Evans lauds the class of Hernandez
Even Jonny Evans thought Sir Alex Ferguson was taking a gamble when he saw the Manchester United team sheet at Old Trafford on Saturday.
With a Champions League semi-final against Schalke looming tomorrow night, Ferguson opted to rest a number of senior stars for the Premier League tussle against Everton.
Skipper Nemanja Vidic and energetic midfielder Park Ji-sung did not even make the bench, while Ryan Giggs, Michael Carrick and Patrice Evra were among the substitutes.
After 83 minutes of a vital game, the move appeared to have backfired, but an Antonio Valencia cross and Javier Hernandez downward header later, Ferguson had been vindicated and United were surging towards a record 19th title.
“The manager made an awful lot of changes, including myself, and there were people who had not played for a while,” Evans said.
“It was a big gamble. I am sure some people thought that when they looked at the team sheet. But that is what the manager does and it has paid off.”
Anderson won man-of-the-match plaudits for an industrious display in central midfield, whilst Evans produced his best performance of a below-par season alongside Rio Ferdinand.
However, without the 19th goal of an incredible debut campaign by Hernandez, it would have counted for nothing.
So on the weekend when Fernando Torres scored his first goal since making a £50million switch to Chelsea from Liverpool, it was little wonder that new Twitter convert Rooney claimed Hernandez, who cost just £7million from Chivas 12 months ago, is the “buy of the century”.
Evans did not quite go that far, but he did list Hernandez as the buy of the season.
“You could say that because of the number of important goals he has scored for us,” the Northern Ireland defender said.
“We got to see little glimpses of him during the World Cup and you could see he had pace, but no-one knew much about him.
“He reminds me of an old-fashioned type centre-forward. People don't realise he is quite a strong lad with a great jump.”
More than that, Hernandez is utterly selfless.
Time and again this season, the 22-year-old has been asked to reflect on yet another important goal. The answer is always the same.
“We needed those three points, it didn't matter who scored,” he said.
“We always think about the team. That is the most important thing.”