Manchester United centre back Phil Jones admitted that he withdrew activity from all kinds of social media due to the repeated abuse that he received from detractors because of his injuries. The Englishman also warned younger players to develop the mentality of handling the toxicity of social media.
Manchester United acquired the signing of Phil Jones from Blackburn Rovers in the summer of 2011 for a reported fee of £16.5 million after he impressed then United manager Sir Alex Ferguson. The English centre back went on to establish himself as a consistent presence in the United backline under various managers. Jones has made over 224 appearances for the Manchester club while scoring six goals and providing ten assists across all competitions. The England international has helped United win one Premier League title, one FA Cup, two Community Shields, and a Europa League during his time so far at the club.
Jones has not played for the English giants since an FA Cup match against Tranmere in January 2020 after suffering a knee problem. Not everything has gone to plan for the 29-year-old as he became the subject of internet ridicule and abuse after enduring a rough time at Old Trafford in recent times. Jones has not posted anything on Twitter or Instagram since 2017 due to the sheer amount of abuse he was receiving from his detractors. Jones spoke about how difficult it has been for him due to the online abuse he receives and asked younger players to learn to handle the pressure that comes with social media.
“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. 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 and (then) to read stuff as well,” Jones told the UTD podcast.
"It's difficult but it's something I've learned to deal with, especially over the time I've been at United and the more experience you get, the older you get, the better you learn to deal with those things. I suppose for young players coming into the game now, not just at Man United, but all over the world, it's a very hostile, toxic place to come into and they've got to be able to deal with that mentally as well as physically,” he added.