Phil Jones won the Premier League with Manchester United in the 2012-13 season but the Red Devils defender has revealed he has regrets over the title victory.
Jones joined United in 2011 from Blackburn Rovers under Sir Alex Ferguson’s tenure and has helped the club to seven trophies, including the league title, the Europa League and the FA Cup.
But the 29-year-old’s Red Devils career has been hampered by injury, with his latest sidelining him for almost 19 months.
The centre-back has not played competitively for the United first team since scoring in a 6-0 FA Cup win over Tranmere Rovers in January 2020 due to a long-term meniscal problem in his knee.
The highlight of Jones’s United career was being part of the side that was victorious in Ferguson’s final season in charge.
But the England international has revealed that he would do things slightly differently after winning the title.
‘I just wish, looking back, I’d enjoyed it a bit more,’ Jones said on the UTD Podcast.
‘I was a bit naïve, a bit young, you go and do something else and forget about it. Maybe that comes with experience.’
But Jones did describe the experience as ‘special’, saying: ‘I go back to it, as a kid, if you’d have told me I’d win the Premier League with Man United…
‘There’s some things I get, a lot of players win the Premier League these days, but there’s so many players that were good players who will never come close to winning the Premier League.
‘And to win the Premier League, to have that on your CV [is huge].’
United secured the title with a 3-0 win over Aston Villa at Old Trafford, thanks to a first-half hat-trick from Robin van Persie, featuring his memorable volley from a long ball forward from Wayne Rooney.
‘I remember the game, I remember being in the hotel the night before we played Villa on a night game and it didn’t matter who we were going to play, we’d win,’ said Jones.
‘We were just itching to play the game. It gives you goosebumps just now thinking about the fans when Wazza [Wayne Rooney] plays the ball over to Robin [van Persie] and he volleyed it into the net, and Old Trafford just erupted, and it was a crazy feeling at such a young age to win the Premier League.’
The former Blackburn man even revealed he has a Premier League trophy replica at home as he wants his children to know he has won the competition.
‘Being able to say that we won the Premier League, got the medal…’ he said.
‘I even got the replica Premier League trophy at my house to remind me and make the most of it. I want my kids to know that I’ve won the Premier League.’
Jones returned to action this season after his 19-month injury hell, featuring in some behind-closed-doors friendlies and playing with the club’s reserves again this month.
The defender revealed that he has been struggling with knee problems for the best part of a decade, after having surgery on his knee aged 20 having just played for England at Euro 2012.
The problem subsided for four years until he started feeling more pain in 2016, when Jose Mourinho has manager at Old Trafford. After the January 2020 injury, Jones was set to return after the first coronavirus lockdown but a setback in May saw him go back into surgery in Barcelona, but further lockdowns slowed down his return.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side will travel to the King Power Stadium to play Leicester on October 16, before switching their focus to Europe and their next Champions League group stage clash against Atalanta.