I don’t think Bailly has ever looked the part I’m afraid. I don’t know what goes on behind the scenes, I doubt anyone does, but if it is true the want to buy young players rather than proven ones then they will get it wrong more than not.
Bailly requires a lot more coaching, everything about him suggests he should be bossing it in the air but he often misjudges it and misses the ball.
Lindelof looks a little fragile when pressure comes or things aren't going right but he and Smalling have struck up a good partnership, I think they're the partnership with the highest win rate with Bailly and Jones next. All other partnerships have been poor. Smalling and Lindelof are like a poor man's Rio and Vidic... not as good but they complement each other well.
Not even a debate for me the strongest is Smalling & Lindelöf but we need to make a call on Bailly given the contracts that have been handed out I think the decision has possibly been made to sell Bailly this summer along with Rojo if they are going to bring another one in.
The concern for me is the club are probably going to sell Rojo because he's been totally frozen out and keep Bailly meaning no new centre back.
To me Smalling & Jones are fine as squad players your 3 and 4 but they are not your 1 and 2.
Smalling has been very good in the 2 games he's played in 2019, Ole's getting the credit but as many said at the time, Phelan's role in improving the defence would be most crucial to Ole being successful. We're positive in attack but also more positive in our defending, it's more aggressive.
Right now, Smalling and Lindelof is the best, they had a good partnership under Jose, they compliment each other well. Jones and Bailly also had a good spell together last season.
I thought the CB issue was overplayed under Jose and even more so now. Of course it'd be nice to get one in but both full back positions are an issue, as good as our first choice midfield have been, the inability to rotate has been evident and a long term replacement for Matic should be a priority in my view. And then beyond Martial, Rashford and Lingard the alternatives are either past it, not good enough or unsuitable (or even all 3). CB may indeed have to wait.
I think Smalling has looked better under Ole too. The whole team seem to be defending better, it was a great team effort on Monday. Really well drilled so Chelsea basically had little chance.
It was a great team performance. They look like they really know what they are doing, where they should be etc. I even saw lukaku running back to cover.
I don't think Smalling or Lindelöf have looked better under Ole they were both playing to this level under Jose.
Defensively I don't think a whole lot has changed teams still create plenty of chances against us but we setup to create plenty of chances against them and back our strikers to get the job done this team plays with risk again which is what a Utd team has to do as a defender at Utd you will always be exposed and you have to be able to defend one vs one or even one vs two at times.
Having Herrera in the midfield regularly helps because he disrupts the opposition and also tries to help protect Young at right back as he is the weak link that teams clearly target. When we had Fellaini in there he didn't really do that role and Fred really struggled it's interesting that he's basically been nowhere to be seen.
Still think as a team we are terrible at defending set pieces someone always switches off at the vital moment and we do struggle building from the back we are at our best when the ball goes back to front quickly our defenders struggle to play into midfield... not all their fault because Matic in the middle of that 3 is not always available to take the ball which forces the other two to come very deep.