Garry Monk’s dismissal by Sheffield Wednesday was a little surprising, depending on your point of view, but whoever replaces him has a big job on their hands…
Is it possible for a sacking to not be at all surprising, but also to be a little surprising?
There had been increasing dissatisfaction among the Sheffield Wednesday support with Garry Monk’s leadership in recent weeks, the Owls having won just three of their 11 games so far, admittedly with the added complication of their six-point deduction making their league position look a little worse than it is.
But as The Athletic’s Sheffield Wednesday correspondent Nancy Frostick explained on The Totally Football League Show: Extra-Time this week, it was still something of a shock when the news broke of Monk’s dismissal.
“There had been a growing swell of fans calling for ‘Monk out’. I think the Rotherham game was crucial. To lose 3-0 to local rivals, and I think it was the first time Wednesday had lost to Rotherham in a long time at home. It was riddled with mistakes.
“We spoke to the chairman last week in quite an extended press conference he had backed the manager. He’d said it’s quite easy to sack the manager but there’s also a responsibility there, and seemed to apportion some blame to the players.
“It was strange that four or five days after that he decided to sack him. But it’s something that has happened before, with Jos Luhukay, where he backed him and sacked him four or five days later.”
But it wasn’t just the defeats that had fed into Monk’s unpopularity.
“I think the problem has been not just that they were losing, but the performance level has been well below what the fans might have been expecting.
“Even if you’re not in the ground, you’re still paying a tenner on iFollow and you want something to get excited about. Wednesday have struggled to score goals and create clear chances, and at times it’s been quite a frustrating watch.
“It’s a big job for whoever comes in, to get Wednesday scoring goals from open play. They’ve only got three this season.”
So who’s next? There are several candidates, and the most prominent two are familiar, if very different faces.
“I still think Tony Pulis is the front-runner. I think Wednesday will play it safe by getting someone with a lot of recent Championship experience, just given where they are in the table. It might be more of a short-term appointment.
“From what I understand, Pulis is in advanced talks, but as for Sven – it came to my attention that he expressed an interest in the job. He is looking for another chance, one more job in English football.
“It would be a great curveball appointment by Wednesday. I think he’s actually got a pretty impressive win percentage in English football.
“Pulis is the front-runner. I think Wednesday will play it safe…but as for Sven Goran Eriksson – he expressed an interest in the job. He is looking for another chance, one more job in English football.”
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