By Brian Reece
In 1994 Roy Evans took charge of Liverpool Football Club after Graeme Souness was sacked as Liverpool manager, the news was well received by the fans who had started to turn on their once midfield hero, mainly because of the way LFC were playing and his interview with the hated Sun newspaper which effectively sealed his fate as manager.
Liverpool then turned to an old friend Roy Evans a boot room boy who had everything the fans wanted, a man who believed in playing the Shankley way, it was received with excitement by LFC fans everywhere who believed Roy would bring back the good days of titles and cups.
In Roy’s first season the 1993-94 Liverpool finished an unacceptable eighth position, but Roy was at no fault for this, he took charge during a campaign and everyone at the club knew Roy need to be judged when he was in total control and had the opportunity to bring in his own players and address the problems he inherited from the Souness era.
Roy knew with players like Flower, McManaman and the new additions like Babb and John Scales Liverpool had a good chance of starting to produce results and be in the position to challenge for honours, Roy was proved right when Liverpool Beat Bolton in the Coca-Cola Cup Final, sadly it was to be Roy’s only triumph, But what did excite fans was that we also finished fourth in the league, a vast improvement from the previous year.
During that summer of 1995 Roy obtained the services of Stan Collymore and Jason McAteer which gave Liverpool more attacking strength and width, this proved to be another improved season for Roy as Liverpool finished third in the League and reached the FA Cup Final.
The 1996-97 season saw Roy go all out for a title challenge and was in command until Liverpool and Roy showed signs of inexperience towards the final hurdle and some title nerves cost them dearly and Liverpool finished a disappointing fourth.
Liverpool would finish in the top four again in the 1997-98 campaign but it was felt that Liverpool were lacking something and in 1998 LFC announced that Houllier was to become joint manager, at the press conference Roy Evans looked like a man that had been shafted by the ones he loved and although as ever he took the decision with class and grace you only had to look in his eyes to see how he felt about it.
So in the early part of the 1998 season it came as no surprise to Liverpool fans that Roy Evans left Liverpool FC after 32 years, the way that Roy left Liverpool Football Club is a mark of the man, he wished Houllier and the club every success and left without any parting shots, something unheard of in today’s game.
Roy Evans will not be known for the amount of silverware he won but for the way he turned his beloved Liverpool Football Club around after the disastrous reign of Graeme Souness and the unacceptable situation he left the club in, Roy Evans didn’t have the money that’s now available to managers of today’s top clubs neither did he have the luxury of inheriting a team of internationals he could hit the ground running with, what Roy Evans done he done by himself, so as a starting point to revive and rebuild Liverpool Football Club, history should and will be kind to Roy Evans.