Championship side, Leeds United, appointed former Swansea boss Garry Monk last month to oversee the club’s affairs for next season after a disappointing campaign that saw them finish in 13th position.
The change in coach comes after Steve Evans handed in his resignation a month before his contract expired at Elland Road. Evans was in charge for 13 months and had failed to help the team substantially improve, meaning his departure was always likely.
The appointment of Monk is an interesting one from Leeds which many have praised following the success and standard of football the 37-year-old managed to provide Swansea in his previous coaching position.
His arrival at Elland Road will prove a tough task however, as the ‘sleeping giant’ club is anything but stable. Here are what we believe will be Monk’s most difficult challenges at Leeds:
Lead the Club back to the Premier League
Since their relegation from the top flight in 2004, The Peacocks have unsuccessfully tried to win back promotion to the 1st division.
Current owner, Massimo Cellino is desperate for Premier League action at Elland Road and that will have undoubtedly been the objective he has set for Monk when appointing the English tactician. Monk’s exit from Swansea was because of the Welsh side’s lingering place in 15th position in December 2015, and the new manager will have to adapt quickly to managing in games that he is now expected to win rather than pull an upset in.
Beating the likes of Newcastle, Norwich, Aston Villa and 21 other sides to the three promotion spots will be his toughest task to date. Will he able to emerge victoriously?
Massimo Cellino Interference With Team Selection
The Italian owner is undoubtedly a controversial figure at United, and the former coach was said to have been irked by his interference with the squad selection last season.
It was reported that he influenced the coach’s substitution of Scott Wootton with Gaetano Berardi during a 0 – 0 match against Charlton last term, the kind of intervention that is relatively unheard of in English football.
Monk will have to scale that hurdle and look to ensure his decisions are final with team selection especially. His success or failure in that regard will determine if his position gets undermined or not.
Club’s Selling Philosophy
Leeds are famous for selling players, with the most recent being Sam Byram and Lewis Cook moving to West Ham and Bournemouth respectively.
The futures of current talented youngsters, Alex Mowatt and Charlie Taylor also have a cloud hanging over them, with contract talks stalling. The new coach must ensure the club stops selling their talented players for profit as securing promotion should be the highest priority at the moment, rather than financial gain.
Surviving as Manager!
Since 2014, 5 coaches have come and gone at Elland Road, and the only way Garry Monk can avoid becoming the quick-fire 6th is if he delivers the goods (promotion or at least top 6). The obvious yet most challenging overall task is therefore for him to make sure he survives his 12-month reign. Doing so would mean the club had enjoyed a good season, and a boosted personal reputation to bounce back from his Swansea sacking.