Ian Evatt could have saved us millions!
Like Ian Ashbee before him, Ian Evatt has gone a circuitous route to the Premier League.
Coming through the ranks at Derby, being released and then starting afresh in the bottom tier (both were signed by Roy McFarland at Cambridge and Chesterfield respectively). Whilst Ashbee remained with Hull City for the whole journey, Evatt signed firstly for QPR in the Championship and then briefly dropped a division to join Blackpool before the Seasiders two promotions.
My only real memories of Evatt as a Ram are actually of not seeing him play. The majority of his 34 games were played in the John Gregory era whilst I was living abroad. I used to listen to live commentary in an internet cafe, striking a fine balance between drinking enough free drinks to keep me awake through the match but not to keep me awake all night. This usually lead to walking around a Tokyo suburb at 3am, listening to whatever my brother had sent me (The Coral or Electric Soft Parade at the time) and wondering about a whole host of players John Gregory had blooded – such as Pablo Mills, Izale McLeod, Gary Twigg…and Ian Evatt. I distinctly remember wondering if Ian Evatt was “any good”. The kind of thought an exiled football fan can have when simply waiting to become tired and looking at an old boat (as I was at that moment).
By the time I returned, Evatt was injured and was soon released by George Burley. Based on very little first-hand knowledge, I gather Evatt is very much a “head and kick it” centre-back. He may not set the Premier League on fire but has proved more than competent in the Championship.
If Evatt had been offered a new Rams contract seven summers ago and done no more than an average job for us in the Championship, just think of the millions of pounds we could have saved in transfer fees, agents fees and wages; not to mention some of the suffering we have endured due to outright crapness.
Here are just a few of the names who might never have darkened our doorstep: Mo Konjic, Tommy Hjato, Gary Caldwell, Darren Powell, Martin Albrechtsen, Andy Todd, Claude Davis, Andrew Davies, Dave Walton and Emersom Thome. Not all of them awful but collectively bleeding millions from the club whilst failing to solve a simple problem.
Worth remembering next time someone questions the wisdom of having Jake Buxton in the squad.