Garry Monk’s number 2, Pep Clotet, is currently the bookies new favorite to manage the Whites for (at least) the 2017/18 season. With 5/4 odds on the Spaniard to take the helm, Leeds fans have taken to Twitter to voice their support for the appointment.
But would this be the right hire? Clotet has never been a manager of a club as big as Leeds, and his managerial record is...not good. Only appearing for Catalonian Amateur side CF Igualada, Pep retired from football in his twenties to pursue management. His first job in management was with Catalan side Unión Esportiva Cornellà, where he stayed on board from 2001-03 before joining RCD Espanyol to take charge of their youth teams. Following a two-year stint with the Periquitos, Clotet began jumped ship to manage another Catalan side Unió Esportiva Figueres. His tenure with the club was short, as he was fired only nine games into a season which ultimately saw Figueres relegated from Segunda División B, the third level on the Spanish football pyramid. After coming back to Espanyol’s youth teams, Clotet returned to Senior football management with Espanyol’s B team for the 2009/10 season. Yet again Pep met the Spanish axe, being fired after the seventh round of competition. Yet again, Espanyol’s B team would go on to be relegated.
After his last failure in Spanish football, Clotet started to work in Sweden, starting off as an assistant coach at Swedish giants Malmö FF, who won the Allsvenskan championship that season. He then agreed to become head coach of Halmstads BK and, after finishing the season 3-5-22 and relegated to the Superettan, was sacked after one season. Not deterred, Clotet joined Swedish side Viking FK as a coach, but when manager Åge Hareide was sacked on June 9th, 2012 with Viking sitting in 10th, Clotet also left and was appointed the manager of Málaga’s B team a month later. After the Andalusians’ were unable to attain promotion from the Tercera División- the 4th tier on the Spanish football pyramid- Clotet left to take a job as academy consultant at Michael Laudrup’s Swansea City, being promoted to assistant manager a year later under Garry Monk. We all know the story from here on out; When Monk was sacked and joined Leeds, Clotet followed. If Clotet leaves to follow Monk wherever he gets a job remains to be seen.
Above all, it’s important that Leeds get this next hire 100% correct. Even though falling out of the playoffs at the very end is a bitter pill to swallow, don’t forget how amazing our season was overall. Garry Monk laid down a great foundation for the club and we have to build on up. Hiring Pep would be a very good first step. He’s familiar with his players, the players are familiar with his system. Appointing him would offer a fluid transition as the club continue their march to the Premier League. Let’s just hope his prior managerial record is a thing of the past.