When he replaced the sacked Uwe Rosler in October 2015, there were more than a few raised eyebrows.
Even Leeds fans, who refer to themselves as ‘Vile Animals’ said that Evans was not suited to the Elland Road job, a case of the man being too vile for the vile.
This was a man who turned up at Elland Road at the tail-end of the 2014/15 season wearing a sombrero and beach gear after keeping Rotherham in the Championship.
It wasn’t long before the jibes about his weight started and digs relating to pies and Greggs started being bandied around about him. His expansive waistline soon had ‘dailies’ like The Star writing stories about him having badges seen on Rotherham training gear as there was nothing in his size at Elland Road.
Slowly, but surely, Evans began to win the fans round with his honesty and humility at being in charge at Elland Road. Fans started to ‘feel’ for him as the games wore on, the results came in dribs and drabs and the players seemed to begin to play – albeit at times.
This has really got to me.a powerful image of Leeds United.this man "gets it" being Leeds
— eddieleeds (@eddieleeds1) May 7, 2016
It hasn’t all been champagne and strawberries though, there have been warm lager and pork scratching moments in between. Excellent victories over Derby, Huddersfield and Hull City have been countered with abject displays against Blackburn, Brighton and Huddersfield.
Still, Evans has made it to the end of the season, in doing so becoming the longest serving and most successful manager/head coach/watermelon during Massimo Cellino’s two-year reign at Leeds United.
He’s started looking after himself more responsibly, the weight loss is worthy of a book and DVD deal. He’s won a large number of fans over, evidence of that can be seen in the reception that 5,000+ Whites fans gave him after the final whistle at yesterday’s Preston game. OK, he’ll never win ALL the fans over; this is Leeds United and we simply don’t do that sort of thing.
Some fans are clamouring that Evans be given the nod by Cellino to kick-on from this season with fresh blood and a new start next season. In a club lacking stability off the field, many see stability on the field to be a vital starting point.
Other fans don’t agree, saying that extending Evans’ deal beyond his current ‘short-term’ one isn’t a step worth taking. For these fans, there are better options out there that Leeds United could explore and already names such as Fabio Cannavaro and Walter Zenga have been linked in certain quarters.
Where Leeds fans might agree, putting Evans’ employment or not aside, is how the club should be acting towards Evans – a man who in all honesty has given his all since October. Irrespective of viewpoint, we Leeds fans should be able to agree on one thing: adoption of a dignified approach.
Evans has done enough to earn that from Cellino and the club. Let him know either way and soon – that’s what we should be doing.