Manchester United supporters watching Sunday’s Carabao Cup final were puzzled when they saw first-team defender Phil Jones be part of Sky Sports’ punditry team for the mouthwatering clash between the Reds and Newcastle United.
Jones is approaching the end of his contract at United and has not appeared for the club this season after being left out of Erik ten Hag’s first pre-season due to injury.
Despite his non-involvement this season, he has still had front row seats to watch Ten Hag’s revolution at the club and speaking pitchside before the final, Jones spoke on the Dutchman’s impressive impact.
🗣 "He's given everyone a value at the club."
Phil Jones shares what Erik ten Hag has impacted since arriving at Manchester United pic.twitter.com/yMKjHWMC3v
— Football Daily (@footballdaily) February 26, 2023
Asked to explain how Ten Hag has been able to turn United’s fortunes around so quickly, Jones hinted that his man-management has been key.
“I just think he knew what he wanted form the lads straight from the word go,” Jones told Football Daily, as seen above. “I think he’s given everyone a value, everyone feels value. Everyone feels like they’ve got a place that they’re going to play.
“He’s utilised the squad when he’s needed to and he’s been successful so far. Bar the first couple of games of the season, I think they’ve had a strong season and hopefully, they can get their first trophy today.”
Interestingly, Jones is not referring to his team-mates as ‘we’ and that is a clear indication that he will be leaving the club at the end of this season and it is highly unlikely that he will be making another appearance.
His last appearance came at the end of last season but over the last three years, he has hardly been used as the former England international has endured a neverending bout with injuries.