England utility man Phil Jones is fast becoming a Manchester United legend. The ex-Blackburn full back is constantly played out of position by new manager David Moyes, in large part because no one is willing to break up the Nemanja Vidic and Rio Ferdinand pairing.
Jones has become one of the first names written on the team sheet, and always seems to reward his manager’s confidence with solid displays. He has also been tasked to man the right flank when Rafael Da Silva is unavailable for selection and has done well. Come to think of it, I can’t recall any position where he hasn’t excelled.
Lately, Jones has been used as a central midfielder, due to the absence of talisman Michael Carrick, and has done an excellent job, regardless of being out of position and being asked to do something he has never done. His powerful frame helps him boss opposing midfielders, but he is sometimes caught out of position, thus exposing his team’s obvious flaws.
He was so highly rated by Sir Alex Ferguson that he was tasked with controlling Cristiano Ronaldo when Manchester United faced Real Madrid in last year’s Champions League at the Bernabeu Stadium. He was unable to completely silence the Portuguese ace, but made him look extremely uncomfortable for the full 90 minutes.
His best is his natural full back position; he is so strong in the air, is rarely caught out of position, and exudes confidence. Lest we forget that he is only 21 years old and already an England regular under Roy Hodgson. I hope Moyes can start playing him in defense so that he can prove he has what it takes to Marshall England’s defense.
This young man has won over the tough, unforgiving Manchester United supporters who consider him one of the finest young players in English football.