Liverpool 0-1 Manchester United - 17th January 2016
Great to see Smalling bounce back against Liverpool with a very assured performance.
He could have suffered a drop in form and confidence after the Newcastle game but instead he came out fighting.
Showed good composure and I thought brought the defense together despite at times Liverpool having so much territory. DDG had a couple of quality saves to make but overall I thought Smalling did what was required.
Think he's starting to struggle a bit now and I guess that's kind of to be expected?
It's been a long season where he's played most weeks and he's carried that defense.
It can't help that his defensive partner has been fairly unsettled with changes and the number of different full back combinations we've tried has been unsettling. But he doesn't look as sure of himself right now. He's not dominating in the way he was and maybe he just needs a couple of games to rest? I know it's not what the team needs but with every week the season becomes more of a write up. At some point we've got to protect the confidence of our key players ready for next season.
Yeah he's been by far our best defender if not player all season. He's handled most strikers brilliantly but he can't do it all on own and we knew that from the beginning of the season. Funny how a lot of managers can't see to see the obvious.
He's played pretty much every game bar a couple when he was injured. It's not all that surprising that he looks a bit off pace. And let's be fair he's working twice as hard to cover for others failings.
Best he's been for a while. Don't think he was lucky, challenge in 2nd half wasn't a yellow, handled himself well after early yellow, showed he's improved mentally from last season's fixture. England's best CB.
See I thought he was lucky to stay on the field today. But after the penalty decision in the first half maybe the ref was trying to even the score? Other than that I thought he played really well and handled himself well. Certainly one of his better performances for a few weeks.
Think I could have taken Adebayor on last night mind. Lazy player and looking unfit, as long as he's got his 100k weekly wage he don't care.
First time i'd seen Smalling live on Saturday I think, was interesting to watch, didn't realise how often he just holds attackers off when the ball is in the air and allows the ball to go behind him. Doesn't bother actually challenging for the ball in the air most of the time.
He's by far the most improved player at the club and maybe even in the league! He has been an absolute beast this season and he is going to be the key to our defence over the next few years. To think that a couple of years ago people doubted whether he had the quality and now he's been one of our best and most consistent players for a good 12-18 months.