James Jones: Big break
Zach Homer talks about James Jones' call-up to the Scotland U21 Squad.
20-year-old James Jones made a name for himself this week as he was called up to the Scotland U21 national side for the first time in his career, for the games against Iceland and Macedonia. This comes after a run of form which has seen the attacking midfielder net more regularly than in the past, as he got two goals to his name in his last 5 appearances. Now anyone else looking at these stats might not understand how he`s been called up but as someone who sees the Scot play week in week out, I can 100% say that there is so much more to his game than initially meets the eye.
The Alex`s number 8 has racked up a total of 70 appearances in all competitions for the Railwaymen, with his debut coming as a 76th minute substitute for Danny Haynes in a 1-1 draw away to Crawley Town. Jonah has scored 3 goals in that time, with his first coming in a 3-2 win over Colchester United on the 7th February 2015. It is this season however that he has impressed most with a string of quality performances nailing him on as a key player in Crewe`s starting 11.
Jones has become a more composed player this season as he looks to take players on in the dribble, which he seems to win more often than not at the moment, as well as being able to pick out passes that spread the play to each flank to, in most cases, Kiwomya or Cooper. It`s not only his in-game play that`s improved though. As designated set piece taker, Jones has in the past struggled to find that killer ball into the box, usually failing to reach the front post with any conviction as Crewe remain weak from corners. However, this new James Jones has seemingly managed to discover himself in this department. Sharing the duty with fellow youngster George Cooper, Crewe`s deliveries and danger from dead ball situations has become sharp and precise. Sure he still has a long way to go before he`s whipping them in like a late Frank Lampard or Steven Gerrard, but Jones really is going the right way about it. As also mentioned before, Jones is already ahead of the game in terms of experience with others in his age group. This is accustom of The Alex but Jones` piled up experience is also what`s helped him to grow as quickly as he has, and being in such a physical league as leagues 1 and 2 are, the Scotsman is growing more into the man`s game more than the boys game at youth level.
Obviously we don`t know if Jonah is to become a Luke Murphy or Westwood type and sell on in the millions, but what we do know is at the moment us fans are enjoying seeing the young lad improve week by week helping the Alex up the League 2 table.