Daily Archives: 19/10/2015

Evans In, Cellino Out. Now We Must ALL Get Behind Leeds   –   by Rob Atkinson

Steve Evans arrives as Leeds United boss

It’s been quite a day, even for a football club in Leeds United that resembles a Whitehall Farce set on Fantasy Island – with a chorus of clowns and a plot straight out of the Crossroads school of dire soap operas. The first thing we heard this morning was that Uwe Rösler had been sacked. This, in retrospect, turned out to be the least surprising event of the day – after all, Rösler had received the fatal vote of confidence from Massimo Cellino not long back, so the axe had been poised to fall for some little time. 

This was no “mutual consent” contract termination, it appears. Rösler has been kicked out on the basis of undeniably poor results, but he’s unlikely to take it lying down, with a plea for support from the League Managers Association probable. We supporters can take it as read that Uwe’s course is run – and it’s unlikely many will mourn his passing, despite his laughably brief tenure. But Leeds could yet face a hefty bill to be rid of their umpteenth coach since the Mad Italian landed at Elland Road

It’s that procession of team managers in and out of the revolving door that was the problem for shocked Leeds fans this morning, rather than the loss of Rösler per se. Supporters rightly complained that the club is being made to look ridiculous – a laughing stock – as a result of Cellino’s allegro hire ’em then fire ’em recruitment policy. And then the next thing we heard was that convicted tax fraudster Cellino had lined up convicted tax fraudster Steve Evans as his next appointment. 

Immediately, the fat jokes and the dodgy geezer jokes came to the fore as football’s most put-upon fans responded with a broadside of gallows humour. Evans’ ample girth was the main target, with several terrace wits remarking upon the proximity of a McDonalds restaurant to Elland Road, and a video being shared online of our new head coach doing a celebratory touch-line waddle at Wembley, as he celebrated a playoff final goal for his then charges Rotherham.

And then, another twist. My first blog today took as its theme “Go, Cellino. In the name of God, GO”. And, lo, it has come to pass. For the time being, at least temporarily and subject to appeal, Cellino is gone – banned again by the Football League under their Owners and Directors provisions, more loosely known as the “Fit & Proper Test“. And it is this latest development that has put a new complexion on the whole troubled and rancorous day.

This morning, humiliated at the ridicule our great club was suffering under the direction of a barking Italian, the support was angry and out for blood, to judge by the mood online. Most if not all of that anger was directed at Cellino, with few if any mourning the demise of Rösler, who has won few friends with some odd decisions. So Cellino was under fire, not so much for the Rösler sacking as for what that said about his modus operandi thus far and looking ahead. But now, so it seems, Cellino will have no influence at Leeds for the foreseeable future.

This does make a difference. With Cellino out of the picture, we have a football club to support again, rather than a mad egomaniac’s plaything. It has become our function once more to support rather than to complain; to get behind the team rather than saturating the ether with negative vibes about the club. It’s vitally important that we, as a body of support, recognise the crucial difference between Cellino’s Leeds United – and a Leeds United without that overbearing, embarrassing presence about the club. 

In many ways, we have a new start in a positive sense, with a new man in charge of the team, and a new chance to go forward with a clean slate and – we should hope – all the players looking to impress Evans from day one. The removal of Cellino must surely mean an immediate improvement in Steve Evans’ prospects of being around long enough to make a difference. The supporters‘ role in that must be unswerving backing for the shirts – nothing less will do. 

What a difference a day makes. What a roller-coaster today has been. But the last case may well be better than the first, with the net effect being beneficial for Leeds United. It’s a leap of faith, but we have to believe this will be true. We must put our support behind Leeds United, the team, the manager, and we must start Marching On Together once more – now that the focus for our anger appears to have been removed, at least for the time being. 

Let’s do what we can, then, to get solidly behind the club from here on in, and see where that might take us. After all; you, me – even Steve Evans – we’re all Leeds, aren’t we?

Will the Real Steve Evans Please Stand Up?   –   by Rob Atkinson

So, who have we got coaching the Leeds United first team now? If it’s the gentleman in the picture above, then it’d be hard to think of an incoming United manager giving a better example of getting off on the wrong foot since a certain Brian Clough breezed into Elland Road, slagging off all and sundry. 

Then again, if it’s the convicted tax fraudster in this second picture, then we can expect the new occupant of the Leeds hot seat to get on quite well with our straight-as-a-corkscrew owner Cellino. A fellow feeling makes us wondrous kind, as old Will Shakespeare said, a few years back. Kindred spirits, and all that.

This blog thinks that Mr. Evans will have his work cut out building any sort of relationship with the notoriously stroppy Leeds support. He might have his work cut out with a bewildered United squad, too. Then again, those tasks might just turn out to be chickenfeed, compared to figuring out how to stay on the right side of Cellino. 

Some say of Evans, give him a chance. Others are more inclined to give him the cold shoulder. 

Me? I’ll give him till Christmas, tops. 

Steve Evans Sacked By Leeds After An Hour; Katie Hopkins to Take Over – by Rob Atkinson

Katie Hopkins: exciting appointment

Katie Hopkins: exciting appointment

Former Rotherham manager Steve Evans took training for Leeds United this morning and was duly sacked by calm, reflective owner Massimo Cellino for “poor results” as he tackled his formidable lunch. Media star Katie Hopkins is expected to take over as Cellino resorts to the provisions of the Sex Discrimination Act in order to restrain himself from further executive action.

Evans was quoted in the last few minutes as he cleared his plate and then his desk: “I can’t complain. I’ve had a fair crack of the whip and it’s true we’ve not won a single game since I took over at 10:00 this morning. That’s football, I suppose.”

Mr. Cellino was not available for interview, but is understood to be excited by the appointment of la Hopkins, recommended to him by a certain peer of the realm as “the right man for the job”.

The colour of the sky in Cellino’s world is not purple.

Just Go, Cellino. In the Name of God, Man, GO!!!   –   by Rob Atkinson

Cellino OUT

Cellino OUT

Short and bitter blog this morning as yet another manager staggers away with Cellino‘s knife in his back.

I’ve seen this coming, as many will have done – I blogged about Uwe Rösler‘s recent poison tipped “vote of confidence” from il Loco, and the doomed German himself must surely have seen the writing on the wall there and then. 

So now Rösler is gone, just the latest victim of Cellino’s frankly crazy revolving door policy. The Italian doesn’t seem to see how the serial recruitment failure reflects on him – he evidently feels he’s right and the rest of the world is wrong, with each successive coach letting him down, the poor, frustrated genius. 

Cellino is no good for Leeds United. He’s made the club into a joke, just by his insane running of it, and leaving aside his shady activities on the fringes of criminality. Leeds under Cellino is not a fair test of any football man’s ability. Anyone agreeing to take over now must surely find his professional credibility stretched to breaking point. What will the rest of football think of anyone prepared to put his reputation on the line for a clown like our nutjob President? It’s a nightmare we just can’t seem to wake up from.

From what we hear, it may well be Steve Evans, late of Rotherham, next. And who knows after that – all we do know is it won’t take long. Evans will feel the love from Cellino for a spell, then he’ll be harangued in the press, then he’ll be gone. It’s not the way to run a football club – but it IS the way that a liar, an incompetent, a conman like Cellino conducts himself.  

This blog will now devote itself heart and soul, in its own small way, to hounding Cellino out of Leeds. He’s poison, the kind of walking disaster who will see us back down among the dead men. He has to go. The sooner, the better, for all concerned. I hope and believe other small voices will be raised in the cause of chasing this joker out of our club. 

Go, Cellino. Go now, if not sooner. In the name of God, man, GO!!!