Date: 3rd May 2012 at 4:59pm
Written by:
Phil Jones

The former Blackburn youngster has had a mixed first season

One player who’s deserved better from his manager this season is the former Blackburn man Phil Jones. It’s not that Jones has been underused or publicly criticised by his manager, in fact its the opposite effect, the youngster has been used too much in positions that don’t suit him, during must-win games. 

Jones was forced to play at right back against City, due to the injury to Jonny Evans meaning Chris Smalling was needed at centre back. Yet why couldn’t Tony Valencia be used at right back? He’s proven time and again he can play there, the only reason not  to use his would be it’s a waste of his attacking talents, but if he’s not even on the pitch that hardly matters. Jones looked out of sorts at right back against Wigan a couple of weeks ago, and hasn’t looked comfortable in that position since early on in the season, when to be honest he looked a far more assured player. It’s as if the season has taken its toll on him and that’s hardly surprising the way he’s been treated. He’s been thrown in at centre back several times when it’s obvious he’s struggled there, right back again when he’s not looked right, and the one position he has looked best at, central midfield is a place he’s seldom been used in these past few months.

I know that Paul Scholes and Michael Carrick have made the central roles their own, but there’s been ample opportunity to give Jones a game there even if it’s a cameo just to get him used to playing in the side in a position that suits him.

At the beginning of this season, Jones looked like a world-beater, confident, powerful, energetic and fearless, he was even -albeit erroneously – compared to the great Duncan Edwards, now he’s more likely to be compared to Eddie the Eagle Edwards such has been his fall from grace.

The point is though, this isn’t Jones’s fault, he’s been moved around at the wrong times, made to play when he should have been rested and rested when he should have been given a game. The game against Wigan was a case in point. Jones desperately asked for help from his team mates when closing down the Pie Eaters for their goal, none was forthcoming, then later on in the game struggling with injury and unable to be subbed because United had used all our substitutes, it was a sorry sight, seeing the youngster hobbling about as Ryan Giggs inexplicably aimed a pass at him.

Jones is a class player of that there can be little doubt, but not a right back or even centre back and certainly not once every five or six games where he’s given no chance to even begin getting into the rhythm of being a regular fixture in the Reds defence.

Next season Jones should be used more as a midfielder a position he seems perfectly suited to, lets hope that him and Tom Cleverley can lead United into the next title challenge.

Have I been too kind to the player and too harsh on the manager? Is Jones the real deal? Feel free to share your thoughts below:


19 responses to “The Complete Waste Of Phil Jones”

  1. JBRed says:

    Jones has great physical attributes, but like most young English players today, he’s thick as two planks. Also, the reason we will fail to win the league this year is all down to the absence of the great John Oshea. Mock that comment if you will, but give it a good hard think… 4-2 and we fucked it up. 8 points and we fucked it up. FACHT

  2. realist says:

    well said Anneeq- phil jones has been dire in all 3 of the positions he has played in over the last few months despite being excellent in the early part of the season. if i was the manager he certainly wouldnt have started as many games as SAF has started him just lateley, although i do believe atm that he is best of in cm, butr thats saying something cos he has been poor there also just lately and i dont believe for one minute that is the position he will finally settle in!
    for me he will be a cb, rb or a utility player as he is now. not sure hes tall enough at cb, not sure he can cross a ball at all to be a rb, not sure hes got enough about him to be a top cm either tbh, but time will tell, he certainly has potential, but to blame SAF for his poor form, IMO, is POOR! 🙂

  3. Boygenius says:

    Phil Jones at Centre Mid?? Ha Ha

    He’s a defender. Lets be honest – I’ll agree that he’s been moved around a lot and not been given his chance in one position but he’s a very young lad and I’m sorry to say this but this season, especially towards the business end the stage as been too big for him. He’s big and still growing so hopefully he’ll find his position at centre half but shouldn’t be anywhere near a united midfield unless like stated above as part of a three with him being a defensive mid.

  4. No waste just why play him in any other position then centre back he’s a fantastic defender played in midfield for some idiotic reason, agreed with the valencia part why put him on the bench in the first place if there was any way we were going to win against city it was through him.

  5. I agree with Gorse Hill Red – must be a Stretford thing mate. Although United must’ve done some homework on him (unlike Bebe), he the game that sealed Alex’s decision to go for him was the man-mountain performance he put in for Blackburn against us at Ewood Park last season – at centre half. We have undoubtedly got issues in the side that need addressing but he was bought as a centre back & I think central midfield is a massive ask for a 19 year old lad who was brought in as a defender. Personally I don’t get why Fergie has a history of being unaffraid of blooding youngsters (the list is not necessary) yet he has been seemingly reluctant to give Pogba or even dare I say Morrison more of a chance. I don’t know what the likes of Giggs & co must have been doing in the youth/reserves way back when but what I’ve seen & read of those 2 seems to warrant more chances especially when you consider Jones is a similar age but is naturally a center back.

  6. Obviously Morrison has been shipped out but i wonder if he had been given more chances he might have really buckled down.