Ole Gunnar Solskjaer tells Rio Ferdinand he is ‘completely defective’ for calling Phil Jones ‘a waste of space’ in Manchester United’s roster as he fights his way back from knee surgery
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has hit back at Rio Ferdinand for calling Phil Jones a ‘waste of space’ by telling his former Manchester United team-mate he is ‘completely defective’.
Jones played behind closed doors for the first time in nearly a year and a half against Burnley earlier this month after fighting back after knee surgery.
However, Ferdinand accused the 29-year-old centre-back of blocking a young player’s way into the first team at Old Trafford and suggested he find another club.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was unimpressed by Rio Ferdinand’s comments about Phil Jones
Ferdinand described Jones this week as ‘a waste of space’ on his YouTube channel
Solskjaer relished the chance to stand up for Jones on Friday when he fired back at Ferdinand.
“Phil has had a terrible 18, 19 or 20 months and probably a year before with injuries,” said the United boss. “I thought Rio should have called me and asked why Phil didn’t play.
“He’s no fuss, someone who handles it and I think that was totally out of order. I haven’t spoken to Rio, but I think he kind of regrets that.
‘I know better than anyone what it feels like to be judged at that moment. Phil is not yet 30 years old, he has been battling this knee injury since I came back to the club.
“He puts his body on the line every training session and every game, and he has never done anything but give everything for the club. Rio of all people should know more than to go out and say this.
Jones battles his way back to fitness after a tough time with knee issues
Solskjaer said he expected better from his former United team-mate Ferdinand
“I’ve wanted to say a lot and I haven’t said too much about Phil’s injury because I’ve more or less protected him. Phil never does social media or interviews, he gets his head down. He is a true professional, a family man and just wants to get fit again.
“We managed to get him half an hour against Burnley and he’s working his way back. He fought bravely.
“I was out for two years with a knee injury. I know how Phil felt because you feel ashamed when you come here. You have to take care of your career.
“To see that he can see light at the end of the tunnel is great because I’ve been through the same thing. We have to give him a month or six weeks.’