Former Tottenham Hotspur man Jamie O’Hara has slammed Ralf Rangnick’s decision involving Phil Jones
Former Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Jamie O’Hara has criticized Manchester United interim manager Ralf Rangnick for his treatment of Phil Jones during the Red Devils’ disappointing defeat to Liverpool on Tuesday.
The 30-year-old center-back was a surprise inclusion in Rangnick’s 5-3-2 formation against the Reds at Anfield. This was only the defender’s second appearance in the Premier League this season.
Neither the formation nor the decision to start Jones reaped any rewards as Manchester United were bullied throughout the demoralizing 4-0 loss.
Jones was substituted at half-time for winger Jadon Sancho as Rangnick looked to turn things around.
‘If I’m Phil Jones at half-time I’m digging the gaffer out. I’m literally turning round to the gaffer and saying ‘are you winding me up? You’re dragging me off after 45 minutes, you’ve put me out there against Liverpool when you could have played me against Norwich last week to get my feet in and give me a game.”
Rangnick’s decision to change Manchester United’s formation ahead of their huge clash with Liverpool took many by surprise.
O’Hara touched on the risks that the manager took in implementing the formation:
“‘And then you’ve worked on a formation for three or four days, we’re playing against Liverpool and you’re playing me in a back three with [Diogo] Dalot, [Harry] Maguire, [Victor] Lindelof and [Aaron] Wan-Bissaka.”
O’Hara concluded his scathing analysis of the Manchester United interim coach’s decision, saying:
“‘And then you’re dragging me off at half-time to make me look like it’s my fault? I would say… I tell you what don’t bother picking me again, I’ll see you out. See you later, I’m off.'”
Phil Jones returns in vain as Manchester United flounder once again
Phil Jones made his long-awaited return against Wolves earlier this year
Despite O’Hara’s somewhat harsh criticism of Rangnick’s decision to start Jones, the Englishman was likely eager to show why he deserves a starting berth.
It has been a long road to recovery for Jones, who has had a nightmare few years with injury issues. He didn’t manage a single appearance for the club last season.
His return to action against Wolverhampton Wanderers in January was an emotional moment for the defender.
The opportunity to play for Manchester United is not one a player will pass up, even if they go up against a world-class side like Liverpool.
Jones may feel a bit aggrieved about his half-time withdrawal, but it came at a time when Rangnick needed to make a change.