Where Should Phil Jones Play?
Ok, so maybe centre forward is being a little unrealistic but with two assured displays in the middle of the park for England makes you wonder whether centre back is his best position.
Of course he has all the attribute of a good defender: strong physique, clam under pressure, good in the air and electric acceleration. But with his powerful runs through opposition defenders it may feel like a waste to curb his attacking instincts.
Both for club and country he has been creating chances when going forward. At united these have come from wide areas whilst playing at right-back but have often left their back line exposed to the counter. This problem would only increase if he was playing in the centre, with a large hole created if he lost the ball. His style is somewhat similar to Spanish defenders where you often see defenders like Pepe and Pique rampage through a team. The quality in the Spanish league however is much less consistant than in England where almost every team has players that can hurt you.
So would playing further forward suite his style of play? Former manager Sam Allardayce has argued that he has a greater potential in midfield and urges his mangers to play him further forward, where he often played for the Blackburn team.
His last appearances for England have shown he can play exceedingly well there, especially against Sweden where he had a much greater license to roam. The chances he creates are formed from a burst through the defence that has been the trademark of Steven Gerrard this decade. Few players seem to have this talent, and with Gerrards days numbered around the England squad it would be good to see new blood replacing his exciting style of play.
I for one would be disappointed to see his attacking flair wasted and it will be interesting to see where Sir Alex Ferguson will play him in the next few games of the season.