Phil Jones should have been 'digging Ralf Rangnick out', says O'Hara

Phil Jones should be ‘digging Ralf Rangnick out’ after replacing him at half-time in Liverpool thrashing, says Jamie O’Hara… and insists defender should tell him to not ‘bother picking him’ again

  • Phil Jones made just his second start of the season against Liverpool at Anfield 
  • The centre-back was brought in as part of a five-man defence against the Reds 
  • But Man United defender’s return lasted just 45 minutes before being replaced  
  • Jamie O’Hara insists Jones should be demanding answers from Ralf Rangnick 

Phil Jones should have been ‘digging out’ Manchester United interim boss Ralf Rangnick at half-time of their 4-0 thrashing by Liverpool, according to Jamie O’Hara.

The defender was handed just his second start of the season at Anfield following a formation change to a five-man defence by German boss Rangnick.

But his return lasted just 45 minutes after a chastening first half for United, who went into the break 2-0 down following goals from Luis Diaz and Mohamed Salah.

Phil Jones (R) should have been ‘digging’ Ralf Rangnick (L) out at half-time in Liverpool loss, says Jamie O’Hara

United’s formation change to a back five made little difference as the Reds beat United

Jones was replaced at half time by winger Jadon Sancho, but despite a brief period at the start of the second half, Jurgen Klopp’s men dominated once more and added further goals through Sadio Mane and Salah.

But speaking on talkSPORT after the game, former Tottenham midfielder O’Hara said if he was Jones he would ask never to play for the club again.

‘If I’m Phil Jones at half-time I’m digging the gaffer out,’ O’Hara said. ‘I’m literally turning round to the gaffer and saying ‘are you winding me up?’

‘You’re dragging me off after 45 minutes, you’ve put me out there against Liverpool when you could have played me against Norwich last week to get my feet in and give me a game.

Jones was then replaced at half-time by Jadon Sancho but United still struggled at Anfield

‘And then you’ve worked on a formation for three or four days, we’re playing against Liverpool and you’re playing me in a back three with [Diogo] Dalot, [Harry] Maguire, [Victor] Lindelof and [Aaron] Wan-Bissaka…

‘And then you’re dragging me off at half-time to make me look like it’s my fault? I would say… I tell you what don’t bother picking me again, I’ll see you out. See you later, I’m off.’

O’Hara reiterated his stance on the matter on social media, tweeting: ‘Phil Jones must be thinking cheers gaffa absolutely throw me under the bus, thanks for your help and then drag me at half time, shambles of a manager.’

O’Hara insists Jones was thrown in at the deep end by Rangnick having not played since February

But German boss Rangnick said after the game the formation change was not the reason behind United’s poor display, labelling their performance ’embarrassing’ and ‘humiliating’. 

‘I don’t think a different formation at the start would have changed anything. The first goal we conceded, it was not part of the game plan to be that high up and concede a counter-attack after five minutes,’ Rangnick said.

‘That changed the game. The first half, we were just not good enough. We did not win any first ball or second balls. We were second best in all relevant areas.

‘Second half we changed a centre-back with Jadon Sancho. The first 25 minutes we were better and had pressure on the ball at times. Had two or three moments, but the third goal killed the game off.

‘It is embarrassing, it is disappointing, maybe even humiliating.’

Jones’ only previous appearance before his Anfield start was when he performed well in their 1-0 defeat at home to Wolves in January. 

His only other outing this season was a 30-minute cameo during their penalty shootout defeat against Middlesbrough in the FA Cup the following month.

He also said Jones should tell the German interim boss to not bother picking him again

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