Phil Neville blasts Manchester United’s Phil Jones and Chris Smalling defensive partnership

Phil Neville blasts Manchester United’s Phil Jones and Chris Smalling defensive partnership

Manchester United legend Phil Neville has destroyed the club’s defensive partnership of Phil Jones and Chris Smalling following the result against Newcastle.

The Magpies managed to grab a 1-0 win over Jose Mourinho’s men in a devastating loss to the club due to the impact it had on the Premier League table.

League leaders Manchester City now hold a 16 point advantage over United who now must be concerned with the clubs below them that are chasing the Champions League spots in the table.

Both Jones and Smalling were involved in the defeat and were heavily criticised for their performances as frustrations continue to grow.

Neville, who once played as a defender for the Red Devils, got involved with the criticism and didn’t not hold back in his assessment of the English pair.

According to Give Me Sport, Phil said: “They have got the best defensive record because they have the best goalkeeper in the world in David De Gea and [Nemanja] Matic out in front who protects them really well.

“But the last two away games [against Tottenham and Newcastle], Smalling and Jones have been a disaster. Against Dele Alli and Harry Kane, they got bullied.

“Against Newcastle, did they make many mistakes? No, but they created a nervousness and a tension. They were making decisions that were strange.

“They were making decisions all day where you were thinking: ‘What are you doing?’ They brought these two as the best young centre-backs in England.”

Chris and Phil were once expected to be Manchester United’s first choice pairing when brought in as youngsters and whilst that may temporarily be true, no one would’ve thought this would be the case.

It’s fair to say neither player fulfilled their potential and there’s hints that Mourinho feels the same way as he brought in both Eric Bailly and Victor Lindelof to solve the problem.

Unfortunately Bailly has suffered with a few injuries and Lindelof is of course adjusting to his new surroundings, although there were moments of brilliance from him.

One would expect that Eric and Victor will become the new centre-back partnership for United and it’s one that has a lot of potential but fans will be a little more skeptic this time around.

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