There are a few who posted last night saying that Leeds fans shouldn’t be bothered about the sacking, or the “parting of company” that saw Garry Monk leave Middlesbrough. If that’s an opinion then fair enough, but most Leeds fans were more than interested in the news, Monk leaving for Boro at the “expense” of Leeds still very fresh.
It’s well worth the debate about what has happened at both clubs because both are rivals for Leeds in terms of promotion and in terms of buying players in the market. Boro are the perfect example. Leeds were linked with Ashley Fletcher and Jonny Howson in the window, along with Oxford United winger Marvin Johnson. Garry Monk signed them all. Add to that £15 million for Britt Assombalonga, £6 million for Darren Randolph, a few million for Cyrus Christie and £10 million for Danish international Martin Braithwaite, a player who was more than happy to join Monk so he could “reach the Premier League”. That is a lot of money to spend. Indeed one of the most loyal and patient owners in the English game Gibson told Monk and the players to “smash the Championship”. 6 months later they aren’t even in the play-offs and Garry Monk has left the building. You can’t help but think Monk has done something or something isn’t right behind the scenes as well as on the pitch.
Buying your way out of this league doesn’t work, you must have many other things going in your favour and Boro are a prime example. They didn’t look at other clubs in this division and learn from their mistakes. Aston Villa spent a fortune, around £30 million of strikers currently don’t play for the team for one reason or another and that was less than half of the money they actually spent on signings. Derby County, going well this season flopped a few seasons ago and now the spending has been reduced and players have left there is no surprise they are looking like a promotion candidate, as are Villa that some of the “big” money buys are no longer in the picture. If you spend wisely you can get out of the league, but just chucking money at it won’t get you anywhere but the job centre.
That brings me onto the next man to lose his job, Carlos Carvahal. The Sheffield Wednesday fans were beginning to turn on the man who led them to two successive play-off campaigns and failed to take them up. Things weren’t so rosy this season and the play-offs were drifting from their grasp with no wins in December and patchy form since the start. The money thrown at the Wednesday squad is another great example that just money alone won’t get you anywhere. Jordan Rhodes, a prolific scorer in this division can barely find the net, and his wages combined with the likes of Gary Hooper, Steven Fletcher, Glenn Loovens, Almen Abdi, Adam Reach and you have some serious money thrown at it. The boss had a two-year-plan to reach the promised land and he fell short in both of those two years, and he has paid with his job today.
You have to spend some money to get out of the division, no doubt about that. You have to be good in the foreign market as well as the English market. If you can add some academy players as well you are on a winner but combining all three, as well as balancing the books isn’t easy. Brighton threw some money at wages in the last few years and made it, but Brighton threw money at it in the correct way. Not huge transfer fees, some free signings and a few youngsters. The likes of Tamer Hemed and Beram Kayal, as well as Bruno are all foreign signings, although Kayal did arrive from Celtic. They also bough Lewis Dunk and Shane Duffy who knew the league, and Glenn Murray came from the Premier League. Thomas Christiansen has got through his rough patch of form at Leeds and steered us back into the play-off positions. Time isn’t always on the side of the managers and head-coaches in this division but Carvahal got time, Monk didn’t in the end.