“In my career, I have made maybe two or three fouls that I say are dirty fouls and not correct,” Jones says. He is sitting in a chair in the lobby of the USA’s hotel here ahead of Friday’s World Cup qualifier against Jamaica. “It’s the same at my club. When you have four players in front of you who attack with you but who don’t come back [and defend] with you, they leave you alone and I always have to break the game down and stop it so they can come back.
“Sometimes the [fans] say, ‘What are you doing? Why do you get so many yellow cards?’ But when the others score the goals, they don’t say, ‘You made the [expletive] work so they can make the goal.’ When you play [as a holding midfielder], you know you have that [expletive] position and nobody talks about you, they talk about the strikers. But you make the most work for everybody and need to play them the ball to make the goal. That’s a part of what we do and that’s okay.”
Jones’ tendency to the dirty work may be overlooked by fans. But it doesn’t go unnoticed by others on the US national team.
The thankless job of a holding midfielder.
Footy love, nikhak