Former Leeds United striker Noel Whelan thinks that Leeds United boss Garry Monk has probably done a better job this season than Newcastle’s Rafa Benitez and when you first hear that it sounds a little daft.
But Whelan makes the point that Garry hasn’t got the squad that Rafa built in the summer – and he hasn’t got the free hand that Benitez has been given by owner Mike Ashley at Newcastle.
Both managers were nominated for the Manager of the Month award for October and Rafa came out on top with five wins in five games.
Garry Monk and Rafa Benitez in February 2014
Garry was at Swansea and Rafa at Napoli
It was a Europa League game
Leeds have won 9 of their last 12 games since the revival at Elland Road started under the very competent Monk, but on the other hand in the last 17 games in all competitions Newcastle have won 15 – so it’s all relative.
These are the points Noel made in his column in the Yorkshire Evening Post:
“The Football League handed the Championship manager of the month award for October to Newcastle’s Rafa Benitez on Friday, after Garry was nominated for the award too”,
“And I think you have got to look at results haven’t you and Newcastle won five out of five in the league that month.”
“Newcastle are on fire at the moment, Rafa seems to have got them firing on all cylinders and he is getting them adjusted to the Championship now and the way of playing and they are seeing the benefits from that.
“But in saying that, they have got international players in their ranks and you would expect Newcastle to be up there.”
“With Leeds, I would say Garry has probably done a better job because it’s difficult when you are on a budget and you have got to bring players in and you don’t have money available.”
“So really, the job that Garry has done, is probably a little bit harder and he is a little bit more successful right now than Benitez.”
Leeds’ last loss came in a 1-0 defeat at Derby County in mid-October and Newcastle’s last loss was the shock 2-0 home defeat by Wolves in mid September and that was after we had crushed QPR 6-0 on the road.
Hopefully that was a learning experience for our players.
It’s really hard to know who is doing better, but there’s no doubt Garry Monk is an excellent manager and he was so unlucky to be fired from the Swansea job.
And as we’ve written before, Garry can (will) do very well and could get Leeds United promoted if Leeds’ Italian owner Massimo Cellino allows him to do his job.
Rafa and Garry are not only two very good coaches, but they are also class people who respect each other.
It should be some game next Sunday between two in-form sides.