Home
Prediction League
Fixtures
Results
News
Features
Premier League
EPL Home
Latest
Clubs
Stadiums
Friends
Blogs
Football League
World Cup 2014
Europe
Euro Football Home
Latest
Russian Premier
Bundesliga
Ligue 1
La Liga
Football Italiano
International
International Home
Latest
World Cup 2010
Euro 2012 Stadiums
Euro 2012
Denmark 2011
AFCON 2013
Betting
About Us
Advertising
Write for us
Privacy
Recruitment
newswriter
Twitter
Contact Us
 
 

How Tom Cleverley can learn from Jonny Evans


Bookmark and Share

By Bradley King

Wednesday 12 February 2014

Manchester United's woes have been prolonged and almost constant this season, but the intensity hasn't reached the peak of potent pain received on October 23 2011. That day, United crumbled against the dynamism of their rising bitter rivals City, succumbing to a 6-1 defeat on their own patch.


Jonny Evans is sent off against City


As ever, livid supporters were eager for heads to roll - or at least one head in particular. United defender Jonny Evans had endured a torrid day at the heart of the defence and it came to a premature end when, as the last defender early in the second half, he yanked Mario Balotelli to the turf. A dismissal inevitably followed and Evans' role as the scapegoat was set in stone.


It's a label that Evans struggled to shake off in the months subsequent to that humiliation. Sir Alex Ferguson opted to stick with the Northern Irish international, despite objection from a sizeable proportion of supporters, who felt Evans wasn't good enough to be counted among the Premier League's elite.


And, at that time, he probably wasn't. This was a fan base which was used to seeing Nemanja Vidic and Rio Ferdinand industriously patrol and control the defensive third at Old Trafford for years, with lapses in concentration few and far between. Evans was seen as a future John O'Shea or Wes Brown, destined to passively play out the mid-to-late years of his unfulfilled career at Sunderland.


Jonny Evans


But Evans has proved those doubters wrong. Over the past two campaigns, he has become one of United's most reliable and competent defenders - so much so that the United staff haven't clung on to Vidic as he seeks a new challenge, or Ferdinand as he quietly slips into retirement. There's even talk of Evans being handed the captain's armband at United next season. That would mark some turnaround.


That brings us to Tom Cleverley. The midfielder has borne the brunt of United's early anguish under David Moyes, with it not being entirely clear what the England international brings to the party.


Cleverley admits that he's been "stung" by the criticism, but insists that his talents, by their very nature, go unnoticed.


Tom Cleverley


Cleverley said: “I watch Spanish football a lot. If they pass the ball sideways but keep possession, the fans clap them...sometimes I have got to not listen and play my game because I feel I’m doing the best thing for the team.”


Cleverley clearly feels that he's been performing his duties appropriately, and he certainly appears to have the backing of his manager. But to make the comparison to La Liga is condescending to English supporters, who are increasingly conscious of the need to retain possession.


The modern midfielder must have several strings to their bow; they must be a combination of ball-winner, relentless chaser, defence-splitting passer, composed finisher and tempo-controller. The question, then, must be: is ball retention alone enough to warrant a place at the core of one of the world's biggest clubs? The answer is surely no.


But having made his United debut in 2009, Cleverley is three years behind Evans in his development. If he is allowed more time to follow that career trajectory and add to his game at Old Trafford, which appears to be the case, he could yet shrug off his scapegoat status and become one of the first names on the team sheet.


At Manchester United, not Sunderland.


See what the expert tipsters at OLBG are tipping on Arsenal v Man Utd



Related Articles


» 

Ronaldo ‘will be motivated by Liverpool boos’

» 

Van Gaal sure Man Utd can catch Chelsea and Man City

» 

The Top 5 Earners in Football

» 

Winners and Losers: No case for the defence between Liverpool and QPR

» 

West Brom vs Man Utd - Premier League preview and team news

» 

The Top 5 Earners in Football

» 

Ronaldo not going back to Man Utd, Ancelotti says

 
 

 
 
 
 

 
 

Name

Email Address *

Comments


Please enter code on left.


Terms & Conditions

* A valid email is required to submit a comment. Your email will not be displayed on this or any other website, nor will it be passed to any 3rd parties. For more information please see the terms and conditions.



0 Comments


No Comments have been posted yet


 
 

 
 
 
 

 
 

Premier League Football News


ArsenalAston VillaChelseaEvertonFulhamLiverpoolManchester CityManchester UtdNewcastle UtdNorwich City
ReadingQueens Park RangersSouthamptonStoke CitySunderlandSwansea CityTottenham HotspurWest Bromwich AlbionWest HamWigan Athletic

 
 

 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 

 
  
 

 
 
 
 

Kick Football News