Jonny Evans may not have started the season as the first choice central defender at Manchester United but his consistency means he’s now the first player Sir Alex Ferguson will throw into the back four.
It’s been his best ever season at the club and if United secure the league title and other silverware, then a large part of it is because of the job Evans has done in the centre of the defence.
What he adds is a little bit of pace to the back four which Nemanja Vidic and Rio Ferdinand simply don’t have any more, which allows the back four in general to play a slightly higher and different way.
Ferguson can now rely on Evans whereas previously he may have had doubts over his experience and consistency.
The fact he’s been given a long run of games in the team was enabled by so many injuries to defensive players at the start of the season, which worked out for Evans as he was able to show that he can perform over a long period of time.
His all round game for a centre back is very good; aerially, on the ground and reading the play.
Aerially he’s just as effective at the other end which helps United in an attacking sense. Defensively, he could improve a little bit more but he’s learning that side of the art playing alongside Vidic and Ferdinand.
In terms of his control and his technique, United frequently use him to play the ball out from the centre of the defence before shifting the ball to the more creative players in the midfield.
Anticipation is a big part of Evans’ game because it allows him to read the play, step in and intercept the ball or tell the defence in general to drop a little bit deeper when he sees danger signs from quick players in the opposition.
Ferdinand and Vidic are now rotating alongside Evans as opposed to Evans getting the odd game beside either of the higher profile defenders at the club. Expect to see him in the United defence for many seasons to come.
What sort of season do you think Evans has had?
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