England coach Gareth Southgate England vs Slovakia live stream free watch online said ahead of Monday’s World Cup qualifier against Slovakia that a combination of experience and self-confidence had made Phil Jones the best defender in the country. Jones has raised eyebrows in recent matches and has helped Manchester United clear a clean net in three league games and the 25-year-old has played his 22nd game with England to help keep the nets clean in a 4-0 win over Malta on Friday.
“He did not just shine this season, but for a long time last season he had the best defender,” said Southgate. “He is good at controlling the ball, reading the matches, defensively defending and having great experience despite his relatively young age.”
Jones has suffered injuries in recent years and the match against Slovakia will only see his eighth appearance in an official match with England, but Southgate believes the heart of the defense, which played his first international game in 2011, could strengthen the team. Southgate said, referring to Fabio Capello, “I missed a lot of games, I remember when I saw him in front of Spain under Capello, it was a long time for his first international match.”
“He has a lot of experience at the club and national level, he is very good at defense and he is doing well, and I am happy to play with him,” he said. England lead Group F with 17 points after seven games and Slovakia are two points behind. Three games before the end, victory at Wembley will bring England closer to qualifying for the World Cup.