Jonny Evans once led many Manchester United fans to believe that he would be one of the defenders forming the new center back pairing to replace that of Vidic and Ferdinand. Eventually, when time came for the golden pair to be replaced things did not turn out as predicted. From a potential world class to nothing but a flop in the ongoing season Jonny Evans has performed at levels defining a new low. The defeat to MK Dons was probably one of the most depressing of the lot.
Jonny Evans is nothing but a mere shadow of the player he was two years ago. A string of good performances on loan for Sunderland convinced Sir Alex Ferguson that he was capable enough to put up a fight for a place in the starting eleven. The 2008/09 season saw Evans make his first team breakthrough. His debut against Chelsea included a solid performance where he contained the mercurial Didier Drogba for most of the game and this reason led many to believe that he was a gem among the academy graduates.
A fairytale story was not on the cards as performances began to dip. From a spot in the starting eleven Evans was now close to the rotating doors of the club. His worst performance was that nightmare of a defeat to Manchester City, one that none of the fans would want to remember. Ferguson even showed his frustration in the Champions League game against AC Milan and directed his hairdryer at him only to be held back by Mike Phelan. The initial hype over Evans led to the eventual dispersal of Shawcross to Stoke City for a meager £2m who now seems to be more clinical among the two. He made good runs forward and was dependable to score from corners but all that has changed. We now see a defender who would struggle to play even for a championship club.
Jonny Evans has been pretty sloppy in his back passes. In each game Evans has played this season Evans has committed errors leading to shots on goal. The numbers of interceptions (2) are unacceptable. Even Smalling and Jones average more than that and they were initially thought to be much lesser defenders than Evans. Jonny Evans has been poor in the air and his man to man defense has been outrageous. Defenders at Manchester United have a certain level of discipline and aggressiveness and Jonny Evans has lacked in almost every aspect. His performances have led fans believe that his time may well be up and a summer move to get rid of the defender would be gladly expected.
Louis Van Gaal’s 3-5-2 (3-4-1-2) requires a good Ball playing defender and Evans has shown Van Gaal a great need to get a new defender into the squad. Manchester United may be third on the table but that is a reflection of De Gea’s brilliance as the rest of the defense has been in shambles.
Manchester United has had legendary defenders such as Vidic, Ferdinand, Stam and Irwin (to name a few). Watching clumsy defending from Evans only increases frustration as the fans will definitely not accept a player with such carelessness and lack of desire. United fans will hope that a couple of appearances can get some decent performances from him.