Installing a winning mentality seems to be central to Garry Monk’s transfer strategy for this summer. The manager has already done a great deal by improving the mental side of the game with players already in the squad, but it seems he feels he needs new signings that could move this club forward.
There has been a huge turnover of players since Gary Rowett left in 2016, and despite the changes, the club has gone backwards after flirting with relegation over the last two seasons. The man in charge feels that key adjustments may need to be made to the squad once again:
“The key for the team that’s here next season is that the mentality has to change. There has to be a change of what we saw, elements of what we saw, but even better and even more.”
“Every player that’s going to be here needs to be a player that needs to be fighting for better than what the club’s been doing – that mentality for sure, to be driven and have the capabilities to be able to put that on the pitch.”
No doubt, Monk means to keep quite a few who have shown the right mentality. However, it seems he wants a complete cultural shift in the squad. With every team starting from zero at the beginning of next campaign, he wants everyone looking up rather than looking down the table.
Of course, past experiences can colour your attitudes, and those players who have experienced the last two campaigns will have some nagging worries in the back of their mind that we could be back down near the bottom again next season.
The manager is looking to nip this in the bud as earlier as possible. It could mean he’ll go as far as putting together a new group of core players that have the mentality he is looking for.
However, with the constraints of Financial Fair Play, that would likely be unrealistic unless he recruits a number of free transfers. Even so, the focus of recruitment this summer will likely not only look at a player’s ability but also who has the experience of winning.
Having people in the squad who have been there and done it, gives the team an added edge. Those who experience success generally rub off on others around them, creating a positive atmosphere and developing a group of winners.
It’s not an exact science but with the attention to detail that Monk possesses, I am sure he already has a number of players in mind who fit the exact requirements. As mentioned in a previous post, our manager always does his research on players and clubs before making decisions.
He usually talks to former coaches or teammates of those he is looking to recruit, and he will likely have profiles on targets he is looking to sign. Whether we’ll be able to recruit them, we’ll have to wait and see.