The news that United had made a deal to bring Phil Jones to Old Trafford was met with a wave of satisfaction rather than excitement by most Reds.
A proven Premier League player –of sorts- who was still in his teens could only be a welcome addition to the record breaking title winner’s squad.
Jones had shown for much of the season that he was a capable defender/defensive midfielder who’s peak years were ahead of him so it made a lot of sense for Sir Alex to fork out £16.5 million on him.
The funny thing is that in the space of only a few days Jones has gone from a capable defensive player to a ‘colossus’ -according to that stuffed donkey aficionado Stuart Pearce, thanks to an assured display against the mighty Ukrainian under 21 side.
Then there was the period last week when it looked as though Liverpool may hijack United’s deal, cue lots of deluded Scousers, on phone-ins and forums hailing Jones as the greatest defender in the history of football, a player so good that his Majesty Daglish could build an entire team around him and duly deliver the Premier League to its rightful home of Anfield.
While Liverpool fans have duly changed their tune about a player they are no naturally glad they didn’t get ‘cos he’s not even all that anyway like la’ most United fans and members of the national press- not to mention Pearce, have been getting a tad over-excited at just how good Jones is.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m confident the former Rovers man will have a long and illustrious Old Trafford career ahead of him but some of the praise and expectation being heaped upon him worries me slightly.
Many people both Red and less fortunate, have been quick to predict a similar impact from Jones at Old Trafford to the one Smalling delivered in his debut season.
The former Fulham man was outstanding last season and not even his mum could have envisioned Smalling settling in so quickly and looking so much at ease in a United shirt.
Smalling’s excellence, coupled with Jones’s showing both at Blackburn and for England under 21s has meant that the expectation around the 19 year-old has suddenly increased to almost ridiculous levels.
A player that would do well to reach double figures for United next season is now being touted by some as a possible choice to fill the defensive midfield role already.
I’m not about to be foolish enough to state: “you’ll never win anything with kids” only a total idiot would say such a thing- but I do think a modicum of rational perspective is needed.
Jones has been bought for the long term of that there should be no doubt and if it takes him a while to adjust to life at such a huge club as United then there can be no real complaints.
Players such as Gary Pallister, Andy Cole, Teddy Sheringham and even Cristiano Ronaldo all took at least a season to truly find their feet at Old Trafford before becoming legends so it’s not too negative to think Jones may take at least a year.
All the recent hype from the media and pundits around just how good Jones is has seaped through to many fans -myself included- whereby it’s easy to lose sight of the fact the lad is a teenager who’s barely played 30 top flight games.
All of a sudden there’s a sneakiy feeling that with all the money at Old Trafford seemingly being spent on players such as Luka Modric or Alexis Sanchez, we may have to make do with the defensive players we’ve got- particularly in midfield.
Could Jones come into the United side immediately and do a job in midfield? Probably -at least against the so-called lesser teams, but we shouldn’t expect him to. £16.5 million is a lot of mony I admit but it’s an investment and it’s important, as with all investments, we look for the long-term gains rather than the short term rewards.
I’m as excited as most Reds that we seem to have bagged a future star, but I don’t want to see the eagerness for instant success affect how United handle a player who could turn out to be one of Sir Alex’s most savvy signings.
It’s important that not just the club but also the fans remember that Jones needs time to settle into United and that time may be longer than the US tour, not everyone is a Mexican forward after all.
Feel free to comment or abuse below.
Agreed, putting him on a pinnacle also puts him under considerably more pressure. Just let the boy settle in and do his job, and I’m sure he’ll be a great signing. I must admit I’ll feel a lot better the next time Rio’s back packs in though! I also hope that with the early outfield signings in areas where we are currently strong, a defender and a winger, we don’t take our eye off the ball in terms of the weak area everyone seems to recognise in the team. We need to forget Sanchez unless we’ve got significantly more to spend than we have already done, and make sure we get that quality playmaker that we’re crying out for to replace Scholes. A midfield destroyer might be nice as well! :o)
I dont think the Jones hype is over the top at all. Most UNited fans dont expect him to be a John Terry in his first season, we know that in the long term, he is a sure thing to succeed. I know hes not played many games but Wenger is rarely wrong, Fergie is rarely wrong, Dalgish and Redknapp are no mugs and the chances of all 4 being wrong, is almost impossible
Jones is class and will become a United and England captian one day. Him and Smalling are a sure thing
Tbh, Im more worried abotu De Gea. I share Forlan’s concerns over his lack of english speaking ability and I cant see a spaniard livinig in manchester for 10 eyars, I just cant.
Modric looks like hes set his sights on Chelsea, Sniejder is unattainable with the price and slaary’s being demanded so Fergie will ahve to pull a rabbit out the hat to replace Scholes
i dont hear anybody hyping him up. Gutted, the playa e need just decleared his love for chelscum
well then he’s a scum and we don’t need scums.
Rational perspective from sensationalised media desperate for sales/views and football ‘fanatics’? You must be kidding.
Good to see one news outlet is still speaking sense though.
I just hope we remember to show similar tolerance for players like Obertan who, people are already, stupidly, writing him off after a handful of appearances in his first season
sneider sneider and more sneider midfeild big problem whens it gonna be clear
I m agree…I can’t wait to see world class play maker in our squad! FERGY,get him this summer!!!!
Bill, I hope he never turns out to be a John Terry. We don’t need a slow shit footballer who’s decent a “defending”. Hopefully Phil Jones will be a footballer aswell as a defender
He is next captain of United and England. he is already GREAT!
yea mark iwould love to see sniejder come in who i think is class and the inforcer could maybe be rooney in midfeild them together potent rooneys natural do ajob anywhere and long shot if fergie could snag someone like benzima with chico up front we have the wings covered devence sorted its a bit of a dream but toget anywhere near barca that midfeild big ?