Jonny Evans in line of fire as Fergie prepares Old Trafford axe
06 December 2010 08:54
Jonny Evans is in the firing line as Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson prepares to wield the axe on some of his fringe players. The Northern Ireland international is skating on thin ice following an alarming dip in form this season. He was singled out for blame after last week's 4-0 defeat to West Ham in the Carling Cup and has slipped behind Chris Smalling in the Old Trafford pecking order. And he's been left in no doubt that his position is under threat with Ferguson having more than £100m to spend in January and at the end of the season. Evans was an instant hit at United when returning from a loan spell at Sunderland in 2008, but has failed to replicate those performances this season. He is hoping to get the chance to play his way back into form starting tomorrow against Valencia in the Champions League. But with Rio Ferdinand back to full fitness alongside Nemanja Vidic and Smalling making such an impressive start to his United career, Evans may have to accept a prolonged spell on the sidelines. Ferguson was furious with his side's defending at West Ham. He said: When you get over these defeats you have to be realistic about it and honest about the appraisal of your team. You don't need to make excuses when your team plays so bad and some performed very badly. Gabriel Obertan is also running out of time to prove he can make the grade at United, failing to establish himself in the first team since his £2m move from Bordeaux last year. But Darren Fletcher insists the wake-up call at West Ham could prove to be a turning point. You have to learn from it, said the Scottish midfielder. You learn more from defeats than victories. Things hit home more. The players hurt as much as everyone. We've been there before. The most important thing is how you respond to it. Heads were down for a couple of days, but I've seen the attitude in training and the lads have got a bit of fire in their bellies and are keen to prove and learn from mistakes and move forward. Which players do you think are for the chop? Have your say.