Phil Jones - Thoughts Now?


mo50 (Elite Member) on March 14th, 2012, 2:03 pm

Jones was one of the most wanted players this summer, with bids being lodged by all the top clubs, including us. He was regarded as the future England captain, the English Maldini and all sorts of hyperbole. After hearing all this, and with our lack of quality CB's at the time (before Koscielny became a mammoth) I was naturally gutted.

I've watched this kid consistently this season and if I didn't know better I'd say he is your run of the mill English CB. Granted he's only 19, but I don't see any outstanding ability at all, other than bursting forward with the ball, which shouldn't be the job of a CB anyway. His technique doesn't stand out nor do his overall defensive qualities.

Am I the only one that doesn't rate him? For a 20m defender, he looks like he's never played there before. I may well look like a fool in 5 years but I just don't see anything outstanding or remotely special from this kid, other than the funny faces he always makes.
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Beksl (Forum Member) on March 14th, 2012, 2:11 pm

Firstly, he's not a 20m defender but rather 16m (or there abouts). He's 19 years old playing his first season in one of the most demanding teams where there's enormous pressure to perform and playing under one of the most demanding managers in the league.

I like him a lot, he's versatile and shows a level of maturity way above his level. With the injury to Vidic and Rio totally out of form he was thrown in the mix when he should be slowly introduced and integrated. I was gutted we didn't sign him and I think he'll become one hell of a player.
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GDeep (Forum Member) on March 14th, 2012, 2:38 pm

Don't remember anyone calling him the ''English Maldini'' or even anything close to that tbh. Haven't seen alot of him at CB either, has played at RB or midfield whenever iv seen them play, done well in both positions too, even for England, hasn't played at CB yet.

The guy is 19 and will develop into a quality CB, the two managers in the game who know a thing or two about young players, Ferguson and Wenger, both went for him 24 hours after the window opened, says it all really.
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Airknight (Forum Member) on March 14th, 2012, 2:52 pm

Doesn't deserve a thread, versatile and commited, but overrated.

The new Terry.

mo50 (Elite Member) on March 14th, 2012, 3:06 pm

I'm sure the owners of Blackburn gave United a hard time with regards to his 16.5m release clause, and United just forked out an extra few million to push the deal through.

I just don't see it in Jones. Smalling is 2 years younger, and in his debut season last year he looked absolutely phenomenal. You could tell he was dead certain to become a top class CB; with his reading of the game, anticipation, speed and physical ability. I can't say the same about Jones. He's been a utility player similar to O'shea this season. At CB he reminds me of Shawcross.
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Beksl (Forum Member) on March 14th, 2012, 3:13 pm

Smalling is 2 years older and any defender will tell you playing alongside Vidic makes your job that more easier. I bet Jones would look great alongside fully fit Vidic and as for the Shawcross remark he's just a better footballer. Jones doesn't rely only on his height and heading ability and as was already pointed out he's only 19 a very tender age for a CB playing for a tittle challenging team.
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mo50 (Elite Member) on March 14th, 2012, 3:22 pm

Those are very valid points. I'm probably being too harsh on him but for a player that was so sought after I expected a lot more from him. His physical attributes/drive/determination are impressive but his overall defensive game seems to be lacking. Jones is 20 right now, and Smalling was 21 when he broke through, so the age difference isn't that large. We'll see how he develops over the coming years, but I just don't see it.
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Beksl (Forum Member) on March 14th, 2012, 3:29 pm

We'll just have to wait and see. Football is a lottery sometimes, one serious injury and it can hamper player's development.
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Armor for Sleep (Elite Member) on March 14th, 2012, 4:55 pm

He's a teenager, he's going to have bad games and bad spells. I think he has the makings of a top class player though. The strange thing is, at Blackburn he looked like an out and out centre half but at Utd he's probably been better at both full back and in midfield. Still reckon he'll eventually be a very good CB though.
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AFC-Phil (Elite Member) on March 14th, 2012, 5:18 pm

He struggles majorly in reading the game. He's eye catching on the ball and appears to be a leader. That said, Smalling has looked far more impressive to me, and a natural defender. Jones is an incrredible athlete, but that will only take him so far. Bags of potential, but he needs to improve in his reading of the game.
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Dokaka (Forum Member) on March 14th, 2012, 5:32 pm

Says something that he's holding his own in a team that's leading the league at the age he's at.

Still a phenomenal talent. He's playing in the a position where you only get better with age, he still have 13-15 years ahead of him.

Him and Smalling could be Man Utd's CBs for the next 10 years. United fans must be excited as all hell for this.
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Floating (Trusted Member) on March 14th, 2012, 7:09 pm

He was immense for the first few months of the season, and it made me totally gutted that we hadn't landed him. He's also been used at CM and RB and has looked out of place and committed some big blunders in big games, even at CB.

That said, along with Wilshere and Oxlade, I think he's one of the most promising English youngsters in recent years. Not as convinced by Smalling, however.
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ebouenolike (Trusted Member) on March 15th, 2012, 2:32 am

He's 19 so he will make some mistakes. He's English, committed, full of talent and a down to earth kid - I'd love him here (it will never happen).
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The Jury (Forum Member) on March 15th, 2012, 3:11 am

He certainly looks like he does a job in an number of positions, which is testament to his physical ability probably more than anything else at this stage. Great strength and stamina, and gets the ball from a to b well enough.

However, if I was a Man Utd fan, I'd be more relaxed if I knew for certain where his future position lies - even at this very early stage. Will he master one, or end up a better than average utility man, rather than a high quality specialist? You don't want to be lurking in that grey area that is the back line and defensive midfield for too long.

fabo (Forum Member) on March 15th, 2012, 12:24 pm

He's talented and gets alot of hype, but his performances haven't lived up to that at United. Think he's been distinctly average actually. He made a few forward bursts early in the season which contributed to the hype and tend to mask his otherwise shaky game to the average supporter/pundit. See Kyle Walker for similar examples, although he's clearly a more natural full-back.

Think he will be a quality player in time, probably in the Terry mould defending with blood and guts rather than smart positioning and reading of the game. Remember watching him against Drogba for Blackburn and he looked class, so there's plenty of scope for improvement.

Not too disappointed that we missed out on him really. Smalling looks a more natural defender but I wouldn't be too bothered about missing out there either.
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redwhiteAustrian (Global Moderator) on March 15th, 2012, 1:00 pm

He'll perhaps turn into the next John O'Shea which is a bit disappointing, given what they've paid for him.

Doesn't strike me as something special though, never bought the hype.
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DK Gooner (Forum Member) on March 15th, 2012, 4:34 pm

I like Phil Jones as a player and while I too think he is somewhat over-hyped, I actually think he has all the tools to be a success. I would liked us to have signed him, but thought the United move would be better for him. Now I'm not so sure.

I still think he has the making of an excellent midfield player. He could be a genuine box-to-box midfielder who could eventually drop to CB later in his career like Desailly. Had we signed him, I think we would have used him primarily in midfield rather than shunting him across our backline to solve whichever problem cropped up like he has been at United. He will make mistakes, but as a number of our players have shown, it takes a bit of time to truly develop in a demanding role. Progress is not always given and it does start to hurt the club in terms of results so there has to be a level of perserverance through the good times and the bad if young players are going to flourish into world-class talent. He will get opportunities at United, but not necessarily in that CM role.

Even if he doesn't reach the level the hype suggests, I still feel he will have a very good and successful PL career.
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Dokaka (Forum Member) on March 15th, 2012, 5:45 pm

redwhiteAustrian wrote:He'll perhaps turn into the next John O'Shea which is a bit disappointing, given what they've paid for him.

Doesn't strike me as something special though, never bought the hype.


In all honesty though, you could argue that his first season at United was as good as Koscielny's first season for you. And we all saw what happened to Koscielny in his second season, became an absolute beast.

And Jones 6 years younger.
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redwhiteAustrian (Global Moderator) on March 15th, 2012, 7:09 pm

Well, I wouldn't compare them to each other, for the fact that Jones already had a season of PL football under his belt before he moved to United, unlike Kos who'd arrived with no PL experience here.

Last edited by redwhiteAustrian on March 15th, 2012, 8:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Irish_Owen (Elite Member) on March 15th, 2012, 7:26 pm

I think this thread is extremely harsh on a 19 year old playing in a very demanding position, in a team that is challenging at the highest level.

Jones' promise is there for all to see, and I think it's more wishful thinking on our part that he won't become a top player, as it does seem a bit of an inevitability that he'll be up there with the league's best sooner rather than later.
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The Jury (Forum Member) on March 15th, 2012, 8:19 pm

redwhiteAustrian wrote: Jones already had a season of PL football under his belly


Under his belly? :mrgreen:

redwhiteAustrian (Global Moderator) on March 15th, 2012, 8:54 pm

Belly, belt......whatever. :lol:
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AnthonyG (Administrator) on March 15th, 2012, 9:11 pm

:lol: Mixing your metaphors rWA? Don't make a hobbit of it.

As for Jones - way too early to tell for me whether he was worth the hype or the money. He's been fine though.
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redwhiteAustrian (Global Moderator) on March 15th, 2012, 10:03 pm

:lol: :lol:
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Invincible (Lobby Member) on March 15th, 2012, 10:31 pm

The kid is a fantastic prospect. Not convinced he's a defender though, think he could turn into a top player if moved permanently to center midfield.
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fabo (Forum Member) on March 15th, 2012, 11:35 pm

I think the opposite tbh, I'd keep him away from CM and full-back permanently.
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Clrnc (Trusted Member) on March 16th, 2012, 9:47 am

Yep, I think he is a great Central defender in the making
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Shue (Elite Member) on March 17th, 2012, 7:05 pm

Would still pay £16m for him very happily.

yousif_arsenal (Forum Member) on March 17th, 2012, 7:09 pm

i think he is good player and he play as central back fullback and a defensive midfielder, he will turn a very good player in future.
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ebouenolike (Trusted Member) on March 17th, 2012, 7:11 pm

Shue wrote:Would still pay £16m for him very happily.


Agreed. When he puts it all together he's going to be one hell of a player, and for 15 years.
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