Originally Posted by SittingBull
Erm.. to be honest, i've always felt he was incredibly overrated, even during gour fantastic spell of clean sheets 2 seasons ago. I'm not saying he is a bad player, but from the first day, he had always been suspect in the air, as well as with players running at him, and that had not changed one bit since then. Smalling on the other hand, possesses all the qualities needed to be as good as Rio. All he need is experience, which is the only advantage Evans had over him.
His breakthrough performances for Sunderland and Northern Ireland really make a joke of this post. Suspect in the air isnt true. As a defender he reads the game, more like Rio in that respect. That style of defender rarely excels in their early 20's, Remember Rio and West ham and Leeds? Similar type of "errors", its part of the course.
Players running at him is a bit of lazy criticism. Look around the world and name me anyone defender who is comfortable with it? Look at Puyol/Pique? Look at Rio and the weekend, look at Vidic during his own dodgy spell. Its all about confidence levels imo.
Smalling is promising I agree but Evans is still the better option at the highest level. Having him there will only focus the mind more as far as Jonny is concerned. That my take on it anyway.