Leeds fans will remember this point last year when then newly-installed manager Uwe Rosler promised Whites fans ‘heavy metal football’; we got ‘glam rock’ instead. So when Garry Monk tells the Leeds United official website that his football will be “front foot” and “aggressive”, you could excuse the apathetic shrugs of Leeds fans.
Whilst Rosler’s proposed brand of football didn’t quite work out as promised, there were flashes of it under Steve Evan’s stewardship of Leeds United. With the same set of players, at the moment, it is likely this style of football that Monk wants Leeds United to play.
Speaking to the club website, Monk said: “I want the players to be excited. It’s about aggressive, front-foot football. I like to play on the front foot – I don’t like to play passive football – but there are times when we need to be adaptable. We can’t always have it our own way.”
With having the same players at his disposal as his two predecessors last season, Monk knows that it is a more steady approach that is needed; evolution rather than revolution so-to-speak. Further to this, Monk elaborates that: “It’s about trying to improve the players in terms of their cleverness in how to approach a game. But I want the fans to be excited, I want the players to get on the front foot and make sure it’s attacking football. It was a unique situation at Swansea – it was a process of 10 years that had been put in place to build to that. It’s not about me copying that, it’s about taking the best elements in terms of that attacking football.”
In a slight dig at the way Leeds played last season, something that annoyed some fans no-end, Monk dismisses the notion of pretty, tiki-taka football with no end product. What he says is that: “Of course, I like to play possession football – but always with a purpose. I don’t want us to play possession football so we can say we’ve had 800 passes but we’ve only had one shot on goal. It’s about playing with a purpose. The game is changing nowadays and the pace is becoming a lot faster – the players have to adapt to that.”
In sympathy with what the fans want, Monk tends to agree – there has to be a perfect blend of style and substance; that one element cannot take precedence over the other. In this respect he is quite plain in what he says: “I just want exciting football – I want to see shots, I want to see goals. I want to see all of the elements. It’s a perfect storm when you talk about it like that. You want the fans to come here and be happy that they’ve paid their money to watch that type of football.”
From promises of heavy metal to promises of perfect storms; it seems that Leeds fans might have another thing to get their hopes up about.