One player who will have convinced David Moyes to spend big at Manchester United

David Moyes Interview - 23/02/2014

Did Manchester United defender Phil Jones fail a big audition against Liverpool?

Manchester United manager David Moyes will be sitting wondering where it all went wrong against Liverpool, and his central defenders should certainly accept their own portion of the blame.

Each Phil Jones and Nemanja Vidic conceded a penalty, as they were run ragged by a vibrant Liverpool side who had a spark rarely seen in any United team this season.

Throwing in Phil Jones in central defence in a game of this magnitude was really a case of sink or swim, and it's hard to say it was a success.

Moyes hinted last week that Jones and Chris Smalling would get chances to show they can be United's key centre-backs, and save him money in the transfer market.

"They will certainly be competing with the other Manchester United centre-backs to start for this club," Moyes said.

"I've said I wanted see how they do before the end of the season. I will be continuing to use Vidic and Rio and Evans. We know Vida [Vidic] is moving on so we have to take the chance to look at what the younger ones are capable of."

It's wrong to write off a player after just one performance, but there will not be many games left on this scale for Jones to prove himself between now and the end of the season.

United face Olympiakos in midweek, in what could transpire to be their final Champions League game of the season, and later this month host Manchester City. Beyond that the games are not quite as big for the Red Devils.

It could just be that Jones missed his big opportunity, and with it showed David Moyes he is not cut out to be a regular pick just yet.

That is not to say he won't be - but the chance to buy big this summer may only come around once for Moyes. Did Jones do enough to stop him launching a bid for the best defenders on the market, Mats Hummels, Eliaquim Mangala or Ezequiel Garay? The answer based on the weekend is no he did not.

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