After the sacking of Michael Laudrup in February of last year many Swansea fans would have been hoping for a high-profile manager to take over the club and push them into the higher half of the table. Instead they appointed one of their own in Garry Monk as interim player-manager.
After taking over his first game was against bitter rivals Cardiff City which his side won 3-0, not a bad start for your first game in management, he managed to help his side to survive relegation with one game to spare and was made permanent manager of the club on 7 May 2014 signing a three-year deal.
This season he has managed to push his side from a relegation battling side to a side currently sitting in eighth place.
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It started well with a 2-1 win against Manchester United on the opening day of the season leading them to their first ever win at Old Trafford.
This season his side have taken 12 points from games against Manchester United and Arsenal where he is going up against veteran managers Arsene Wenger and Louis van Gaal. The league will have been a learning curve for Monk and has allowed him to test his abilities against some of the best managers around that have plenty of experience in both management and the league.
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Not enough credit given
He is showing many that transitioning from a player into a manager can be done and can be done with success.
His side have 56 points which is nine higher than their previous highest total a can still push for a place in Europe depending on Southampton's results. Much like Southampton, Swansea were doubted by many before the start of this season but as mentioned they have surpassed expectations and will be looking to build on this next season.
His success has gone very much under the radar and he deserves more credit for the job that he has done at the club.
For an inexperienced manager that is fresh out of his playing career he has over achieved in terms of his early managerial career. Outside of the top four or the teams fighting relegation he has potentially been the manager of the season and has been a surprise package this season.
He has a good squad at Swansea with a combination of youth and experience in the starting 11.
Fabianski has been a good signing for the club as they try to replace Michel Vorm and they have Ashley Williams commanding the back four and has been a main stay in the team over recent years.
They have the creativity in midfield of Jonjo Shelvey to combine with the pace that they have going forward in Jefferson Montero, Nathan Dyer and Wayne Routledge. I think the one place he needs to improve is his striking options as Gomis has done well since Bony left but they need more options if they are to compete for a Europa League place.
Next season will be a tough one for Monk as he will have to try and build on what he has done this season and improve the squad. They are not going to be pushing for the Champions League spots but can potentially push for the higher Europa League spots with the right summer signings.
It is yet to be seen as to whether the club can fulfil the ambition that Monk has for himself as a manager. He may need to make the move to another club in a few years time if his squad starts to stagnate or he doesn't feel that the challenge isn`t there for him at the club.
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