Martin Keown blasts Solskjaer and Jones after Man Utd draw with Sheffield United

Jones had a bad day (Picture: AMA/Getty)

Martin Keown believes Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was wrong to play a back-three against Sheffield United and to ‘shoehorn’ Phil Jones into the side, while he thinks Sir Alex Ferguson would have subbed the centre-back off after 15 minutes rather than at half-time.

It was another difficult day for Manchester United, although a rousing 10 minutes in which they scored three second half goals took the edge off, and they are nine points off fourth-placed Chelsea in ninth place after 13 games played.

Jones made his first start of the Premier League season but was hauled off by Solskjaer following a dreadful error in the build up to Sheffield United’s opener.

Solskjaer was criticised by Keown (Picture: Getty Images)

And former Arsenal centre-back Keown was heavily critical of the 27-year-old and his manager for throwing him into the starting XI.

Remember what Sir Alex Ferguson said about Phil Jones in 2013? “The way he is looking, he could be our best-ever player,” the then Manchester United manager said of Jones, who was 21.

Fast forward six years and he is getting hooked at half-time by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. His career has certainly not gone the way Ferguson hoped. Had the Scot been in charge on Sunday, you wonder whether he would have hauled him off after 15 minutes.

Jones always looked problematic in that back line, then he was at fault for the opening goal. Instead of pumping the ball into row Z — like he should have done — he allowed Lys Mousset to take it off him.

No defender should let that happen or even take the chance. Maybe there was a hint of a foul, but Jones needed to be more dominant, more assertive, more clever.

I’m surprised Solskjaer opted for three at the back in the first place. Maybe he wanted to match up with the hosts, but it only created confusion. The man he shoehorned into the team made a mistake and it left United chasing the game. I saw a different side in the second half and the kids salvaged something for Solskjaer.

For the neutral, this was a great spectacle but what a day to forget for Jones on his first Premier League start this season.

MORE: ‘Angry’ Ole Gunnar Solskjaer slams Manchester United team after dramatic Sheffield United draw

MORE: Sir Alex Ferguson’s priceless reaction after stunning 10-minute Man Utd fightback


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