Robbie Savage has hit out at strong criticism aimed towards Manchester United defender Phil Jones following the side’s 3-1 defeat to rivals Manchester City in Tuesday night’s Carabao Cup semi-final.
Man Utd have a big mountain to climb to reach the final after losing the first leg heavily at Old Trafford. City outplayed us for much of the game and it’s likely to be the same at The Etihad.
Jones was singled out for a poor display, which is usually the case when he takes to the field nowadays, with the 27-year-old getting a rare start as Harry Maguire missed after sustaining an injury in the FA Cup clash with Wolves at the weekend.
Former United youth player Savage has called for fans to show a bit more respect to Jones, as he reacted angrily to someone awarding him a 2/10 rating for his performance against City.
We didn’t do player ratings last night but thinking back to the game, I really don’t think I could justify giving Jones a higher rating than 4/10…
Savage noticed some of the ratings on the BBC Sport website and defended Jones on Radio 5 Live.
“Those marks are ridiculous; who is giving players four out of 10? The minimum you should get is five or six,” Savage said. “Two out of 10 is nonsense. Pointless.”
Prior to kick-off when it was announced Jones would start against City, Savage was already defending the centre-back, saying: “Phil Jones has achieved more than 98% of footballers. He’s played for Manchester United, played for his country, has shown dedication and desire.
“Are his best days behind him? Yes. Is his quality what it was? No. Are his performances what they were? No. But what are the other options?
“I see criticism of Phil Jones, but you have to respect that he has played this many games for this club. Tp get to where he has got to, he has been a fantastic player.”
I get what Savage is saying. Jones doesn’t play many games and was thrown into a big one last night, immediately expected to perform against a strong City side.
But the fans are angry that season after season Jones remains at the club despite not being good enough.
Who is going to take us out of this misery?