I can’t work out what has sent more sensible people doolally, Brexit or the appointment of Steve Evans as manager of Peterborough United.
Both have divided opinion, both have set friend against friend. And both should have been allowed to happen without this much fuss, one because of democracy and one because a chairman who has delivered the best decade of my time supporting Posh decreed it so.
Sure, have a protest, but keep it polite and try and deal in reality. It’s not happening in either process. Facts are twisted/ignored/promoted to suit opinions and it’s become horribly tiresome.
This is not the place to get too deeply into the biggest political hospital pass of my lifetime, but it is the place to worry out loud about the behaviour of some Posh fans towards Evans, a man with a mightily impressive record of success which is surely a major qualification of any manager at any club?
Tuesday’s win over AFC Wimbledon pushed Posh up to fourth place in League One with 38 points from 20 matches. That’s the highest points return from the opening 20 matches since Posh were relegated from the Championship at the end of the 2012-13 season. It’s nine points more than last season.
But ‘the football is not great to watch according’ to the naysayers.
This is true if you expect Posh to play like Barcelona or even like Darren Ferguson’s class of 2007-09. Sadly budgets don’t stretch to signing the likes of Iniesta and Messi, while Holy Trinities turn up at clubs like Posh once in a blue moon.
I’ll settle for being among the top scorers in League One and watching 5-1 and 4-1 wins away from home. I’ll settle for an away record which would still include no losses, but for a fluke goal at Wycombe.
I’ll also settle for competing strongly with far bigger clubs with greater resources and if we finish in the play-off places I’d settle for that as well.
But the world has become an angrier place in recent years. Banter has been replaced by full-on insults. History is regularly rewritten by those with an axe to grind, mostly relating to things that happened over a decade ago in the case of Evans. A couple of other recent managers have stains on their characters which didn’t create the same level of pious posturing.
One of my Twitter followers moaned recently that Evans had ‘only ever secured one promotion from League One so is hardly a Messiah’, which is true, but he missed off the fact that Evans has only previously managed for one full season in the third tier and he took Rotherham up. A 100% success rate was used as a negative.
‘Evans doesn’t improve players’ said another critic, but when the terrific progress Joe Ward has made since the change of manager was flagged up it was apparently all down to the player ‘getting used to league football rather than the influence of Evans’.
That’s the standard of debate Posh fans on social media get to follow.
It almost makes May v Corbyn debating Brexit an attractive proposition.