Look up ‘football hardman’ on Google Images and, within the first few results, you’ll see a photo of Vinnie Jones.
Along with the likes of Roy Keane, Ron ‘Chopper’ Harris and Graeme Souness, Jones is unquestionably one of British football’s most iconic hard men.
The retired midfielder, most famous for his two spells at Wimbledon in the late 1980s and 1990s, would take no prisoners on match days and cared little for an opponent’s reputation - or safety, for that matter.
In truth, Jones would have struggled to make it in top-level professional football if he was born 20 years later.
The sport is a lot tamer these days and bruisers like Jones are now a product of a bygone era.
But just because football has evolved, it doesn’t mean Jones’s views of how the game should be played have.
The former Wales international, who also spent time at Chelsea in the early 90s, was curiously hired to provide analysis for BT Sport on Saturday evening’s FA Cup fourth-round tie between AFC Wimbledon and West Ham.
And he had football fans cracking up with some of his comments during the night.
First of all, Jones admitted he would deliberately focus on taking out West Ham captain Mark Noble early doors, if he was playing for Wimbledon, in order to send a clear message to the other opposition players.
“Noble’s a good lad in midfield,” the footballer-turned-actor began. “If I was gonna rattle anybody early I think it would be him because he makes West Ham tick, so I think one of the boys would want to get about him early doors, to show the others ‘your main man’s took one here today, so you’re next on the list’.”
Here’s the clip in full…
Next, here’s Vinnie explaining what he would have done at half-time if he was in Manuel Pellegrini’s shoes. For context, the Hammers were 2-0 down at the time.
He said: ”If I were West Ham I'd banging it up to Andy Carroll and winning the knock-downs."
Are we definitely sure that’s not Pep Guardiola in disguise?
Watch the clip in full here…
And, of course, Jones also had something to say about many of the West Ham players wearing gloves.
He added: “If I was a Wimbledon player and saw nine or 10 of the West Ham players come out with gloves on I would’ve really fancied it tonight!”
Here’s the clip…
Now, while Jones did annoy some viewers with his prehistoric views about the game, many others were cracking up and you can understand why.
He might not be everybody’s cup of tea but at least he delivered some entertainment - something that certain pundits, naming no names, regularly fail to provide.News Now - Sport News