With Nemanja Vidic’s injury problems in the past year and a bit, Jonny Evans has done well to make the center back position his own.
Stepping into the team at a time when the Serb was deemed as one of the best in the world and doing a pretty good job at filling the hole in defence that his absence caused, Evans now finds himself as one of the team’s more important players. And in his own absence over the past few weeks, roles have reversed as it is Vidic filling in for him.
United have always been blessed with a good selection of center backs, at this current point we have 5 solid ones, and competition will always be competitive.
Ferdinand and Vidic have found themselves the first choice pairing since 2006, even if injury has limited their time together in recent seasons, leaving our other centerbacks with the task of breaking up their pairing, and the only way they can do that is by reaching the high standard the two veterans have set.
A task that Jonny Evans feels is his greatest challenge.
Speaking to Inside United, Evans spoke on reaching both Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic’s level set and how playing beside them will help his career in the long run:
“When I first came into the first-team squad, the level that those two were playing at was unbelievable.
“The presence they have, the way they could defend, it was the very top. For younger players to try and emulate that was a big ask.
“It still is.
“But for me coming through the youth team looking at these two fantastic players, it was all about trying to get to that level – not necessarily as quick as possible but just to the best of my ability.
“I just tried to be as good as I can be really.
“That’s been the challenge for me. It’s not really been the challenge of getting into a normal first-team – it’s the challenge of trying to reach a standard set by Rio and Vida, two of the best centre-backs in the world.
“It was a big ask, but something that you have to try and achieve.
“It’s probably the biggest challenge of all.”