Hiring a new manager with two months of the season to go is generally seen as sure sign of desperation by a club. Usually, appointing someone so late in the campaign doesn’t give the new man in charge enough time to turn things around.
In our case though, we struck lucky. Just reading over his article for The Coaches’ Voice which he wrote at the start of the season, it’s clear Garry Monk’s methodical approach was always likely to have an immediate impact.
Going into the finer detail pretty much sums up our manager’s attitude to life in the hot seat. He hates going into a new job blind, and he will collect all the information he can on players and the club before entering the club’s doors.
He talks to other people who have worked with the players at his new prospective club, and he will watch games from the current or previous season to see how his new team has operated in the past.
It means from the first minute of being appointed he has a working knowledge of the club and is able to implement a plan that can deliver almost immediate results.
Of course, the plan will change over time. There is only so much you can learn from the outside looking in, and he has now learned a great deal about the players over the past couple of months. He will know who he can now rely on. He will have learned the character of certain players, as well as how many will be able to adapt to his training methods in the long-term.
The ability to make quick decisions, and crucially make the right ones, is a hard skill to master. Over his 11 games in charge, most of Monk’s early judgements have been proven correct, and that bodes very well for the future.
It could be argued that it gives him a better platform for next season than if he had come in during pre-season. He has seen the whites of the eyes of his players. Under pressure, some have wilted, but others have also excelled. With that knowledge, he should now have the perfect opportunity to build a better squad angling to fight in the top half rather than battling at the bottom.