Sport Soccer

Monday 19 March 2018

Roberto Martinez: Garry Monk 'remarkable' at Swansea

Roberto Martinez, pictured, believes Garry Monk can be pleased with his achievements at Swansea
Roberto Martinez, pictured, believes Garry Monk can be pleased with his achievements at Swansea

Garry Monk did a remarkable job at Swansea, according to Everton manager Roberto Martinez.

Monk was sacked by the Welsh club on Wednesday following a poor run of form despite guiding Swansea to an eighth-placed finish last season and signing a new contract in July.

Monk played with Martinez at Swansea and was captain of the side under the Spaniard when he returned as manager in 2007.

Martinez is planning to call Monk to offer his support and expects him to be back in management soon.

He said: "W hat Garry Monk has achieved in his first managerial job has been nothing short of remarkable.

"What he achieved last season with Swansea is going to be in their history for a long time and I'm sure he's going to have a really refreshing period and then he's going to be ready to come back.

"Ideally you want to see managers having a long-term project but it's gone a little bit too much into the latest runs of results and decisions like this happen.

"Garry Monk was my captain at Swansea and we've got a really good professional relationship. I respect him a lot and obviously I want him to feel very, very proud of what he's achieved."

Monk's departure ended an 11-year spell at Swansea that began in 2004 when he joined the then League Two club, playing for them in all four divisions.

Managers Kenny Jackett, Martinez, Paulo Sousa, Brendan Rodgers, Michael Laudrup and Monk have all played their part in the Swans' success story, and Martinez backed the club to get it right again.

He said: "I think any Swansea fan needs to trust the chairman and the board because what they've done in the last 10 years has been exemplary.

"They've always been a football club where they've made a decision that nobody expected and it was the one that made the difference."

Martinez, meanwhile, revealed he will discuss Steven Naismith's future at Everton with the forward next month and could sanction a move away from Goodison Park.

Naismith has found himself increasingly sidelined, with Romelu Lukaku, Arouna Kone, Gerard Deulofeu and Ross Barkley monopolising the attacking positions.

Norwich, Everton's opponents on Saturday, made a deadline-day bid for Naismith in the summer but were rebuffed by Martinez.

However, with Naismith not having been involved in a Premier League game since mid-October, it appears a move in January could be on the cards.

The Scot has spoken of his frustration at the situation and the need to consider his options.

Martinez said: "That's something we need to look into whenever that situation arises. It happened in August, it wasn't the right time. We're going to see how the next three or four weeks go.

"It's so important to have a strong squad. We've got a period of a lot of games in a short amount of days and every single player will have a very important role in those weeks.

"So I'm sure in four or five weeks we'll have a clear idea of where we are and it'll be the right time to make a decision. "

There was positive news for Martinez this week about captain Phil Jagielka, who is ahead of schedule in his recovery from a knee injury and could return before the end of the year.

The defender, who suffered medial ligament damage in the defeat to Arsenal at the end of October, is potentially in line for a comeback against Stoke on December 28.

Martinez said: "Phil had very good news from the specialist yesterday and we are well on track - probably ahead of what we expected.

"Realistically we're talking about maybe that group of fixtures after Boxing Day - Stoke, Spurs at home - that seems very realistic for Phil to come back."

Press Association

Sport Newsletter

The best sport action straight to your inbox every morning.

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport