Swansea’s story is a thing of beauty: once moments away from going out of business, now a club looking to challenge the elite of the Premier League. It’s fair to say, Garry Monk has exceeded the expectations that were set when he first took the job back in February 2014 on the back of Michael Laudrup’s sacking. That year Monk guided his side to safety with various impressive wins whilst retaining the “Swansea Way” on the field.
Monk was signed by The Jacks in 2004, after a decade of playing in South Wales, he was announced as interim manager in 2014. Many were dubious about the appointment. With Swansea in their time of need, facing relegation,Garry Monk didn’t have the experience that other candidates did and didn’t fit the criteria most Swans fans had in mind. Despite his lack of managerial experience, he is a true leader and carries passion for the club. Monk began his journey with Swansea when they started climbing up the football leagues (starting in League Two) and eventually reached the Premier League in 2011 via a Play Off Final win.
In 2013, Monk won his first major trophy with The Swans when they, under Laudrup, defeated Bradford City in the League Cup final 5-0. He featured as a substitute in the second half and lifted the trophy with fellow centre half, Ashley Williams. Despite only one major trophy, he had helped Swansea to 3 promotions including winning League One in 2008.
In the 2013/14 season, Swansea were entered in to the Europa League due to their League Cup success. After beating Malmo and Petrolul 4-0 and 6-3 respectively, on aggregate, they were drawn in a group with Valencia, St Gallen and Kuban Krasnodar. They progressed to the Round of 32 after a successful group stage including a 3-0 win in Valencia. The Jacks were eventually eliminated after Napoli beat them 3-1 in the away leg following a solid 0-0 in the first leg. Laudrup was the man in charge when they qualified but it was Garry Monk who had the pleasure of taking the team to Naples – despite the loss, they gave an impressive performance.
The 2014/15 season started off with a victory at Old Trafford. Monk’s first competitive game after signing a 3 year deal couldn’t have gone better. The same season saw Monk be the third ever manager to do the double over Manchester United and Arsenal in the same season – an impressive accomplishment. They finished the season in eighth with a record points tally, despite narrowly missing out on European football. Another strong season saw Garry Monk offered another 3 year deal which he signed in July 2015.
Swansea have started the 2015/16 season undefeated after only dropping points at Chelsea and Sunderland after 5 games, including yet another victory against United. Most clubs in England would sacrifice all they have to be in Swansea’s position and most clubs are and will try to emulate their success. After rising through the leagues after years of unfortunate happenings and painful experiences, Swansea really are a model club for most up and down the country (both England and Wales, may I add). Chairmen and fans alike will hoping that their club, whoever they may be, can produce their very own Garry Monk and mirror what the club from South Wales have done.