dramatically pulled away.