Zonal Marking’s Michael Cox on Manchester United’s Phil Jones and the art of man-marking

at 15:53 February 26th, 2013
Man United and England defender Phil Jones

Following his brilliant Jack Wilshere analysis in issue two, Tactics titan Michael Cox (Zonal Marking, The Guardian) returns to The Football Week with a look at Manchester United and England’s up-and-coming utility man Phil Jones.

Here’s a sneak preview of his exclusive column:

Premier League debuts don’t come much tougher than Phil Jones’ for Blackburn in March 2010.

Not only were the opposition, Chelsea, about to win the Premier League title, Jones was directly facing imminent Golden Boot winner, Didier Drogba.

Rather than battling powerful centre-back Christopher Samba, Drogba placed himself up against the unknown Jones, who had turned 18 exactly a month previously. Worryingly, the Ivorian opened the scoring after six minutes.

It’s testament to Jones’ character, as much as his ability, that he went onto be awarded man of the match…

Read the rest in the next issue of The Football Week, out on Friday. Download The Football Week on iTunes now.

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