Life After Sheffield Wednesday: What next for Garry Monk?

Jack Kitson by Jack Kitson / 16 November 2020, 14:08

In a statement via the League Managers Association, Garry Monk expressed his huge disappointment at being unable to see through his project at Sheffield Wednesday.

Monk’s life as an Owl had in fact started pretty well. His troops hit 3rd spot in the Championship last Christmas, only to plummet out of promotion contention following a severe fall in form.

Heading into the current campaign, Sheff Wed were significantly hindered by a 12 point deduction. However, come the international break Monk’s men had clawed their way off the foot of the table following a reduction to -6 points, coupled with four points from their most recent brace of games.

But then boom, Monk suddenly found himself jobless after the club deemed the final hiatus of the year as the ideal opportunity to freshen things up. Tony Pulis has since taken charge at Hillsborough.

So, where does he go from here? We take a look...

What’s his Championship record like?

Monk's already had five clubs on his managerial CV, despite only being 41 years of age.

His last four spells have all come in the Championship: he spent roughly a year in charge at each of Leeds, Birmingham and Sheffield Wednesday, and just 26 games at Middlesbrough.

During that time he’s only managed to record one top-half finish - 7th at Leeds in 2016/17 - although he did previously lead Swansea to 8th place in the Premier League (2014/15); the club’s best finish since 1982. 

The then-Swans boss finished higher than any other Englishman that season, while Sean Dyche (7th) and Frank Lampard (4th) are the only two of Monk’s fellow countrymen to better his standing in subsequent seasons.

It is worth noting that Monk did a creditable job at Birmingham in difficult financial circumstances, and his sacking at Middlesbrough came as a surprise considering the club were just three points shy of the play-offs following a run of six wins in 10 games.

However, there’s no getting away from the fact that Monk would at least hoped to have orchestrated one promotion push across four different jobs in the division.

At the time of writing, Monk is priced 20/1 to make a swift return to the division at Derby County, who sacked Phillip Cocu over the weekend. It would, admittedly, be a surprise if The Rams did opt for Monk, who himself may fancy a breather.

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Garry Monk has managed five clubs to date

Does Monk’s ambition still burn bright?

As a manager you need to have ambition. You need goals, aspirations, determination and resilience. If you don’t believe in yourself, what chance do you have of persuading owners, players and fans.

Monk has never been short on confidence. "I am ambitious, I am driven and I am a fighter," he told BBC Sport last November.

"I don't need to feed an ego. I just want to do as well as I can. When you are in the Premier League, the attention is ten times what it is in the Championship.

"It's not that I crave that - I don't need it - but you want to do well. Of course you want to be spoken about in a good way because that means you are doing a good job.

"But the most important people are the ones I am working for and the players and staff I have around me.

"It's about me driving them, trying to get them to achieve their ambitions. If they can do that, you will be achieving yours."

This was, of course, said a year prior to his sacking last week, which may or may not have shrunk his self-belief and dented his motivation.

Yet, while he’s yet to come close to filling the potential that saw him touted as a future England manager, despite his recent set-backs you feel that Monk possesses the strength of character to bounce back.

He will also still believe he has what it takes to not only manage in the Championship, but lead a club up to the Premier League. He’s definitely got a point to prove. But in order to achieve that feat he knows that he has to rebuild his reputation first.

Are there any other vacancies going?

Alternatively, there are a couple of other EFL vacancies up for grabs at the moment, but each would require Monk to step down a division or two.

League Two Tranmere have been hunting for a new boss since they sacked Mike Jackson at the end of October. Nigel Adkins was initially the favourite to take charge, but it’s now Danny Cowley who narrowly leads the way in the betting.

Wigan are also managerless but are reportedly set to hold off on appointing a new manager, given that their prospective new owners are unlikely to be at the helm for at least another few weeks.

Either way, when it comes to these two jobs, it’s difficult to see Monk dropping into League Two anytime soon, while Wigan won’t be able to afford his wages, just yet anyway.

The could therefore be an ideal chance for Monk to test himself in another country and bolster his reputation; whether that’s up in Scotland or following in the footsteps of the likes of Steve McClaren, Alan Pardew, and David Moyes by branching off into Europe.

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