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Player of the Month

Jonny Evans: United’s very own miracle man!
Player of the Month, March 2012

A MIRACLE: for instance; Rising from the Dead;

“A highly improbable or extraordinary event, development, or accomplishment that brings very welcome consequence”

Oxford On-Line Dictionaries








England – Premier League

Man Utd.






Jonny Evans has become RedRants’ Player of the month for March with an incredible 44.74% of the vote. It marks a change round of fortunes for our 24year old Belfast born central defender. This much maligned Miracle man, as risen, like Lazarus, from the footballing grave.

His rehabilitation from defensive ignominy to a trustworthy and indispensable member of the first team has been nothing short of staggering. Gone are the calls for his sale. Gone are the groans when his name is seen on the team sheet. This miracle turn-a-round in form and influence since the ‘Game We Never Mention’ has been unexpected and essential as Sir Alex struggled to fill the massive void that was Nermanja Vidic shaped in the team and the title challenge.

Jonny Evans burst into the United team, replacing Rio Ferdinand during his lengthy injury lay off in 2008-09, impressing in a string of performances. This culminated in a brilliant performance against Didier Drogba in a 3-0 destruction of Chelsea in 2009, with the London’s media Darling being able to tell you more about the lilt in Jonny’s pocket than Man United’s goal. He completely vindicated Sir Alex’s decision to grant Pique’s wish to return to the Camp Nou. His future looked bright and we congratulated ourselves and the club as another youth prospect came good and the brilliance of his successful Sunderland loan (even winning their young player of the year award in 2007).

Just as Evans had seemed to cement a permanent place in United’s first team squad, the 2010-11 season saw him crash dramatically down to earth. His form and confidence dwindled and crumbled as he became a frequent whipping-boy and scapegoat for Radio and MUTV phone-in’s alike. Chris Smalling’s incredible development and transition into a genuine Man United first team prospect also hindered Jonny’s opportunities. With Phil Jones expensive purchase from Blackburn at the start of the 2011-12 season, the future was starting to look very bleak for Jonny Evans. Maybe many of us, including myself, underestimated his character and resilience, and possibly failed to understand the impact of ‘That’ Holden tackle on him, as well as niggling injuries and squad rotation. A loss of confidence followed games where he was obviously targeted by strikers for much rough housing and a physicality that he seemed unable to combat. The signs did not look good for Jonny Evans.

Thankfully we know Sir Alex Ferguson is made of sterner stuff then us mere mortals. Instead of losing confidence in Evans, he offered him the No.6 shirt vacated by Manchester’s very own Wes Brown. This was a rousing vote of confidence that is now being repaid in full.

Since being trusted by Sir Alex to fill Big Nemanja’s boots Jonny as developed a solid partnership with the equally maligned Ferdinand. Both, thrown in the bargain sale bucket by fans and pundits alike, during the initial part of the season, they have rescued United’s defence that was shedding goals and chances at an alarming rate. Without doubt this regular partnership has also helped support David De Gea’s, allowing him to flourish and become the goalkeeper Sir Alex scouted.

Not an obvious partnership the Evans-Ferdinand alliance as utilised the greatest strengths of the individual components. Rio has been the talker, organiser, sweeping up anything loose; with Jonny attacking the first ball in the air or on the ground. His stats show an a startling lack of tackles made that otherwise hides Jonny Evans’s real strength. This is because Sir Alex as used his great sense of timing and agility to attack the first ball, trying to intercept before the need to tackle or block. Very much in the way Michael Carrick patrols the midfield. Cutting out the silly fouls conceded. You don’t need brave, media friendly pictures of last minute diving tackles like John Terry if the balls already been poached and set on its way in attack. This demonstrates another improvement we have seen in Jonny Evans. A weakness he readily admitted to, he has developed calmness on the ball and improved his passing out of defence. Even Scholesque long cross field passes, so effective in the build up to Danny Welbeck’s Goal against Wolves, have not been beyond him. In fact, Evan’s passing statistics in the Fulham game would’ve been akin to the midfield maestro himself, with 86/88 passes completed, an amazing 97.7% success rate with 9/11 of those passes in the attacking third of the field. If he can start to add goals like he did in the wolves’ game to his repertoire we may have to develop an ‘Irish Pele’ chant!

So let us all be up-standing and appreciative of RedRants’ Player of the Month for March;

Manchester United’s No.6; Jonny Evans, Miracle Man.

“We Salute You, Glory, Glory Man United……..”




Monday 26th March 1-0 v Fulham, Old Trafford

Passes 86/88 (attacking third 9/11) Assists 1 ¬ Successful interventions 4 ¬ Blocks 1¬ Successful Clearances 5/13 ¬ Arial Duels won 5/5 ¬ Fouls Committed 2


Sunday 18th March 5-0 v Wolverhampton Wanderes, Molineux

Goals 1 ¬ Passes 38/41 (attacking third 3/4) ¬ Successful interceptions 3 ¬ Successful Clearances 3/4 ¬ Arial Duels won 2/4 ¬ Fouls Committed 1


Sunday 11th March 2-0 v West Bromwich Albion, Old Trafford

Passes 76/81 (Attacking Third 6/8) ¬ Tackles 1/1 ¬ Successful Interceptions 1 ¬ Blocks 1 ¬ Successful Clearances 5/5 ¬ Arial Duels won 1/1 ¬ Fouls Committed 1

Sunday 4th March 3-1 v Tottenham Hotspur, White Hart Lane

Yellow Cards 1 ¬ Passes 35/39 (Attacking third 1/1) ¬ Tackles Won 3/3 ¬ Successful Interceptions 1 ¬ Successful Clearances 14/20 ¬ Arial Duels Won 2/3 ¬ Fouls Committed 2



Games 4 ¬ Minutes 372 ¬ Goals 1 ¬ Assists 1 ¬ Passes 235/249 (94.3%)

Attacking third passes 19/24 (79.1%) ¬ Tackles won 4/4 ¬ Interceptions 9

Ariel Duels 10/13 (76.9%) ¬ Fouls Committed 6

(Four-Four-Two, opta)

Jonathan Ball (@JonyB007)