Phil Jones may be missing from the Manchester United squad – but did you catch his cameo on HBO's Succession?

Scene from Succession with Phil Jones
(Image credit: Getty Images / HBO)

HBO's award-laden comedy-drama Succession is currently halfway through its final season, with fans hotly debating who they think will eventually succeed Logan Roy as the big boss at Waystar RoyCo.

But what if we told you that there was a safe pair of hands staring them in the face the whole time who would be ready to come in and steady the ship?

That's right: when in doubt, get Big Sam in until the end of the season.

If that sounds far-fetched, FourFourTwo is here to tell you that Sam Allardyce's inevitable rise to the top has already been foreshadowed back in season two. Well, kind of.

TikTok user @noproblemgambler, who gave us the video that confirmed Son Heung-min's existence in the Marvel Cinematic Universe last year, has been at it again.

Asked to work out the game being shown on a television in a Dundee pub during season two, episode eight – the same episode where Roman Roy mistakenly buys Hearts for his Hibernian-supporting father – the content creator dived deep and delivered the goods.


♬ original sound - NPG

According to him, the match being shown appears to be a pre-season friendly from the 2010 Sydney Festival of Football between Rangers, then managed by Walter Smith, and Sam Allardyce's Blackburn Rovers.

While Allardyce himself doesn't actually get an on-screen appearance (as far as we can tell, anyway) we can roughly work out a few players.

If Sam Allardyce was the main character in Succession

(Image credit: FourFourTwo/HBO)

The game ended 2-1 to the then-Scottish champions, with the clip shown here looking like it was probably Kenny Miller's goal that put Rangers 2-0 up.

While no available footage of the match appears online, we do have a match report from Australia's ABC News that lines up pretty neatly: "Steve Naismith and Kyle Lafferty combined beautifully out wide, the latter darting into the box and cutting back for Miller to turn the ball home on 44 minutes."

Given we know the line-ups for each side, we can also make a good guess at what players we're seeing on the screen.

Obviously we've got Kyle Lafferty and Kenny Miller, but we also have a few members of Blackburn's defence. Paul Robinson's in goal, plus Pascal Chimbonda on the left, Michel Salgado on right, Gael Givet at centre-back and, looking on as Miller scores, an 18-year-old Phil Jones.

Jones went on sign for Manchester United a year later, and while he has a Premier League winners' medal to his name, his injury-marred career has withered in recent years. 

In fact, since this episode aired on September 29 2019, the defender has made just six Premier League appearances. He does not even appear in the Manchester United Premier League squad for 2022/23.

The 31-year-old's Old Trafford contract is up this summer, and with his last game being in January 2022, it's unclear where his future lies. It could be worth updating his IMDB page with this cameo...

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Conor Pope
Online Editor

Conor Pope is the Online Editor of FourFourTwo, overseeing all digital content, and joined the team in February 2019. He plays football regularly, both on grass and artificial surfaces, and has a large, discerning and ever-growing collection of football shirts from around the world.

He supports Blackburn Rovers and holds a season ticket with south London non-league side Dulwich Hamlet. His main football passions include Tugay, the San Siro and only using a winter ball when it snows.