Updated: August 26, 2011 12:57 IST

Man United star Jones fires warning to title rivals

Manchester United defender Phil Jones has warned title rivals Arsenal that no-one can live with the champions when they hit top form.

London: Manchester United defender Phil Jones has warned title rivals Arsenal that no-one can live with the champions when they hit top form.

Jones is part of a youth revolution at Old Trafford as United manager Sir Alex Ferguson begins to blood a group of gifted prodigies capable of taking over from the likes of Paul Scholes, Ryan Giggs and Gary Neville.

The gradual break-up of United's golden generation seems unlikely to prove a problem judging by the seamless way Ferguson has brought in England Under-21 defenders Jones from Blackburn and Chris Smalling from Fulham, while also developing the likes of Tom Cleverley and Danny Welbeck in the club's academy.

All four featured on Monday as a United team with an average age of less than 23 crushed Tottenham 3-0 to maintain the champions' winning start to the season.

With Nemanja Vidic struggling with injury, Jones is likely to start on Sunday when Arsenal visit Old Trafford.

He believes Ferguson's young team have nothing to fear from one of their supposed Premier League rivals, especially given the breathtaking way they defeated Manchester City, another title contender, in the Community Shield at Wembley.

"Some of the football we produced was unbelievable. When we play like that teams can't live with us. It's really given me a taste for winning trophies now," Jones said.

"You know the expectations here are big, but you've got to go out and do the business on the pitch. It's just fantastic to be part of such an exciting squad, there's such a great mix of young and experienced players."

The prospect of taking on United in their current mood would be daunting enough for most teams, let alone an Arsenal outfit in a state of flux after the departures of Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri.

The Gunners eased growing criticism of boss Arsene Wenger after progressing to the Champions League group stages with a gutsy win over Udinese in midweek, but they will travel to Old Trafford without suspended duo Gervinho and Alex Song as well as injured midfielder Jack Wilshere.

Arsenal captain Robin van Persie hopes the win over Udinese is a sign his team-mates can cope with the pressure, but he knows the result will count for little if they don't use it as springboard for a consistent winning run.

"It's been a hard week, Cesc leaving, Samir leaving. We've been in the papers for the wrong reasons sometimes," he said.

"But I think we played well under immense pressure, so that's a positive sign. And now it's up to us to show that every three or four days, because that's football. We have to do it every single time."

Just four days after finally getting his wish to leave Arsenal, Nasri will make a quick return to north London as City travel to White Hart Lane to play Tottenham.

Nasri's £24 million transfer was the latest move by City boss Roberto Mancini to add style to the gritty substance his team already possessed.

The France midfielder will join forces with the likes of Sergio Aguero, David Silva and possibly Carlos Tevez, if he is unable to get his desired transfer, to give Mancini some mouthwatering attacking options.

"I believe I have more chance of winning titles at Manchester City than at Arsenal," Nasri said.

"I have heard people say I have moved for money. I make a good living at City, that is true, but I am 24 years old and I have reached a turning point in my career and it was important that I joined a club with ambition."

Another big-money mover this week was Spain winger Juan Mata - who joined Chelsea for around £23.5 million from Valencia - and he could make his debut against Norwich at Stamford Bridge on Saturday.

Fixtures (1400GMT unless stated):


Aston Villa v Wolves (1105GMT), Blackburn v Everton, Chelsea v Norwich, Liverpool v Bolton (1630GMT), Swansea v Sunderland, Wigan v QPR (1130GMT)


Manchester United v Arsenal (1500GMT), Newcastle v Fulham (1200GMT), Tottenham v Manchester City (1230GMT), West Brom v Stoke

Topics : Football,Liverpool,Manchester City,Chelsea,Birmingham City,Everton,Blackburn Rovers,Arsenal,Ajax,Barcelona,Manchester United,Steven Gerrard,Phil Jones,Alex Ferguson,Mark Hughes,Wayne Rooney,English Premier League For the latest Sports news like us on Facebook or Follow us on Twitter and get the NDTV Cricket app for Android or iOS

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