Belfast Telegraph

Everton's Monk was destined to lead: Martinez

Everton manager Roberto Martinez identified leadership qualities in Garry Monk by making him his first captain at Swansea so seeing him in the opposing dug-out this weekend comes as no surprise.

When the Spaniard returned to the south Wales club as manager in March 2007, a few months after being released as a player, Monk was sidelined by a serious knee injury.

With the defender's contract expiring in the summer and his career at the club in the balance, Martinez had a difficult decision to make.

However, the then Swansea boss decided Monk was the man around whom he would build a new, different team. And under Martinez, Monk captained the Swans to promotion to the second tier of English football.

Monk, who is in temporary charge at Swansea following the departure of Michael Laudrup last month, comes up against his old manager in an FA Cup fifth-round clash at Goodison Park.

"Garry was my first big decision as a manager in terms of shaping a squad," said Martinez.

"I had to decide on giving him a new contract and keeping him at the club after a very difficult injury rupturing his cruciate.

"I built a new squad around him and I knew he was the perfect captain and it was important he kept that role in the future.

"Garry has always been a responsible character in that dressing room. When I took over at Swansea there was a real need to bring in different talent and I decided to bring players from abroad, and when you do that you need to make sure you rely on a British core.

"Garry was at the centre of it and he has been very influential.

"He was the one that I knew could do that role perfectly. I knew he had all the elements that were needed to build that team full of different cultures."

Belfast Telegraph

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