Keep Smalling or Jones

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#1
So now the Lindelof signing has been completed, the chances are one of Smalling or Jones could be let go. Obviously this isn't a given but you would say Bailly, Rojo and Lindelof are the three main men now.

Basically if it was a toss up between the two, who would you prefer to keep and why?
 

Sideshow Bob

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#2
I would keep Smalling. Last season was his first poor season at the club. If one is to leave, I think Smalling is more likely as his stock is higher and would command a higher transfer fee.
 

Mr C

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#3
I'd get rid of both and keep Bailly, Lindelof, Rojo and Blind.

If I had to keep one, it would be Jones.

Smalling has too many errors in hm.
 

jsp

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#4
I'd keep Smalling simply because he's fit about 70% of the time whereas Jones is more like 50%. Jones is probably the better player as he's much more comfortable on the ball but Smalling is probably the better defender.

Personally I'd look to sell both and either bring in a cheap experienced guy as the 4th choice like Liverpool did with Klavan or try to bring a guy like Jonny Evans back or if he thinks Tuenzebe is ready use him as your 4th/5th choice CB along with Blind.

Put it this way if there'd been any proper planning going on behind the scenes over the last few seasons I think both these guys would be gone by now they aren't up to the required standard.
 
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#5
I'd keep Smalling simply because he's fit about 70% of the time whereas Jones is more like 50%. Jones is probably the better player as he's much more comfortable on the ball but Smalling is probably the better defender.
I actually disagree slightly there, I think Jones is the better defender when he's fully fit and all his injury demons are behind him. When he came into the side last season I thought he was impressive, obviously he's got a mistake in him but for pure rugged defending I think he's better than Smalling. I still rate Smalling but his uncomfortably on the ball is unnerving at times and that uncertainty can lead us into trouble.
 

IDFD

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#6
After last season I don't even think this is a question. JSP should start his car and get ready to drop Smalling to any club in the country that's ready to take him. I'd be happy to sell both though. I like Jones when fit but it isn't enough.
 

jsp

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#7
I actually disagree slightly there, I think Jones is the better defender when he's fully fit and all his injury demons are behind him. When he came into the side last season I thought he was impressive, obviously he's got a mistake in him but for pure rugged defending I think he's better than Smalling. I still rate Smalling but his uncomfortably on the ball is unnerving at times and that uncertainty can lead us into trouble.
I think Smalling is better in the air, he's quicker, he's stronger and he doesn't have to dive in as much as Jones does to recover because he can physically bully a lot of attackers. He's also less likely to give away a stupid penalty than Jones who has that rash decision making process in him.

I agree 100% that on the ball Smalling is a nightmare this is where I think you see that he didn't come through academy setups as he can only kick with his right foot, he can't take any pressure and he really struggles to pass it through defensive lines.

I don't think either will ever be good enough if we could flog them both this summer for £15m each which would basically get us our money back on them I'd be pretty happy they could leave with a few trophies having had ok careers at Utd but it feels like it's time to move on from the chuckle brothers.
 

Mr C

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#8
Just read Varane has been told he can leave Madrid.

I'd be keen and say bye to Smalling or Jones. I've always been a big fan of Varane,
 

Sideshow Bob

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#9
Why sell United's best defender this season?

At the risk of repeating myself, centre back is the least of United's worries.
 

Red Warrior

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#10
Even so, if Varane was available I think JM would put out for him.

Varane and Bailly would make a decent back 2. Smalling or Jones still aren't the best we could have are they even though they have done ok this season.
 

Sideshow Bob

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#11
Smalling has been much better than just ok, he's been very good. The narrative regarding Smalling is very wrong.
 

jsp

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#12
Sell Jones you can’t rely on him to many injuries and it’s 6 years now how long can we keep going on like this and even when he is fit he’s not amazing.

Smalling I don’t think is as good but he’s normally fit so he’s much more useful.

My concern with Varane is the injuries he like Jones seems to miss a lot of games but I think we need to invest in strikers not defenders this summer.

If we sign Varane we probably have to sell 2 of the current CB options to pay for it.
 

IDFD

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#13
Bailly long term injury confirmed by the club today. Lets not rush anyone out of the door.
 

Mr C

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#14
Our defensive record is only so good because of De Gea.

I mainly listen on radio but when I do catch match of the day our defence terrifies me. I think this area is jut as important, we need a need a decent centre back to come in, I would say Jose's duo going forward is Bailly and Lindeloff and Varane would put pressure on those two. I just don't really rate Smalling and Jones. Sorry, I think they are playing because they are English. And as for Young and Valencia at full backs..... they are doing ok but we need proper players in there long term, I wonder how our defence will cope when we come against Europes elite. Don't let De Gea's performances fool you into thinking our back 4 are anything special. We have always had a decent CB pairing. Smalling and Jones are not it.
 

jsp

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#15
De Gea is plastering over a lot of cracks in terms of our defensive record over the last 3 seasons.

I think he plays a part in this though, De Gea isn't a sweeper keeper so Utd have to defend deeper than maybe City or Spurs because they rely on the keeper to come out and intercept any balls in behind this is because they have keepers who are confident playing that role and it's why Guardiola didn't fancy Hart, De Gea very rarely comes out of his box I can't say I watch Spain a lot but even in the games I've seen him play he very rarely sweeps up in the way a lot of modern keepers do.

Smalling & Jones are good defenders but everything is reactive and not proactive so whenever these two play especially together it always feels like backs to the walls defending throwing bodies in front of everything, they don't sniff out trouble before it becomes an issue in the way Rio & Vidic in their prime did. They often did this because they were brilliant in the air so they'd win every first ball but they also stepped in front a lot and at their best they were happy to defend high up the pitch as both were incredibly quick on the turn. I think both Smalling & Jones want to defend from a deep position rather than an attacking one.

For me the Varane situation assuming the rumours are even true is if we had a bottomless pit of money you get him because he improves your centre back options but we don't have a bottomless pit and we have more pressing issues elsewhere that need to be addressed first.
 

Sideshow Bob

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#16
Smalling & Jones are good defenders but everything is reactive and not proactive so whenever these two play especially together it always feels like backs to the walls defending throwing bodies in front of everything, they don't sniff out trouble before it becomes an issue in the way Rio & Vidic in their prime did. They often did this because they were brilliant in the air so they'd win every first ball but they also stepped in front a lot and at their best they were happy to defend high up the pitch as both were incredibly quick on the turn. I think both Smalling & Jones want to defend from a deep position rather than an attacking one.
I think both defend deep due to the way Mourinho sets up the defence. Smalling is at his best when he attacks the ball and tries to dominate his opponent. He played on the front foot during his best season under Van Gaal. Comparing Smalling and Jones to Ferdinand and Vidic is an unfair comparison. They played in a well oiled team, with top class players under a manager with different mentality. Opposition teams would look to defend first therefore their attacking players were isolated, which allowed United to be on the front foot.
 

IDFD

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#17
I think both defend deep due to the way Mourinho sets up the defence. Smalling is at his best when he attacks the ball and tries to dominate his opponent. He played on the front foot during his best season under Van Gaal. Comparing Smalling and Jones to Ferdinand and Vidic is an unfair comparison. They played in a well oiled team, with top class players under a manager with different mentality. Opposition teams would look to defend first therefore their attacking players were isolated, which allowed United to be on the front foot.
Neither looked assured under Ferguson either which is why they either got shunted out to the right or stayed behind Evans as the 3rd choice CB.

Smalling looked assured under LVG but I could look assured playing 20 yards from my goal with 9 other defensive players around me.

I’m actuallt shocked how highly people are talking up Smalling. De Gea is the only reason for our defensive record.
 

Sideshow Bob

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#18
Smalling has had one indifferent season at the club, which was last season. He has rarely let United down. He played on the right under Fergie due to the Ferdinand-Vidic partnership, to add height to the team (he occasionally replaced Rafael) and help improve his ability on the ball (this was a tactic used at reserve level during Fergie's later years). His issue under Fergie was his injury record.

For me, Smalling is criminally underrated and is United's best defender. He walks into any team in the league, with the exception of City and Spurs.

Jones has the ability and quality, but he is let down by his injury record. He never had a settled position in the team during his first few years at the club.

As I said in another thread, I disagree with the thought that De Gea is plastering over a lot of cracks. Yes, he has won United points (as did Schmeichel and Van Der Sar) as he's an exceptional goalkeeper, but there's only so much a goalkeeper can do, and there is no way a goalkeeper can cover cracks for three plus seasons. One season, yeah, but three is unrealistic. Did Schmeichel cover the cracks in the Bruce and Pallister partnership?
 

Mr C

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#19
Last nights match just reinforces my thoughts they are not good enough, one could play if they were alongside a decent CB.

I'd sell them both, keep Bailley, Lideloff, Rojo and buy Varane who we can get for 55m apparently. I'd keep Blind as a utility too.

You just can't rely on Jones and Smalling, in the big matches you know they are liability and the opposing team will single them out.
 

Red Warrior

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#20
It still baffles me why we spent £30m on a guy who hasn't really cut it so far (i know its early days for him) and doesn't look physically suited to the EPL (yet). Why didn't we just go and get a decent CB, maybe we would have to pay a bit extra granted, but at least we'd have had a decent player who would have been first choice CB. Seems absurd to me.

Bailly hit the ground running and is superb but not world class yet. We need a class CB that will bring him on, and make us solid at the back.

I think it's Smalling that needs to go.
 

jsp

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#21
What's a decent CB cost though? Laporte is a gamble at £60m & Van Dijk is a gamble at £75m.

I think we've took a long term gamble on Lindelof based on him becoming the ball player out of the back which he's apparently very good at and therefore could partner Bailly long term. I think they've under estimated his physical issues he's not particularly quick or strong and teams target that weakness.
 

jsp

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#23
Is that true or is that paper talk?

I mean if he's that good and is available for that price why is no one buying him? Could it be that he's not actually available.
 

Mr C

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#24
Who knows if it's true, he's in and out the side apparently. I think he's quality, whether he'll suit the prem who knows.
 

Edgy1968

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#25
Just seen a stat that relates to this that has just blown my mind, in two games, away at Spurs and away at Arsenal, we have conceded 55 shots against them, 55 shots in TWO GAMES! That is outrageous
 

Mr C

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#26
I'm not surprised though. We have always had at least one decent CB as far back as I can remember to Buchan. And Fergie always had a really good CB. You need a decent spine. I can't see us keeping them both next year.
 

Edgy1968

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#27
All these defenders going for 75m etc all apparently majestic foreign centre halves who can dribble out of defense and take the ball in tight areas, who gives a sh*t, get back to basics where you get a Steve Bruce from Norwich or a Gary Pallister from Boro, even a Ronny Johnsen or Henning Berg, these guys were not world beaters when we bought them but they had that character about them, as Mr C says, Martin Buchan was just no nonsense, brilliant centre half, to much is made these days of all these attributes a centre half needs to have.

Give me Harry Maguire over Victor bloody Lindelof every day of the week!
 

jsp

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#28
I think defending in modern football is near impossible your full backs are now more like wingers, offside trap is almost impossible due to the complex nature of the rules & you can't really tackle anymore the slightest foul players hit the deck and get free kicks and it's so easy to be booked now.

You're also required to be as good on the ball as a centre midfielder.

The point really is good defenders don't exist as individuals they exist as pairings 2 or 3 people who work in tandem and compliment each other to snuff out the opposition, you think of Utd's recent great sides and it's all about pairings Bruce & Pallister, Stam & Johnson and Rio & Vidic.

I think it's harsh picking on Lindelof he had a rough start but he's improved massively in the last few months and he was never signed as the finished article, Smalling & Jones have had 6-7 seasons and people still make excuses for them and Lindelof is getting written off after 6 months FFS. Rio was no rolls royce when he joined.
 

Mr C

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#29
I think Lindelof will turn out to be brilliant, he has everything, just seems nervous for united.

Smalling and Jones seem to have no composure, no positional sense, can't play out with the ball, can't tackle and are just generally average. They should be playing for a side like Everton
 

Edgy1968

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#30
Lindelof, Smalling, Jones, Rojo, take your pick mate I'm after them all today! lol
 

Edgy1968

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#31
I'm really not sold on Lindelof, he was shocking against Yeovil last week, nervous as hell its like he has never headed a ball in his life! He may come good but I won't be putting any money on it, personally I would ship the lot of em out, Smalling Jones Lindelof, crap lot of em
 

jsp

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#32
I think you've got to judge a guy over a consistent run which Lindelof hasn't really had he's been in and out but I'm worried about can he cope physically he's not particularly quick, he's not particularly strong and he doesn't have a good spring so is beaten in the air easily. That's a worry as at 22 physically you should be ready for this level it's not like he's a little lad like Lingard either he's a 6ft centre back and coaching speed is very tough to do.
 

Red Warrior

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#33
@Edgy1968 gotta say you’ve cheered me up today mate. Some of your comments have had me in bits.

@jsp i think I kicked this off about Lindelof, I’m not putting him down at all, I’m saying we should have 2, maybe 3 quality centre backs and you can compliment them with players like Lindelof and see how they get on. Some will shine, some won’t. You can’t have clowns like we have, then bring rookies into the mix. If we had Rio and Vidic as our main 2 yes by all means being talented youngsters thru but we’ve not got that. Think Edgy said Jones/Smalling would be a great pairing for Everton but not us! Dead right.
 

boothstownred

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#34
I think we would all agree that any player coming into a new club in a new country needs more than half a season to prove hinself. That said he doesn't seem to have tbe attributes of a premier league centre half. They are normally either big or fast, he seems to be neither. I think my issue is for the money we spent on him to be 4th or 5th choice we might as well have promoted tuanzebe and spent the money on a more pressing positions.
 

Mr C

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#35
He was good at Benfica and he performs well for Sweden. I think it will take him a while to get into the swing of playing for a club like united. It's massive every game, huge pressure. Evra and Vidic both struggled although they were Jan purchases.

I'm going to put my neck out. He'll be our best CB in a year or so and go on to be one of our best players.

He needs to shave his hair again and get into a different mentality for a while.
 
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