After consecutive defeats to Arsenal and Norwich, pressure is seemingly starting to mount on Swansea boss Garry Monk, with reports in the national press that the Welsh club were considering their manager’s position.
With the likes of Leicester City, Crystal Palace and West Ham overachieving this season, it appears club chairmen are looking at other teams with envy and the level of expectation across the board has been raised.
For Swansea, some retrospect is surely necessary before any decision over Monk’s future is made.
The Liberty Stadium outfit have quickly become a blueprint for clubs across the land, with their rise to the Premier League and subsequent consolidation a shining example of how to bridge the division gap. Brendan Rodgers led the club to the English top flight for the first time, while Michael Laudrup won the club’s first-ever major cup competition.
Since Monk has taken over, the Swans continue to be as competitive as ever, with not many people having any thoughts of potential relegation for the Welsh outfit this term.
On their day, Swansea remain a team capable of taking it to, and beating, the division’s biggest teams, with the Liberty Stadium not a venue that many teams relish visiting.
Unlike other sides that have been promoted to the Premier League and survived, the Welsh outfit have looked to play expansive and attacking football, with their fans becoming accustomed to a certain way of playing.
The Swansea brand of possession-based, incisive play continues under the current boss, but results have not perhaps been on the team’s side this season.
At the time of writing, Monk’s men sit 14th on the Premier League table and have won just three of their opening 12 games. Despite this, had luck been on their side on a number of occasions, Swansea would find themselves in the top half and with a chance of a top-six finish this term.
As it is, only six points separate the Swans from Crystal Palace in eighth place and there is every chance that the club’s fortunes will improve after the international break.
In Monk, Swansea have been brave in recruiting a virtually untried, young manager, but the supposed gamble has paid off to date. The 36-year-old’s positive attitude, energy and way of thinking certainly fit in at the club and the players clearly respect him despite his young age for a manager.
Monk has a bright future in the Premier League managerial circuit and should be afforded time to help Swansea evolve to the next level. Performances have been there, but a number of results have not gone the team’s way in close games.
Although other managers have excelled at the club in achieving their respective objectives over the last five years, the raising of the expectation levels makes the current head coach’s job a difficult one – but one Monk is fully capable of succeeding in.