Leeds United Will Ignore Manager Monk’s Warning Tone At Their Peril   –   by Rob Atkinson


Monk: time for the club to support him

As the January transfer window draws inexorably to a close, Leeds United‘s highly-rated young manager Garry Monk has delivered himself of a cleverly-loaded quote – one that his employers would do well not to ignore.

On the same day that academy graduate Alex Mowatt finally moved on to Barnsley (despite assurances that nobody in and around the first team would be sold) Monk has reacted thus: “I can only assume that the players the club have talked about will come through the door as soon as possible. I am excited. We need to strengthen.”

It’s a statement loaded with subtextual significance. Reading between the lines, the manager’s “excitement” sounds more like the onset of frustration. When he says “I can only assume” in reaction to Mowatt’s departure, it sounds very much as though the sale was not entirely desirable from his point of view – unless there are incoming reinforcements due. The unsaid addendum to “I can only assume” is “because otherwise, the club is messing me about and not supporting me as promised”.

Time is running out, fast. There is 4th Round FA Cup business to attend to this weekend, a potential banana skin of a game at Sutton Utd in which, ironically, Mowatt might have been expected to play a prominent role. But, beyond that, there will then be mere hours to provide the couple of players that Monk has continually said he needs. It would not do to frustrate and stymie a manager who has made this season so much more memorable, and for all the right reasons, than the past few have been. Garry Monk has done wonders for Leeds United, and the club is honour-bound to back up his efforts with quality recruits to give his squad the best chance of success.

Furthermore, if Leeds are once more to disappoint their fan base as well as their manager, with yet another window in which expectations have been merely managed and not met, then it really does make no sense to lose Mowatt now, with so many potentially vital games left to play. The mercurial midfielder with that wand of a left foot may not be the kind of player to build a team or a promotion challenge around but, on his day, he could be a game changer with his undoubted potential to grab a spectacular goal like a bolt from the blue. You need that kind of unexpected element in a squad. With Mowatt gone, and even Murphy and Diagouraga too, the first team pool is markedly weaker than it was at the start of January – when the aim surely had to have been to strengthen.

Make no mistake, Garry Monk is putting the pressure on his employers to deliver, and rightly so. He’s saying that, with Mowatt sold, it would make no sense for there not to be incomings over the next few days. It would be against all logic, it would be foolish and it would be a betrayal. It’s all there. That one quote says it all, quite subtly, but nevertheless unmistakably. Garry Monk expects and requires action, not just words. If the club lets him down, they will potentially risk losing the best thing to happen to them in a long, long while.

Leeds United must listen to their manager, and they must heed his between the lines warning. It’s high time for the club to put its money where its mouth is.

20 responses to “Leeds United Will Ignore Manager Monk’s Warning Tone At Their Peril   –   by Rob Atkinson

  1. Completely agree, i saw that interview and though later he seemed in better sorts when interviewed by Pope he was definitely sounding a warning that the Mowatt sale and Leeds lack of activity was becoming a problem. I suspect he planned to play mowatt against Sutton


    • I suspect you’re right, and it would have made perfect sense to do so. I can’t see the logic behind selling him today – unless there is something in the pipeline. But it’s a risky reduction of options ahead of a tricky tie at Sutton with full squad rotation potential needed.


  2. Russell Crowes

    I am clinging to the hope, albeit a faint one, that the club policy of 1 in 1 out still applies, which if true means we’re looking for 3 new additions before the Tuesday deadline. The latest name to appear is young Omar Bogle from Grimsby. Scoring at will, Bogle would provide an interesting alternative to Chris Wood. Anyhows all will be revealed very shortly


  3. I think Mowatt was due to play but once bid came in and Mowatt knows it would be difficult.This will have disputed his plans for Sutton and Blackburn on Wed.
    Clearly from the interview GM did not want Mowatt to go.

    If we do make the signings it could be a repeat of 2011 when Simon was in playoffs and we did sign Centre half or cover for Kilkenny when he went to play for Aus courtesy of Master Bates.

    GM would be undermined and I fear where that could end.


    • Grayson’s mistake was signing two rookie midfielders on loan – as well as not making better use of McCormack. Our defence was riddled with wholes and the only way were going to be promoted was ‘attack etc’. In my view, we didn’t need to sign anyone which, more often than not (research please) is the best strategy for a promotion-challenging side (yes, Rodney Marsh, we haven’t forgotten you).


  4. Don’t bank on the Mario brothers all foreign owners should be thrown out particularly Italians.


  5. David Dean

    We’ve been here before so many times but as usual I take the view that this cannot possibly be happening i.e. Mowatt sold and no incomings. Decent cover for Wood is buying insurance and if they are serious about promotion this is a must. I would have expected the same for the centre back role – they need another understudy to Pontus and Kyle, again risking failure when injuries and suspensions kick in. Monk says he is confident but did the toast that preceded him. Surely we won’t get fooled again and we’ll be dancing in the street with Radrizanni. 🎩


  6. Mowatt has become a fringe player under Monk. We are now a different team with the pace which has been lacking for some time. Mowatt unfortunately lacks pace and it has shown when he has come on in league games and whether he might have played at Sutton is to me irrelevant.
    I do not believe he would have gone without Monk’s blessing and his contract talks have been stalled for months. If we get a couple of players in who would make a difference then fine and if we can’t do those deals then we go with what we have got which has served us well. For too many seasons some of the players coming in have been below standard or troublesome behind the scenes.
    The Fulham players rejection of McCormack coming back is a lesson in that respect.


  7. There is NO DOUBT Rob that Monk will walk in the summer if the owners don’t come up with the goods. They’ve already let him down badly with Mowatt going after they’d given him assurances that no one would be leaving and HE WON’T TAKE TWO kicks in the teeth.

    He’s done enough at Leeds to get another job tomorrow – no doubt.

    The owners ARE FOOLS!!!
    Gerry Cwmbran


  8. alec wilson

    In fairness Mowatt is one of those many players who are never gonna quite make it, signing for. Barnsley is nt exactly a move of intent.selling is correct move. This team is good enough for play offs, why upset the aople cart. Strengthen in summer yes. Spend wisely on correct players, of which are abailable anyway.



  9. The lack of incoming-transfer activity that was at first a concern is now rapidly becoming a worry. We don’t need to be signing a bucket load like Villa, but while Plan A seems to involve Fletcher and Canis I sincerely hope there is a Plan B, and even C. GM has been quoted as saying that the squad had sufficient strength and numbers even if no new signings arrived, but that was before Murphy, Diagouraga, and Mowatt departed.
    The need for reinforcements in certain positions was widely known well before the transfer window opened, yet here we are with less than 4 days remaining and Pablo Hernandez being the only addition to the ranks.
    I for one do not fancy a nail biting evening watching the Transfer Special on TV next week in hope rather than expectation, and certainly don’t wish for another “don’t go to bed yet” scenario. GM has done a great deal for our club already, it’s time for the club to return the favour and deliver the goods.


  10. Monk talks like that – I don’t see anything to remark upon: he was being playful. It’s a shame about Mowatt, not least because he was a rare exception in a somewhat right-footed squad. (Yes, Roofe I’m looking at you.) He needs a lot of game time to get up to speed – and I’m not just referring to pace; but Monk plainly sees him as a late sub..The problem then is that his entry tends to make us vulnerable to a fightback – the opposition know he has difficulty covering large tracts of ground. He does of course have a great shot in him and can pass long, attributes that need constant honing in real game time, which he isn’t going to get. Had Redfearn managed Dawson better (who did he manage well apart from, yes, Mowatt ?), we’d still have him on our books as cover for Hernandez who, in several respects, he resembles as a player. So, let’s wish Mowatt well and accept that he may flourish at Barnsley without sighing about ‘might have beens’. He has been a credit to our Academy, but home grown boys often have to move to grow (research please).


    • I disagree on the central point of Monk’s choice of words. He was letting us know that the Mowatt sale (right or wrong) was not his call, and he was stating clearly that he now expects the promised transfer support to materialise.


      • I’m happy to conced that point. The sale of a player though should never be a Manager’s call, which Monk must appreciate. However a Manager is entitled to know if the departure of a player is to be compensated by the arrival of another. He needs to know how it fits into the scheme of things. Like Monk I assume the club are working very hard to get at least one signing over the line. My concern is that they may not have been trying to sign the right player(s): the old adage, ‘the best is sometimes the enemy of the good’ applies here as everywhere else.


  11. We all have our opinions and interpretations on everything connected to Leeds. However, my doubts and apprehensions are with you Rob. I was under the impression that the introduction of Radrizanni would breath fresh air into this club. The talk, the retoric, the passion was all there to see, and YET once again here we are not knowing what the devil is going on. As supporters we are always in the dark, as journalists and punters they are motivated by speculation and the grapevine, but still get the run-around. What I find unbelievable and utterly disrespectful is the way managers are in the lap of the gods and no idea what is happening. It’s been long established that owners know nothing about football, most could not pick a reliable first team if they had access to the world’s footballing talent.
    We are in third place, we have a very formidable first eleven and we have one of the best coaches in this league. We are in the right place to launch a genuine push for the playoffs. If ANYTHING jepodises or ruins what GM has done things season, then all hell will break lose, and the fans will have every right to lay seige to Elland Road.
    Every single transfer window has been an utter joke, pathetic and befits a Sunday league side. Cellino, Radrizanni and the rest of the upstairs, GET YOUR ACT TOGETHER AND SHOW SOME RESPECT


  12. With time nearly up on the transfer window and our shocking surrender to Sutton,you have to worry about how thin our squad really is. Doukara was a massive let down today. Only Silvestri earned any credit. It was a mistake,in my opinion to put out a second string side, Winning breeds confidence,whatever the competition. I just hope we don’t suffer a hangover from this at Blackburn.


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