Thursday, 6 November 2014

You can't please everybody...

Josh Kilmister on why criticisms of Monk are unwarranted

Ten games in and we’re sitting with relative comfort in the top six of the Premier League, yet that doesn’t seem to be enough to please everybody.

A well fought goalless draw against Everton very much split the Swans fans, with some saying it was genius management by Garry Monk and others claiming that he’s changed our style of football. I think anyone with any common sense would, or should be more than happy with the result at Goodison last weekend; especially considering the circumstances in the last twenty-five minutes of the match.

Our fourth (yes, fourth!) red card of the season saw Jonjo Shelvey sent on his way after two ridiculous yellow cards, and for once I’m not talking about the ref! A first yellow for kicking the ball away is frustrating at the least, especially when a player like Jonjo does it as it’s no secret that he’s prone to picking up a caution - he’s already faced a one match ban this season after picking up five yellow cards! Shelvey then went on to pick up a second yellow in a tackle typical of the London born midfielder.

Understandably, Shelvey’s actions got him plenty of criticism over Twitter, some even saying that he’s a weak link in our squad. Honestly, I don’t think anyone can call Jonjo a weak link. Maybe he’s a little hot-headed, and maybe he likes to get stuck in but as to whether he's ‘the new Chico Flores’... as much as I think Chico was an excellent defender when he wanted to be, Jonjo doesn’t have the arrogance to claim that title just yet.

Jonjo’s suspension will presumably see Tom Carroll step in to replace him against Arsenal on Sunday and I’m really looking forward to it. Like many players who we’ve got in on loan in recent years, Carroll has come under criticism without being given a real chance to prove himself. From what I’ve seen of him, both for us and in some games for Spurs, I’ve got no doubt that he’s good enough to be one of the first names on our team sheet every week. I’m sure he’ll show us what he can do in The Liberty on Sunday. (The game is live on Sky Sports 1 from 3:30 for those without a ticket)

Someone who’s been spoken of a lot since the beginning of the season is of course Leon Britton, even more so now that people seem to be worried that we aren’t getting as much possession as we’re used to - because possession wins games, right? When Leon comes back there will be games in which he will fit into our team perfectly and we’ll be better for it, but I can almost guarantee that Leon will not be in the Starting XI every weekend. In games where we may struggle to keep control of the ball in midfield, Leon will be Garry Monk’s go-to man, be that at the start of the game or off the bench, where I think we will see Britts make more of an impact.

Amongst the various complaints on Twitter, there were some who saw the Everton game as proof of how our defence has improved under Monk. Fede Fernandez had his critics from the second he stepped foot on Premier League soil, but that now seems to have changed. Fernandez and Ashley Williams have formed a solid partnership in the back since the equally impressive Jordi Amat lost his place through injury, and there’s no doubt that they’ll only get better. It’s no secret that the Premier League can be tough to adapt to, but Fede seems to have made the transition from Italy remarkably well, even if Ash has to use what he calls ‘Spanglish’ to communicate with him!

So for anyone planning on writing to Garry Monk with any suggestions, I wouldn’t recommend it. This season has the potential to be our best in the top-flight so far, and with January fast approaching I can only imagine that the gaffer has a few tricks up his sleeve!

Thanks as usual to Josh - give him a follow on Twitter @JoshKilmister. I'd definitely agree - we're well placed to capitalise on the points we've already picked up, and critics of Monk need to remember that he's still learning on the job. What're your thoughts? Get involved in the comment section below.