Ferdinand helped me a lot at Manchester United – Jones

Credit: @IndyFootball
Credit: @IndyFootball /

After winning plenty of trophies with Manchester United during his decade with the club, Rio Ferdinand has received major praise from central defender Phil Jones with the England international admitting how much Ferdinand helped him in the last few years.

Ferdinand won over five Premier League titles with United when he played under Sir Alex Ferguson at Old Trafford. The former defender was a monster at the back and his partnership with Serbian Nemanja Vidic is still regarded as one of the best the Premier League has seen.

The pair were strong together with pace, strength, tactical nous and communication all in their game during their prime years. It was great to watch and for United fans they were always assured of good results with goalkeeper Edwin van der Sar also in the side. However, Ferdinand was English and he held the squad together on many occasions when they went through tough times.

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Ferdinand was also an England international and played in two World Cups with the side. This enabled him to become a leader at United and Jones was one of the players he helped settle into the side. The United defender is now maturing but was only a youngster when he arrived from Blackburn Rovers.

However, Jones was able to learn from Ferdinand and Vidic and now the senior United player has praised Ferdinand for his positive contribution.

"“Rio just talked sense,” Jones said, as reported by manutd.com. “Every time I spoke to him he just talked sense, whether it was about me, about the team or just things in general life. Everything he said I listened to and I understood everything about what he was trying to say. He explained everything. He was a great go-to man when you needed some help with things. His leadership qualities, his calmness and his overall game were top class. When he was at his peak he was one of the best in the world, if not the best.”"

Jones is a regular for Louis van Gaal this season and has been given a chance to impress alongside Chris Smalling. He is currently battling it out for a starting spot with Daley Blind but the pair are both earning their game time.

Most United fans are aware that Jones is keen to start every game and he idles himself on the Ferdinand-Vidic partnership which saw the side become one of the best in the world.

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"He continued: “The partnership he had with Nemanja Vidic was incredible. It helps if you have an understanding off the pitch, which they did, but on the pitch communication is key. You can see everything in front of you and you’re both trying to orchestrate things to keep things under control. The pair of them were the best at it.”"

Jones did have opportunities to play alongside Vidic and Ferdinand during their times at the club. Ferguson always wanted his players to learn from the best and that would be by giving them game time.

This happened on a few occasions and Jones recalls his time as playing with the 37 year-old as ‘great’.

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"“Playing alongside him was great. The thing I remember most is that he never shut up! As a young kid growing up and trying to establish yourself in the team, you couldn’t ask for anyone better to learn from. He always helped you and talked to you about where you needed to be. He made sure he made life easier for you out on the pitch. It’s something that fans and maybe other players didn’t see, but I saw it and it was a big help.He was a big character in the dressing room and a joker. But when it got serious he got serious too. When it was down to business, he meant business! He’s got to be up there with the greats we’ve had at this club,” Jones added."