Italy defender embarrassed Manchester United's Phil Jones, says Keown

Phil Jones crop

The former Arsenal man believes that Giorgio Chiellini left Jones embarrassed for Italy's goal.

Manchester United defender Phil Jones was left embarrassed by Italy man Giorgio Chiellini, according to Martin Keown in the Daily Mail.

The defender was part of England’s side that travelled to Turin on Tuesday evening for a high profile international between the sides, but he did not enjoy a fruitful evening.

Instead, he was played in an unfamiliar defensive midfield position by manager Roy Hodgson and suffered a torrid evening, with many blaming him for Italy’s goal, scored by Southampton forward Graziano Pelle.

Former Arsenal man Keown has echoed those sentiments, saying the defender was left embarrassed by counterpart Giorgio Chiellini, and was lucky not to be punished before then as well.

“He was embarrassed by Giorgio Chiellini for their goal,” said Keown

“And he was lucky to get away with losing his man at the previous set-piece. Sir Alex Ferguson famously labeled Jones the next Duncan Edwards, but he didn’t look very Edwards-like. At 23, it feels like we’re still trying to figure out his best position.”

Jones looked out of his depth in defensive midfield as the Italian midfield passed him by.

He reverted to a centre half position, in place of United teammate Chris Smalling after the break, with Michael Carrick instead filling the gap in midfield.

That change allowed England to get a foothold back in the game, with Tottenham winger Andros Townsend scoring a sensational equaliser late on, and as far as Keown is concerned England need a more technical player in that defensive midfield position, not Jones.

“He is being asked to play a role that needs to be filled by a more technically-proficient player —like Andrea Pirlo,” he added.

“The main problem is that he has a habit of chasing the ball when he can’t win it. He looks like he’s been fired out of a cannon. He’ll need to assess situations better and hold his position in front of the back four.”

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