The worst 45 minutes of football I have seen a Leeds United team produce in my entire life, followed by the owner leaving at half time and the club refusing to speak to the press following the game. These are things that we are disappointingly no longer surprised about when it comes to our club. Steve Evans may as well have taken the night off entirely; the tactics could have been picked by playing pin the tail on the tactics board. The starting XI was nothing short of clueless and could have been picked out of the hat, and with no post match press conference, I have question why Evans even got on the coach to Brighton in the first place.
Following the capitulation on Monday night fans were calling for Steve Evans head in droves. Twitter was a mess. There was no excuse for the game, none at all, but for the people demanding Evans be sacked after 25 games in charge: you’re no better than Massimo himself!
Weren’t expecting that were you.
There are many reasons to be angry about last night, and we should be angry. Scott Wootton needs to be taken to the vet and put to sleep; he should never have started again at right back and giving away that penalty early on set the tone for the night. The defending from Cooper and Bamba was culpable for at least two of the other goals, and the defending from the entire back line was woeful all night.
Attacking-wise we have nothing, and despite Mowatt and Cook trying their best to make runs forward, it wasn’t really until Carayol came on that we started to look like we may get a shot on target. Which begs the simple question: why doesn’t Steve Evans start the game with attacking players when he knows we have these issues?
Massimo Cellino leaving at halftime is unacceptable, and I fully endorse all protests against him, as I always have, and I want him out of our club fast. But Steve Evans? Is he to blame for the team's recent bad run of form? Yes, largely he is, as he says "I am responsible for what happens on the grass." Is he unbearable to listen to? Yes, the bullsh*t that comes out of his mouth on a regular basis is enough to make me want to throw my remote at the TV. Should we sack him after 25 games? Absolutely not!
Over the past decade, the time in which managers have in charge of English clubs has become less and less, and as fans we have come to accept it. Since Cellino has been at Leeds, the time in which managers have in charge is getting less and less, 4 months on average I believe, and we are beginning to accept it too. And we shouldn’t. 25 games is not enough time for a manager to show what he can really do. Unless he has lost the Majority of those games, which Steve hasn’t, then there is no reason to sack him.
And fans that say he should be sacked are victims of not being able to see the larger problem... or not being able to tell the difference between the larger problem and the effects it causes. How do you win a war? By killing a soldier, or by killing the army’s leader? It may be an extreme analogy, but the principle is the same. The current problems at Leeds United are not going to be fixed by sacking managers every four months. They can only begin to be fixed by chopping off the head. Never mind the fact that under any ownership structure, good or bad, 25 games in charge is never enough time to see what someone can do. People who believe that have been listening to and reading too much bad journalism over the past ten years.
The fact of it is no manager will do well under Massimo Cellino. As much as I dislike him at present, do I honestly think it was his choice not to speak to the press last night? No. The Steve Evans I dislike would have come out of that dressing room and preached about how much better our second half performance was. It was Massimo who made sure he didn’t, and it is Massimo to blame for the state of unhappiness right now. Fans need to see this; Steve Evans is a symptom of a much greater disease running through our club. I’m not saying that Steve is the man to get us promoted, but I am saying this culture of chopping and changing managers is not right. And I refuse to judge Redfearn, Rosler, or Evans on anything fewer than a full season in charge at a minimum; really, I believe you probably need at minimum two seasons in charge to make a fair assessment.
Remember this poll? This was merely 2 weeks ago, after another article about Steve Evans. When the results of this poll came out, I applauded the fact the Leeds United fans who read this blog knew there was a darker evil afoot and that Steve Evans was trying his best in an impossible situation.
People can throw stats around showing our decline in position over the past 4 seasons at this stage all they want, but the underlying issue here, the constant over these seasons, is Massimo Cellino, and the blame for this season, the blame for last night lays firmly at this door. So, for better of for worse, I ask you again Leeds fans, after reading my argument and reasoning, what is are your current thoughts? Taking all the facts into account, what do you really want to happen at this club? Thanks for reading.