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How Badly Do We Need Jones For Saturday?

Phil Jones was subbed off after 20 minutes in Manchester United’s 2-1 victory over Arsenal, needing a stretcher to take him off the field. Reports from the touchline suggested he had just twisted his ankle but the following day there were claims he had ligament damage.

However, Mike Phelan has given us hope that Jones could be available for our FA Cup clash at Anfield.

“Phil’s character is very good,” said Phelan. “He is disappointed that, over the last few weeks, he seems to have limped around the football field quite a bit. But he usually manages to recover, so we’re optimistic he can do the same again.”

Sir Alex Ferguson revealed after the game that Michael Carrick played with a hamstring injury during the second half at the Emirates, whilst Darren Fletcher is ruled out for the season and Tom Cleverley is still weeks away from making his return. Anderson played for 15 minutes against City in the FA Cup but in the two games since hasn’t even been on the bench, with wantaway Paul Pogba filling a midfielder’s spot on the bench for our game against Bolton.

The last time we were stretched for central midfielders, Ferguson opted to started Rafael and Park Ji-Sung, although we lost that game 3-2 at home to Blackburn. However, it is unlikely that even Rafael would be available to play in midfield at Anfield, given that Nemanja Vidic and Rio Ferdinand are injured, so Chris Smalling won’t be able to play at right-back.

If Jones doesn’t make a surprise recovery in time, we could see Ryan Giggs and Paul Scholes starting in the centre of the field. Preferable to that would be Giggs starting on the left and Park partnering Scholes, considering our veterans don’t have the legs required to boss the midfield anymore. Let’s not forget it was Giggs’ brilliant ball in from the left that set up our opening goal at Arsenal and Park has plenty of energy to run around in the middle to give Scholesy a breather. Still, not ideal, is it?

Fingers crossed Micky isn’t getting our hopes up for nothing.

About Scott

Scott is the editor of Red Matters - 50 Years of Supporting Manchester United and an author of Play Like Fergie's Boys and Not Nineteen Forever. He writes for ESPN, The Metro and Bleacher Report. Follow @R_o_M on Twitter.

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  1. WillieRedNut says:

    Ding ding!

    King Eric – I was thinking home advantage, and our recent record at the dump. Doesn’t worry me, if they were favourites.

  2. Red Devil says:

    @Gopher Brown, Costas

    I accept that they are injured frequently and thats another thing I dont understand. Why do we seem to get so many more injuries than other teams..? And its not a one-off for us, its happening season after season.

    About Rafael, He played almost 30-35 games for us in his first season I believe, so its not that he is made of glass. If he could survive 30-35 games at 19, I am sure he can survive that many at 21 given the chances….And not playing them is not going to bring them on physically in any case.

    Just look at Danny Welbeck and Tom Cleverly. They were skinny scrawny little kids at United reserves, went to Sunderland and watford/wigan respectively and manned up playing in the first team. You will only develop physically if you play games in the league, not by sitting on the bench…
    Danny himself has said, that physically he became a man with SUnderland, as did Jonny Evans…so sitting on the bench even when fit, especially against teams like Arsenal who are not much of an aerial threat is not gonna help the situation at all.
    Fergie’s already said that Rafa threw a tantrum when replaced against Arsenal and that is only going to increase as time wears on and they dont play. I just love to see them play, they are two tenacious little cunts scurrying up and down the wing offering real attacking threat going forward. I’d hate to see them go like this

  3. CROoney says:

    we don’t need any of the young players DESPERATELY…rooney,valencia,carrick,nani etc we need desperately

  4. Red Neville says:


    Buy a midfielder you say? Ah I see, you’re a revolutionary are you? :O

  5. parryheid says:

    Red Devil.

    Difficult to fault your points so I’ll just say correct.

  6. Red Devil says:


  7. LUFCWhite says:

    Well the defensive crisis at your place must be pretty bad if you’re looking to Phil Jones for hope!

  8. WillieRedNut says:

    Obsessed sheep shagger!

  9. Treee says:

    the last thing we need is another injury. we should rest him for anfield and make sure he is fit for the rest of the season. Scholes and giggs FTW

  10. dannysoya says:

    let him rest. lets give fabio a game. he needs games. other than that same team from against arsenal.

  11. den says:

    buskets has to be the most despicable footballer i have ever seen, i would love to be on a pitch with him id cut him in two halves with a tackle and give him a proper reason to roll on the ground. no matter what he does to opponents he never gets booked himself. watching him makes my blood boil

  12. T. says:

    I agree totally. How such a rich club with Unicef can have Bousquets, Pedro and Dani Alves in the team is beyond me. Those are the cunts of world football. Bet they have a separate changingroom with a a girl with a skirt on the door.

    regarding Jones. Let mhim rest, he seem to need it. He has been awful at late. Bad judgement, bad passing game, bad positioning. He need a week or two on the sidelines to get his head sorted.

  13. T. says:

    Had a look on physio room. We actually have 7 supposed starters on bicycles now and still we are 2nd in the leauge. Lets just get this season over with and snatch the 20:th title. Then a proper pre-season camp in the U.S with lots stretching and rehab training. Then next season with a full squad we get the 21 easy, Shitty will be relegated due to not commiting to the financial fair play. chelasea has splashed another 200 billion quid on players in decline. Arsenal fans thinking they are masters of universe in January as usual, only to hit rock bottom form in spring and have a relegation battle at hands in may. Liverpool buys a guy with dark skin or spraypaint Bellamy in a dark colour and tries to fool the world that they aren´t a racist club, gets 25 points reduction from Bernstein and has -25 points in may.

    The future looks bright my fellow reds!

  14. Mozza79 says:

    We don’t particularly need Jones fit at all since Rafael is available. We need Carrick and Nani available much more than Jones.

  15. CROoney says:

    @T. . such a rich club with UNICEF you say ? well did you know that barcelona was responsible for the deaths of the entire real madrid’s young team by not allowing them to enter catalonia in the spanish civil war ? both teams are cunts…real are a fascist club and barca are ra racist and separatistic club

  16. T. says:

    @ CROoney
    No didn´t knew that. Agree with botth teams being cunts. Don´t like Pepe, Ramos Ronaldo (anymore) and Benzema very much neither. butr if I had to choose from Real or Barca it would be real every day.

    My team in Spain is and will always be Deportivo la Coruna unfortunatly. But the love for them is uncomparable to that of our beloved Manchester United.


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