Leeds United had a wonderful season last year, just barely missing out on the playoffs after spending much of the season near the peak of the Championship. While the players and signings have been great for the team, manager Garry Monk has been the key to much of the success at Elland Road.
Monk, the former Swansea City manager, was signed to a one-year contract last July. The hot seat at Leeds has been an extremely hot seat in recent seasons under owner Massimo Cellino, with the Italian owner burning through six managers since taking over the club in the spring of 2014. Monk not only lasted through an entire season, but the team flourished under his direction. Chris Wood, for example, credits a lot of his fantastic season with the support of Monk.
Chris Wood on hugely improved form with #lufc: "People underestimate the value of having a manager that backs you and has belief in you"— Lee Sobot (@LeeSobotYEP) May 19, 2017
With Leeds having a good season, it is no surprise that Monk’s name is being whispered in connection with other jobs. Since Monk and the team have not announced a new contract, likely due to Andrea Radrizzani’s takeover from Cellino taking longer than expected, the coaching carousel will continue to contain Monk’s name and “possible destinations” until a deal is reached.
Right now, two destinations have apparently already been rumored. Norwich City and Middlesbrough both have been mentioned in the press as teams that are interested in possibly tempting the gaffer to jump ship, and neither seem very likely.
Norwich City is another Championship team with a very average roster that is less likely than Leeds is to challenge for promotion next season. A number of first team players have been released in an effort to reduce the wage bill, and other teams are circling looking to pick up some of those players on free transfers. It has also been reported that Leeds has already rebuffed an approach from Norwich for Monk. While it might have been a good move even a couple of years ago, right now this would be a step backwards for Monk.
Premier League this season: Middlesborough 38 games, 27 goals, Harry Kane 31 games, 29 goals! I think there might be a reason boro went down— Dave Gavrilovic (@DaveGavrilovic) May 21, 2017
Speaking of backwards steps, Middlesbrough is another team that is looking for a new manager next season. While the bookies have made Monk the 3rd favorite to take over at the Riverside Stadium next season, this is another move that would likely be a backward move for Monk. Boro looked inept in the Premier League last season, and quite possibly had the least talented roster in the top division. Tottenham Hotspur striker Harry Kane even outscored the team all by himself. Boro don’t look to bounce right back up to the Premier League, and instead look like a team that will be bleed talent in the summer, with other clubs looking to raid the club for its best players.
The Whites need to sign Monk to a long-term deal ASAP. He’s too valuable to the club to be left hanging, and while the club just missed out on the playoff spots this year, there is literally no one the fans trust more to take the team towards the automatic promotion places next year than Monk. Sign him up, Andrea, and get the ball rolling towards another successful season. Don’t make the mistake of previous owners and go through tons of managers, the right one is already at the club.