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The Ben Smith column: The managerial merry go round

Football never ceases to surprise me and this week is no different.

Obviously with me being out on loan at Aldershot I have been slightly out of the loop regarding Crawley Town. Nevertheless I was aware of the rumours and speculation regarding Steve Evans going to Rotherham.

When you are at a club that is doing well you become used to speculation regarding your manager’s position but normally you take it with a pinch of salt. However these rumours started to gather momentum.

On the coaching courses I have been attending lately acquaintances kept telling me that Steve was going to Rotherham and it was just a matter of when not if.

I realised it was true when I saw that after the Good Friday game against Crewe he had confirmed the approach in the local press.


To my mind this made his position untenable and was clearly his way of forcing the move through. As is the norm in football events moved quickly from there and both Steve and Paul Raynor were appointed as the new managerial team on the Monday.

To most people, including myself, this seems a somewhat strange career move. You can argue, probably rightly, that historically Rotherham is a bigger club than Crawley but at the moment is it in a better position to move forward, especially in the short to medium term? I would say that is up for debate. The league table would definitely say no.

Being the football sad case that I am I decided to have a look at some of the Rotherham message boards to gauge there reaction. The appointment seems to have been greeted with universal displeasure. This is understandable considering the prickly public persona Steve has cultivated over the years and his previous misdemeanours.

However if the supporters can look past this they may also see why he has been appointed. Being the good salesman that he is I am sure Steve will have pointed out to his new employers that he has generated millions of pounds for Crawley through selling players on, two cup runs to the fifth round of the FA Cup and a promotion with another one potentially in the pipeline over the next month.

Of course like anything these achievements are not without there trade offs. Rotherham and its supporters will have to put up with his histrionics on the sidelines which are aimed at his players, opponents and officials. Often all at once! He often puts this down to passion but I’ve always thought you don’t have to scream and shout to be passionate.


Steve is highly driven and demanding of both himself and those around him. If he feels your not putting the work in he will let you know.

I’ll admit when I first joined I found his methods hard to deal with. I’ve worked with a few livewires but he is definitely at the top of the hairdryer scale!! However once you realise this is his way of letting off steam and he doesn’t mean it, this becomes less of an issue.

As well as the decision of the move the timing is a little strange and leaves Crawley in an awkward position. Luckily they still have Craig Brewster who is an excellent coach and have now appointed Steve Coppell as Director of Football. This seems like a very shrewd move. I have never worked with Steve before but he is obviously a very knowledgeable guy and seems like an ideal appointment to not only support Craig but also put the infrastructure in place so the club is ready if and when it moves up the leagues.

Hopefully Steve Evans move to Rotherham will turn out to be a good move for both parties. I would like to take this opportunity to wish him luck in the future. I had a rollercoaster two and half years playing under him. Some really enjoyable times and some not so enjoyable but I wouldn’t swap that league title and trip to Old Trafford for anything.

If you are on Twitter follow me @bsmudger7

Ben Smith recalled from Aldershot loan: CLICK HERE

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