Chris Smalling | Match Discussion thread 2018/19

Sideshow Bob

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Chris Smalling | Match Discussion thread 2017/18

Chris Smalling | Match Discussion thread 2016/17
Chris Smalling | Match Discussion thread 2015/16

Chris Smalling | Match Discussion thread 2014/15
Chris Smalling | Match Discussion thread 2013/14
 

Sideshow Bob

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Premier League: Manchester United 0-3 Tottenham Hotspur - 27th August 2018

I hear he was at fault for the third goal, but was decent otherwise?
 

boothstownred

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Yeah he was. As I have said all along he is our most consistent defender. I still believe that.
 

Mr C

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Consistently average with a mistake waiting to happen. I don’t like moaning about players but our board really needed to invest in the back 4
 

IDFD

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I would like to say aside. He made some fantastic challenges tonight. He wasn’t to blame for 2 of the 3 goals probably should be marshalling the defence more as he’s the senior man but actually the challenge he made to stop the scoring 4 on 2 was immense. Unlucky to have Jonesy alongside him tonight. Think he’s the potential to be a really top CB if he had someone like Rio alongside him but don’t think he’s the one to be a senior CB. Needs instructions as oppose to give them.

It’s a shame we let Evans go because I think him and Smalling would be our best CB partnership by a mile.
 

jsp

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I don't think he was at fault for the 3rd was left one vs one with a super quick attacking player who just beat him that happens. Didn't see the replays got up and left as soon as it went in but looked like he got a challenge in and ball just broke Moura's way.

He was the least of the worries last night in the defence on the second goal he can't account for Herrera being 5 yards deeper that the rest of the defence your job as a defender in a 3 is to make sure you keep the line if the other 2 push up you have to be up with them it was obvious there that Herrera didn't know the role and got caught deep.
 

Mr C

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all those people who said we shouldn't sign Moura, he'd walk into our side.
 

Sideshow Bob

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Premier League: Watford 1-2 Manchester United - 15th September 2018

 

jsp

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We can go around in circles arguing about is he good enough to be a title winning starter at CB but he earns that shirt every season because he gives you some consistency. You get the odd horror show and his passing can be a problem if we are trying to play from the back but you know that most of the time you get 6/7 out of 10 from him most of our other maybe more talented CBs don’t do that.
 

IDFD

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Wasn’t that impressed with him defensively the fact we have to play Fellaini in the role we now are shows our deficiencies at the back but that chest and volley was some goal for a CB. Excellent stuff.

But what the hell is he doing with his hair. Haha.
 

jsp

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Think the Fellaini role is more the presence of Lindelof against teams who try to batter him with the long ball Fellaini sort of sits in front of him and tries to stop that being an issue as it’s a serious problem for him.
 

Sideshow Bob

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Smalling was excellent. From Statman Dave: Smalling more clearances (9), won more aerial duels (7) and made more blocks (4) than any other player.
 

Mr C

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Think the Fellaini role is more the presence of Lindelof against teams who try to batter him with the long ball Fellaini sort of sits in front of him and tries to stop that being an issue as it’s a serious problem for him.
If Lindeloff could sort that out he'd be top drawer. Lets hope the coaching staff are on it like they were with De Gea when he arrived.
 

jsp

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If Lindeloff could sort that out he'd be top drawer. Lets hope the coaching staff are on it like they were with De Gea when he arrived.
To me he looks like the sort of guy who'd thrive in Spain or Italy where things are less physical and more technical I don't watch much Portugese football but it obviously hasn't prepared him for what he's up against and now teams know there's that weakness they look to exploit it.

There's a good player in there you see it when he plays for Sweden who play massively on the counter attack Utd do use that tactic but not all the time.

Smalling I think is a good partner for him and it might be that this is the pairing we go with this season and the Bailly/Lindelof pairing exploded in calamity style vs Brighton and Jones/Smalling feels like we're on the 10th edition of that buddy cop movie and it's really lost it's edge.

I think those two can be a top 4 defensive partnership but they aren't going to be a title winning pair.
 

Red Warrior

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Smalling is becoming very dependable of late. He was good last night again. Probably Jose's no.1 CB for the rest of the season. It helps Fellaini is now playing this protective role in front of the 2 CB's.
 

SuperRash

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He’s always been dependable, he’s not doing anything different to what he’s always done. He is very reliable and of course he’ll have moments of madness like any centre back. He’s not great on the ball but he deserves to be our number one centre back. Smalling gets a bad rap for some reason but I’ve always liked him despite his little flaws.
 

jsp

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Smalling is our most consistent defender has been for year doesn't mean he's good enough to be a centre back that wins the league it's more damning of the clubs signings over the last 5 years as they've tried to replace or upgrade on him.

He's a solid 6 or 7 out of 10 player in most games he plays nothing wrong with that but he has limitations which stop him being considered a world class centre back.

He deserves to be in the team and really it should be him plus Bailly or Lindelof this season because the other 2 just need to be sold as they can't stay fit so give the 2 younger guys the chance to prove themselves alongside Smalling. He will have a couple of horror shows but really we don't have much better so might as well play him as we clearly can't play Bailly & Lindelof together.
 

Sideshow Bob

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Premier League: Manchester United 2-1 Everton - 28th October 2018

Idiotic and out of character tackle for the penalty and lucky not to be sent off, but overall he played well.
 

Red Warrior

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Played well but one word for the penalty, DONKEY! All he had to do was see the player to the left, not take his legs out!

Pogbas caused the situation showboating.
 

jsp

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Thing with the penalty is he's half a second away from the perfect tackle it's small margins as he's probably expecting Richarlison to come inside but he decides to try to win the penalty.

These things happen it's defending you make 1 mistake this is the consequence the important thing is he doesn't let it effect him and he goes back to performing at the level he's been at defenders will give away penalties it happens.
 

Red Warrior

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He didn't need to even make the tackle. Unfortunate thing was, if you looked closely in slo mo the player toe poked the ball a fraction of a second earlier before the tackle came in, if he didn't do that toe poke the tackle would probably have been perfect.

Still doesn't take away from the fact he didnt need to make it. He just needed to stay on his feet and jockey him
 

Mr C

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He should have been sent off, Smalling making those stupid errors again.
 

jsp

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Yeah but once you commit there's not going back and I think he's done it as he's in panic mode because of the sudden loss of possession he's made a rash decision and it's backfired.

He's still our best central defender by a mile but it's these little mistakes that mean he isn't world class because he will have 3 or 4 moments like this through a season and unlike someone like Ramos he doesn't give you the presence on the ball to make you think it's worthwhile.
 

Sideshow Bob

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Premier League: Bournemouth 1-2 Manchester United - 3rd November 2018

He was shaky in the first half.
 

Sideshow Bob

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Champions League: Juventus 1-2 Manchester United - 7th November 2018

Good comeback following his performance against Bournemouth.
 

Sideshow Bob

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Champions League: Manchester United 1-0 Young Boys - 27th November 2018

Limited defender, all right.
 

jsp

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No problems at all against Young Boys but it was an easy night for him as they offered almost no threat.

In terms of that defence he really is the least of our problems if he gets a new deal for another 2-3 years I don't have any problem with it as he is top dog in that crop right now so unless we plan on buying 4 new centre backs next summer he needs to stay.
 

IDFD

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Champions League: Manchester United 1-0 Young Boys - 27th November 2018

Limited defender, all right.
The fact that he managed to play a couple of passes against Young Boys is being highlighted, highlights that he’s a limited defender. Stones Luiz Alderwierald Maguire are doing that game in game out.
 

Red Warrior

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Smalling is pretty dependable, seldom injured, good in the air, he does have the clanger in him admittedly but with a steady partner I think he could get better and be more confident. Jones just brings the absolute worse out in him. To me he is our Gary Cahill and he has done ok at Chelsea for long enough.

My question is why hasn't this guy been coached to play the ball out from the back considering he has been here so long? Against Young Boys last week he burst out of defence and made 1 or 2 fantastic though balls, actually by passing the midfield and that is exactly what we have been missing. Surely it can't be that difficult to be taught to pass a ball forwards rather than sidewards??
 

jsp

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You can lead a horse to water but you can't always make him drink.

I do think he has improved a lot since he came you have to remember what he was when he joined he'd come from non-league to Utd in a space of around 18 months and his passing is ok it's just not to the standard we want it to be or are used to from years of players like Rio & Vidic who made being on the ball look effortless. I think Smalling has fulfilled his potential he never looked like a superstar but he looked like he'd go on to be a good player which I think he's done. Jones for me had a lot more natural talent but injuries destroyed his career and to continue using the horse based theme he should've been put out of his misery years ago.

I do think some of our problems building from the back also extend from the lack of a playmaker in the number 6 role in the midfield 3 for the midfield 3 to work you need someone who sits at the base who starts the moves all the top sides have this player they take the ball and move it on to the other midfielders quickly. It's fair to say Matic does not perform this role well as he's never really done it in his career so the ball is so slow out of the back meaning any space that was available to exploit is gone.
 

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