John Stones has come under a lot of criticism from the media and general public since joining Manchester City from Everton. Like Raheem Sterling, he is an easy scapegoat, being young, English, and playing for Manchester City.
Stones is guilty of making mistakes at the back – like many young defenders playing a high-risk style – but with the mistakes come many qualities, such as his exquisite passing ability, and he is sure to refine his game as the years go on.
Stones’ former boss, David Moyes, who is in charge of Manchester City’s next opponents, Sunderland, has come to the defence of his former charge today. The former United boss said of 22-year-old Stones:
“When I signed him, I didn’t at the time think he was going to go on to become anywhere near as good a player as he has gone on to become.
“I thought he’d become a good player because he had natural calmness on the ball, not coached, not done, he was just someone who that was his style of being on the ball.
“What he will develop as he gets older is more of the defensive instincts at times, and maybe that’s where he’s questioned a little bit. But as a type and as somebody who wants to do the right thing and wants to improve, all day long, he’s got all that.”
The 53-year-old Scot went on to say that England should feel FORTUNATE to have a defender of such technique.
“He’s a good boy who is trying to do all the right things to make himself a better player and England should actually be thinking they are really fortunate that they have got somebody like John Stones because for many years, they have been saying, ‘It’s the sort of player we would like to have in England’.
“Rio Ferdinand was great at coming out with the ball and taking the ball at the back. John Stones is someone of a similar ilk.”
Stones has made 33 appearances in all competitions for Manchester City this season and fits the Pep Guardiola blueprint well. Under the tutelage of Pep and with more experience under his belt, the Englishman could be a central figure at City for years to come.