Martin Keown believes that the dissapointing performances of Manchester United duo Chris Smalling and Phil Jones are not worthy of a place in the England side, reports CaughtOffside.
The pair are currently serving as back-up for the Three Lions first choice combination of Gary Cahill and Phil Jagielka, but former Arsenal and England man Keown believes that the Red Devils pair are lucky to even make the squad.
Smalling and Jones have long since been earmarked as England’s future centre-back pairing, but Keown feels that they’re running out of time to prove themselves, following another series of indifferent performances this season.
Both have been regulars for Louis van Gaal at Manchester United so far this season, but are yet to develop into the players that Sir Alex Ferguson was hoping for when he signed them in 2010 and 2011 respectively.
With United likely to bolster their defensive options in the summer, the duo could soon find themselves out in the cold.
Keown explains: “Phil Jones and Chris Smalling are not really training on, they’re a disappointment at the moment.
“They’ve both looked nervous, particularly in the FA Cup game against Arsenal. Both looked like they needed an arm around them and I’m not sure they were getting that from their manager.
“[Gary]Cahill and [Phil] Jagielka are the obvious partnership. You are not going to get too many chances to stake that claim for England. It’s now in Jones and Smalling’s hands.”