'Want me to leave?': Wednesday's Westwood and Hutchinson aren't the only players banished by 'ruthless' Monk - Sheffield Wednesday News
'Want me to leave?': Wednesday's Westwood and Hutchinson aren't the only players banished by 'ruthless' Monk
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'Want me to leave?': Wednesday's Westwood and Hutchinson aren't the only players banished by 'ruthless' Monk

Garry Monk is the latest Sheffield Wednesday manager to exile Keiren Westwood and Sam Hutchinson from first-team affairs, according to The Star.

Speaking at a press conference on Thursday, Monk refused to confirm reports that he has followed Jos Luhukay’s lead, suggesting instead that the pair’s susceptibility to injury is behind his decision to leave them out of recent matchday squads.

Few Owls fans are buying that explanation, however.

And it would not be the first time that the 40-year-old has banished big characters.

Here are some of the others who got Monk’d…

David Stockdale (Birmingham City)

The situation:

Just like Westwood, Stockdale began Monk’s managerial tenure as first-choice goalkeeper. The Yorkshireman started all eleven games after the 40-year-old arrived at St Andrew’s towards the end of the 2017/18 season. But Stockdale failed to even make the bench the following campaign.


What was said?

Stockdale told The Athletic earlier this season:

He just said I wasn’t in his plans and I could find somewhere else. I said, ‘No worries,’ shook hands.

I was training with the U18s, so I’d been cast aside, because he wanted his squad together. As a 33-year-old, training with kids, some who were younger than your own daughter, that can be a bit tough.

What happened next?

Stockdale spent time on loan to Southend United, Wycombe Wanderers and Coventry City last term, but even though Monk was replaced by Pep Clotet in the summer, the now 34-year-old has only appeared once for the Blues in what looks set to be his final season at the club – though he was at least a regular on the bench in the early part of the campaign.

Stewart Downing (Middlesbrough)

The situation:

A regular throughout the two previous seasons, after he had returned to his beloved Middlesbrough for a fee of around £7 million, Downing began the 2017/18 campaign out of Monk’s plans, missing Boro’s first four Championship fixtures and appearing only in the cup.

What was said?

Downing told Gazette Live last year:

How can you make a judgement on a player without seeing him even train?

I got in his office, we spoke for an hour, he was basically bigging me up (saying), ‘I played against you, you’re a good player, (you) played for Liverpool’.

I’m thinking, ‘This is going well, this is great’.

He’s giving me all these systems and I’m thinking, ‘Brilliant, I did that for Liverpool, I did that for (Aston) Villa, that’s right up my street, we can go and attack now’.

Then he said right at the end, ‘But I don’t think you fit in my system’.

I said, ‘Right, okay, why not? (He said) I want dynamic players’.

I said, ‘Can someone please explain to me what a dynamic player is, you tell me what your version of a dynamic player is?’.

He said: ‘Well it’s this and this and this.’ And I said, ‘No problem. I’ll leave, do you want me to leave?’.

He said, ‘No, no, you won’t play as many games but…’.

And I went, ‘I’ll leave because I need to play’.

So I spoke to the club and I get permission to speak to Harry Redknapp at Birmingham. I had a really good chat with him, he sells you the dream, he’s fantastic.

It got right late in the window, my wife was pregnant at the time, I said to Garry Monk, ‘You do what you’ve got to do but I’m not going to Birmingham, that club’s a shambles, I don’t know what’s going on, are they going to keep him (Harry), I don’t know what’s going on, I’m hearing rumours they might sack him’.

I went into that pre-season and thought, ‘I’m going to show him (Monk)’.

I spoke to him two or three games in and said, ‘I’m not leaving for Birmingham’. And he put me in the squad for, I think it was, Preston at home.

Before that I’d said I would go and train with the U23s. Everyone thinks I got bombed into the U23s but I said to him, ‘You get on with your squad, you get your team together, and I’ll train with the U23s, I’ll keep out of the way’.

We actually got on quite well, he’d always speak to me whenever we were in the canteen, he didn’t ignore me, anything like that.

Then he just put me back in the squad and started to play me.

What happened next?

Downing was restored at the end of August and started 15 of Monk’s last 17 league games in charge – culminating in a 2-1 win against Wednesday at Hillsborough which cost both the then-Middlesbrough boss and his Owls counterpart, Carlos Carvalhal, their jobs.

Luke Murphy, Toumani Diagouraga and Ross Turnbull (Leeds United)

The situation:

Murphy and Diagouraga had, again, featured prominently during the previous manager, Steve Evans’s, reign, whereas Turnbull struggled to make the bench. But Monk used both Murphy and Diagouraga just once before casting them aside with the goalkeeper, who was named on the bench three times at the start of the 2016/17 season.

What was said?

Turnbull told Gazette Live (after Monk’s Middlesbrough appointment):

I think as a manager you’ve got to be ruthless.

He told me he wanted to go a different way. He had two senior keepers and a young one as back up and that’s how he works so I had to get on with it.

I was training with the U23s. You could say that was ruthless but that’s football. I’m not bitter, he’s the manager and he’s done what he thought was best for the football club.

It was disappointing for me but as a manager you’ve got to make tough decisions.

Another thing that impressed me at Leeds was when he dropped Pontus Jansson for a massive match against Brighton at home.

There was a disciplinary issue and even though it was a big game at the time for Leeds, the manager stuck to his beliefs and dropped him even though he was an important player, that shows that he’s a strong character.

What happened next?

Murphy and Diagouraga were loaned to Burton Albion in the January transfer window and neither they nor Turnbull ever played for Leeds again. Murphy eventually joined Bolton Wanderers on a permanent basis in 2018, a year after both Diagouraga and Turnbull were released.

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