Manchester United defender Phil Jones has hit back at trolls who have sent him hateful messages online, boasting that when he is “enjoying life” they will be ‘in their mum’s spare room eating Pot Noodles.’
Jones was once expected to be United’s next Duncan Edwards. However, a bad knee injury sustained in January 2020 has severely disrupted Jones’ time at Old Trafford.
Jones, 29, was originally signed from Blackburn a decade back. He has not played for United’s first-team in 20 months since the FA Cup victory over Tranmere 6-1.
There is light at the end, however, as Jones recently returned to first team training while he works towards his full recovery.
Getting to this stage has not be easy for Jones, who has been subjected to disgusting online abuse throughout his challenging spell on the sidelines.
Jones says that despite all the abuse on social media, he is still in a good mental place and has a message to the keyboard warriors.
“I must be an easy target,” the former England international has told The Times . “Every footballer has a tag and unfortunately, mine is, ‘Let’s have a laugh at him.’
Do you think Phil Jones can still challenge for a first-team spot at United? Let us know in the comments section.
“When my career finishes and I’m enjoying my life – and by the way I’m fortunate that I’ll be able to do that – the keyboard warriors will still be in their mum’s spare bedroom, sipping Pepsi that’s flat, eating a Pot Noodle, sitting in their boxers, tweeting.”
Jones has been able to deal with the abuse that he has received, but the defender revealed the impact trolls can have on footballers in the modern era.
Want to be on the ball with all of the latest football news?
Sign up for the Daily Star football email newsletter to stay in touch!
Get the most recent transfer news and agenda-setting stories in your inbox.
How do you sign-up?
It takes only seconds.
Simply enter your email address and click’subscribe.
It’s that easy. Every morning, you’ll get an email with the latest news stories.
Here’s more information about our email newsletter.
He said: “In this society we’re living in at the minute, all the racism and stuff that affects mental health – I’d just say be careful. You don’t know how it’s going to affect players: physically, mentally, emotionally.
“We always go back to the same point: ‘Oh they’re footballers, they should be able to deal with it, they get so much money, have this lavish lifestyle.’ Take all that away, strip all that back and we’re just human beings.
“Listen, my problems are not bigger than the problems someone has to deal with in an office, I know that, but they are problems. Footballers have problems like anybody else, and maybe me talking can help players.”
Jones is edging closer to a return to first-team action and featured for United’s U23s against Brighton on Saturday, playing the full 90 minutes as he continues his recovery.