O’NEILL: JONNY EVANS WOULD MAKE A GOOD MANAGER

Northern Ireland national team boss Michael O’Neill has said that one of the players Johnny Evans has what it takes to succeed as a manager if he decided to head that path upon retirement.

The 29-year old defender has raked in 60 caps for the country.

There are talks that he would retire in a few years and move into management. O’Neill opines that if it happens, Evans would be good at it.

“Jonny’s very bright, very intelligent, he knows the game and has strong opinions on the game. Jonny certainly has all the attributes that you would look for in a manager and he’s got good qualities as a human being as well as a football coach,” O’Neill said.

“Jonny certainly has all the attributes that you would look for in a manager and he’s got good qualities as a human being as well as a football coach,” he added.
Evans has spent over a decade in senior team football. He has been coached by Sir Alex Ferguson, David Moyes, and Louis van Gaal at Old Trafford and then Roy Keane and Tony Pulis.

O’Neill said in the team there are a lot of players that have “good human qualities” that could help them transition to good managers. He adds that the real issue was if the players were ready to start work somewhere and grow. He claimed there were so many opportunities for modern day players outside of the game.

He lamented that the allure of sports punditry was stopping modern players from actually working their way up as managers. He added that life after a football career can be challenging but if retired players decide to do the work then it could be enjoyable.

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Sir. Alex Ferguson played a big role in Jonny Evans’ exit from United

Jonny Evans is a 29 year old Northern Irish defender who made his way through the youth academy of Manchester United before eventually being promoted to the 1st team and Evans later went on to spend over 6 seasons with the Premier League outfit.

After making more than 130 appearances wearing the Manchester United jersey, on August of 2015, Evans joined West Bromwich Albion but it wasn’t until very recently that it was unveiled as to why Jonny Evans decided to leave his childhood club and according to the experienced defender, Sir. Alex Ferguson played a big role in his transition from Manchester United over to West Bromwich Albion as the former manager told him a few things that encouraged Evans.

"There were a few whispers and I was playing golf one day at one of the United Foundation events. Sir Alex took me to the side, sitting on the golf buggy, and talked it through with me’’

"He’s obviously big friends with Tony Pulis (at West Bromwich Albion) and was pushing me in that direction. I thanked him for that at the time and took his advice. Me, on the other hand, that wasn't a surprise. I could see the signs. I felt like it was the time for that to happen. There was no problem. I was looking forward to a new challenge because I knew that once I got playing again, I could really push on’’ Jonny Evans said.

It seems like Jonny Evans was already fairly suspicious about his time in Old Trafford as he stated that leaving Manchester United was a real possibility of him even before talking with Sir. Alex Ferguson and it was the Scottish tactician who gave Jonny Evans the final push that he needed in order to make his move as Evans was not going to be playing a big role in Manchester United anyways.

JONNY EVANS HAILS ROONEY’S ACHIEVEMENT

Defender Jonny Evans has hailed the achievements of Manchester United skipper Wayne Rooney after the player became the highest goalscorer for Manchester United.

Evans played alongside the Three Lions skipper, winning three Premier League titles before his switch to West Brom in 2015. He spoke in an interview when Rooney broke the club record for highest goalscorer previously held by Sir Bobby Charlton.

Evans said Rooney has been the “heartbeat and focal point of the team for over ten years now,” and that Rooney has “always been the player that everyone absolutely loves. Evans praised Rooney’s leadership roles as he was the man that kept everyone together.

Jonny reminisced about Rooney’s debut from Everton where the versatile player scored goals. He also revealed that Rooney has been the high profile player that he has been around on “a close, personal level.”

Evans added that Rooney would still score goals before the season ends so the tally would shoot up some more.

“He has broken Sir Bobby’s record and you can tell he has got a little bit of hunger and fire back. Wayne needs that fire to play at his best. That is the way he has approached his whole life and for him to perform he needs to play with that sort of intensity,” Evans said affectionately of Rooney’s feat.

West Brom manager Tony Pulis has come out to say he has not received transfer requests for Jonny Evans and that even if there were he would not sell the defender.

“I haven’t had any phone calls. I don’t know if the club have. We wouldn’t see him,” Pulis said emphatically.

Arsenal were almost set to get the Northern Ireland star player when there were serious issues with the backline at the Emirates. The French coach opted to get German Shkodran Mustafi at the end.

Evans to face Manchester United

Johnny Evans said that he is desperate to face his former club Manchester United during the weekend.

The player who is now at West Bromwich Albion missed the last game against Swansea last weekend because of a calf injury. He said that it would be a great thing for him to face his former club and that he is desperate to be back in the team.

However, there is no guarantee at the moment that he will be part of the team to face Manchester United and it is believed that he will be facing a late fitness test to assess whether he will be able to play in this highly competitive game.

West Bromwich Albion manager Tony Pulis said that he would assess his squad before the game and will then make a decision about the team to face Manchester United. He said that there in a busy period in the Premier League and it is important that he rotate the team. He believes that he had the necessary squad to cope with the increasing amount of games and said that only the fittest player would be able to play on the pitch.

Tony Pulis said that the West Bromwich Albion is made up of 30+ players and that it is important that he managed their training schedule well. He believes that Johnny Evans will get the chance to get back into the team if ever he is fit.

Evans has made more than 200 appearances for Manchester United and has won numerous trophies during his time at Old Trafford. It is only after the departure of Sir Alex Ferguson that he was sold to West Bromwich Albion. He said that he is happy with his new club and that he is desperate to help them get a result against his former club.

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WEST BROM STARS GET NORTHERN IRELAND CALL UP

The trio of West Bromwich Albion stars Chris Brunt, Gareth McAuley and Jonny Evans have been called up by the Northern Ireland national football team to represent the country during the forthcoming international break.

Northern Ireland manager Michael O'Neill named the squad to play Azerbaijan and Croatia in November as they seek a spot in Russia 2018 finals.

The third international break of the current season would see Northern Ireland play Azerbaijan in a World Cup qualifier, and Croatia in a friendly four days after. O'Neill invited Norwich’s Michael McGovern, Alan Mannus who plays for St. Johnstone and Hartlepool United’s Trevor Carson as likely shot stoppers in the 25-man list.

O’Neill would be hoping that the invited players get the required result against Azerbaijan.

“With seven points from nine, they [Azerbaijan] have had a good start and not conceded a goal. They are not a team that is going to come and attack us, they will be well organised and we expect it will be very difficult. When we look at the group, these are the games that we feel will be key leading into where we finish,” he said.

Aaron Hughes, Ryan McGivern, Conor McLaughlin, Lee Hodson, and Tom Flanagan are expected to join the West Brom trio in defence. Any of Kyle Lafferty, Josh Magennis, Conor Washington and Will Grigg will place in front ahead of any of Steven Davis, Niall McGinn, Ollie Norwood, Corry Evans, Jamie Ward, Shane Ferguson, Stuart Dallas, Paddy McNair, Paul Paton and Matthew Lund Rochdale.

Brunt is returning after a serious injury to the knee in February. Grigg was missing due to personal issues but is expected to play. Michael Smith and Liam Boyce were excluded despite being called for the October games. Paton and Hughes were invited despite being invited to the last games due to an injury crisis.

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McGovern: Jonny Evans Deserves Respect after Arsenal Links

Arsenal were heavily linked with Jonny Evans during the summer, but this transfer rumour was subject to a lot of ridicules on social media.

Northern Ireland goalkeeper Michael McGovern, though, claims that Evans deserves a lot of respect and it was not nice to see him subject to social media ridicule. After having played a lot with Evans during the international games, McGovern says that the former Manchester United defender has everything required to succeed at the top level of the game.

After coming through the ranks at United, Evans slipped down the pecking order at Old Trafford a few years ago and this resulted in the move to West Brom in order to get regular first team football. Under the guidance of Tony Pulis, the player has flourished with some impressive performances in recent months.

This reportedly made him a key transfer target for Arsenal during the summer. West Brom were reluctant to sell him due to the lack of alternatives in the squad. In the end, the Gunners brought in ShkodranMustafi from Valencia for a whopping £35 million. Evans would have been a less expensive signing, but he would not have been the World Cup winner as Mustafi.

Still, McGovern is of the opinion that a quality player like Evans should be treated with respect. “I don't think he gets enough respect. At Man United he never got enough respect and he was part of the team that won the league; it was him, (Nemanja) Vidic and (Rio) Ferdinand and Jonny played most of that season.He's a class defender. I don't know if it's because he's British, if he was foreign maybe he'd got more credit. I think he showed at the Euros what a top-class defender he is,” saidMcGovern in response to the social media criticism.

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Jonny Evans to Arsenal

There is news that Arsenal might make a move for West Brom defender Jonny Evans in the days to come.

Indeed the Gunners are currently short on defenders after the injuries to Per Mertesacker and Gabriel. And with the fact that Laurent Koscielny will only be back after the start of the new season, it is becoming urgent for Arsene Wenger to look for a replacement.

So far, the French manager has only recruited one defender in Rob Holding but with the injuries as well as the late return of Koscielny, it is believed that Arsene Wenger might make a move for Jonny Evans.

But so far there is no bid that has been achieved but a decision might be taken in the days to come. However, this move might not be a favorite among Gunners fans as they would have expected a more impressive signing for their team.

It is also believed that Arsene Wenger is monitoring ShkodranMustafi as a possible reinforcement at the back. However, the player might cost around £41m from Valencia, and this can be a stumbling block for the transfer. Arsene Wenger is famous for refusing to pay an excessive amount in the transfer market and may hesitate to complete this transfer.

They might face competition from Chelsea however in this transfer. It is believed that Antonio Conte is also looking for a quality defender in order to reinforce their defence and might consider making a move for the Germany international as well.

If ever Arsenal misses out on ShkodranMustafi then it might be highly possible that they will be making a move for Jonny Evans. Wenger will need cover at the back and will not want to wait for the transfer window to be over to look for new players.

MATT PHILLIPS AMONG PRICIEST ALBION PLAYERS

West Bromwich Albion has confirmed the signing of 25-year old winger Matt Phillips from Queen Park Rangers.

The player is believed to have made the move for £5 million meaning the player is among the top priced Albion players.

Phillips, who is the first signing of the new season and first permanent player of the club ahead of the forthcoming season, will be unveiled once the results of the medicals are in and personal terms finalised. He is set to become the club’s seventh most expensive player in history.

Salomon Rondon places first as the club’s most expensive player costing them £12 million. The 26-year old player scored at the international level for Venezuela and was a key member of the team as he has been at his club since he joined.

Next is Nigerian forward Brown Ideye who joined from Russian club Dynamo Kieve for £10 million in the summer of 2014. He was the record signing then before the deal of Rondon. He got injured early but he found his form with time, especially with the arrival of Tony Pulis. Pulis was still not sure so he sold the player to Greek club Olympiacos.

James Chester was gotten for £8 million from Hull City, making the player the most expensive defender ever at the club. His displays at first enraged the fans but he found a solid footing with time. The 27-year old has been decent for Wales in central position.

Stephane Sessengnon is fourth with £6.6 million from Sunderland. His time at the club appeared over when he had a falling out with Pulis, though his goals tally was poor too.

Jonny Evans is in fifth position after joining from Manchester United in 2015 for £6 million. He was voted the player of the year by his colleagues due to his good performance. Then there’s Victor Anichebe for £6 million from Everton.

JONNY EVANS: WE WERE UNDER A LOT OF PRESSURE IN SLOVAKIA

Jonny Evans said Northern Ireland were under a lot of pressure in the game they played against Slovakia.

The game which was played on Saturday ended 0-0 but it was a vital game for Michael O'Neill's squad ahead of the continental tournament in France. The game became the third clean sheet in a row for Northern Ireland.

The team has now arrived and settled in Lyon, France as they hope to give the title their best shot. West Brom player Jonny Evans is among the players having the time of his life in France. He put in decent performance in the game over the weekend, joining up with Gareth McAuley and Craig Cathcart in three-man defence. Evans said:

"The pleasing thing is that we showed real resilience. We were under a lot of pressure and found it hard to get out in the second-half, but they are a good side. The biggest positive we can take from it is that we were fighting for each other and there was a determination not to concede and lose the game.

"We've only conceded one goal in recent games and that was a penalty (against Wales). That's a great foundation to have going into a major tournament.”

The star player also praised his defence team mates, saying we were a great defensive unit. Evans praised the coach for placing a lot of emphasis on the defence during training even though it involved a lot of work.

Evans said he hopes the team would remain in France longer than they booked for. He was very thankful for the fans’ support all along. Though they were few in Slovakia but he is certain many will be in France to cheer the Green and White Army on as they play.

Jonny Evans claims that he has sympathy for the referees

West Brom defender Jonny Evans claims that he has sympathy for the referees, who have had a tough job of spotting infringements in the penalty box during a set piece situation.

Even though the defender admitted that this was a tough aspect of the game, he felt that referees should be more consistent with their decisions. Evans was at the wrong end of such a decision while playing with the Northern Ireland team against Slovenia. The defender gave away a penalty that proved costly for his team.

During the weekend, though, West Brom could count themselves as being lucky for a decision going their way. This led to the equaliser for the Midlands team, who ended any hopes of Spurs winning the league title with a 1-1 draw. Tottenham fans complained that West Brom’s goal in the second half should have been disallowed since it was a direct impeachment. The goal, though, was allowed to stand and West Brom held on for a well-deserved draw. Spurs are extremely disappointing with their failure to win, which means that Leicester City can be crowned as the league title winners this weekend.

Mauricio Pochettino, though, claimed that his team will continue to believe unless it is mathematically impossible to be crowned as the champions. "I was penalised in the last international friendly for something similar and one of the biggest things we have had a problem with is that when you go into the opposition box, it is happening to you and you are not getting the foul. You want that consistency. I think it is a difficult thing because the referee sees at that time and has to give it, but there's other instances where he doesn't see it and that's where you don't get the equal decisions," said the West Brom defender.