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05 Nov 2018 17:10:44
Id like to guage people's opinion on Smalling.
He is in awful form. I know that wint come as a surprise to most as its been that way for 5 of the last 6 years but last season he did ok.
The defence has been poor in terms of goals conceded. Yet everybody is delighted with shaws contribution.
Imo shaw is not a good natural defender but does give something to iur attack.
Perhaps the poor cbs are even more exposed when we allow the full backs push on but smalling has has been comfortably our worst player closely followed by matic in the last 5 games imo.

Agree4 Disagree6

05 Nov 2018 17:42:13
Agree 100%. Any contribution that Smalling makes is often the wrong side of the rules in my old fashioned understanding of them. He ball watches, man handles and consistently demonstrates his lack of footballing skill and nouse.

05 Nov 2018 17:54:35
I think the fact that the wind completely befuddled him against Bournemouth says all you need to know.

05 Nov 2018 18:20:27
I don't want this to mount to a defense of smalling we should have players better than him at CB.
But what do we do when we sign loads of players for that position since him and each manager who watches training and whose backside is on the line over results all come to the same conclusion which is he plays over all the options . There's always things like injuries but he keeps being seen as the preferred option by the various managers . Does it not say something about our recruitment of so many CBS since him for so much money and yet he's still selected.
Lots turn really quickly on smalling but he is what he is and it's not his fault all those other CBS in various managers eyes including this one can't dislodge him . If we had recruited better he wouldn't be an issue he wouldn't be playing.

05 Nov 2018 18:20:36
Ken - I think Smalling's a decent squad player and good enough to cover for injuries but he shouldn't be first choice and we won't challenge whilst he is in my opinion.

Out of interest what CB combination would you play if everyone was fit?

05 Nov 2018 18:25:12
I just thinking his positional sense is appalling. For me he never has been a top defender despite a purple patch here and there. We'd be much better off letting him go.

Bailly hasn't played well at all when called upon recently, I have no idea why that is because he showed so much in the early parts of his united career.

Rojo has had some injury issues recently and hasn't been included of late. I'm unsure of him also. We are in desperate need of a CB with composure and good positional sense to play on beside lindelof whom I feel will be a good CB.

05 Nov 2018 19:01:47
Poor for the level we want and should be aiming for, wouldn’t even have him in a United squad, bottom half of the table player for me at best. His positional sense, distribution and decision making is very poor, he is lucky not to give a penalty away in each game with his shirt pulling and grabbing, time for him to move on for United’s and his sake.

05 Nov 2018 19:23:26
Good post Slate I think you've hit the nail on the head there pal!

05 Nov 2018 19:32:46
Yeah i agree to an extent slate.
I thought he did ok last season as i said but this season he has gone to pieces. But last season our back 4 was more rigid.
Like all our other cbs i think smalling needs a leader beside him to help his composure.
He has remained a cinstant for the last 5 years as you said. But we have had our worst run of league finishes for 30 years in those years apart from last season when we were solid at the back at the expense of attack.

05 Nov 2018 20:11:50
Good post Ken and a very good debate. I've always said Smalling is poor and if we have defenders like him in the 1st team we won't win the title.

We desperately need to sign a top class experienced leader at the back and then we can play Baily or Lindelof who has been playing good recently with the new CB.

05 Nov 2018 20:33:44
Should never have let Tuanzebe go on loan. He is doing very well at villa. I know he’s young and inexperienced but I’m sure he could have done a better job that the rest of our cbs perhaps barring lindelof. I know we need an experienced cb but until then I would have loved to have seen Tuanzebe given some playing time. Onto smalling, I agree he is simply not good enough. A mistake waiting to happen. But unfortunately he is the best of a painfully average bunch (Jones, Rojo) . I haven’t included bailly because I think he has a lot of potential. Unfortunately he is out of favour with Jose. One bad game and he’s out. Reeks of injustice when smalling is poor 4 games out of 5. There is more to the reason why he’s not playing. Perhaps Jose is giving him the shaw treatment. But he’s got to be given a run of games to improve his form and confidence.

05 Nov 2018 20:46:29
Our defence has been porous for a long time, even in the last 1_2 years under Fergie and a common presence has been Smalling. It says two things to me, first he is a huge part and contributor to the problem but secondly and more worryingly even though we have spent more than 100m on defenders and also bought quite a few CBS our defensive problems seem the same and a regular in than defence is Smalling.

On just Smalling, of all the CBS we have he is the one that makes me the most afraid when watching us because of how uncomfortable he is with ball at his feet, he looks like a time bomb to me.

But this season, from whatever little I have actually watched, our main issue defensively has been lack of cohesion. We haven't defended as a team and when that happens Smalling is exposed a lot and then mistakes here there everywhere. For Smalling and even our other CBS to look decent they require a lot of protection from the whole team. When people were happy with Smalling's performances under LVG, we used to play with 2 DMs. So I think we need better CBS if we want to be playing expansive football otherwise guys like Stalling won't be giving us much security.

05 Nov 2018 22:31:00
I agree deepandra that our defence has been poor for a long time and covered up by defensive style of play and DDG and let's be honest if not for DDG I’d hate to think some of our league positions. I feel the club isn’t struggling to move on players such as Smalling due to wages, poor buys from Jose tho I do think Lindelof would be good with a leader beside him, not an abundance of top Centre backs out there and those that are would also be attracting interest from clubs in a better position than us at present.

05 Nov 2018 22:42:14
I agree Welsh without DDG I shudder to think. Here is a thought. And this is probably rubbish but does anybody think that maybe the reason why we haven’t ‘invested’ as heavily in our defence is because we have DDG? The fact that he is so damn good and saves us so many points has perhaps created a false view that our defence is ok. I mean statistically last season we were very solid. In reality we were still poor personnel wise. Did Woodward think that because we have DDG there was no point in ‘overspending’ on say Maguire or Alderweireld? Maybe you could argue that if De Gea was to leave we would be forced into investing properly in the defence because losing him in many ways is out while defence. He is simply incredible. Just something I thought about the other day and I am just playing devil’s advocate.

06 Nov 2018 09:04:56
Smalling is our best centre back and the current player that thevusally suspects have turned on . It's like clockwork.

06 Nov 2018 10:59:57
I remember a few on here saying we should throw Fosu-Mensah in, instead of those we currently have playing. Young lads having a nightmare on loan. And Tuanzebe is playing at Championship level. Who knows if he's up for playing regularly at this level. A lot of people claiming results are everything, yet want to throw a few more unproven youngsters in.

Smalling always has a mistake in him, but just before he gave the penalty away against Everton, I'd just turned to the young lad and said that he'd been playing really well.

Jose obviously rates him ahead of the rest, though it helps Smalling when all his competition are either injured or out of favour.

06 Nov 2018 11:27:29
He might be our best because he is most experienced but h3 definitely isn't going to win u titles and atleast not when he is in the 1st team.

06 Nov 2018 12:06:50
Lads we can't have a good debate about anyone anymore.

We are turning on him 😂😂

Like clockwork.

06 Nov 2018 13:43:20
"Smalling is the best we have"
That about encompasses up all the problems we have.

06 Nov 2018 13:57:39
Ignore that angel just a windup merchant.

06 Nov 2018 20:48:12
Ah no Ken, sure it's good Craic. Hypocrites amuse me.

07 Nov 2018 20:13:59
I'm told by those in the know that when Smalling arrived, they spent six months training him separately just to teach him how to pass a football. After six months, they couldn't hold him back from group training any more and so he had to be thrown in with the others, even though he still wasn't ready. So at least he's better than when her arrived!



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