Phil Jones speaks out on social media criticism.
Phil Jones has said that online criticism aimed at him has led to him stepping away from social media for the good of himself and his family.
Jones has long been the subject of cruel social media jokes, and often more serious levels of abuse, and he has been telling the official Manchester United podcast about how he has decided to stay away from the platforms which host the venomous comments.
Phil Jones: Social media abuse is “tough.”
“I mean, I stepped away from social media a long time ago but it’s difficult because all your friends read it, your family read it and they support you, they want the best for you,” Jones said.
“They don’t want to see their mate, their husband, their dad getting slaughtered all over the papers or all over the media, so it’s tough because mentally I was going through a tough time.”
Phil Jones: “I’ve learned to deal with it.”
The defender, who is back in the Man United first team squad this season, also says that he has been faced with temptation to respond to certain comments in the past.
“Someone’s dangling a carrot waiting for a bite,” the 29-year-old says. “Like I say, it’s been difficult, but I’ve learned to deal with it.
“For some reason, maybe, I get more than others but I’m sure everybody would say the same thing. But people would say that’s part of being a footballer so I take it as it comes.”
Rio Ferdinand among Jones critics.
Jones’ ex-teammate Rio Ferdinand was an unlikely source of criticism in recent weeks, saying: “Injuries have absolutely annihilated his career and so have confidence issues at certain times. He should have gone ages ago.”
Ferdinand has since apologised for comments which Man United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer called “out of order.”
In the upcoming podcast episode that will be released on Monday, Jones expressed his gratitude to Solskjaer for having his back at a difficult time.
“I spoke to him after and said thank you for the words, because it meant a lot, it really did because there’s nothing that means more as a footballer, for someone, managers, staff, coaches, players, to have your back. To feel really supported by him was a nice feeling. At the time, I needed that. It was nice,” Jones says.
Jones hasn’t played for Man United since January 2020 and while he is fit enough to train with the squad this season, first team opportunities are likely to be few and far between.