Manchester United defender Phil Jones is fortunate to be going to the World Cup after his FA Cup final showing, according to former Liverpool star Danny Murphy.
The centre-back was named as part of Gareth Southgate’s final 23-man squad for this summer’s competition in Russia, but put in a shocking performance as United suffered a 1-0 defeat to Chelsea at Wembley on Saturday.
And Jones was the villain – it was his clumsy tackle on Eden Hazard that conceded a first-half penalty, with the Belgian scoring to hand Chelsea their eighth FA Cup.
Jones was guilty of a foolish challange on Eden Hazard in the FA Cup final
Jones was ridiculed by supporters over his disastrous display and Murphy says he was lucky to be picked by Three Lions boss Southgate.
The former England international joined Monday’s Jim White show to offer his verdict on England’s World Cup squad, and admitted he was surprised by some of the manager’s other picks.
“Overall I think Gareth has done the right thing, but Phil Jones is fortunate to get in,” he said.
“I like James Tarkowski, I think he’s had an unbelievable season and maybe he should have been in the squads earlier.
“The other one I was a little bit surprised at was Danny Rose – he’s hardly played and when I’ve seen him play recently he hasn’t looked fit.
“Don’t get me wrong, when he was playing every week opposite Kyle Walker for Tottenham, he was the best English left-back that season.
“But I’d have taken Bertrand personally.
“I like Bertrand. I know he’s played in a team that has struggled but he’s good on the ball, he’s experienced and confident.”
Murphy believes Southampton’s Bertrand should have been selected over Rose
While Murphy says England have ‘a lot of options up front’ and is excited to see how they shape up attack, he is weary about their lack of options in midfield, although is excited about the impact 22-year-old Ruben Loftus-Cheek could make on the world stage.
He added: “I thought maybe one of Wilshere or Shelvey would go, for their creativity and ability to opens team up. Those two are probably the ones who can play that killer pass.
“I don’t know how fit Jack is but I’ve been impressed when I’ve seen him play in a good number of games this season. I’d have probably chosen Jack but if not, Shelvey would have gone for me, even if he comes off the bench, because his array of passing is fantastic.
Murphy says Wilshere or Shelvey would have added some creativity to England’s midfield
“But I’m really, really glad Loftus-Cheek is in there. I think he’s got that x-factor, that something.
“He’s confident, comfortable, he’s got that ‘give me the ball’ attitude, he can beat people and he’s got that strut I really like.
“He could make an impact, Loftus-Cheek. Roy Hodgson speaks really well of him.”
Listen to Danny Murphy’s verdict on England’s World Cup squad IN FULL above!