Leeds boss Garry Monk is preferred choice for Norwich City job among fans
PUBLISHED: 07:00 04 May 2017 | UPDATED: 08:23 04 May 2017
©Focus Images Limited www.focus-images.co.uk +447814 482222
As speculation over Norwich City's new head coach continues, David Freezer looks at the front-runners to work alongside sporting director Stuart Webber in attempts to revitalise the Canaries' fortunes.
It’s almost two months since Norwich City decided to sack manager Alex Neil but who will replace the Scot in the Canaries’ revamped set-up remains unclear.
Fleetwood Town boss Uwe Rosler is thought to be in the thoughts of new sporting director Stuart Webber as he lines up the head coach who will be responsible for getting the best out of the City squad next season.
Former Swansea City manager Garry Monk is another who has been strongly linked and given his immediate impact at crisis club Leeds this season, that is no surprise. With the 38-year-old’s future at Elland Road unclear amongst yet more changes to the club’s ownership looming this summer, links to Monk could well continue.
Another name has moved into the frame this week though – and potentially moved out of it just as quickly.
Northern Ireland manager Michael O’Neill has moved to dismiss reports that he has been in contact with Norwich, insisting he is focused on qualification for the 2018 World Cup in Russia.
The 47-year-old has also questioned whether he would suit the head coach role being implemented – and it seems Canaries fans agreed with him.
We ran an online poll putting the reported front-runners forward as options for the job and it was Monk who came out on top, claiming 51pc of over 3,300 votes.
Rosler was backed by 14pc of voters but O’Neill was chosen by just 7pc, with the remaining 28pc opting for a different option.
Webber has suggested the new man will be appointed within “two or three weeks” of the season concluding against QPR at Carrow Road on Sunday, when City will confirm a finish between eighth and 10th place in the Championship table.
That prompted talk that the former Huddersfield chief’s preferred options could have play-off campaigns to navigate before they can decide on their future.
His previous success in bringing in a manager from abroad, with David Wagner leading Huddersfield to the Championship play-offs this season, keeps the door ajar for the Canaries first foreign manager as well.
What do we know about the three men linked with the Carrow Road vacancy though?
Monk was a tough centre-back who started out at Torquay and went on to play in over 200 games for Swansea, captaining the club to the League One title in 2008 and Championship play-off success in 2011. He also won the League Cup in 2013 as the Swans established themselves in the top flight and then became interim player-manager after Michael Laudrup’s sacking in February 2014.
After surviving a relegation battle Monk led Swansea to an eighth-place finish in the Premier League with a club-record points tally and signed a new three-year deal, but a run of one win in 11 games saw him sacked in December 2015 with the South Wales club 15th in the table.
He signed a one-year rolling contract with Leeds last summer and the 38-year-old came close to securing a play-off place before his side’s late dip in form and is now awaiting summer talks on his future.
Rosler, meanwhile, is one of several managers who have not lasted long at Leeds in recent years. The 48-year-old German, a former Manchester City and Kaiserslautern striker, has shaken off bad experiences at Wigan and Leeds to rebuild his reputation at League One minnows Fleetwood.
The Lancashire club, funded by local businessman Andrew Pilley, have gone from step five of non-league football in 2005 to finishing fourth in League One this season – ahead of tonight’s play-off semi-final first leg at Bradford.
Rosler, who led Brentford to automatic promotion to the Championship in 2013 when working under sporting director Mark Warburton, arrived at Fleetwood last summer and has made an immediate impact.
While O’Neill, who now looks to be a less likely choice, has only managed in club football in the Scottish Second Division with Brechin City and in the League of Ireland with Shamrock Rovers.
Two titles, a cup win and reaching the Europa League group stages earned the former Newcastle and Wigan midfielder the Northern Ireland job.
Led his country to their first major tournament in 34 years and then to the knockout stages of Euro 2016 in France last summer and his team, which has regularly featured Canaries keeper Michael McGovern and outgoing striker Kyle Lafferty, are on course for a play-off place in World Cup qualifying.
All three look to be credible candidates but there’s only one man who will know if they are a fit for the Carrow Road hot-seat: Stuart Webber.