Manchester City defender John Stones sparked a heated debate between Alan Shearer and Phil Neville on Match of the Day 2 on Sunday night.
The England international joined up with City last summer and was tipped to be a crucial piece in Pep Guardiola’s side and their success with his defensive abilities and quality on the ball to bring out from the back and play.
It hasn’t quite worked out as planned for the former Everton man though, as a string of unconvincing displays with errors galore have led to City having the worst defensive record out of the top seven teams in the Premier League table.
Neville makes a valid point in that the entire City backline looks a shambles at times, and so it is by no means entirely Stones’ fault that they find themselves encountering these problems.
However, he has been a part of the issue, and that was what Neville almost refused to acknowledge as he clearly likes the player and rates him very highly.
In turn, Shearer’s point when arguing that given the amount of experience and quality that the 22-year-old now possesses, City should be expecting more from him as a leader at the back while his mistakes should be getting fewer in number rather than the opposite way round.
Should Pep Guardiola sign a top-class defender in January, this point could be resolved as Stones will benefit from having an experienced and reliable head next to him.
In contrast, the longer this goes on, the more scrutiny the England man will find himself coming under, regardless of whether or not that’s fair.
— Match of the Day (@BBCMOTD) January 15, 2017