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UNITEDRANT

Fergie signals end of era with Jones signing

June 9, 2011 Tags: , , , Opinion 78 comments

It turned out to be an extraordinary day of transfer activity, so soon into the summer window, as Sir Alex Ferguson closed in on £16 million Blackburn Rovers defender Phil Jones. The England Under-21 international has reportedly agreed terms on a five-year deal and is likely to become the first of several signings before the window closes at August’s end. Manchester United will likely also confirm the signatures of Aston Villa’s Ashley Young and the Spanish goalkeeper David de Gea in the coming weeks.

Yet, as Isaac Newton might agree, every action has a reaction, especially when wage budgets and squad sizes must be balanced. Not equal, perhaps, but for United the inbound talent ensures the revolving door marked exit remains busy this summer. Just as United supporters embrace the new-boy Jones, then a heartfelt goodbye will be heard for John O’Shea, Wes Brown and Darron Gibson, reportedly the subject of a £12 million bid from Sunderland today.

Supporters have, after all, been promised one of the busiest summers in recent memory, with significant deadwood cleared out of Old Trafford’s burgeoning squad, balanced by returning loanees and heavier expenditure than has become the norm under the Glazer family’s ownership over the past six years.

Indeed, this summer is promising to create more change in the United squad than has been seen for years. It is an accelerating evolution that will end a cycle at United in a less gradual way that is typical under Ferguson’s stewardship.

Moreover, in Brown and O’Shea, Ferguson is losing significant experience. One club men at that. Between them the latter pair has amassed more than 750 appearances in the Red shirt, adding to the departures of Paul Scholes, Gary Neville and Edwin van der Sar, which robs Ferguson of more than 1500 club appearances.

In experience’s place comes youth. Young, at 25, is the oldest of United’s most discussed signatures, while de Gea is just 21. Arguably though Jones, 19, is the most exciting of the trio; a classy centre half already noted for his leadership skills.

Indeed, some observers rate Jones ahead of Chris Smalling, who so thoroughly impressed during his debut Old Trafford season. With Liverpool, Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur chasing Jones’ signature, United has certainly paid top dollar for the player but one who could represent the club for more than a decade.

“I think he’s an amazing young talent and he could easily go on and become an England centre-half in years to come,” admitted Harry Redknapp today, with the Spurs’ manager admitting defeat over Jones’ acquisition.

“I was in for Phil Jones. We were interested in him but it looks like he’s gone to Manchester United. I think he’s a great singing for Man United. We’re struggling to find people that are better than what we’ve got. It’s not easy unless you pay massive money and massive wages.”

United has certainly spent ‘massive money’ buying out Jones’ reported £16 million release clause. And it is of course a gamble for a player with less than 50 senior games for Blackburn plus a dozen international age-group games.

But Ferguson has never been scared of risks in the transfer market, splurging up to £27 million on teenage Wayne Rooney in summer 2004. de Gea will also represent a significant gamble when the Spaniard’s signature is confirmed sometime after 1 July.

Not that the teenage defender Jones will go straight into the United side of course, with Jones likely to act as back-up to Rio Ferdinand, Nemanja Vidic and Smalling at centre-half next season. It is an area of United’s squad that felt threadbare at times, with Brown, Evans, Ferdinand and even Vidic injured during over the 2010/11 campaign.

Yet, while Jones may not be for the present, there is no little irony in a signature that will affect Jonny Evans most acutely. The Northern Irishman was once dubbed United’s future but has arguably forced Ferguson’s hand with a series of sub-par performances over the past year. Jones’ acquisition is unlikely to be terminal for Evans’ United career but the Belfast-born player may now find more opportunities at full-back than in the past.

While Jones, de Gea and Young begin their United careers Brown and O’Shea have earned both respect and gratitude for their efforts in the United cause over more than a decade. Both graduates of United’s academy, neither have fulfilled the glorious promise of youth but have served the club with distinction and pride.

Brown has always been one of the most naturally gifted English defenders over that time; a home-made Ferdinand whose talent was only ever limited by injury. It is no disservice to say that had it not been for one of the game’s most lengthy injury records Brown could have amassed more than a century of caps for England, rather than just 23. He would surely have also made more than 500 appearances for United bar for frequent trips to the treatment room.

Making his début in 1998, Brown earned rave reviews for early appearances at right-back, including the 6-2 thrashing of Brondby in Copenhagen during the treble-winning season. But it was at centre-half that the Longsight-born player was most natural, offering the Reds acceleration over 20 yards, a fearless competitive streak and perfect timing.

O’Shea has never possessed the same natural talent but won over United’s supporters with a vibrant début campaign largely at left-back. After all, it is no accident that United fans laud “Johnny marching down the wing.”

But O’Shea’s versatility undermined his United career, while also offering him a longevity that bemused some fans. The Irishman appeared right across the back-four, in central midfield and even in goal during more than a decade at the club.

Yet, while there is little surprised in Gibson’s departure, with United reportedly refusing to offer a contract extension beyond 2012, nor in Brown’s, O’Shea’s flexibity appeared to have guaranteed a place in next season’s squad. After all the Waterford-born defender started nearly 30 games for the club in all competitions last season.

And that is where the fun of transfer silly season becomes most acute. Sunderland’s is, at this stage, just a bid. Neither officially accepted by player nor club. One that could but seems unlikely to fail.

78 comments

Geno - June 9, 2011 Reply

I’ll miss O’Shea and Wes – best wishes to them on the next stage of their careers. I look forward to forgetting Gibson, or at best remembering him as “and there was that second goal against Schalke at home that Neuer spilled, who scored that one again?” at some pub quiz in future.

REDHEAVEN07 - June 9, 2011 Reply

as much as i am aware of the proud servant wes has been for utd, to say ‘brown could have amassed more than a century of caps for england’ but for injury is bordering on ridiculous. yes he can defend but his inability to pass and control a football is a huge weakness and for him, and to have made it this long at utd is a credit to his hard work and determination. i dare say in spain and other top footballing countries where the focus is more on ability wes would never have made the school boys team let alone as a professional. this seems to be a problem in england which explains the poor national side. cheers, big ears.

sidney - June 9, 2011 Reply

I thought this Gibson, Brown & O’Shea story was bollocks when I first heard it, but it looks like there is some truth to it
I’ll be sad to see Brown & O’Shea go. Brown is the hardest cunt in our team and seeing him slide through and destroy opposition players is a highlight of the season. And O’Shea is obviously shit but a legend nontheless

Mikey - June 9, 2011 Reply

Wow, we are gonna have some serious, quality back-up players next season!

kramer - June 9, 2011 Reply

wtf? we’re actually signing ashley young? ffs

Godfrey - June 9, 2011 Reply

Hard to believe but all signs are pointed that we will..
So i think its adieu to the Sanchez talk once we have Young on the books..
I think the manager is going for English talent for both now and the future…
Gibbson’s departure is one that brings relief at this moment time cause he just hasn’t stepped up..
Don’t think we’d let O’shea got though,we need the experience and the versatility..

Tule Jude - June 9, 2011 Reply

I love this article.It is good these lads are leaving.Atleast they could get games there.What a coup from Sir Alex.A fantastic purchase of Jones who would also handle defensive midfield at times.Now let’s get Sneijder.Don’t forget,we need to replace the legendary Scholes with a player who has presence and command in midfield.

shauno - June 9, 2011 Reply

De Gea, Young and Jones. Please don’t let that be the sum of our summer signings! Fooks sake!

Triggs - June 9, 2011 Reply

It’s 9 June. Try not to panic.

kramer - June 9, 2011 Reply

we lost scholes and got ashley young ffs
lkhf

triggs - June 9, 2011 Reply

This Jones deal was not planned – it was forced on Fergie by other potential suitors making their move. Fergie had planned to bring him in next year.
Therefore, for those who take Fergie on his word when he said three signings only – that means it’s now four signings.
De Gea
Jones
Young
and a creative midfielder
I think a defensive midfielder and Varane are also still possibilities too.

shauno - June 9, 2011 Reply

But that leaves one more signing and we arguably need two quality CM’s. Would like to see pogba and morrison make the bench a few times.

ian - June 9, 2011 Reply

Poor’ol Wesley. There was always a bit of Robbo about him,”This’ll hurt me, but it’ll hurt you a helluva lot more”. I have never seen him give less than 100% but problems with SAF were obvious brewing up. £12M if true is an excellent deal.
If Jones is better than Chris Smalling we have a world beater. Does SAF see him playing as the defensive midfielder? He simply does not look the part. Varene appears to be another CB.
M’Vila & Nasri would make my summer, but I can’t see either happening. Why o why Ashley Bloody Young?

triggs - June 9, 2011 Reply

I think the Young deal was actually agreed in principle in January

herbie simms - June 9, 2011 Reply

Ashley Young is a versatile player, can play left wing or central attacking midfield behind the striker.
But do we really need Ashley Young? Would be better to buy a natural left-footed winger. We need an attacking midfielder of much higher quality than Ashley Young to raise our game up another level. Phil Jones is a great signing, hard tackling defender and can play defensive midfield.

uncleknobheadforfucksake - June 9, 2011 Reply

its the end of no eras, except the era of us not signing players called phil jones, which has been ended by the signing of phil jones

ichiro - June 9, 2011 Reply

Its the end of the John O Shea era god willing.

dozer - June 9, 2011 Reply

Although Ashley Young wouldn’t be my first choice, I don’t know why forummers are so disappointed with him being linked.

He’s excellent on the left wing, Nani’s useless there. Nani and Valencia are great on the right wing.

Phil Jones won’t strengthen our best 11, but Ashley Young will.

DeadRevel - June 9, 2011 Reply

John O’Shea is a legend in my eyes. Not like Scholes, Becks, Giggs and the like, but a different sort of legend. Sad and surprised if he does go, thought he’d end his career with us. It’s not like he keeps out our young defenders either. Also gutted but not surprised to see we are being offered such a pathetic sum of money for 3 perfectly reliable players. We always get screwed with transfer fees.

mongoletsi - June 10, 2011 Reply

Yes, Gibson can be relied upon for being absolutely shite.

Spudiator - June 9, 2011 Reply

Not sure I’d go as far as to call O’Shea a legend by any stretch of the imagination, but I still reckon he’s worth keeping as a backup, he shouldn’t be a starter above the twins, but his versatility and experience is invaluable.

sidney - June 10, 2011 Reply

He is a legend, Spud

Obviously not up there with Cantona, the holy trinity, Keane etc.

But a legend in his own right because he’s shit but has more winners medals than much better players

And his goal against Arsenal and his celebration was pure class. And he’s played in every position

uncleknobheadforfucksake - June 10, 2011 Reply

he’s a legend in the same way gary neville is, absolute shite player, useless, cunt etc

Spike - June 10, 2011 Reply

Era?
Ohh you mean the “Era” of overratedwankerswhofergiewankedover “ERA”

brianofnazareth - June 10, 2011 Reply

If I catch any cunt calling O’Shea a legend I will personally issue them with a glove slap!

Fucking legend ffs he’s a piss poor excuse of a footballer and if he had any balls or motivation he’d moved clubs to play every week, not sit back take the money and take tours around the museum!!

FFS

baloo - June 10, 2011 Reply

At least he can keep his balls (and his cock) to himself, and hasn’t brought shame on his club……unlike that dirty welsh bastard………

baggio365 - June 10, 2011 Reply

there was a time when o’shea could do this



ian - June 10, 2011 Reply

Appears to be one more avenue closed with Sneijder declaring his love for Milan. Personally I’m not sorry; I could not see the Rooney-Sneijder combo working. Huge transfer; huge wages; huge ego ….
Modric seems to be off the radar too, unless ‘Arry has real interest in Berba, Carrick or Wellbeck, perhaps two of ’em. Just can’t see us offering £25M for him.
Nasri is intriguing. Arsenal offer him £110K pw, end of story. We tap him up for £115K pw & a promise to play in central midfield -with Fabregas & Wilshire staying he has to play wide- & it might be possible. It only needs him to say that he wants to play for ManU & we are prepared to go up to £15M & it could be on. He seems to offer everything we need & he is used to the EPL. Otherwise …
Pastore & Gotze would be huge punts because of age & with Pastore nationality,at £25M+. Are they good enough?

ian - June 10, 2011 Reply

Brown, O’Shea & Gibson, legends? What about the Welsh wizard now? Normally I couldn’t give a fuck -if you’ll pardon my latin- what our players do off the field -if legal- as long as they perform on the field. Giggs has done that & the extra-cirricular activity & possible sharing some of Park’s frog juice seems to have kept his juices flowing, so to speak. But image -or to be old fashioned “standards”- do matter. Has Ryan gone one step too far in sharing a bed with his brother’s wife, Ms Thomas & alledgedly others? Do we – & SAF- want a randy old goat as our public image? Is it time for Ryan to retire?

baloo - June 10, 2011 Reply

(I wasn’t being serious…….)

Bill - June 10, 2011 Reply

Brown is the level below legend with him being a Manc lad, as hard as nails and winning 5 premier leagues + 2 champions league. There were periods in his united career when he started regularly.

O’Shea a solid clubman no more, with a good trophy haul, but never was a regular starter or distinguish himself for anything particular.

The word legend is banded about too loosely these days.

uncleknobheadforfucksake - June 10, 2011 Reply

as I’ve confirmed before the only utd legends are the babes the holy trinity hughes keane cantona giggs scholes robson and ole,

captainhormone - June 10, 2011 Reply

uncleknobheadforfucksake said:
as I’ve confirmed before the only utd legends are the babes the holy trinity hughes keane cantona giggs scholes robson and ole,

LKHF

Alfonso Bedoya - June 10, 2011 Reply

If you’re going to pick Hughes,(I wouldn’t) then you gotta add Big Pete, and maybe Bruce as well.

“Badges, to god-damned hell with badges! We have no badges. In fact, we don’t need badges. I don’t have to show you any stinking badges, you god-damned cabrón and ching’ tu madre! Come out from that shit-hole of yours. I have to speak to you.”

brianofnazareth - June 10, 2011 Reply

captainhormone said:
LKHF

LKHF

Add Schmikes, Bruce and Parker!

captainhormone - June 10, 2011 Reply

Alfonso Bedoya said:
If you’re going to pick Hughes,(I wouldn’t) then you gotta add Big Pete, and maybe Bruce as well.

i agree with part of this, but unc deserves more respect

Alfonso Bedoya - June 10, 2011 Reply

“Unc”, is a cunt…and he will stay a cunt, until he stops trying to wind me up.

herbie simms - June 11, 2011 Reply

Bebe is GONE! On his way to play in Turkey. What a waste of money.

triggs - June 11, 2011 Reply

wow herbs, you really do have your ear to the ground.

just 24 hours late for the scoop on that one.

uncleknobheadforfucksake - June 11, 2011 Reply

in what way have I tried to wind you up you paranoid cunt

brianofnazareth - June 11, 2011 Reply

uncleknobheadforfucksake said:
in what way have I tried to wind you up you paranoid cunt

You must have disagreed with him once…

uncleknobheadforfucksake - June 11, 2011 Reply

fucking fat cunt

I’d smash him to pieces in a fight, similar to how I do in a verbal sense on here

brianofnazareth - June 11, 2011 Reply

uncleknobheadforfucksake said:
fucking fat cunt

I’d smash him to pieces in a fight, similar to how I do in a verbal sense on here

LOLOL

LKHF

uncleknobheadforfucksake - June 11, 2011 Reply

verbal or written sense

brianofnazareth - June 11, 2011 Reply

uncleknobheadforfucksake said:
verbal or written sense

So not physically?

uncleknobheadforfucksake - June 11, 2011 Reply

the physical sense goes without saying, albeit I have said it in the post above

Alfonso Bedoya - June 11, 2011 Reply

uncleknobheadforfucksake said:
in what way have I tried to wind you up you paranoid cunt

It’s not paranoia… if they’re really trying to get you.

You said I deleted one of your posts… you’re full of shit!

Alfonso Bedoya - June 11, 2011 Reply

brianofnazareth said:
You must have disagreed with him once…

Brian… a medical anomaly… cures his migraines with laxatives.

Alfonso Bedoya - June 11, 2011 Reply

uncleknobheadforfucksake said:
fucking fat cunt

I’d smash him to pieces in a fight, similar to how I do in a verbal sense on here

uncleknobheadforfucksake - June 11, 2011 Reply

when did I say that

I say a lot of stuff

Alfonso Bedoya - June 12, 2011 Reply

See… “Fergie given the go ahead to spend. A lot.”

herbie simms - June 12, 2011 Reply

Alfonso, whats your opinion on the signings so far?

Alfonso Bedoya - June 12, 2011 Reply

They’re great… as long as the good ones are still to come.

They’re shit… if that’s all there is.

captainhormone - June 12, 2011 Reply

whats all this shit about liverpool trying gazump us….i hope the cunt tells them to fuck off

ltel - June 12, 2011 Reply

from what i understand its to do with his contract. there is a buyout of 16.5 million but the venkeys are saying the contract states that they only have to listen to offers over 16.5 million and let jones accept terms but dont have to accept the offer and are inviting bidders to bump price up. jones has said he is going to united nad only united and a deal is suppose to have been sorted.

sheesh - June 12, 2011 Reply

http://therepublikofmancunia.com/dalglish-getting-embarrassed-by-fergie-again/
By the way, Liverpool can do sod all. The player wants to come to us and the transfer is close to completion (or has already been completed, depending on the paper you read).

herbie simms - June 12, 2011 Reply

Liverpool have jumped in and put up a bid of 22 million and now the Indian owners want to sell him to the highest bidder.
There are probably going to be a lot of bidding wars going on this summer for players.

Spudiator - June 12, 2011 Reply

Late to the party again Herbie, what the fuck do you think everyone’s been talking about on here for ages? Counts for fuck all anyway, United have met the minimum fee clause in Jones’ contract, so the Venky’s morons can consult their lawyers all they want, it won’t make any difference, likewise Liverpool can up the price as much as they want, won’t cost United any more to get the player, and it won’t get him to go to Liverpool when he’s already stated that he doesn’t want to go there.

Alfonso Bedoya - June 12, 2011 Reply

That’s all well and good Spud… bit I find it worrying that all this has been ignored by United and the player himself… I’ve yet to see any quotes from anyone directly involved that puts an end to it… this story has been hanging around for 2 days now… why haven’t United, or Jones’ representatives spoken out?… or have I missed that?

It would be humiliating if Jones went to the Verrrmin after all this.

ltel - June 12, 2011 Reply

he has said he wants to join only us. arsenal and liverpool both pu in 16 million bids and he rejected them whn we came in. the only way this wll go tits up is if there is something different about is release clause and we dont stump up extra cash.

Spudiator - June 12, 2011 Reply

Alfonso Bedoya said:
That’s all well and good Spud… bit I find it worrying that all this has been ignored by United and the player himself… I’ve yet to see any quotes from anyone directly involved that puts an end to it… this story has been hanging around for 2 days now… why haven’t United, or Jones’ representatives spoken out?… or have I missed that?

I would assume it’s because all we’ve heard of this story so far has been tabloid speculation and nothing so far from any credible source.

brianofnazareth - June 12, 2011 Reply

Spudiator said:
when he’s already stated that he doesn’t want to go there.

Where was this ?

baloo - June 12, 2011 Reply

Best bit of info I can find – seems to make some sense, as opposed to the more sensationalist pieces of shite I’ve seen:

http://soccernet.espn.go.com/news/story/_/id/927747/war-over-as-jones-deal-nears-completion?cc=5739

uncleknobheadforfucksake - June 12, 2011 Reply

all this shite has just opened up an opportunity to give em diouf and let them think they’ve one, when infact they’ve gained a shite player

Spudiator - June 12, 2011 Reply

brianofnazareth said:
Where was this ?

Not exactly a credible source, admittedly, but that RoM link on the previous page mentioned it:
“Phil Jones’ agent has confirmed that the deal is done and should be announced soon, as the release clause can’t be challenged by the Blackburn owners. The agent confirmed that Jones had met with all four clubs who had offered the release clause and chose United.

Quotes were attributed to Jones, who is set to play alongside our Chris Smalling in today’s England U-21 game against Spain, which suggested if he wanted to continue winning nothing in his career, he would have stayed at Blackburn.”

Seems logical that Jones would’ve met with all interested parties to make sure he knew his options, and of all available options, United’s was evidently the one he wished to pursue. If Liverpool had succeeded in throwing a spanner in the works to his move to Old Trafford and experience Champions League football, it seems highly unlikely he’d then feel inclined to want to sign for them, if anything they’d probably succeed in making Jones harbour a deep resentment for them for getting in the way of his ambitions.

sidney - June 13, 2011 Reply

He’s still not properly signed
It says we’ve “…signed an agreement with Blackburn”, and that the transfer will be completed after the Euros… that is unless the chicken fuckers decide they wanna throw in a couple of chicken burgers as part of the deal or summat

ltel - June 13, 2011 Reply

skysports are saying deal done… 5 years

reddread - June 13, 2011 Reply

He can’t sign yet, can he? No deals can go through until July 1st when the transfer window officially opens, or is that the wrong end of the stick I have? No-one has actually signed for anyone yet as far as I am aware, it’s all just deals being put into place to be finalised when the window opens. Is that right? Or is it not? I don’t fucking know.

I can’t believe the fuckers were trying to get £20m or more, plus potentially starting a bidding war for him after the contract clause was activated. They are either thick, and don’t realise how such clauses work, or cheeky cunts trying to pull a fast one. Either way, they have made themselves look a bit stupid…

ltel - June 13, 2011 Reply

they can sign at anytime but not link up with the squad untill the start of a transfer window…

uncleknobheadforfucksake - June 13, 2011 Reply

I think this is the first signing that’s pleased me since rooney

captainhormone - June 13, 2011 Reply

what about the LKHF pact of 2010?

uncleknobheadforfucksake - June 13, 2011 Reply

did you not receive your share of the bebongo bung

we’re pro fergie now

captainhormone - June 13, 2011 Reply

i got some dreadlocks sent in the post about 10 months ago…but not the promised cash

uncleknobheadforfucksake - June 13, 2011 Reply

but I sent it in a black bag with a big pound sign on it

captainhormone - June 13, 2011 Reply

yeah i got it…just checked my living room

good job i keep all my rubbish and bottles of piss

uncleknobheadforfucksake - June 13, 2011 Reply

FERGIE YEAH

HE’S NOT TACTICALLY INEPT

AND HE’S ONLY A SOCIAL DRINKER

dozer - July 30, 2011 Reply

How many games has Jones played in midfield? I haven’t seen him play much, but he’s also a good defensive midfielder apparently.

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