Quick links

Manchester United

Jones and Evans - Manchester United's future defensive duo?

Manchester United dropped both Nemanja Vidic and Rio Ferdinand for the visit of Real Sociedad.

All signs are that the defensive partnership of Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic is in it's last throes.

The duo have served United well, providing the cornerstone of their 2008 Champions League triumph, but five years on the pair are at a crossroads.

Shaky displays so far this term for both of them, particularly Ferdinand, have led to suggestions neither will have their contracts renewed at the end of the season.

Both were left out of last night's win over Real Sociedad, and Phil Jones and Jonny Evans selected in their place.

There is little doubt Evans has the ability to play for many years in the position for United, even if three seasons ago there were big question marks over him.

For Phil Jones the situation is a little less clear cut. His ability to play in midfield and cover at right-back has seen him shuffled around with the competition at centre-back making it simpler for managers to just select him elsewhere.

Handed a rare opportunity in the middle against Sociedad he did not disappoint, helping the Red Devils keep a clean sheet.

As Sky pundit Jamie Carragher said before the game, now is the time for Jones to make the position his own and push for a run in the side.

The question marks over Ferdinand and Vidic provide him with that opportunity and are likely to do so until the end of the season.

Jones made four interceptions, more than any other player, and a resounding 15 clearances in last night's game, determined to deny Sociedad any chances.

Evans and Jones passed the first test, and striking up a chemistry together will be crucial. If they can convince David Moyes they can become the foundation on which to build his side, then there will be no reason to go out and buy a ready-made replacement for Ferdinand like Ezequiel Garay next summer after all.

What do you think? Can Jones and Evans be the future of United's defence?


image: © nasmac

Register for MANCHESTER UNITED team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch