Manchester United's Jonny Evans must prove himself to David Moyes
Telegraph Sport: where the debate starts
Published 19/09/2013 | 01:30
If it's not raining, it's pouring for Michael O'Neill. The Northern Ireland boss is very familiar with his players' fight to secure a first team place at their clubs.
However, it will not have escaped O'Neill's attention that his best player – Jonny Evans – hasn't played a competitive fixture for Manchester United yet this season.
The Newtownabbey man wasn't included in David Moyes' matchday squad for the Community Shield win over Wigan last month or subsequent league clashes with Swansea City, Chelsea and Liverpool.
Despite making the bench for the league battle with Crystal Palace and Tuesday night's Champions League date with Bayer Leverkusen, the 25-year-old was an unused substitute.
There's a new regime at Old Trafford – Sir Alex Ferguson has stepped down and we are into the David Moyes reign.
That means Evans, who Ferguson tipped to be a Northern Ireland captain one day, must prove himself all over again.
And he's got a real fight on his hands – Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic have re-established their rock solid partnership at the back while Moyes can also turn to Phil Jones and Chris Smalling as options in the heart of his defence.
Evans is perhaps facing the biggest challenge of his career.
Despite making over 150 appearances for the Red Devils, he will know that past glories will not shape your future.
He's a class act but does David Moyes know it?