It isn’t an obsession, although I’m sure a psychiatrist would seriously question that. Here, for the final time this week, is an article mentioning my favourite Scottish football manager. This isn’t a tale of his previous crimes though, this is a story that is bang up to date.
Last night our own paragon of virtue, Danny Cowley was sent to the stands in apparent disgrace after something occurred on the side of the pitch. The post-match analysis shone little light on the subject, Danny was as mystified as anyone as to what had happened. Steve didn’t help matter by refusing to shake Nicky’s hand after the game. What heinous crime had our otherwise picture-perfect boss committed? We know he likes the odd expletive when he’s ‘on duty’, but surely he wasn’t sent to the stands for swearing?
Here, probably for the first time, is the truth of the situation as revealed by a trusted source earlier today.
Steve had apparently been aggressive from the outset, eclipsing his issues on Saturday with Luton Town manager Nathan Jones. Rumour has it the two had a bit of a coming together in the tunnel following on from Jones’ comments in local media about sharing ‘chicken nuggets’ with the Mansfield boss. Evans was outraged his side failed to win the battle of the big-spenders, especially after he outrageously labelled Luton as the money bags team.
Perhaps Evans was still riled by that, perhaps he felt we’d cheated somehow by naming Alex Woodyard and Sean Long in the side when he graciously played his reserves. Maybe Mrs Evans hadn’t stocked up on his favourite chocolatey breakfast treat the night before. Whatever the issue was, Evans was in Danny and Nicky’s ears and they’re not going to take that.
The incident came to a head when Paul Digby deliberately impeded Paul Farman as the keeper went to release the ball. He picked up a booking for doing so, but over on the touch-line trouble was brewing. Steve had taken exception to something Danny said, and he was making his way towards the Lincoln dugout with fire (amongst lots of other things) in his belly. My sources claim he uttered the ‘C’ word a couple of times in the direction of Danny Cowley. Danny might be a few weight divisions below Steve, but he won’t shy away from confrontation and he also moved towards the man-mountain, waving around his hands. In one of those hands was a water bottle.
I’m told Steve then complained to the fourth official that Danny had deliberately flicked water at him, and the officials took the word of Evans over Danny, and our manager was sent to the stands. My source tells me that Danny’s hand did have a water bottle in it, and at no point was it aimed at Steve Evans, nor did it spill water in his direction. You know Steve though, he’s prone to being economical with the truth (£750k for Bostwick? £100 a week for Mike Marsh, etc).
A friend of a friend knows a referee’s assessor, and he’s told The Stacey West that Danny and Nicky are no angels. They won’t openly criticise an official and they’re respected for that, but they’re happy to express an opinion whenever they can on the touch-line. Football is passionate and you would expect nothing more. The exact description I got was that Danny and Nicky can be a nuisance on the bench, but compared to Steve Evans they’re Mother Teresa.
Steve Evans is a canny man, he believes that by creating tension and ill-feeling it will introduce emotion into games which may cloud judgement. With a massive clash between the two sides on the 16th he will want to play the victim with the Stags fans, try to create a bit of the siege mentality. After all, even with just six games under his belt, the pressure is on.
Some of their fans are not happy with progress, and he’s already castigating players that he himself has signed. After all, only four of the side that played last night have not be signed by Evans, and he’s already saying players are ‘not ready’ to step in when he needs them. Pressure manifests itself in many ways, but false claims of water throwing is a new one on me, if that is indeed the case.
That is it now, I promise no more Steve Evans articles for at least a week or so. I promise.