Steve Evans is a larger than life personality than we have surely missed since our relegation in 2011. Six years ago we swapped places, his Crawley side came up as we sunk out of the league, but that was the last times our paths crossed.
Prior to that he’d been the figure we loved to hate, belligerent and dismissive of Keith Alexander’s sides. As Boston manager he goaded us, he taunted us and ultimately he almost got sent to jail. One of the many positives now we’re back in the Football League is the opportunity to cross swords with the angry Scotsman. He isn’t managing just anyone, he’s at Mansfield Town, geographically one of the closest clubs to us.
He’s already moaning in the news as well, and what better way to make my feelings towards him clear than an article showing he hasn’t changed one bit? In a perverse way I’m going to miss the comedy gold that Chris Kinnear served up this season, but I’m certain Mr Evans will prove to be just as entertaining, and he’ll ensure my keyboard keeps getting plenty of use with his outlandish and brash statements.
He’s already underlining his expectations next season, and he has more or less stated that he is to have one of the divisions biggest budgets, or there is no point in him remaining at Field Mill. It’s the usual fare from a bullish individual such as Evans, and it sounds very much to me as if he is afraid without more money than everyone else, he’ll get found out for what he really is: an average football manager.
Speaking to the Mansfield Chad Newspaper he said: “When we joined the chairman said the summer would be the time he`d make sure I got the support I got at the likes of Crawley, which was up there with the best budgets in the league, and Rotherham, which was not the best budget but certainly top six.”
In other words it’s all about the money, money, money (insert you own Abba tune). He fails to mention that he also needed significant funding to ensure Boston got out of the Conference, money that wasn’t always managed honestly or fairly. Rather ironically it was Dagenham and another ‘friend’ of the blog, Garry Hill that missed out.
Evans went on to highlight how important a big budget was to him: “We need a top six budget or in reality there is no point in me staying. But the chairman is an honest man.”
So there you have it, unless Steve Evans has more money than everyone else he can’t see any reason to stay and compete. I hope he does stay because we know that winning football matches isn’t all about big budgets, and whereas Steve Evans is a yesterday man, a manager on a downward trajectory who has been propped up by pound notes wherever he has gone, we have Danny and Nicky Cowley. They’re managers who do not issue thinly veiled ultimatums in the media, they let their ability and management skills do the talking.
Evans joined up with the Stags after Adam Murray left in November, and despite being granted his wish of eight new players in the January transfer window they failed to make the League Two play-offs. He claimed at the time he had offers to remain at a higher level, but chose Mansfield for the ‘stability’. In February he told BBC Nottingham:
“I didn’t want to go to a firefight, I wanted to go in somewhere that was really secure and somewhere that would back it. I am absolutely loving it.”
That reads to me as if he didn’t want to go somewhere challenging, instead opting to buy his way out of League Two (again) and rebuild a reputation that took a battering at Leeds United, a job that was surely too big even for him.
However, unless the Mansfield chairman backs his under-achieving, overspending manager then we might not get to see him at Sincil Bank at all next season, which would certainly be a shame for Double M’s who were banking on his visit to ensure they turn record profits.