It became clear amid all the anticipation for the CL final in Moscow that it was to be Pique’s farewell to United, he was heading back to his spiritual home. I was saddened by it, but not devastated, as everyone at the club had built up Jonny Evans through every stage of his development so it was bound to be all good, surely!
Early days gave hope that’d be the case if he was played alongside a player of world class skill like Vidic or Ferdinand, beside them with their ability to read the game superbly, they made sure the back line did as they were told and as part of such a rear guard he didn’t look like a future Baresi, but he didn’t look like a Prunier either (ask ya dad if you don’t know how bad the Frenchman was), so the ability to continue dreaming this lad could keep the tradition of youth coming good at United was living on through the potential this young man had.
At this stage honesty and loyalty to the English language dictate that I must refer to Evans potential to be a United quality defender in the past tense.
When the window closed on last summer’s transfer window with only Rojo brought in to fill the huge holes left by the departures of Vidic & Ferdinand, there was bound to be significant pressure on the players who’d performed so poorly under Moyes to improve, to show they’re capable of filling the boots of the greatest centre half pairing I’ve seen in my years as a red.
There were many signs that Smalling & Jones have come on leaps and bounds under the tutorage of Louis, they’re still not of the class of the men they’re trying to replace, but they’re making great progress in working to, Smalling rarely drifts off into a world of his own that creates gaps sides could drive the bus through as he did the previous season, Jones has realised that clattering someone in a waist high tackle to let them know he’s about is for the halfway line, not his own 18 yard box, they’ve both improved greatly in the final third basics of protecting De Gea far better than they did in 13/14, and Rojo looks like he’s been at United for years, but what’s Evans done?
When I think of what he’s done? Nothing! In fact it’s worse than nothing, he’s somehow managed to go backwards under Louis from the shockingly low standards he set under Moyes, you can pick any game he played in and find evidence to support this theory.
I’m reminded of the words Tony Hayers conversation when Alan Partridge asked him about a second series of Knowing me knowing you…
Alan, your viewing figures started badly and got worse.
If you change viewing figures to performance level then you can see Evans running out of Old Trafford with a wheel of cheese on a fork as Louis makes it clear to him that he’s no future at the club.
I wish him well in the game, I’m sure he’ll have a bright future in the top flight, but it won’t be at United, it’s time for him to move on and let someone capable of helping the club provide a genuine push for significant honours to be brought in.