Jermaine Jones, Video Kick

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Jones: Watch your legs...and teeth

Jones: Watch your legs...and teeth

TSG ran a feature last week proposing that one of our multitude of quality defensive central mids should take a stab at a wingback position.

With with wealth of talent at holding midfielder, it would be difficult–a player would have less than a 17% shot–of starting on the pitch there.

Obviously Jermaine Jones, he of the lore, but not the USMNT cap resume, factored into our discussion. There is probably no other player in terms of ability, place, and role who’s inclusion is as much a factor.

TSG reader Kevin made some good comments in our piece and also did one better by sending us  a video. Thanks Kevin for getting our piece started.

What follows are two videos of the German enigma.

Kevin’s video, the first one, is a Jermaine Jones “lights” real–at least that’s what we’re calling it as there seems to feature quite a bit of replay of missed goals and yellow-card provoking tackles more than highlights themselves.

One thing you can see is Jones is penchant to get up the pitch and factor in the offense.

Our favorite part is right after the 5 min mark, when Jones makes what appears to be a great come-from-behind tackle, yet gets booked probably due to his volatile history.

Probably the next more entertaining part of the video is the closing section where Jones is “adamant” about making a upfield run on the flank. Now, my brother will disagree with me here, but Jones actions are probably just what we need when taking on the Mexican, Costa Rican, or say Guatemalan national teams.

Jones will continue our tradition of volatile, foul-prone central mids (Pabl0, John O’Brien, Mike Bradley to name a few). Beyond giving the young Bradley a run for his money on bookings, he’s also going to push Bradley or Ricardo Clark for their jobs.

Note, the video is quite redundant at times.

The second video we found is perhaps more–chuckle–artistic, but focus a little more on Jones ability with and without the ball.

You can see here Jones:

– can track up and down the pitch with abandon.

– is strong on the ball

– and can post thread the pass and shoot from the center of the pitch.

Vote in our poll the right–which we probably just compromised–about what player you want to see the most who has not featured for the USMNT yet this year.

(Note: For those not in the know, Jones has been out all summer with a leg fracture. More on his status here.)

Going to be fun to see what happens when this guy is introduced into Bob Bradley’s squad.

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12 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by garbogas on 2009/08/31 at 9:49 AM

    This is the first time I’ve seen Jones play, and my first reaction was… holy shit we don’t have a (central) midfielder anywhere near that level of quality.

    I watched the Dynamo Rapids game yesterday, and poor Ricardo Clark, the difference is just enormous.


    • Posted by matthewsf on 2009/08/31 at 2:15 PM

      Agreed — just watching here makes me salivate at throwing him in the line-up.

      Plus we need an enforcer in there now, no true Lalas or O’Brien or Hedjuk to man up to the other team in the current starting XI.


      • Posted by matthewsf on 2009/08/31 at 3:41 PM

        Oh and yeah, it kind of shines a light on Clark’s strengths and weaknesses unfortunately.


  2. Posted by garbogas on 2009/08/31 at 3:32 PM

    As much as I hate to say it though, Jones makes me pause a second before putting Benny in the starting lineup.

    Jones clearly has the ability to get forward and likes to get forward. I’m a little worried about Benny being the guy to cover when Jones does go forward. Bradley might pair better with Jones.


    • Posted by matthewsf on 2009/08/31 at 3:36 PM

      Taking a look at the clips, Jones is probably the best tackler out of them all. So why not put someone more offensive in, like Benny since you know you have steel backing you up.

      I’m not a fan of Bradley’s go forward game, for lack of a better word, it’s very herky-jerky. We’ll make a nice cut one time and then completely botch a simple pass the next time. If we’re going with a true 4 across the middle he does both O and D well enough, but he’s not going to be creative on offense and I feel that’s what USMNT need.

      Remember Gold Cup 2007, the pairing was Benny and Bradley — so Bradley was recognized as the defensive central mid.


      • Posted by garbogas on 2009/08/31 at 9:44 PM

        I agree that Bradley isn’t a great offensive player. I guess my point is that if the pairing is Jones and Benny, Jones would have to be judicious on when he ventures forward (and I don’t know whether or not he’s used to/capable of doing that).

        Still, done correctly, that combo is something to get very excited about. Benny as the attacking mid creating and controlling the flow of the game and Jones as the hard-nosed defensive midfielder. Except that we’d now have a defensive midfielder that’s actually strong in posession and with some creativity himself.


  3. Posted by Antonio H. on 2009/08/31 at 9:53 PM

    My computer wont let me watch the videos you guys posted but I think this one might be better, , ,way better. JJ is pure badassness. The definition of a box-to-box player, beautiful first touch, 3-pointer for days, and he is the only person on our current roster(besides Duece of course) that I’ve seen do a rabona. Not to mention the song decribes his whole demeanor. I wonder how you say “beast” in German

    please come soon, October


    • Posted by matthewsf on 2009/08/31 at 10:03 PM

      I guess it all depends what type of midfield you favor. Good points on your side. And I agree with your wording. A pairing of an in-shape on his game Benny and Jones is “exciting” something I haven’t said about our interior mids in a long time.

      An interesting aside here, you think with Benny playing better and Jones in the mix, Bradley would be bearing down, focusing and on his best behavior. Not smart for Bradley not to bring his A game right now.


      • Posted by Antonio H. on 2009/08/31 at 10:11 PM

        Then again he is the coaches son. Not to say Bradley isnt a good midfielder but I feel he’s getting a little complacent and not focusing on the task at hand with 100% mental effort. You can tell he’s thinking his spot is safe because his father is the coach. I want to see how BB will handle this.


        • Posted by matthewsf on 2009/08/31 at 10:58 PM

          I agree–if I were picking up extremely damaging yellow and red cards, I wouldn’t be so cavalier the next time I went out on the pitch.


  4. Posted by Kevin on 2009/09/03 at 6:32 PM

    I go more with jones and benny in the middle together because those two together sounds “exciting”. I disagree with playing Bradley because you don’t need a true defensive midfielder if you have possession most of the time. Even if something happens it seems to me that Jones would still be able to get back and make a CLEAN tackle. My worries is that he seems like a hot head and like Bradley he card prone. One of the biggest things that excites me is that we have the possibility of starting a field player that has worn the captain’s armband for a team in a top flight European league. The more I think about Jones the more I hate Bradley. (I still like Rico, but that’s a little biast because he plays for Houston)

    P.S. sorry I haven’t been able to read posts and comment as much as I’d like to, but school started last week where I live and it’s been sort of busy. I love the new posts though.


  5. Posted by matthewsf on 2009/09/03 at 10:11 PM


    Thanks for contributing — and never any apologies necessary. Unless you put to down Michael Essien. :>

    Reading into your point, I think there is another notion here perhaps: the perceived ceiling to players. Michael Bradley is an excellent player in midfield, but put him next to a Jermaine Jones, Xabi Alonso, Yaya Toure and his abilities pale in comparison.

    And when you consider that notion, you realize we’re still probably another generation away from US players really being considered in the global elite.

    And not to take another tangent, I think that’s why everyone wants to see exactly Landon can do overseas. He’s been dominant at times against top level competition on the USMNT, but as a measuring stick for players he really needs to go over there so the US can say ok, we have a foot or a mile to go.


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