Time for the Monk to leave the order
In a miserable world we can at least change one failing leader but who would want to lead the party?

In common with probably a fair few other people I woke up very early this morning and couldn’t get back off. It’s the start of November, the country’s heading for another lock-down and Sheffield Wednesday are in another melt-down.

It’s already been a season like no other, watching the games on i-follow in empty stadiums with nothing but the bellowing of the backroom staff and the heartfelt groans of John Pearson for company (and yesterday a Radio Sheffield commentary that in the first half lagged a few seconds behind the action which meant the surreal situation of JP getting excited just after the action – such as it was – had already moved on). At least in the normal world we would have spent three post-match hours raging in The Barracks rather than on our wistfully named Post Match NBT Crew WhatsApp group.

What passed for the 2020 close season had seemed encouraging enough – what appeared to be some decent buys with what appeared to be the right mindset to drag us quickly out of the 12 point deduction and off towards something like mid-table respectability. The season started okay and even after the Brentford match I tweeted that it was probably the most optimistic in defeat that I had felt for some time and it seemed that others thought the same. In Luton, Rovrum and divisional whipping boys Wycombe we all confidently predicted Wednesday storming into the positive.

But now, after three abject displays and no points, the air has turned dark with seemingly the whole world and its dog screaming for a change of manager. It’s not just the defeats, it’s the manner of them that has stoked the fires. Some individual nightmares, tactical ineptitude and two stupid sending-offs have formed the backdrop, but front and centre is an apparent lack of motivation, team spirit and desire. Over the years it’s always been the Wednesday mantra – “we can cope with losing if we can at least see that they are giving their all for the cause”. There’s no real evidence that they are even giving a bit.

So how much of this can be laid at Garry Monk’s door? As we implied in WOTMT when Monk was appointed, neither Steve nor I were convinced that he was necessarily the right call as Wednesday manager but to be honest I had warmed a bit towards him after his recent appearance on the Alan Biggs show; he came across as genuine, level-headed and committed to the cause. And in fairness he had nothing to do with the 12 point deduction. 

But the apparent lack of tactical nous, the persistence with players who are clearly struggling and most of all an apparent inability to create a team spirit and empathy amongst this group of players have to sit at Monk’s door. The whole thing with Westwood hasn’t helped and I also sit in the camp that can’t quite understand why Kieran Lee was let go. And a bit of you wonders whether the player drain at the end of last season would have happened under a different manager. So, in summary I don’t think that Garry Monk is a bad manager per se, but he is the wrong shaped peg for the particular hole that we find ourselves in now.    

The aforementioned WhatsApp group buzzed with replacement manager speculation yesterday. We always and inevitably have a core that always wants to see Meggo back (can’t see world where we would have lost three nil against Rovrum with the ginger Mourinho at the controls). I as usual was ploughing the Nigel Pearson furrow – suggesting we bring him in to the end of the season with the promise of a Warnock-style bonus if he keeps us up. However the probably correct mood music is that Pearson wouldn’t come to Wednesday and even if he did he’d probably end up having a stand-up row with the Chairman and be sacked by Christmas.

So the more sensible suggestions include Paul Cook (used to dealing with a 12 point deduction and with a track record of promotion from League One) and Lee Johnson (who apparently said on the Colin Murray show during the week that he is keen to get back into management and again knows his way around this division).

But the shadow lurking in the background is whether any of the above would want to come and manage in the current Wednesday world. Which bring us on to the Chairman. There were a couple of polls circulating on Twitter yesterday regarding how confident Wednesdayites feel about whether Monk can keep us up and about whether Chansiri can keep us up.  The “not confident” box was getting pretty much 100% ticks in both cases. Everyone has to acknowledge that DC has tried his best to chase success, and the Carlos Carvalhal era (now just a distant, warming memory) stands as testament to that.

But there’s no getting away from the fact that the Chairman substantially got us into this deduction mess in the first place. Added to that there is still this sense that he is not getting the right football-related advice. Sitting above all this far too many people seem to think that there is something not right about the whole way that Wednesday is being run at the moment. It has been heartening over recent months to see the creation of the Supporters Trust, but whether there is any commitment on the part of the Chairman to meaningfully engage with this group very much remains to be seen.

I think it’s probably nailed on that DC, who has a history of throwing other people out of the basket when the balloon starts to go down, will sack Garry Monk. But the key question then is who is going to be willing to come to take the job on; can we get someone who gets Wednesday and can motivate the squad and rejuvenate the fan base? Or will we get someone who is happy enough to preside over our gradual sinking and take the compensation money when DC sacks him as we plunge into the next tier down?

In the world of Wednesday and in the world generally it’s hard to find much to be happy about at the moment. We can only hope that the Chairman stumbles across a manager who can shut their ears to the  inner workings of the club, who can light the right kind of fire under this current group of players and who can get the fans back onside. Maybe we might just end up with Meggo after all….






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