Chris Smalling | Match Discussion thread 2014/15

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Sideshow Bob

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Roma - 26/7/2014

One of our better players in the second half. He won tackles, aerial challenges and was vocal (an aspect that has been missing at times). He needs to play as the middle centreback, with Evans on the left and Jones on the right if van Gaal persists with 3-5-2.
 

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Inter Milan - 30/7/2014

Smalling's turn for 90 mins tomorrow night. Van Gaal hints at making him captain for the game. Doesn't look like there's anything really in captaincy on tour, just giving it to those he plans to give 90 mins to. Cleverley was meant to play 90 the other night.

Smalling on new formation: "I like it more than the traditional 4-4-2. It allows a lot more freedom & you can be aggressive."
 

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Liverpool - 5/8/2014

Our best natural defender by a country mile. He's strong, quick, dominant in the air, good in 1v1 situations and has good positional sense. Distribution has been more than adequate during the pre-season tour. Vidic with pace.
 

Cordon726

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In the three he looks comfortable and is our best CB. Blackett has been the second best defender. Evans and Jones have looked shaky.
 

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Leicester City - 21/9/2014

A rare poor display, though he wasn't help by the performances of Blackett and Rojo. He still managed 11/11 successful clearances, 7/7 headed clearances, 4 interceptions, 2/2 aerial duels and 28/29 passing accuracy. I thought he looked sluggish and unfit.
 

se7en

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He's stagnated a bit for me, he and Jones need consistent games together. He should really step up now although I admit being shunted out wide over the seasons hasn't helped a lot.
 

chrisl1965

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Like Jones he needs games. I certainly think he and more so Jones have been ill served by their versatility
 

se7en

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Chelsea - 26/10/2014

Very good performance from him but he was lucky getting away with fouling Ivanovic.
 

JSNFRMN

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I've been very critical of him but have to give him credit today. All 3 of our right footed CBs are good players but their injuries really don't help them. We need someone who can play 40-50 games a season. Terry and Cahill ever present for Chelsea for example, we need that sort of stability.
 

Sideshow Bob

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Very good. The 1v1 against Willain was brilliant. His passing was by and large fine as well. I do think the criticism he has received this season to be slightly harsh, considering he has only made two starts and completed 90 minutes once prior to today. Smalling+1 in defence, for me.
 

swintonian

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i am not a fan of smalling, he switches off too often in games, but credit where it is due, he had a decent game against chelsea. saw a lot of the ball and was confident with it.
 

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Manchester City - 2/11/2014

Utterly silly for both yellow cards. He simply shouldn't have dived in for the second.
 

boothstownred

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Once on a yellow card you just don't dive in so he cannot complain. That said I am not sure the first was yellow tbh.
 

IrishManc.

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Two very daft yellows. Felt we were in control prior to the dismissal. Stupid mistakes have cost us points a few times this season now and it's not good enough. Why oh why would you stand in front of the keeper when taking a kick out, what he was hoping to achieve there I'll never know. The second one adrenaline probably took over but still very daft. He cost us a very possible win today so it's really frustrating.
 

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As soon as the first yellow was given I knew he wouldn't last the rest of the game without another.
 

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Arsenal - 22/11/2014

That's the Smalling I know and believe in. He was huge in the second half. 16 clearances, 7 headed clearances, 5 interceptions, 4/6 aerial duels and 1 block.
 

se7en

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He covers the ground so well against pacey opponents. Possibly his best asset.
 

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Hull City - 29/11/2014

Excellent. His distribution was good and his ability to carry the ball was a real positive. His reading of the game is fantastic.

Very good response since the derby.
 

boothstownred

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I have been critical of smalling but looking back he was good against Chelsea, arsenal and today. Apart from a silly sending off he was doing ok against city too.
 

bludsucker

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Good assured performance from him yesterday. But have to admit that hull did nothing to trouble him.
 

JSNFRMN

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That would have been great if the last header had gone to Di Maria.
 

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Stoke City - 2/12/2014

Excellent. Thought Rojo was marginally better though. Looks a very good partnership, would be nice to keep the partnership together for a run of games now. Fair play to Smalling, recovered from the City game well. Needs to maintain this level.
 

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Another top performance. Diouf had a very quiet game. I've not seen him appear as confidence since his first season. Fingers crossed he can remain fit.
 

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Yeovil Town - 4/1/2015

Poor-ish first half, but much better in a flat back four in the second half.

Michael Owen isn't a fan!
 

JSNFRMN

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To be fair to Owen, he said he was a good defender but his distribution is poor. Both true.
 

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Burnley - 11/2/2015

One of his poorer defensive performances for the first 50-60 minutes, but was fairly good for the remainder of the game.
 

JSNFRMN

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I've chosen not to be too critical of him for this performance, not because he scored 2 goals, but because he came on as a sub early in the game which is not an easy position to be put in and also Jonny Evans was a complete mess and that may have also affected him. Sounds like Jones might be out for a bit so he'll partner Rojo now and they've done well together so we'll see how he goes.
 

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Sunderland - 28/2/2015

Top performance. His passing was very good.
 
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