In the Guardian yesterday, Rob Smyth talked about how Roy Evans (Liverpool manager in mid-90s for those of you too young to remember) got far worse press than he deserved.
It also raises an important question – was Roy Evans better than Gerard Houiller or Rafa Benitez as a manager?
The key comparisons Rob made were on ‘average positions’ in the Premiership, playing attractive football and mounting serious title challenges.
“It is revealing that, under Evans, Liverpool’s average Premiership position (3.5) was higher than under Gérard Houllier (3.6) or Rafa BenÃtez (4.0).”
Revealing indeed. Statistics don’t tell the complete story but maybe this one will:
It was under Evans that Liverpool had their strongest title challenge of the last 15 years, in 1996-97 (they eventually finished fourth but had they beaten Manchester United at Anfield in mid-April they would’ve gone top with three games to go).
When were Liverpool that close to going top of the league in the last 10 years?
Definitely, Liverpool have won more under Houiller and Benitez – UEFA Cup, Champions League, FA Cups.
But was Evans as bad as the press he’s gotten? Let me know what you guys think (I’d rather defer to Pool fans here than harp on myself).