As the hours pass by, rumours of Garry Monk's imminent switch to managing West Brom is growing stronger. Back in late 2017, Monk was sacked by Middlesbrough less than six months into his tenure.
Gary monk spoke to Sportkeeda in the backdrop of the Football Movement conference which is organised by Premier League India on track and the department of international trade for the UK government).
Who are the toughest players to handle at a football club?
Of course, players have to be physically fit and technically sound but I often pick players more on the human side. How they are as a person and how they conduct themselves. Sometimes, you don't always get that so they are the ones I work with harder.
I try to change their thinking but it's hard because often they turn out to be some of the most talented players in your team so you need to balance it out. They are helping the team win games but they are also affecting (negatively) the group so you have to find ways to handle them. Do you still play that player? Or do you make sure it doesn't affect the group? I will probably lean more towards a team player.
Can you recollect any specific examples?
I had a player at Swansea, he had all the ability in the world, a good player - he'd be brilliant for two months then fall off the face of the earth, become nasty and disrupt training, his form would drop.
I tried to work closely with him, tried to support him. In the industry I work in, everyone wants instant success, time is of the essence. You have to make sure that those players don't affect your job as well, at the end of the day it's the manager's job on the line, not the players. You have to make sure there is no player who disrupts your job.
Are you close to managing West Bromwich Albion?
(Laughs) No! not at this moment in time. Look it's never good to lose your job but I am ready to go back in and ready to start working. I am waiting for the right opportunity, I am ready to go and when the opportunity comes, I will take it.
What methods do you use to motivate the players?
Psychology is a big thing and it's growing even more. Nowadays players are very different compared to my time. Their mentality changes all the time. It's not just football, it's society. The rewards that are there for the players, lessen their motivation to be a professional every day.
What motivates a player? Often I do workshops and find out why they wanted to be professional footballers. I try and trigger it. For some it's their family, some do it for their grandma, their mother and some do it for money. Some do it for the lifestyle. Once you understand that, you can trigger it.
Once a manager is sacked, the waiting period is dreadful, isn't it?
When you first leave a club, you cry for about two weeks! When I left Middlesbrough, the first thing I did was review the process. I discuss it with my staff, sit with them and discuss everything from on the pitch to what happened off the pitch. What went well, what didn't go well and we refine it. It's about using the time to meet other people, other clubs, other sports, other businesses and develop new ideas for yourself.
What kind of people did you meet once you were sacked?
I spoke to some Rugby people, I went to see how their sport worked. I became friends with some Welsh internationals like Ryan Jones who is an ex-captain. I spoke to him to get an insight into their team.
I spoke to some snooker players, it's a totally different sport but from a psychological point of view, I wanted to learn about concentration. I spoke to some tennis coaches who train individuals, that was for a physical point of view. I also spoke to business people to understand how the structure works.