The Monday Profile: Ian Evatt
The sight of Ian Evatt lumbering into an advanced position in Saturday’s Football League Show coverage of Blackpool’s win over Nottingham Forest gave me a nosebleed watching from my sofa, let alone the colossal centre half. That one of the most ungainly players I can remember could stand on the verge of the land of milk and honey is startling. What next? Adebayo Akinfenwa swimming with the big fish? Jon Parkin rising like a sockeye to bring the World Cup home from South Africa?
Still, the brobdingnagian Matt Elliott and Peter Crouch have carved out top flight careers, albeit with slightly twinklier toes than the Tangerine, and Evatt, an Ian Holloway loyalist, has defied most with some committed displays this season. The 6 feet 3 inch defender started his career at Derby before carving out a reputation for himself at Chesterfield and he’ll have been rueful that the weekend of his perhaps greatest triumph coincided with the last ever game at his spiritual home.
After becoming one of the most noteworthy of lower league performers at Saltergate, he found himself taking the Jay McInerney route; Holloway bringing him to Queen’s Park Rangers in 2005. It’s doubtful that he’ll have been a regular at Tiger Tiger or China White’s, but the move nonetheless failed to work out, with sections of the Loftus Road regulars vilifying him for his cumbersome displays. He was to eventually head back north, with Seasider Kaspars Gorkšs heading in the opposite direction a year later, an arrangement that has worked out well for both. Evatt has settled well in East Lancashire and one more 90 minutes of concentration against Forest’s tricky forwards will see him through to a second Wembley appearance in four years.