Manchester United Player Focus – Jonny Evans

21 10 2010

At the start of the 2008/09 season, Manchester United Coach Sir Alex Ferguson had a dilemma; albeit one he was not complaining about. With Nemanja Vidic and Rio Ferdinand being the first choice centre-back pairing, a deputy was needed, someone who would be the long-term successor to Ferdinand, yet would get opportunities to develop in the first team.

The previous season Spanish defender Gerard Pique had impressed everyone at Old Trafford, with mature performances and the manager was not afraid to play him in big games against the likes of Arsenal and Roma. In the second half of the 2007/08 season Jonny Evans rejoined Roy Keane’s Sunderland side, whom he had already played for in a spell the season before, to help them in the fight against relegation, and displayed performances which caught the attention of his parent club. He had spent the first half of the season at the Red Devils, but appearances were restricted to just cup competitions. Eventually Barcelona resigned Pique, but Ferguson was not as reluctant as people would have expected in letting him depart, as he knew that Evans was ready for the step up to the first team.

Evans Needs To Rediscover Form

Evans Needs To Rediscover Form

Indeed he was given the opportunity to showcase his ability in his Premiership debut for United against Chelsea, and appearances have not been scarce for the Belfast born player. He has already amassed 67 games for the club, being the regular deputy for Ferdinand who has been unlucky with injuries for the last 18 months. Yet the promotion has not fazed him, and his manager has not been scared to praise him. “Jonny Evans will be a centre-half in Manchester United’s future, no question about that.” Evans has all the ability in his locker to develop into a top-class defender. He is composed when on the ball; he has the versatility to play as a left-back and already has a good physical approach to his game, but after being tormented by Fulham striker Bobby Zamora last Sunday, it’s reasonable to say he is not quite ready to be first choice, yet.

The progression of Evans is not surprising to people who follow United’s academy. He was part of the senior squad for pre-season back in 2006 when they went to South Africa, and that season he went to Belgian feeder club Royal Antwerp to gain first team experience. In September 2006, before even making his professional debut for Manchester United, he was called up to the Northern Ireland senior squad for the game against Spain, and played in the infamous 3-2 victory. His international team-mate Stephen Craigan recently praised Evans. “People speak about Jonny learning, but I learn off him. He is phenomenal, a top, top player.”

Already being tipped to captain his country in the future, the youngster looks as if is keeping his feet on the ground and admits he tries to steer away from the footballer persona off the pitch. He signalled his desire to remain at his boyhood club by signing a new four-year-contract in May, with the club keen to reward him for his development. As long as he does not become complacent, he will have a bright future in the centre of defence at Old Trafford for many years to come.

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One response

21 10 2010
World Wide News Flash

Manchester United Player Focus ? Jonny Evans…

I found your entry interesting do I’ve added a Trackback to it on my weblog :)…

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