Ever since stepping into management at Swansea City, Garry Monk has shown that he has the potential to go far as a tactician. Unfortunately for the hungry and ambitious coach, up to now, he has not been afforded enough time to build a legacy at a club.
Since stepping in at Birmingham City and helping to guide the Blues away from relegation, the 39-year-old has already gained the favour of fans at St Andrew’s. The question is, in this day and age when managers come and go like buses, will Monk be given a long enough stretch in the hot seat to build something special?
With the lack of financial might at the club and the increasingly tough nature of the Championship, the chances of Birmingham City going up automatically next season are slim. More realistically, Monk will be hoping to challenge for a top-six finish and, at best, push for promotion through the playoffs. This certainly wouldn’t be out of the question and is a feat the former Swansea manager almost managed to pull off at Leeds United with limited resources at his disposal.
Monk has already made it clear that his plan at Birmingham will take time, and urges patience even if he doesn’t have the Blues battling to get in the top tier from the get-go. There is work to be done, and the new boss will seek to acquire his own players this summer to strengthen what he already has. Players like Cheikh N’Doye have been fairly solid this season, and the Senegal international will feature on the world stage in Russia this summer. His side have World Cup odds of 200/1, but playing against Japan, Poland and Colombia in the group stage will provide excellent experience for the midfielder. Adding extra cover around players like this should bring about a better standard of football. Defensive cover will also be a priority, and Doncaster Rovers’ Niall Mason could be a potential target. Up front, Barnsley’s Tom Bradshaw may represent the ideal focal point of Monk’s attack.
Leeds fans will certainly attest to the potential of their former manager. In Monk’s debut season at Elland Road he masterminded an unlikely promotion bid which almost succeeded until the Whites dropped out of the top six with a few games to spare. The supporters were desperate to hold on to Monk for another season, but it seemed there was a dispute between the manager and the incoming new owner Andrea Radrizzani. Fans suspect that it was to do with the appointment of Victor Orta as director of football.
Birmingham haven’t finished in the top half of the Championship table since the 2015-16 campaign when they ended in tenth. For the last two seasons, the West Midlands outfit have registered 19th-place finishes, so any campaign that isn’t a battle against relegation will be an improvement for the Blues.
If given time to implement his own footballing philosophy and strengthen with his own players, Monk has a chance to show his previous clubs what they let go. Instead of ditching him if there’s a poor string of results, Birmingham should stick with the Englishman. There is no denying that he is a talented young manager.
What do you think Blues fans, will the Garry Monk revolution be in full swing in years to come?