Garry Monk: Another Stain on the Ugly Game
Monday, 12th Jun 2017 22:52 by Lucas Monk
Most formerly the head coach of one of the country's most prestigious football clubs, Garry Monk has today been unveiled to the assembled media as the new manager of recently-relegated Middlesbrough.
Upon accepting the managerial position at Elland Road a mere year ago, Garry Monk was presented with an enviable opportunity - to revive the fortunes of one of Britain's most prestigious football clubs - etching his name into Leeds United folklore.
The unforeseen arrival of a man who had already been earmarked as a potential manager of the England national team was, quite comprehensibly, greeted with much gusto by ebullient United supporters. Having suffered what was perceived by many an observer to have been an acrimonious conclusion to his tenure at Swansea City only seven months previously, the Bedford-born boss was anticipated to make an instantaneous impact.
Alas, the early months of Monk's reign were to prove tumultuous. Before the season's beginning, the precocious young midfielder Lewis Cook was poached by AFC Bournemouth, depriving his squad of one of its most coveted stars. A pre-season campaign that could have been most appropriately described as a curate's egg ended on a positive note with a 2-1 defeat of Serie A's Atalanta, though Monk's first managerial venture into the Championship would begin calamitously.
Having acquired attackers Kemar Roofe and Marcus Antonsson from Oxford United and Kalmar FF respectively, in addition to the capture of veteran goalkeeper Robert Green, a freshly assembled Leeds were sent packing by a rampant Queens Park Rangers outfit led by Sebastian Polter.
Further defeats to Birmingham, Nottingham Forest and Huddersfield would follow, before the turning point arose; a 2-1 home victory over a beleaguered Blackburn Rovers. With that, began a marked shift in the Whites' fortunes. From darkness came light, and Leeds began to mount a credible assault upon the Championship's upper echelons.
Come March, and United were placed comfortably within the play-off places. Only for them to relinquish that berth in the weeks that were to follow. Leeds would suffer the profound ignominy of defeat away to Burton Albion, with a 2-1 loss to the Brewers on the 22nd of April eradicating any aspirations of launching a reclamation of their play-off spot.
A gallant fightback to eliminate a three-goal deficit was mounted to claim a 3-3 draw at home to Norwich City in the final home match of the campaign, though the solitary point gained was not sufficient to allow Monk's side to usurp 6th-placed Fulham. In lieu of excoriating the dejected players, the home supporters opted to venerate their heroes, in addition to singing the name of their beloved head coach.
At this moment, a seemingly unanimous body of opinion existed. It determined that having presided over the club's finest league campaign in a great many years, Monk should remain in his post and be offered a new contract immediately. To the horror of those whom had held this view, the news that Monk had tendered his resignation soon filtered through. Which brings us to the present day.
In leaving for Middlesbrough, Monk has spurned the grand opportunity presented to him when he was appointed the head coach of Leeds United last year. He could have carved out an enduring legacy at Elland Road, a tale that would not have been eroded by time's tide and would have most certainly been told to future generations of supporters. A tale of triumph; of a long-awaited return to the pinnacle of English football for one of the United Kingdom's most illustrious clubs, having been for so many years leading a middling existence in the second tier.
Unfortunately, his egress for Teesside only serves to further reinforce a truism of modern football that is known to us all - capital shall always transcend prestige - and Monk, a depraved careerist possessed of not even the faintest notion of footballing prestige, is now no more than yet another stain on our once beautiful game.
The stature of the Boro, as they are colloquially known to their supporters, is dwarfed by that of Leeds. The former are blighted by a notable dearth of any discernible history; Leeds are steeped in it. Monk's choice will prove erroneous and any prospect of him ever taking charge of the England national team has dissipated in consequence of his idiocy.
United will, in good time, determine a successor. One hopes that whoever it is to be has the gravitas to see to it that the job is completed, as opposed to not having the spine to do so, fleeing for a lesser club in the process.
Photo: Action Images
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