Former Manchester United midfielder Luke Chadwick has praised Phil Jones for giving an honest interview about some of his difficulties away from the pitch in recent times.
Jones has become something of a laughing stock at Man Utd due to earning a bit of a reputation on social media for some clumsy performances on the pitch, whilst also struggling with injuries in recent years.
When he first joined the Red Devils as a youngster, Jones was very highly rated by Sir Alex Ferguson and had been tipped for a big future at Old Trafford, but it’s fair to say it hasn’t really worked out for him.
Jones has now spoken candidly about some of the abuse he’s had on social media and even out on the streets, telling the Times about the way his mental health has suffered.
Chadwick insists Jones should be proud of the career he’s had, and praised the defender for opening up about his problems as it could help others to do the same.
“I think first and foremost Phil Jones should be incredibly proud of his footballing career,” Chadwick told CaughtOffside. “He’s obviously suffered with injuries in that time, but there’s not many who’ve played for Manchester United, won the Premier League and other big trophies throughout his career.
“When you play for Manchester United, you are there to be shot down and obviously that’s what people do. It’s tough for someone like Phil who can’t do his talking on the pitch because of the injuries he’s suffered.
“It is a different world now with social media, there’s good parts to it and bad parts to it in terms of the connection with fans. If we’re talking about football matters it’s fine, but if it goes beyond that and you’re talking about things away from football it crosses the line a bit. Some cases are more serious than others, obviously there’s the racism we’ve seen this season.
“It can be incredibly hurtful, I can imagine it’s been a tough time for him and his family. Hopefully it’s given him time to develop, his career’s not over yet and hopefully one day he can also have a happy life away from football.
“It’s a really tough industry to be in, particularly when you get into it because you love playing and then that’s taken away from you. He’s been in and out of the team for years now and it can be really challenging mentally.
“It’s good for him to get that off his chest and talk about it, he’s not a player who’s in the press much but it’s important both for him to say that and for other people in similar situations to see him saying that, it could help a lot. It’s good that he’s been honest about his feelings.”