November 20, 2014

Being a Premier League manager is a bit like starting a job with a noose loosely placed around the neck.

Each string of poor results causes that noose to slowly tighten until it gets to the point the club ends up giving the manager the sack.

The average tenure of a sacked boss during the 2014-15 season was only 1.23 years. It happens to the best managers, not matter how close their ties to the club are. Swansea City's Garry Monk - a former defender and team captain who was part of the team during its rise to the Premier League - found this out the hard way Wednesday.

And the Swans will carry on without Monk on the touchline on Saturday against Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium.

"The decision has been made very reluctantly and with a heavy heart," chairman Huw Jenkins said. "To find ourselves in our current situation from where we were in the first week of September, and considering the drop of performance levels and run of results over the last three months, it has brought us to this unfortunate decision today."

The South Wales club (3-5-7) haven't won a Premier League match since an Oct. 24 victory over last-place Aston Villa - a slide of five matches - and were hammered 3-0 by league leaders Leicester City last weekend. The Swans managed to prevent Jamie Vardy from extending his league-record goal-scoring streak to 12 matches, but Riyad Mahrez fired home a hat trick which ultimately spelled the end for Monk.

"It's with great sadness that I am leaving this special club," Monk said. "Over the last 12 years I have been part of the Swansea City family. It has been both an honour and a privilege to play for and manage this club. I believe that whenever you join a football club, the supporters deserve your blood, sweat and tears. I can say for sure I gave all those things and more.

"I have had too many amazing memories to mention them all. As a player captaining the club to three promotions, a League Cup winners medal and, of course, winning promotion to the Premier League via the Championship Play-Off Final will be some of the best highlights. The biggest honour, for sure, was wearing the white jersey with pride. The transition from player straight to manager in the biggest league in the world is never an easy challenge, but it is a challenge that I have relished and immersed myself in. "

The search for a replacement is ongoing, with Manchester United assistant Ryan Giggs among those rumoured to be in line for the position, but whoever does take charge will need to fix a leaky defence that has not kept a clean sheet in any of their last 10 league matches.

Manchester City (9-2-4) aren't a ship without a captain, but the club comes in struggling in league play having lost two of their last three fixtures. They were clearly outworked in a 2-0 loss at Stoke City last weekend thanks to a pair of goals from Marko Arnautovic.

Despite the league struggles and swirling rumors of Pep Guardiola replacing Manuel Pellegrini next season, the Citizens enter Saturday's clash with some confidence following a 4-2 win over Borussia Monchengladbach in the Champions League on Tuesday.

That victory gave City first place in Group D, but more importantly, allowed them to avoid drawing Barcelona, Bayern Munich and Real Madrid in the round of 16 when the tournament resumes in February.

The Swans could be just what City need to get back on track in league play as the Sky Blues have won four straight against Swansea, outscoring them 12-5 in the process. Still, Pellegrini had some empathy for Monk at his Friday news conference.

"Normally in England, some years ago, there was more patience with managers. Garry Monk had a great season last season, now he's sacked because they lost two or three in a row," the Chilean told City's official website. "For every team, in opinion, they would play better if they stick with the manager.

"I don't think that's the way to manage a club."

Manchester City forward Wilfried Bony again faces his old side after opening the scoring for the Swans against City last November in a 2-1 defeat. The Citizens also won 4-2 at the Liberty Stadium in May with Yaya Toure scoring twice, plus goals from James Milner and Bony, who netted against his former team.

Gylfi Sigurdsson and Bafetimbi Gomis got the goals for Swansea.

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