It was something of a shock this afternoon when it came out that Garry Monk had tendered his resignation as head coach at Leeds United.

Things had been looking rosy, with both club and Monk saying that talks over a new deal could wait until after the season’s end. That came and went, but only last night new owner Andrea Radrizzani had said that it was the club’s intention to take up a 12-month option on Monk.

Then this afternoon, the bombshell that Monk had effectively walked away from the club, handing in a letter of resignation after seeing that his footballing future lies somewhere other than Elland Road.

Radrizzani’s reply to Phil Hay’s tweet seems to show that Monk was actively seeing that his future was not at Elland Road, his resignation leaving the Whites with the building blocks of success that other must add to.

The current favourite for the vacancy is former Middlesbrough manager Aitor Karanka

Five things about Aitor Karanka – favourite for Elland Road job

Currently, major bookmaker Sky Bet has former Boro manager Karanka as a 4/6 favourite to fill Garry Monk’s shoes at Elland Road. Here’s five things about the man who could potentially be the man to take Leeds United to greatness next season.

1. Karanka’s playing experience came largely for Atletic Bilbao, who he played for in two spells; July 1993 to July 1997, and July 2002 to April 2006. the two-cap Spanish international also played for Real Madrid between July 1997 and July 2002.

2. Karanka’s arrival at Real Madrid in the summer of 1997 saw him arrive along with layers such as Christian Karembeu, Sávio and Fernando Morientes. That season’s squad contained many players that went on to become household names: Davor Suker. Raúl, Guti, Clarence Seedorf, Fernando Redondo, Roberto Carlos, Hierro and numerous others.

3. His playing experience for these sides and alongside such luminary players saw him make 148 Real Madrid appearances, providing one assist as well as 124 appearances for Bilbao, which yielded three goals. His last competitive appearance came for MSL side Colorado Rapids in November 2006, playing the full 90 in their 3-1 MLS Cup Playoff Semi-Final defeat to Houston Dynamo.

4. His coaching experience is limited to just three appointments. the first of these was with the Spanish Under-16 side, whom he coached from August 2008 until June 2010. He then went to Real Madrid as an assistant coach, under Jose Mourinho, at the beginning of July 2010, staying there until mid-July 2013. After leaving Los Blancos, Karanka took up the Middlesbrough job, coaching them from mid-November 2013 until his departure in the middle of March this year.

5. Karanka coached Boro for 169 games, winning 80 of them (47.3% win rate), drawing 40 (71% points gained rate) and losing 49 games. The Basque-born Spaniard’s Middlesbrough sides scored an average of 1.39 goals per game and conceded just 0.94 goals per game.


About Author

Cynicism turned to optimism but without the woop woops and ringing bells. Leeds United supporter through thick and thin, more thin than anything recently. Write mainly about the Whites but turn my hand to other clubs. Lover of salted crisp sandwiches. Not a hipster.