It is pretty conceivable that not many fans, if any at all, had Steve Evans at the top of their managerial wish list to replace Uwe Rosler in the Leeds United hotseat. With Cellino’s incredibly itchy trigger finger nobody can stay seated in the Elland Road dugout for more than a few months thanks to Massimo. We will never know who else was considered given that Evans was practically unveiled before Rosler had been given chance to pick up his belongings, but to appoint a guy who was recently in charge of a local rival and only has lower league achievements on his CV is, to say the least, questionable. Add on top of that the tax evasion charges that he faced while he was manager at Boston United back in 2006 and it becomes a serious concern that our beloved club, which is crying out for stability and a steady pair of hands, has turned to a man who will only bring more controversy to Elland Road.
The new manager does deserves credit, however, for conducting himself well in the build-up to the trip to Fulham, considering that he had just two days to prepare the lads for a potentially difficult away fixture. He certainly got a response from the players as they showed much more passion and fighting spirit than the last few weeks under Rosler who clearly struggled to motivate the team, although it must be said that many of the performances, particularly against Middlesbrough, did not merit the results under the German.
Walking away from Craven Cottage with a 1-1 draw is certainly an element of foundation that Evans can build on, but we deserved so much more than a point; Joe Lewis single-handedly denied us a win that would have done spirits and confidence in the camp the world of good with a number of top drawer saves. Kit Symons even admitted that his team were lucky to come away with a point, which tells you everything. The performance fully merited three points, but it was a positive start to life under Steve Evans and if the team continue to play with the same effort and determination, then I will have no complaints whatsoever.
Betway had installed Leeds as favourites on their online betting market to come away from rock-bottom Bolton Wanderers with a much-needed three points but it was not to be. There may be a new man in charge but it was the same old story. A slow start and going behind early on due to sloppy defending. Evans is passionate though, his frustration at the performance came through, arms waving around like windmills and we did improve in the second half. Antenucci again saved the day and a point for Leeds. The draws at Fulham and Bolton ended our own personal slump of three straight defeats and with two back to back draws at least Evans has something to build on.
Thursday is key now though, a chance to win our first home game for nearly eight months against Blackburn Rovers. A win then would really give the fans and players a lift and push us forward. Evans does have a reputation for being fiery and aggressive on the touchline which does not bode well if Cellino manages to get under his skin, but we should allow our sixth manager in just eighteen months (a sickening reminder of what our owner, who has been disqualified yet again for misdemeanours, has done to this club) to prove he has what it takes to manage Leeds United.
Penny for the thoughts of the players who have seen so many managers come and go in such a short period of time without any sort of longevity that they required to bring stability and their own idealisms to Leeds, but the passion and fire that Evans may have already instilled into the squad could receive the response we so desperately need on the pitch. We, as passionate fans of our football club, should also continue to do our bit by getting behind Evans and the boys, and although it could turn out to be yet another rollercoaster ride, we have to stay positive and hope Leeds United get their pride back.
Marching on Together News
Is Steve Evans the right man?