Middlesbrough have confirmed that Garry Monk as their new manager, following the departure of Steve Agnew at the end of the season.
Agnew was given the job on a temporary basis last season following the departure of the popular Aitor Karanka, but he was unable to prevent the club from slipping out of the Premier League. From that moment on it was perhaps inevitable that he would not be given the chance to launch a promotion bid, as chairman Steve Gibson cast his net elsewhere.
And the Riverside Stadium club have now made what looks to be a shrewd appointment my handing the job to Monk. The 38-year-old earned a reputation as one of the best young coaches in the country whilst at Swansea City, despite the club sacking him – unfairly in the view of any – in December 2015.
Monk then turned up at Leeds United six months later. Some doubted this was the right move for him given owner Massimo Cellino’s reputation for sacking managers, but he made a good impression at Elland Road and kept the Whites in the hunt for promotion until the final few weeks of the season when they fell off badly and finished outside the playoff positions.
At Boro he will be tasked with taking them back to the top-flight at the first time of asking. This is the very least Gibson wants of the coming season, even revealing he expects his team to ‘smash’ the Championship and go back up as champions. Monk, who will be unveiled on Monday, will aim to keep the bulk of his squad together and make some quality additions in the coming weeks.