Whilst Manchester United’s sacking of Louis Van Gaal, and imminent appointment of Jose Mourinho, are dominating the media headlines, there is another story of managerial mayhem taking place across the Pennines, in West Yorkshire.
Although Steve Evans, the sixth manager appointed by Massimo Cellino since the Italian took over at Leeds United in April 2014, is still technically in charge at Elland Road, rumours surrounding his future have been circulating since the end of the season. Despite guiding Leeds to a comfortable 13th place finish, with instructions to simply avoid relegation, it has been widely reported that MK Dons manager Karl Robinson was offered, and rejected, the hot seat at Elland Road. Add in an official approach for Bristol Rovers manager Darrell Clarke being rebuffed, and Evans’ future in West Yorkshire looks non-existent. This then begs the question as to what a manager has to do to survive the wrath of Massimo Cellino?
Managers being approached and rejecting the opportunity to take over the role further indicates that Cellino’s reputation is preceding him, which can only hinder the Yorkshire club’s hopes of building a promotion-winning squad under a talented manager. Stability is crucial in building and developing a promotion push, and it has been severely lacking at Elland Road in recent years.
So, the drama continues. Will Steve Evans keep his job, and be offered the chance to develop his squad, as many people feel he deserves after his first season at Leeds? The chances appear slim, and with young British managers rejecting the opportunity to move to Yorkshire, the likelihood of Cellino returning to his native Italy appears ever more likely. Crotone coach Ivan Juric is a name doing the rounds on social media, and in doing so triggers a worrying sense of deja vu; Darko Milanic, anyone? Only time will tell as to who is at the helm at the beginning of the season, but one thing is clear; stability is needed at Elland Road, and fast.