Players often dream about moving to big clubs but the reality can sometimes be the opposite.
This was especially true in the case of Jonny Evans, who came through the ranks at Manchester United and went on to lift several trophies. Just when it seemed that the Northern Ireland defender had what it took to become the next Rio Ferdinand or Steve Bruce at Old Trafford, poor form coupled with lack of faith from the managers meant that he had to leave the club in search of regular football. This led to the move to West Brom.
Evans has become a prominent figure in the West Brom first-team since joining the club for around £ 6 million at the start of the season. He has made 16 league appearances and scored one goal for the Midlands outfit.
He has been unable to play in every league game due to niggling injury issues - preferring to do yacht charter in the UK instead to aid his recovery. Evans will have a chance to reunite with his former teammates when West Brom host United at the hawthorns this weekend. Evans says that he does not have any regrets about leaving United. Instead, he has grown to enjoy his time at West Brom. He has required just six months to make more than 15 league appearances while taking the equivalent of 18 months for the same at United.
“I have to say, I have really enjoyed it. When you are out of the team and not playing regularly, there is always that question in your head of ‘When am I going to play next?’I have enjoyed the feeling – players talk about it all the time – that Saturday feeling of going out and playing football, and that has been one of the biggest things. I had a fantastic time at United and I loved it, but there came a point when I had to make a decision,” said Evans.
Jonny Evans completed his transfer from Manchester United to West Bromwich Albion on August of 2015 and the Irish defender has turned out to be one of the best signings in recent times.
Evans has made a surprisingly impressive start to his career at the Hawthorns after making consistently high level performances in his new club in spite of being placed out his usual position.
The natural position of Jonny Evans is in the heart of the defence as a centre-back but due to a number of injuries that the players of West Bromwich Albion have been picking up, it has forced the coach Tony Pullis on having to rotate his squad and put some of his players in different positions than their usual ones.
Even though the £6 million summer signing has had to play in distinct positions in the team, the Irishman has managed to do it without any problems and has been receiving praise from his teammates as well as the head coach Tony Pullis.
On November 29, West Bromwich Albion travelled to the home stadium of West Ham United at the Boleyn Ground and the match finished with a final scoreboard of 1-1. When the match reached it’s end, Jonny Evans received huge praise for his performance as he had to play as a makeshift left back and somehow still managed to perform at a high level.
West Bromwich Albion’s Tony Pullis praised Jonny Evans as he said: "Jonny Evans was absolutely magnificent at left-back today. The kid is a top player. He can play anywhere across the back four, and I also think he could play as a holding midfield player. That’s a testament of being a really good footballer, if you can play in any position on the pitch.”
£6 million has turned out to be a bargain price for a player who has solved so many defensive problems and helped his team in reaching and competing in the middle section of the Premier League.
Former red Jonny Evans claims that he is looking forward to the reunion with his former teammate like Wayne Rooney when West Brom visit Old Trafford this weekend.
Evans came through the ranks at Manchester United but he was unable to establish a place in the first-team once Sir Alex Ferguson retired. Evans had slip down the pecking order immensely before being sold by Louis van Gaal in the summer. The move to West Brom, though, have helped him rediscover his form due to regular football. At 27, he is at the peak of his career and he needs to be playing regularly.
This is exactly what West Brom are providing him right now. Evans has already accumulated 740 minutes of league football action this season. This is in comparison to the 1090 minutes of action that he received in an entire league campaign with United last season. West Brom will find it difficult to hold back United, who have discovered their winning form once again. Only recently, United went on a run of four matches without a win. This led to criticism of the manager and players like Wayne Rooney. United’s star striker has only two goals in 11 games but he has been playing in a wide position more often than not this season.
"If someone's not scoring enough goals or maybe going through a bit of a patch where they're not scoring then all of a sudden 'their legs have gone'.I don't think that's the case with Wayne. He is such a clever player, he will always find a great position and I think if you look at the games he's playing in a position that he's doing it for the team.You can see that a lot. He's working hard for the team. The team have got a very solid unit and that comes from the front. He's a big part of that,” said Evans.
Despite having been in Old Trafford since 2006, Jonny Evans has never truly been an influential player for Manchester United as the Northern Irish defender only makes a limited number of appearances and has to settle with a place on the sidelines for the majority of almost every single season that he been in Old Trafford.
The manager of West Bromwich Albion, Tony Pulis is targeting Jonny Evans as a summer target that can be signed to reinforce the defensive department of his squad which finished in the 13th spot of the Premier League during the 2014-15 season.
Tony Pulis has already signed a Manchester United player after securing the services of Darren Fletcher on a free transfer back in February but Pulis is hoping he can add lure in another player from Old Trafford and the player who has entered his radar is Jonny Evans.
In the previous season of the Premier League, Evans only managed on making 14 appearances as he struggled trying to find a regular spot in the starting lineup of Louis van Gaal. Injuries were another reason on why he wasn’t as active on the pitch.
Jonny Evans was identified by Pulis as an ideal candidate to be signed in the summer transfer window but a problem that is in the path from this deal of being completed is the fact that Manchester United has a price tag on Evans of around €10 million, which is too much for West Bromwich Albion to pay that amount of money.
When Darren Fletcher was signed by West Bromwich Albion a few months ago on February, the experienced midfielder was immediately turned into the captain of the Premier League club and the player has been reigniting his flame and a similar thing might occur if Jonny Evans is signed by Tony Pullis and his team but it will depend on a number of factors and especially his price tag which is out of the reach of West Bromwich Albion.
Manchester United defender Johnny Evans has admitted for the first time that he is finding it difficult to find form under the management of Louis van Gaal.
The Northern Irishman missed the start of the season due to niggling injury problems. Upon his return, he found himself playing in a different formation with three defenders at the back. Evans committed a number of mistakes that led to his absence from the team for a brief period.
He is no longer a first choice at the club despite being the most experienced after the departures of Nemanja Vidic and Rio Ferdinand in the summer.
After being out of the starting line-up for almost 3 weeks, Evans returned back to the first-team in the match against Cambridge United. After a hardfought victory, the defender stated that him and several United players are finding the current regime to be extremely tough. Van Gaal is a demanding manager and he criticised new summer signing Luke Shaw for not being in the best possible shape to play in a 3-5-2 formation. Results have started coming of late, but United’s football style has been criticised in several quarters. Evans says that it is a result of playing in a new style.
“The lads have taken a lot on board. At times it has been tough and it takes time. We’ve been used to playing a certain way for a number of years then the change happens and he wants us to play a certain way. So it does take time for those things to become second nature. But I think you are starting to see that now.The fact that the formation has changed a lot has taught the lads an awful lot. Coming into games, if we do have any changes in formation, I think is a big plus for us to have,” said Evans.
Manchester United’s injury problems worsened after the recent 2-1 win over Southampton.
Defender Chris Smalling, who has already missed matches due to injury problems this season, had to go off following a minor concern. Jones, who has also been missing the last few matches, had to come on after just 18 minutes. The 26-year-old has stated that the stop and start season for the players seems to continue. Hence, they are mentally prepared to come on at any stage during the match. Even though United secured a victory, it was not very convincing as they were lucky to see Southampton being wasteful with their chances.
Manager Louis Van Gaal admitted after the match that United were lucky to get the victory, which turned out to be the fifth consecutive for the Red Devils. This has propelled them to within five points of its rivals Manchester City. Since the Premier League is yet to reach the halfway stage, there are plenty of matches still left. This has increased talk of a title bid from United, which seemed highly unlikely only a few months ago. Van Gaal, though, will be more concerned about the quality of football. The injury to Smalling was the 43rd different issue that United players have suffered this season.
"The way the injury situation has been, you are always expecting someone to get injured.So I had to prepare myself mentally for that," said Johnny Evans. "Jones is coming back but not fit to play. He needs training sessions and maybe also matches in the second team. But he is coming back. He is fit to train. That is also very good. We are seeing already light in the tunnel,” said Van Gaal about the current injury status. United face crunch match against Liverpool at Old Trafford on Sunday.
The former German playmaker, Uli Stielike, has been named as the new man in charge of the South Korea National Football Team.
That position had been vacant for the last couple of months.
Hong Myung-Bo, the previous coach of South Korea, had moved on at the completion of the country’s horrible journey at the World stage in Brazil.
The Korea bosses actually did not want 45-year old to leave the post. They even refused to accept his resignation initially and tried to convince him to continue, but, Myung-Bo was rigid at his stand and at last, the association of Korea had to let him go.
As far as Stielike is concerned, he is from West Germany and his CV as a player and as a manager is quite impressive.
He was a part of the Real Madrid first team from 1977 to 1985, making over 200 Liga appearances for them in that period.
He has the experience of managing international teams. He has been in charge of the Swiss national side as well as Cote d’Ivoire.
Stielike will be working on a long term project with Korea. He’s been appointed till next World Cup.
Stielike will be at his work in 10 days’ time, but, he will be there in the stands in Goyang watching the South Korean boys playing against Uruguay in a friendly at the start of next week.
Stielike’s first match with Korea will be against Paraguay on the 10th of next month. That’s also a friendly match.
South Korea has to participate in the AFC Asian Cup next year. That tournament will take place in Australia and it will be Stielike’s first proper assignment.
The other teams in Korea’s group there in the Asian Cup are Oman, Australia and Kuwait.
The Northern Irish defender of Manchester United Jonny Evans sustained a surgery in the previous season of the Premier League which left him out of action from a number of matches for his club as well as having to settle with a place on the sidelines of the team during some games, which led to him only being able on making 17 league appearances in the last campaign.
Even though Evans did not play a substantially important role for Manchester United he still opted to extend his contract with the Premier League which extends until 2016.
Louis van Gaal has given the chance of players to step it up and turn into a pivotal figure for the English club, during the pre-season schedule of Manchester United they have already faced off against LA Galaxy and came out on top with a dominating 7-0 victory with Jonny Evans playing for 46 minutes before being substituted and replaced by Michael Keane.
Jonny Evans is well aware of all the challenges that await him and his teammates as Manchester United has a schedule which includes matches against: Real Madrid, As.Roma and Inter Milan all of which are going to be played before the start of the season which initiates in August.
Jonny Evans said: “Given who we are playing, we’ll obviously go there knowing more about our opponents than when we’ve played some of the American sides in recent years. Playing against teams that you know better is always a challenge and we’ll need to make sure we are on top of our game. If it’s warm as well it usually makes a big difference, especially during pre-season games when you’re trying to get your fitness. It will definitely help us."
During Manchester United’s pre-season match against LA Galaxy, Louis van Gaal substituted almost all the players in the 2nd half as he is trying to see which combination of players and tactics is optimal for the next campaign and Jonny Evans is happy to know that he is being taken into consideration in the plans of the new coach.
Manchester United defender Johnny Evans has returned to first-team action, but he has revealed that he does not expect to be picked for the starting line-up against Bayern Munich. The defender has been out injured for several weeks now. He has just recovered in time to be fit for the second leg against the German club. Manchester United managed a fighting 1-1 draw against Bayern at Old Trafford. Even though they have to score at the Allianz Arena, it gives them a chance to at least fight for progress into the Champions League semifinals.
Evans just returned to action for the United under 21 team, but he says that the game against Bayern Munich may come too soon for him. This would mean that David Moyes is likely to take Rio Ferdinand, Chris Smalling, or Phil Jones as the centre back partnership for Nemanja Vidic. United were extremely compact in defence during the first leg. Moyes used the experienced partnership of Nemanja Vidic and Rio Ferdinand for this match. However, the 35-year-old Ferdinand is not likely to be taken against the German club at home.
This would mean that Chris Smalling has to step up to this position, which would be a major change for after having been playing nonleague football only a few years ago.
"It was nice to go out there and play as we've got a big game coming up on Wednesday in Munich. I don't know if I'll be involved or not. Maybe it's touch and go on that but I just hope the lads can do well and get a good result. In terms of my injury, it may have come too soon for me but, in terms of excitement-wise, the game cannot come quickly enough - especially for the fans and players. Everyone is looking forward to it,” said Evans.
Jonny Evans has said that his team Manchester United tries to get over aggressive during home matches and that might be the reason behind their poor home run this season. The Red Devils have suffered a lot of defeats at home off late and that’s quite surprising for everybody.
Generally, when you play at home, you are supposed to perform better because the support of the crowd gets you going, but, for United, the scenario has been exactly opposite in the ongoing season. Whenever they have played at home, they have looked a very weak unit. They have looked comparatively better when they have played away.
Evans reckons that the Manchester United players try to score a lot of goals and entertain the supporters who gather at Old Trafford in big numbers in every match. In their attempt to do so, they don’t focus that much on defence and the opposition takes advantage of that.
Evans is not completely wrong in saying that. The no. of goals that United has conceded at Old Trafford this season clearly suggests that they haven’t defended well at all in home games.
Talking to the reporters after United’s last game against Tottenham Hotspur, Evans said, “You never want to lose at home, but, it has happened with us quite often this season. I don’t know what the reason is. Maybe we are attacking more than what is actually required. We are looking to strike too often and aren’t that much worried about defending solidly. That might be the case.”
“We had come into this year with pretty good form, but, unfortunately, we couldn’t start the year as well as we were hoping for.”
The match between United and Tottenham was played on 1st of January and United had lost it by 1-2.