How overachieving is fast becoming a key attribute in managers getting sacked

Swansea Liberty Stadium

Garry Monk became a victim of his own success as Swansea City decided to part company with him on Wednesday.

It turns out Garry Monk wasn't bulletproof despite his success last season, as Swansea City sacked him with the club currently sitting in 15th place in the Premier League. Given how far Swansea have come in such a short space of time, they should consider that where they currently find themselves is by no means a failure.

In 2005 they were in League Two under Kenny Jackett, with Monk at the heart of their defence. Three promotions, one Football League Trophy, one League Cup and a Europa League campaign later, and they now find themselves as an established club in the top flight. Last season they did the double over Manchester United and Arsenal and finished in 8th place with 56 points, a record for the club in the Premier League. Safe to say Monk was doing well in his first ever job as a manager. Much better than many had expected. It would have been hard to improve on that this season, and without ever really replacing Wilfried Bony, mid to lower table seems about right for The Swans.

Of course one win in 11 matches can't be excused, but you must look at the bigger picture. What were the board expecting from Monk this season? If he had finished 15th last season, I doubt they would have been too disappointed. By finishing 8th he raised future expectations leading to his own downfall, unfortunately. It was only this summer when Monk was being tipped as a potential England manager, now he finds himself unemployed.

The 36-year-old isn't the first to become a managerial casualty after an initial period of over-achievement, however. It often follows the pattern of being promoted to the Premier League and then the club's board panics. In the 2012/13 season, Nigel Adkins and Brian McDermott were in charge of Southampton and Reading respectively, having just taken them up from the Championship. They weren't even given a season in the top flight, however, and were replaced midway through the campaign.

At the other end of the scale, Harry Redknapp was sacked as Tottenham Hotspur manager in 2012 after leading them to a fourth place finish for the second time in three seasons. It would have led to Champions League qualification if it wasn't for 6th placed Chelsea winning the Champions League that year. It was a great achievement for Spurs at the time, yet the board decided to dismiss him. Brendan Rodgers very nearly won the title for Liverpool in 2014 when no one would have expected them to challenge. It seemed as if it was theirs until the last few games when it slipped away from them. Second place it was, when most fans would have been delighted with fourth at the time. Since then they lost Luis Suarez, whilst Daniel Sturridge seems to have picked up more injuries than he has played games in that time. Yet as Rodgers hasn't matched that success, he now finds himself out of the job.

Football clubs are too trigger happy these days, and are under increased pressure from the fans. Even though it might be the players who are underperforming, it's usually the manager who gets the blame, and they take the easy way out by firing them. A replacement can lead to an upturn in morale, happiness and performance at the club rather quickly; albeit in the short-term, and clubs bank on that these days. Perhaps it doesn't help with the TV revenue in the Premier League, they see it as too big of a risk to potentially get relegated and lose out on all that money. However, it's a sorry sight when you see talented managers like Monk being sacked by the club he has dedicated 11 years of his career to.

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