6th March – Garry Monk

Garry Monk will go down as a Swansea City legend for what he did as a player but he is also doing a fantastic job as their manager and leading them to another top half finish.

When Monk first joined the club he wouldn’t have believed that they would be in the Premier League never mind being one of the best footballing sides in the top flight. Many people were surprised when the 36 year old was given the job because he didn’t have any experience and they felt that under Monk they would be battling relegation. However, he knows everything about the club and the way they want to play.

The former central defender started his career at Torquay United and was very highly rated, making five appearances for the club before he had even turned professional. This meant other clubs were looking at him and he signed for Southampton at the end of the 1995-96 season. In 1998 he would return to Torquay on loan and once again impressed so on his return he found himself in the Southampton first team and made his debut on the 28th November 1998 against Derby County. He would go on to play a further four games over the season.

Monk Soton

In September 1999 he went out on loan to Stockport County but was recalled because of an injury crisis at his parent club and he played the first two matches in January 2000 for Southampton. A year later he went out on loan to Oxford United but once again he was recalled because of injuries and would go on to play the last two home games at The Dell against Manchester United and Arsenal which were both won by Southampton.

Monk struggled once more to become a first team regular so was sent out on loan again. This time it looked as though it would be turned into a permanent move but after playing 15 times for Sheffield Wednesday and not helping them avoid relegation to Division Two, the move didn’t materialise. He did eventually leave the club permanently and joined Barnsley in February 2004. However he only lasted half a season and left for Swansea City in June.

Monk SWFC

It was a great start for him at Swansea as he helped them get promoted from League Two in his first season and then reach the League One Playoffs in his second season. In August 2006 it was announced that he would be the club captain. Unfortunately after just two games in the 2006-07 season he picked up a cruciate ligament injury and was ruled out for the rest of the campaign. Monk returned to the team and captained the club to promotion.

In their first season back they were excellent and finished 8th place but the 2009-10 season was not the best for Monk as he struggled with injuries and only played 22 times. Also during this period Monk and the manager Paulo Sousa did not see eye to eye and after the Portuguese man left the club Monk was back in the starting 11. He would then lead the Swans to the Premier League after defeating Reading in the Playoff final and he was given a new three year contract by the club.

Monk SC

Over the next two seasons he began to play less but was still able to lift his first major trophy after Swansea won the League Cup in 2013 after defeating Bradford City 5-0 in the final. Just under a year later he would be given the manager’s job and currently has a 38% win percentage as manager.

The final word can go to someone that didn’t get on well with Monk but knew his quality, Paulo Sousa. “Garry is one of the players we think is very important to our project for his experience, quality and leadership. He is an important figure in the dressing room and on the pitch. He knows the club’s philosophy.”

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27th October – Rhys Weston

Rhys Weston may not be the most recognisable name but he has had a very interesting career and if it wasn’t for injuries he may have played at a higher level for a prolonged period of time.

The defender will be fondly remembered by Cardiff City fans as he helped them climb from the bottom division of the Football League to the Championship and even took a pay cut in 2005 to help the club. The 34 year old can also say that he played at the highest level as he featured seven times for Wales between the years of 2000 and 2005.

Now 34 he doesn’t have a club but has played in a few different countries and experienced some different cultures so he can at least take that from his career. Weston started his career at Arsenal and made his debut on the 30th November 1999 in a League Cup game against Middlesbrough after coming on as a substitute. Later in the season he would go on to make his only top flight appearance as he started the final game against Newcastle United on the 14th May 2000.

In total he played three times for Arsenal before joining Cardiff in November 2000 for £300,000. He made his debut in a 3-2 win over Lincoln City and would go on to play another 31 times as the club gained promotion to Division Two after finishing 2nd. In the following season Weston was a more important member of the team and showed his quality in the 43 games he played, unfortunately the club missed out on back to back promotions after being beaten in the playoffs by Stoke City. The 2002-03 season was successful for the player and the club as they managed to gain promotion after beating QPR 1-0 in the playoff final. During the season Weston also scored his first professional goal after scoring in a 4-0 win over Tranmere Rovers on the 26th October.
Weston CC
Despite adapting well to the First Division, Weston struggled with injuries and would only play 24 times after suffering a knee injury and then damaging cartilage in his other knee in March 2004. In the following campaign he returned to his consistent self but again his season was ended by injury. At the end of the season he accepted a substantial reduction in his wages and was placed on the transfer list by new manager Dave Jones but still managed to play 30 times during the 2005-06 season. However, he was left out of the club’s pre-season tour and was released.

Weston then joined Norwegian side Viking but his only match for the club lasted 12 minutes as he dislocated his shoulder. Four days later the manager was sacked and the incoming manager could not speak English so Weston returned to the UK. In February 2007 Weston signed for Port Vale. He would go onto play 15 games for the club before being released. On the 16th July 2007 Weston signed for Walsall and went on to play 50 games for the club during the 2007-08 season earning himself a new deal. He would continue to be a consistent player but at the end of the 2009-10 manager Chris Hutchings decided not to give him a contract and after 111 games he joined Dundee.
Weston Walsall
He spent two seasons at the Scottish side and in both seasons they finished 2nd in Division One but at the end of his contract he decided to join Icelandic side KR Reykjavik. Due to financial problems he left the club after just 16 appearances and made the move to Malaysia to sign for Sabah FA. He only played six times and joined AFC Wimbledon on the 7th August 2013. Once again he did not get much game time and after a loan spell at Sutton United he was not offered a new contract.
Weston Dundee
The final word can go to Richard Money. “Rhys has become an important member of the team. His performances have become more and more consistent as the season has progressed and we hope that he will continue to be an important player for Walsall.”

18th October – Robbie Savage

Robbie Savage has definitely spilt opinion throughout his career, some love his antics whereas others hate him but one thing that nobody can deny is that he put in a lot of effort while out on the pitch and didn’t let down the fans.

Now a pundit, the 40 year old likes to be controversial and say things that will upset people and he is not shy in giving his opinions. Recently he has put across the point that footballers don’t care how much fans pay to support their team but at least he came out and gave his honest opinion rather than one he doesn’t believe.

Savage started his career at Manchester United and was part of the 1992 FA Youth Cup winning team which has become known as the ‘Class of 92’ however unlike David Beckham, Nicky Butt, Ryan Giggs and Gary Neville he never made it at Old Trafford and failed to play a game for the club and joined Crewe Alexandra in 1994. The midfielder was an instant success at his new club and in his first two seasons he helped them reach the Division Two playoffs and then they finally made it third time lucky and were promoted via the playoffs in 1997. Shortly after promotion Savage handed in a transfer request and he ended his time at the club with 10 goals in 87 games.

In July 1997 he joined Leicester City for a fee of £400,000 and became known as a reliable and fiery midfielder and became a fans favourite but was largely hated by the opposition. In his five years at the club he reached two League Cup finals and in the first he was involved in an incident with Tottenham Hotspur player Justin Edinburgh that got the Spurs man sent off. Savage had to wait a year to pick up a winners medal as they saw off Tranmere Rovers in the 2000 final. After Leicester were relegated from the Premier League at the end of the 2001-02 season Savage joined Birmingham City for £1.25 million.
Savage Leicester
Savage was once again a key player for the club and he played a vital role in keeping the club in the Premier League for two seasons but he handed in a transfer request and on the 19th January he joined Blackburn Rovers. In his first half a season at Blackburn he also played a key part in keeping them in the top flight and in the 2005-06 season he was a very consistent performer and helped the club reach the UEFA Cup and in the following campaign he scored in the competition against Salzburg and Wisla Krakow. However, a broken leg in January meant that he would miss the rest of the season. During the 2007-08 season he suffered a few more injury problems and struggled to break into the starting eleven meaning that on the 9th January 2008 he left for Derby County.
Savage BC
He could not stop relegation from the Premier League and even though it was not his fault, his performances were poor. After an equally poor start to the following season he was dropped by manager Paul Jewell and was sent out on loan to Brighton in October 2008, where he played six times. After Jewell was sacked, Nigel Clough put him back in the team and would also become captain of the club in the following season.
Although it was another disappointing one for the club, on a personal not Savage must have been happy as he played 51 times and was named the club’s Player of the Year. He did not miss many games while Clough was in charge and went on to play 137 times for the club before retiring in 2011.
Savage Derby
The final word can go to Alex McLeish. “I Like Robbie. I think he brings colour to the game. He has had a good career, he is a good player, a guy who rallies his team. He annoys the life out of the opposition and he can instigate a fight in an empty barn.”

14th October – Clarke Carlisle

Clarke Carlisle is known as the smartest footballer in Britain and he has lived up to this reputation by appearing on Question Time and Countdown but has also shown another side when working as a commentator on ITV.

Although the 35 year old has added knowledge to the matches he commentates on, he has occasionally made mistakes, including one that was picked up at the World Cup when he didn’t understand why Colombian striker Jackson Martinez couldn’t get into the Ecuador team. It was an honest mistake but it was still funny especially considering the reputation he has.

Focusing on his playing career, he started at Blackpool and made his debut in a 4-3 win over Wrexham on the 2nd September 1997. In the following match he scored his first goal to give his side a 2-1 win over Carlisle United. In his 93rd and final appearance for the club he scored in a 1-1 draw with Oldham Athletic and despite not being able to keep them in Division Two, his performances had attracted the attention of other clubs.
Carlisle Blackpool
On the 25th May 2000 Carlisle signed for QPR. He made 32 appearances for the club but his season was cut short on the 31st January 2001. After missing the entire 2001-02 season he returned on the 7th September 2002 in a 4-0 win over Mansfield Town. He returned to good form and helped the team reach the playoffs but they lost in the final. His career once again took a turn for the worse as he developed an alcohol addiction and missed a month of the season to have treatment. He returned to action in October 2003 and was in fantastic form winning the Division Two Player of the Month in November. Carlisle scored one goal in 39 games as QPR were promoted to the Championship. But after rejecting a new contract he joined Leeds United.
Carlisle QPR
During the early months of the season he was a regular starter but an injury on the 29th November 2004 kept him out of action and he found it difficult to break back into the first team. After just one season and 38 games he left for Watford. He was a key player in Watford’s promotion, but missed the playoffs and the injury forced him to miss eight months of the Premier League season. To gain fitness he joined Luton Town on loan on the 2nd March 2007 and played five games for the club.

He finally made his Premier League debut on the 9th April in a 4-2 victory over Portsmouth but could not stop them getting relegated. In the summer he joined Burnley and had a solid season but ended it with two red cards in the final four games. In the 2008-09 campaign he had a lot more success and in the Playoff final win over Sheffield United he picked up the Man of the Match award. Unfortunately they, like Watford, only spent one season in the top flight.

He was regular in the side during the 2010-11 season but when Eddie Howe was appointed he decided to send him out on loan to Preston for the entire 2011-12 season. He played 27 times for the club before the deal was terminated by mutual consent and on the same day he signed for Northampton Town on loan. He was appointed captain and played 18 times for the club.
Carlisle NT
When his contract at Burnley expired he joined York City on a short term deal, playing 14 times before rejoining Northampton Town. He helped the club reach the League Two playoffs but they were beaten 3-0 by Bradford City and on the 23rd May 2013 Carlisle announced his retirement.

The final word can go to Aidy Boothroyd. “I’ve known Clarke a long time. He’s a leader in every sense. I’m hoping he will be someone to lay down a lot of foundations off the pitch as regards to culture.”

25th April – David Moyes

He may not have been able to celebrate a single birthday as manager of Manchester United but that doesn’t mean he has had a bad career and will surely be successful once again.

David Moyes turns 51 today and his dream of managing one of the biggest clubs in the world turned into a nightmare pretty quickly. But even getting this far is an achievement for someone that started his playing career at Icelandic club IBV Vestmannaeyjar. He spent half a season in their youth team before transferring to Celtic where he won the title after playing 24 games.
Moyes Celtic
Moyes made over 550 club appearances for many clubs including Cambridge United, Bristol City, Shrewsbury Town, Dunfermline Athletic, Hamilton Academical and finally Preston North End.

After retiring he became a coach at Preston but in January 1998 after Gary Peters was sacked and the club were struggling in Division Two, Moyes was given the task of keeping the club in the league. He completely turned the club around by keeping them in the league and then getting to the playoffs the next season. However they were defeated by Gillingham in the semi finals. But this did not stop Moyes as he won the title the next season but even more remarkably in their first season in Division One they reached the playoffs but lost to Bolton Wanderers 3-0 in the final. After the season ended he signed a new five year contract with their Chief Executive Tony Scholes saying: “We believe David is the best young manager in the game. He is the man to push Preston into the Premier League.” He had a phenomenal record at the club winning 113 of his 243 matches in charge, only losing 63.

Unfortunately for Preston Moyes left the club in March 2002 to take over at Everton. He could not have got off to a better start with David Unsworth scoring 30 seconds into his first match in charge, they went on to win the game 2-1. He guided them to safety and then the next season he won the LMA Manager of the Year after leading them to a 7th place finish. It looked as though the good times were coming back but the 2003-04 season was not so easy as they struggled and finished the season with their lowest points tally and finished just above the relegation zone in 17th.
Moyes Everton
After having a difficult summer in which Wayne Rooney was sold to Manchester United his side were expected to struggle but the signing of midfielder Tim Cahill proved a stroke of genius from Moyes as they finished the season in fourth place and qualified for the Champions League.

The rest of his time at Everton was largely successful although he could not win a trophy it will still be seen as one of the best times in recent history. He would not have left to take over at many other clubs but to be Sir Alex Ferguson’s successor at Old Trafford was just too good to turn down. Ferguson said: “When we discussed the candidates that we felt had the right attributes we unanimously agreed on David Moyes.”
Moyes Man United
Moyes broke a lot of records while in charge at Old Trafford unfortunately for him and everyone involved with the club they were all negative ones and the club will most likely not qualify for Europe. He was not given the chance to turn it around and was sacked. The last word can go to Gary Neville who was disappointed with the team’s performances this season but did not understand why Moyes was not given more time. “The idea of giving people three or four or six year contracts and then getting rid of them after 10 months is something that is foreign to me.”

8th April – Joe Royle

The last manager to win a trophy for Everton is 65 today and after beginning his career at the club he must be pretty happy about what is going on at the club this season.

At the age of 16 Joe Royle made his debut for the club and went on to make 270 appearances for The Toffees scoring 119 times which is a very good record especially for a player that started out so young. He did have the record of being the club’s youngest player until James Vaughan broke it in 2005 by 11 days but he had a much better time at Everton than Vaughan. Royle was the top scorer for five seasons including the 1969-70 season which ended in the club winning the First Division.
Royle Everton
He stayed at Everton for a few years longer and stayed a consistent goal scorer but he was on the move and was signed by Manchester City for £170,000 in 1974. He was not quite as prolific but he did win the League Cup in 1976 before leaving in 1977 to join Bristol City where he played over 100 times.

He was forced to retire at the age of 33 in 1982 due to a knee injury but before this he had a spell at Norwich City and the fans took to him winning their Player of the Year in 1981. In 2002 he was voted into the Norwich City hall of fame by the supporters.

After retiring he decided to become a manager and took over at Oldham Athletic where he stayed for 12 years taking them into the top division and becoming a lot of fans second team because of their attacking style of football. He came close to winning the League Cup in 1990 but were defeated by Nottingham Forest in a replay. He kept the team in the top flight by finishing 17th allowing them to compete in the first ever Premier League season. However they did not stay long as they were relegated at the end of the 1993-94 season after failing to win any of their last eight games.
Royle Oldham
During his time at Boundary Park he was linked with the England job unfortunately for him he was overlooked and when he did finally leave he returned to his first club Everton. At the end of his first season in charge his team won the FA Cup and a year later he led his side to a sixth place finish. However he left the club in 1997 after a disagreement with the chairman.

His next move was to Manchester City and he could not stop them getting relegated into Division Two but after back to back promotions they were in the Premier League once more. They only lasted that one season and Royle was sacked for failing to keep them up. This would be the last time he managed in the top flight.
Royle City
Ipswich Town appointed Royle as manager in 2002 but he failed to get them promoted from the Championship losing in the playoffs twice and after his best players were sold on and the club finished in a disappointing 15th he left the club by mutual consent. Since he has only had one job and that was back in charge of Oldham however he was largely unsuccessful winning only one game and this being the very last one of the season.

Royle is a favourite at many clubs because of the success he brought them as both a player and a manager so it is no surprise he is highly respected and is one of the few managers to have been in charge for over 1000 games. The last word can go to Sir Alex Ferguson: “With more and more clubs in financial trouble, more and more managers are going to have to know how to manage. How to turn poor players into good ones and how to make the good ones even better. Joe Royle is excellent on both counts – that is his forte.”