Monk Gives Swansea Back Their Soul
It has been something of a baptism of fire for the man who has been at the club since 2004. But among the encouraging performances there have been good results too.
March 14th, 2014
If one were to simply take a bare-faced look at the statistics of Garry Monk’s first month in charge of Swansea, the impression made would almost certainly not be positive. In the seven games he has taken command of, they have won once, drawn three times and lost three times. But then, a look at statistics without context is rarely a wise thing to do.
Two of those games, a draw and a defeat, came against Rafael Benitez’s Napoli in the Europa League. During the tie Swansea impressed many neutrals and at times even looked like they might spring an upset on the Italians.
Another came at Anfield, as they went blow for blow with a Liverpool side who have established themselves as one of the most dangerous attacking sides in Europe. Again for periods of the game they looked the better side, and only the most one-eyed of Reds fans would say that the Swans deserved nothing from the game.
The one win came in his first game in charge, taking a convincing 3-0 victory over welsh rivals Cardiff. In their most recent game it was only a controversial late penalty for Crystal Palace which denied Monk and his men another three points.
Another point at Stoke, a place where Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester United have lost this season, was a big result and though they are only four points above the relegation zone – with a game in hand on those around them – there is a greater sense of hope around the club.
Monk’s biggest success, it seems, in his short spell as manager, has been to bring back the Swansea that we all so admired. It appeared, from the outside at least, that in the latter stages of Michael Laudrup’s reign they had begun to drift away from what had defined the club on its rise from the doldrums of the game.
In a very short time Monk has taken them back to the football that Roberto Martinez, Paulo Sousa and Brendan Rodgers instilled in South Wales, and should the performances continue to show the positive signs that they have over the last month, then the points to keep them in the Premier League will no doubt follow.
Swansea undoubtedly have some tough games in their final ten, including facing trips to both Everton and Arsenal, while in April Chelsea come calling to the Liberty Stadium. But in amongst them, home games against the likes of West Brom, Norwich and Aston Villa should provide them with more than enough opportunity to pull themselves away from the dog fight at the foot of the table and the dreaded fate of the drop into the Championship.
Should Monk achieve this, and all in the style that he has brought back to the club, then you would be hard-pressed to find a solid reason not to give the 35-year old the job on a permanent basis. It would be the least he deserves for giving the club back its soul.