Phil Jones is mostly misunderstood by football fans, that includes Manchester United fans all over the world.
When he was signed by Sir Alex Ferguson in 2011 from Blackburn Rovers, Jones was seen as someone with a bag of potential.
Sir Bobby Charlton even likened him to the great Duncan Edwards. This praise could motivate or burden someone. I think in the curious case of Phil Jones it is a little bit of both.
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The head tackle, pictured above, was ridiculed by the English media - they were having a field day with Phil Jones.
If you watch it on YouTube, you could understand why. But for all his mistakes in defence such as the pre-season game against PSG where he failed to close down Blaise Matuidi and Zlatan Ibrahimovic that led to two goals to the French side, there were also his heroics in the past that people tend to forget.
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United fans running out of patience
His performance against Chelsea in the 2011-12 season where he provided two assists for United's 3-1 win or his winning goal against Aston Villa in December 2011 come to mind.
In that season he was used sometimes as a midfielder and he did a decent job that would made him a versatile player that he is today.
He is a rare breed. I remember watching other players from the past like Bruce, Pallister, Molby and Ruddock and Jones may have the same technical abilities with these former players but he is still a work in progress and that is something Manchester United fans is running out of patience with.
Can Phil Jones prove himself?
The club does not share the same opinion with some United fans as Jones was awarded a new four-year contract earlier this month. Clearly Louis van Gaal sees Jones as one for the future that still could be nurtured and polished to be a legend in the club's history.
With the Premier League kick-off between Manchester United and Tottenham only a week away Van Gaal already made up his mind for his back-four bar one defender.
According to the Mirror he will have the new signing Matteo Darmian, Luke Shaw and Daley Blind. That leaves Chris Smalling and Phil Jones to battle the central defence position to be paired with Blind.
At the moment the consensus between analysts are leaning towards Smalling. Former Arsenal defender Martin Keown wrote in the Daily Mail that he would pick Smalling over Jones because Smalling looks steadier and calm in the back than Jones, who he says 'plays like a stuntman' and 'so theatrical'.
Adam Jones from talkSPORT would also have Smalling as a central defender and lastly Scott Patterson from The Republik of Mancunia wrote on ESPN that 'Jones lacks football IQ and technical ability' although he also followed that Jones' have the strength'.
With all these reviews have Phil Jones' back against the wall, some United fans would always back their players come what may.
The fans loves a trier, someone that would do them proud by wearing the red shirt and work hard with undying determination to bleed for the club. Only time will tell if Jones would fulfill his potential. I sure hope he will - with or without his IQ.
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