Give Evans the Chance to Lead From the Front and Build From the Back   –   by Rob Atkinson

Steve Evans has served his big-time apprenticeship at Leeds United – and he’s shown beyond reasonable doubt that he deserves a proper crack at the biggest job outside the Premier League. As every United fan knows, it’s a bigger job, and a hotter seat, than most in the top division too. But, while his physical frame has shrunk in size during his time at Elland Road, Evans has grown into the job, displaying determination, commitment and more dignity than is to be found elsewhere in the club. To let him go now would be the act of a fool. 

Evans has been around Leeds long enough to know the place, strengths, weaknesses and all. He has been in football long enough, and has earned success enough, to come up with the right prescription for next season – given the chance. To go back to square one, with a new coaching staff, is surely not what is now required.

The nature of the building job for a new campaign must be – initially – the provision of solid foundations for a team that has forgotten how to keep clean sheets. Building from the back, prioritising solid and reliable defence, is the long-standing recipe for football success. Once established, a mean and uncompromising defence, with cover by some grit and industry in midfield, allows for licence to create and accumulate further forward. Evans, like many a coach, knows this. But Evans is in a uniquely advantageous position when it comes to knowing how to apply such knowledge to the situation that pertains at Elland Road.

The man himself seems suddenly pessimistic about his chances of carrying on in a job he relishes. Tears will be shed, he tells us, if time is called on his United career. Indeed, anyone with the interests of United at heart might feel slightly moist about the optics if Leeds once more upset their own applecart. What then lies ahead but more uncertainty, more blind stabs in the dark of the budget end of the transfer market? 

Leeds have the chance of starting next season’s business in an unaccustomed atmosphere of stability. They must seize that chance. Evans knows the club and he knows the way forward. He’s done better than any other manager in the club’s recent, chequered history. He backs himself to succeed, knowing the price of failure. 

Now, Leeds United must back him too. 

29 responses to “Give Evans the Chance to Lead From the Front and Build From the Back   –   by Rob Atkinson

  1. Felling must give Steve Evans a chance next season otherwise we start all over again just going round in circles. Give him a new contract just for once Cellino let’s have some stability.


  2. Steve Trebert

    I thought that it was a joke when I heard Steve Evans was Appointed Leeds new manager. First thought was what is Cellino upto. Yet nothing anymore surprises me with him.

    Now the end of our season has come and I would be very disappointed to see Steve Evans go. I believe he has done a good job with the players he has at his disposal. He brings much needed passion to the club and does know football in this country. It would be a backwards step if we have a new manager again. The ball is now in mr Cellino’s court.

    Whatever happens I will always be Leeds United and nothing can change that.


  3. Scally Lad

    Sorry, Rob, but I can’t accept it. Evans has driven us into the bottom half of the league and shown me nothing in the way of tactical ingenuity, daring and creativity this season. He is mediocrity incarnate. To keep him means more of the same, more of the same – eternally more of the same in this boring purgatory of dull football in the bottom of the Championship.


  4. Evans recently stated that he could get Leeds into the top 10 working part time. I don’t know if anyone noticed but we finished in the bottom half and he was full time. Then last year there was the proud boast that we would be top 10 by Christmas. Are you lot seriously going to fall for his ” play-offs promise”? When will the penny drop for crying out loud?


  5. Steve Trebert

    Good article Rob and spot on


  6. A decent man at the beck and call of an idiot.
    Shameful, but not uncommon.


  7. Could not agree more!


  8. Not convinced. He appears tactically naieve when things are going wrong, l would still argue that the players available should have been good enough to be top 6. How many times has he played players out of position when players who would naturally play in those positions were either left on the bench, or totally ignored. The number of times he brought players on as a late sub, and then praised them highly begging the question, why weren’t they picked in the first place.


  9. All you guys who are willing to sacrifice Evans would be stupid enough to play Russian Roulette. If you think that this lot are good enough to be in the top six then you must be blind. We are weak in defence, we need a good strong midfield maestro, someone with guts and a mean streak capable of kicking fellow players up the backside when it’s needed. We need another good proven striker to play with
    Woods. Then and only THEN will we have a decent shot at the top.
    If we get a new coach, if we get the finances to buy decent players and if we get some sanity from Cellino then as far as I am concerned it will be an absolute insult to Evans after the way he has been treated.
    Do you guys really want a FOREIGN coach, no pedigree, no proven track record, no experience of English football, no world class players anywhere in sight and playing in the toughest league in Britain? You must be absolutely mental.
    Rob is spot on and I think 90% of the sensible fans of this club agree too. If Evans is sacked then any respect I have in this club will be sadly diminished. I really do believe the club is occupied by brainless idiots sometimes. The last thing we want is another miserable, sickening season of mediocrity, disappointment and webs like this full of anger and animosity.


    • Its comical reading the lame views of those without a leg to stand on. They invariably turn abusive to all who disagree. Steve Evans isn’t even good enough to be an average manager. Didn’t someone recently post the quote about the definition of insanity? Repeating the same thing and expecting different results? Right Popeye,who yet again made the mistake that cost us the game? Got it yet Popeye? Next,who picked him?


  10. Think Evans is a sound coach and have supported him from the beginning, but he is not Don Revie. Where is Today’s Don? Is there one. Well we must look for him.


  11. Evans has done well under very trying circumstances, with an owner that keeps sticking his nose into team affairs but won’t put his hand in his pocket and back any manager – sorry, head coach – financially like ambitious owners such as Boro’s Gibson. How often are the selections we see influenced by him? Bellusci?

    Cellino is the very opposite of a man of honour. He treats people like dirt and flings his rattler around the cot as soon as someone speaks up, or seems to be getting things on track. (Yeah, mixed metaphors I know). Witness Redfearn and Thompson.

    The man is an oaf and a boor, as well as a crook and a compulsive liar. An utter fool who should be glad his daddy grew big in corn and set him up for life financially.

    No one. I repeat – no one, can succeed under this clown. Number one, he won’t countenance the concept of a manager, and number two any “head-coach” is just going to be his fall guy. The Leeds head-coach job is worse than a poisoned chalice – it is a rancid, toxic crock of runny shit.

    The day this nutter bought into our beloved Leeds United was a dark one indeed. By the time he goes, or croaks it, he will have done irreparable damage. I rue the day I heard his name.

    Just my opinion, mind. But heartfelt.


  12. if evans knows so much, how was he so blind for so long in playing an inept scott wootten. even today he put him on which cost us the game. sorry but too many times his selection policy seems to be insane.


  13. Couldn’t agree more with this article but I fear some unknown Italian manager is packing his bags ready to descend on Elland rd in the next week or so.


  14. Da ya think that a bitch for a night would kill Italisn stallion, stone dead, lol?


  15. David Dean

    I feel sorry for Steve Evans – he has passion, desire and commitment and he has always shown dignity in the time he has been at the club. I agree with you Rob he should be given a new contract, he deserves a full season hopefully with some backing. He has shown that he loves his job and just want a chance to show what he can do. I will renew my season tickets if he stays on but we all know there is no chance of that. We are starting again from square one with another coach – Redders, Rosler and Evans, all of them good choices but not allowed to deliver. Utter madness.


    • I think that’s the nub of it; he’s done pretty well without having his own pre-season and with only one pretty limited transfer window. I’d be fascinated to see what a team that is truly Evans’ own could accomplish. Sadly, that lunatic has to scratch the itch every now and then. That’s the danger of having an amateur (an egotistical and insane one) holding sway over pros.


  16. Yes. He’s earned a season


  17. I find it difficult to put a strong footballing case for Steve Evens, yet I want him to stay for non-footballing reasons such as integrity and decency. But I am an older supporter,cushioned by past success, and can live without promotion until the present owner decides to sell up. I think our current squad could and probably would be managed better in Evans’ second season and is quite good enough to secure a top half place next year, although Woood’s continuing fitness is plainly key to this. Evans though needs to talk less and the local media needs to give him more space to prove himself – that applies to the club as a whole.


    • I honestly think his tendency to talk a lot, apart from being naturally a garrulous sort of bloke, is a function of the ongoing insecurity that characterises employment under Cellino. If he is doing well, he feels the need to say, “Look! I’m doing a good job!” It shouldn’t be that way, but it is.


  18. This is a tough one , for lots of reasons my heart says YES give the man a chance he so deserves it , unfortunately my brain says NO , tactically he seems unsure , he struggles IMO during games to alter things , he’s done his cv some good at ER but we need someone to get us up and keep us up , and it’s not SE , sorry , MOT


  19. The comment by ‘Billy’ (above) is spot on. We all feel for Steve Evans yet recognise that his skills as a manager are limited. Had Uwe Rosler not been so honest, and public, about his assessment of the Leeds squad, this season may have turned out slightly better (a top 10 finish) and consistency/stability to build for 2016-17 would have been established. Sadly, not when Cellino hears something he doesn’t like!


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