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Jonny Evans Reveals Comical Way In Which Alex Ferguson Convinced Him To Join West Brom

Jonny Evans Reveals Comical Way In Which Alex Ferguson Convinced Him To Join West Brom
By Gavan Casey Updated

Jonny Evans has revealed the rather amusing circumstances around which he joined West Brom from Manchester United in 2015.

Despite having established himself as a frequent starter for David Moyes and, in particular, Alex Ferguson before him, Evans found himself in quite the pickle during the 2014/15 season. Having broken his foot at the start of Louis van Gaal's first campaign in charge, and missed a further six games due to a spitting incident with Newcastle's Papiss Cissé, Evans had slipped down the Old Trafford pecking order. Even new signing Marcos Rojo, despite being a fecking lunatic, was fancied in central defence over Evans, who had faded into the periphery.

Sensing he wasn't part of Louis van Gaal's masterplan, Evans was considering his future when his old boss pointed him in the direction of West Brom.

Alex Ferguson played the role of middle man in, of all things, a golf buggy. Evans told James Ducker of The Telegraph:

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 and was pushing me in that direction [West Brom]. I thanked him for that at the time and took his advice.

And so off Evans went to Pulis and West Brom, where he remains to this day.

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He does, however, question some of United's decision-making as a club during that period; not his own sale, as it turns out, but that of Michael Keane - who made his senior international debut for England - and indeed started a second game - last week.

There were a lot of decisions at the end with United that were made quite quickly. I’m not saying that on behalf of myself, but I was surprised that Michael Keane was sold at the time. Having been in his position myself and come through United’s academy, I was surprised at that one.

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.

But Evans bears no grudges toward Van Gaal in relation to his own departure. He instead goes as far as to praise the Dutch manager for teaching him an enormous amount about defending, especially the positional aspect of the craft.

Whatever people say about him and his spell in charge of United, he was a fantastic coach. I learned as much in that one year as I did in a lot of years as a Premier League footballer. He was very into his positional play and team shape, no matter if you were a centre-back, a midfielder or a winger.

But I never felt I was in the right frame of mind or had the right opportunity to show him that. It probably wasn’t until six months or a year after leaving where things started clicking into place and I started to understand the things that he was talking about a lot better. I did a lot of thinking in that spell.

Evans full interview is well worth a read, and can be found on The Telegraph's website.

SEE ALSO: Callum O'Dowda Reveals Encouraging Advice He Received From Roy Keane


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