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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The exit of Gerard Pique heralds the departure yet another young centre back at Manchester United.

Four questions then:

1. Do we have enough QUALITY cover in the central defensive positions?

2. Will young Johnny Evans bother to stick around and should he?

3. Should he go out on loan for another season, as he probably won't get the games he will need to improve as a player.

4. If he does go out on loan, which team should he be loaned out to?

From the reports that I have read, it seems that the moment Pique indicated that he was willing to leave for Barcelona, Fergie gave him the cold shoulder. Some reports even state that he might have been "sold on the cheap".

This would indicate to me that Sir Alex wrote Pique off the moment the youngster didn't emphatically state that he wanted to stay and stake his claim at the current Kings of England and Europe.

Right or wrong, both protagonists have their point of view and I personally wish Gerard Pique all the best in his career - except when he plays against Man Utd. :)

The lack of cover at CB cost us dearly last season against Milan and we could now find ourselves in a similar predicament.

Wes Brown has had a good season, but he's actually better at RB than at CB, even though he's actually supposed to be a centre back. One of the reasons for this is his sense of positioning. On several occasions this season, Rio or Nemanja have had to scramble back to help him when he's played at CB and so I'm not sure he is ideal cover.

That leaves us with John O'Shea, who would best be described as decent - and that is being kind.

To me, this is a brilliant opportunity for Johnny Evans to step up and be part of a team that has the potential to enjoy a prolonged reign of success.

He certainly has the attributes of a good central defender and Roy Keane can't stop waxing lyrical about the lad.

Maybe cjl safc fan can chime in here to give us some feedback on his performances for the black cats.

Time will tell, but I suspect that Ryan Shawcross would have had a better chance than Pique to succeed at United. His physicality and temperament certainly looked more suited.

Should Evans stay, surely Fergie must give the lad acouple of games.

After his mistake at Bolton, which allowed Anelka to score, Pique was frozen out of the first team and I reckon that was a bitter pill to swallow and maybe not the right treatment to give a young player trying to break into the squad. Then again, it might be Fergie's way. Make the youngsters WANT it badly enough.

I have to say though that this is one of Fergie's double standards. Darren Fletcher played poorly in a lot of games when he was trying to break into the squad and yet Fergie never made a meal out of it and kept giving him chances.

Carlos Quieroz did say in an interview that Pique did not make the best of the chances given to him, but I find that a bit harsh. Young players will make mistakes. They are young after all.

I want Evans to stay and try to break into the squad, but only if Fergie gives him the chances to do so, otherwise it will be a waste of time. Young players need games to improve, but management is not giving them those games and still expects them to improve and attain Premier League standards.

This is a vicious cycle that needs to be broken and I hope Fergie will give Evans the chances to do so and that Evans will them as well as he can.

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11,456 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Jazz 16 said:
1. Do we have enough QUALITY cover in the central defensive positions?

Well a lot would depend on whether people like Silvestre stick around.
We will also being buying a defender who might be able to play centrally as well.
If Neville makes it back to the player he was then we have Wes who can
cover Rio and Vida as well. O'Shea is in there and for the time being Silvestre
as well.

Barring injury Rio/Vidic will play the majority of the games, certainly
the important ones, so having Brown, O'Shea, Silvestre, Evans even Cathcart
as well as a potential signing we should be fine for cover.
If Fergie bought Richards for instance then he could cover absolutely anywhere.

Pique and Shawcross are very good players, but they needed to be world class
to have even stood a chance of breaking up the Vida/Rio duo.
Truth is that they probably wont even be missed......

So in answer to your question-Yes we have enough quality cover at present.

- I wonder if we should be looking for a left back, who can play in the centre instead of a right back. If Silvestre leaves and Evra get injured will be short in that department. I wonder if Danny Simpson can learn to play on the left.

2. Will young Johnny Evans bother to stick around and should he?

Well yes, I guess he will. .........

Also he is a good 7-8 years younger than Rio and Vidic so if he stuck around
he could be the future of Man United. Thats a chance in a lifetime and hopefully
too good for him to ignore
- Exactly! If he sticks around and developes the way the coaches thinks he can, he might be in a good position to take over in 3-4 years time, so I hope he stays.

I wonder if he'll get games though. I mean, if we do buy another defender, how many games with Evans get? Will he get enough games to improve as a player? Maybe next season would be better spent on loan, but would he be willing to do that?

dckyfoxes said:
Honestly from my point of view, this lad has no intentions to stay at all, so what's the poing of having him in the squad... Cashing in on him would be a better choice.

1. Do we have enough QUALITY cover in the central defensive positions?
We have the quality in that position but who can assure that no injuries will hit either Rio or Vida??? So in this case, I have to say no... We not not have enough quallity to cover the central defensive positions. Wes Brown looks only ok for the task but I have faith in him... I hope that he will prove us wrong next season... At the moment Gary and Hargreaves can play as right back so to me Brown is my best choice to cover CD, but remember that I mentioned OK only... Certain games I few that Brown is up to the task, BIG GAMES??? Beware... O'shea is shaky... No faith in him. (FULLSTOP)

- I wouldn;t let O'Shea play at CB either.

The more I think about it, the more I feel the Evans should go out on another season-long loan to gain more experience.

I felt Pique did OK for a young player, but he didn't want to stay and fight for his place and to be fair to him he needs more games right now.

I think we need a left-back who can lay in the centre and let Evans go out on loan.

2. Will young Johnny Evans bother to stick around and should he?
Is his chance to prove... I mean provided that he chooses to stay with Manchester United, at the moment it sure doesn't look that way. But for sure I know that potential is not a definate proven success. So Evans will have to work his way up the ranks and seize all opportunities given. But in any case, if Rio and Vida stay injuries free, no chance will be given to him... Final decision depends on him if he's willing to learn all not, bearing in mind that in Sunderland is not a place to learn. He will only be frustrated with the number of attacks that he would have to handle with...
- hmm....interesting remark. I understand where you;re coming from, but playing at Premier League level against Premier league strikers is a pretty good level to be playing against, no?

Where do you think a good alternative would be? Still in the premier league with another clb or maybe a different league altogether? Maybe a foreign league?
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