Chris Smalling image England flag

Chris Smalling 2016-17 Performances

Jump to: Ajax 0:2 Man Utd

View full 2016-17 profile

5.6 Average rating
36 Appearances
2 Goals
2 Assists
18 Clean sheets
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Jan 1, 2017

    lem8sh Full Member

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2006
    Messages:
    9,252
    Location:
    Martinez school of defending
    He's on his last legs with Jose
  2. Jan 1, 2017

    ti vu Full Member

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2015
    Messages:
    4,992
    How is Bailly's positioning is worse? Bailly keep enough distance between 2 of his supposed marker. That's perfect zonal marking!

    Let's talk about CB partnership. In a scenario where Smalling read the situation well and is brave to command/ coordinate well with Bailly to play an offside trap with already high line defense. Smalling was playing scared and dropped deep himself like @Dion said and sold out our defense. In what sense if your fullback pressed out, a CB moved further away from the space left behind as well as his marker (Negredo) was better positioning? Smalling shite himself with his wrong position first with Traore's run in the third pic (left Negredo more room and totally unaware of the scorer run). He' shite himself again (second time) for the cross was intended for Negredo which he positioned himself poorly by the time. He shite brick third time midway (no man land) when (late to) realized the scorer's run.

    Funny for any fan to try to blame other players for their positioning or hypothesize a situation where our other CB was caught in no man land like Smalling. The other would have make the right positioning in second pic and lest themselves in the situation in 4th pic. Rojo and Jones struck a good partnership and understanding between themselves that they can bravely push up with confidence that the other would read the move and work out accordingly. Smalling even at his best form never struck a great partnership with anyone. What if it was Smalling all along that hinder the other CB in building a CB partnership and his partner take the stick for not able to provide a good matchup?

    Edit: I am not saying we should Smalling, but is arguing about Smalling is our best CB and should be our starting CB and continue as our next in line captain. His performance under Mourinho so far is far from convincing, and he's not all that under LVG despite being the best like somebody keep insisting. He may be good in situation where we need to defend the lead and shut off shop.
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2017
  3. Jan 1, 2017

    Bwuk Full Member

    Joined:
    Feb 29, 2012
    Messages:
    8,489
    Location:
    Parts Unknown
    Good.

    Hopefully be sold in the summer. Someone like West Ham would take him.
  4. Jan 1, 2017

    Suedesi Full Member

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2001
    Messages:
    14,310
    Location:
    Astoria
    :)
  5. Jan 1, 2017

    krazyrobus Full Member

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2007
    Messages:
    3,277
    hWhat? You dismiss his role in the goal like it is nothing when He was tracking the man who scored and made the classic mistake that average DMs make by not tracking the runner into the box. Secondly, the way you put it, basically Smalling is always wrong, for instance the cross comes in and what if it's chest height and Negredo chooses to chest and volley it, if Smalling was covering the space you say he should, that gives Negredo a wide open invitation to score. Smalling covered his man and Herrera stopped covering his, how in the world is Smalling getting the blame for this.
  6. Jan 1, 2017

    Shimo Full Member

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2009
    Messages:
    6,972
    Watched their goal several times and still can't see where Smalling was at fault. Leadbitter was able to run through without his marker - in this case Herrera. And on the previous page the person showing Smalling moving away from Negredo - it looks like he is doing the right thing in covering 2 men, Negredo and whoever that was ahead of Pogba who could have been slipped in as the ball goes out to Chambers. When he sees the cross coming in is when he moves back towards Negredo, so he didn't do much wrong at all to me.
  7. Jan 1, 2017

    ti vu Full Member

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2015
    Messages:
    4,992
    Look carefully at first and second pic. You see that Smalling moved more toward Bailly, while he should have maintained the gap since Rojo had to come out press the crosser. Why would a CB move further away from fullback on active situation, and thus opened larger space and invited Traore to run into (Smalling later realized and tried to narrow this thus leaving bigger gap for Negredo to drop back). Had Smalling positioned better from the beginning, he should be on the front foot in all of the above situation. In this case, however, he's one step behind in any instance of that play.

    Had he not playing scared he should have maintained a defensive high line while leaving less inviting space for Traore' disguised run. For a CB who is proud of his speed, that's coward that he decided to drop deep and switch our whole defense line into "deep mode" against Negredo thus leading to the whole mess.

    Of course, there were more player at fault for the goal, namingly Martial for neglecting his defensive duty, Herrere for letting his marked go free... but as I said for our oldest (most experienced) CB, and captain for today game, Smalling was headless chicken in this instance.

    Edit: I was replaying the game and just come to see the goal again. Martial was moved into second forward at this moment, so we were doing a diamond at this instance. Something like Herrera at the deepest, Mata on the right, Pogba on the left with Mikhi at the top so Martial should not be blamed for this. Herrera tried to press their deep playmaker in this instance, but had to give up midway. It was Mikhi who was at fault for neglecting his defensive duty. His pressing was half ass vs Boro deep playmaker in this instance and Mikhi didn't track back after. Herrera had to switch from pressing back to tracking with the scorer always kept a good distance from Herrera. While it's a team error, however, Smalling's positioning and decision making error still stands regardless. He couldn't read the situation at all and as I kept repeating, he was one step behind in every small instance of Boro's build up for this goal.
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2017
  8. Jan 1, 2017

    Suedesi Full Member

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2001
    Messages:
    14,310
    Location:
    Astoria
    He could have challenged Negredo for the header (or won the header) as opposed to letting him put in on a platter for Leadbitter.

    Anyways, he seems to lack on the gray matter.
  9. Jan 1, 2017

    anant Full Member

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2015
    Messages:
    3,624
    Had Smalling won the 1st ball, there would have been no need for Herrera to cover Leadbitter. The problem came up because Smalling got confused as to what the correct decision would be and ended up marking no one.
  10. Jan 1, 2017

    prath92 Full Member

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2015
    Messages:
    10,057
    Location:
    India
    Him not winning the header is a mistake but letting a guy run clear into the box without marking him is suicidal. We could argue that Smalling should have won the header, but not covering Leadbitter is a much bigger mistake.

    Smalling is definitely a bit overrated but he doesn't have a huge role in the goal.
  11. Jan 1, 2017

    R'hllor Full Member

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2013
    Messages:
    7,235
    This place simple has to go against their own player,saying some horrible things about Jones and Rojo,recently both of them did well so this place has no other option then to search for someone else...next!
  12. Jan 1, 2017

    ti vu Full Member

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2015
    Messages:
    4,992
    He did. He as captain and commander of the defense should hold the initial defensive (high) line till last second (The cross was played into around the initial defensive line). Smalling decided to drop deep and gave the advantage Negredo. Then when the cross was put in, he realized the scorer and couldn't commit himself into challenge Negredo nor the scorer.

    People love Smalling for being strong and fast. Here he outplayed himself and exposed his weakness. With his pace and strength, he should have gambled (knowing he is favorite to beat Negredo in this battle) against a deep cross by staying close to Negredo.
  13. Jan 1, 2017

    prath92 Full Member

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2015
    Messages:
    10,057
    Location:
    India
    Negredo is excellent in the air. It's a 50/50 at best. He isn't the first to lose a 50/50. Leadbitter to be marked from midfield.
  14. Jan 1, 2017

    ti vu Full Member

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2015
    Messages:
    4,992
    Please go to the Herrera thread to read my take on the whole build up to this goal. I defended Herrera from Smalling defender who shifted the blame onto (IMO unfair) Herrera.

    Even if it's 50/50, if the defensive line was held, the crosser might decide to make a deep cross than that kind of cross into free Negredo, around our initial defensive line at the start of their build up.
  15. Jan 1, 2017

    prath92 Full Member

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2015
    Messages:
    10,057
    Location:
    India
    How is it unfair? A DM should mark the AM of the other team. Not covering a player in the hope that the defender wins a 50/50 is suicidal. Smalling probably doesn't know who to go for because no one covers the space (which should be a DM). You could blame Smalling for losing the header (which imo is actually unfair as negredo is excellent in the air himself and it's a 50/50) but not for not marking the midfield runner.
  16. Jan 1, 2017

    Lawman Correctly predicted Portugal to win Euro 2016

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2006
    Messages:
    9,242
    Location:
    Scotland
    He was part to blame for the goal as he stepped off but the midfielder should have went with the runner initially and this contributed to Smallings decision. I thought he did well yesterday but I prefer him at right side centre back. What was noticeable was his refusal to take the ball of DDG and build from the back this way. We know he is not great on the ball but he is decent but refusal to continue to build will end his career here long term. Hope it was just him playing himself back in yesterday.
  17. Jan 1, 2017

    ti vu Full Member

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2015
    Messages:
    4,992
    I don't want to rewrite the whole thing. I will be brief: we played 2 at the top at this moment of the game (Martial and Zlatan). Midfield was diamond with the Mikhi played a more central role with Herrera. Boro started to build up from our right. Herrera had to press Boro's deep play maker (who spread the ball to the crosser). With Herrera went for pressing, the scorer was never his mark to begin with. We played zonal defending. When Herrera gave up his press the Boro deep play maker was in Mkhi defending zone. Mikhi should be blamed more at least to Herrera for this since he was slow to press or just stay in his zone and track back, since he was closer to the scorer to begin with. So with a midfield doing zonal defending and pressing out, the defender need to read the situation well and keep the defensive line according to the situation, to afford midfield enough time to get back. So back to Smalling, the captain decided to drop deep. The cross ended up in Smalling's initial area before the crosser received the ball! Herrera reached the edge of the box when the cross arrived! So Herrera did all he could do. The scorer was always distance away from Herrera since the beginning of the build up to the goal. Smalling had a bigger say in this event than Herrera as I responded to you earlier.
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2017
  18. Jan 1, 2017

    prath92 Full Member

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2015
    Messages:
    10,057
    Location:
    India
    Bailly I think plays at RCB because he is better at playing a good pass. Smalling has the tendency to go for a back pass to de gea more often than not (though it was less frequent last night).

    Herrera or otherwise, it's the midfielders who should cover the guy who scored.
  19. Jan 1, 2017

    ti vu Full Member

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2015
    Messages:
    4,992
    That's not how football works. It's not like the scorer was running from deep with Herrera along side him. He was around there form the beginning with Herrera to run acrross the width of the pitch. Keep the high line and Herrera would return on time and our LCB in this case Smalling has the benefit to unmark Negredo and go for the scorer. Drop deep and Smalling outplayed himself against Negredo and wrote off Herrera thus playing 2 vs 1 on himself.
  20. Jan 1, 2017

    Lawman Correctly predicted Portugal to win Euro 2016

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2006
    Messages:
    9,242
    Location:
    Scotland
    Both are at fault to be fair.
  21. Jan 1, 2017

    ti vu Full Member

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2015
    Messages:
    4,992
    I don't say it's just Smalling's individual fault for the goal. I can point to Herrera, Mkhi, Pogba, Rojo, Smalling and Mourinho was culprit for using the diamond at that moment. However, it's definitely Mkhi and Smalling for holding more bigger responsibility for what happened. Between Mkhi and Smalling, Smalling has a bigger responsibility as with him hold the line, the crosser would have play a different ball and would have been a different outcome.
  22. Jan 1, 2017

    prath92 Full Member

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2015
    Messages:
    10,057
    Location:
    India
    Yes but at different levels.

    You aren't seriously suggesting he leave negredo unmarked in the box are you?
  23. Jan 1, 2017

    Rajma Full Member

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2012
    Messages:
    712
    Location:
    London/ semi - underground
    Was very poor yesterday IMO, annoys the hell out of me how he gives attackers the space to run at him or by the side of him and then allows opponents to either cross freely or gets beaten. Ultimately, he should be closing down players much sooner and pushing them away from our goal or at least making it difficult for them to carry the ball forwards, he does none, sadly.
  24. Jan 1, 2017

    ti vu Full Member

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2015
    Messages:
    4,992
    You seem can't grasp what I said, don't you? How about Smalling stays where he was when the Boro player passed the ball to the crosser? Negredo can't fecking get into the box unmarked or marked without getting flagged offside. Smalling can take 2 on him that way both the scorer and Negredo. The crosser would have to think twice before putting the same cross he did as it was useless cross had Smalling hold the line. Negredo couldn't score from there, knock down is useless as Smalling would be in the way. Negredo attempted to take down would mean Herrera was back on time to put pressure and Bailly narrows the shooting angle.

    It was fecking Smalling who left Negredo unmarked in real life while trying whatever feck he did by dropping the defensive line.
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2017
  25. Jan 1, 2017

    prath92 Full Member

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2015
    Messages:
    10,057
    Location:
    India
    Negredo is a very good striker who is extremely dangerous especially in the air. Not even challenging him would be dangerous in itself. It's crazy to suggest him not to stay with negredo. It's clearly midfielders job to make sure leadbitter doesn't just glide into box unmarked.

    The bolded part makes no sense.
  26. Jan 1, 2017

    ti vu Full Member

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2015
    Messages:
    4,992
    Look at the pictures in Dion post.
    Pic1: Smalling was correct with his positioning
    Pic2: Smalling decided to drop deep and left Negredo (nearly unmarked)
    Pic3: Negredo freed himself and completely unmarked

    Read my other post again and what the build up again from start when Mata was the first to press, then Herrera and Mkhi, and answer my question: why would Smalling had to drop back and drag our line back?

    It's a fecking cliche saying this bolded part without context. Positioning your defensive line correctly then that scorer can't do shit (not saying Mkhi was not at fault for slow pressing and lazy not to track back). Shite happens. Good defender anticipates the situation and tries his best to deal with it. Smalling didn't do his part right. It's not good blaming others since his part's huger problem. Take Valencia vs Traore earlier in this game. Herrera made huge mistake. Valencia did the right thing was psyched Traore out. Even if Traore scored, nobody would blame Valencia since he did the right thing.
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2017
  27. Jan 1, 2017

    LawCharltonBest Obsessive dog poo sniffer & anal about tweets

    Joined:
    May 17, 2012
    Messages:
    7,233
    Location:
    Salford
    What's happened to him do you think?

    Was brilliant last season and looks half the player this season
  28. Jan 1, 2017

    ti vu Full Member

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2015
    Messages:
    4,992
    If you're talking to me then I don't really know. I shared same opinion with other that he was very good in the first half of last season, but wasn't as good toward the end.

    Perhaps different style, different defensive system, less protected from the central midfielders, zonal defense requires good anticipation, understanding between CB partners.... This game he is rusty after the injury, we can cut him some slack for most part in this game, but failing to call for his poor position in the goal is bizarre.
  29. Jan 1, 2017

    Robertd0803 Full Member

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2014
    Messages:
    2,484
    His performances started tailing off towards the end of last season as well though.

    Its irritating me when he starts as captain.
  30. Jan 1, 2017

    Scholesy Banned

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2006
    Messages:
    11,118
    Location:
    'And Solskjær has won it'
    The abuse he was getting yesterday was embarrassing and unfair
  31. Jan 1, 2017

    Carl has permanently erect nipples

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2008
    Messages:
    39,494
    Smalling fecked up on the goal yesterday, there really is no denying it. Doesn't make him a terrible player though, he's been consistently our best centre back over the last couple season. That being said, I don't see him as a long term mainstay in our back line.
  32. Jan 1, 2017

    Dion Full Member

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2010
    Messages:
    2,913
    The midfield are tracking 3 runners with 2 defenders because we've committed men forwards. Smalling has to contest Negrado, he absolutely has to back himself to win that header and deal with the danger right off the bat. It's about taking responsibility.

    As it is he decides to drop off (and play any runners onside, somewhat bafflingly) he must defend against the knockdown, he knows that's the only option Negrado has. If Negrado does a bicycle kick ala Rooney vs City then so be it, you play the percentages. Instead he tries to correct his first mistake and close down Negrado again, far too late leaving him a free header and Leadbitter a free run.

    Midfielders tracking runners on a counter is one of those things it's always easy to blame. We're an attacking team, we commit men forwards. We've ALWAYS had defenders who will take responsibility and deal with an issue if they see a chance, Vidic, Rio, Stam, Bruce, Pallister etc. It's about being proactive and aware. Herrera is a player playing in an unfamiliar position in a game where we're committing men forwards and chasing the game. He's tracking a different man into the box and they have a spare, that's not an easy job.

    Aside from this being the Smalling thread, Smalling breaking the defensive line is such a basic, moronic error it deserves special highlighting. He has the power to kill any Boro opportunity dead twice in the same move and makes the wrong decision both times. I expect better from a United defender and regardless of anyone else's mistakes in the buildup he had an easy job and he failed at it.

    That doesn't make him an awful player or mean he was particularly awful otherwise, but none of that is relevant.
  33. Jan 1, 2017

    Bruno8 Full Member

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2013
    Messages:
    1,964
    Location:
    By the Cliff
    That goal is a classic example of why we need a proper DM to track runners.With Carrick in the team such basic mistakes would not happen.

    Tbf to Smalling he is still adjusting to playing on the left side of CB. He is more comfortable on the right side. Im sure if we [play Jones/Eric on the left side they will also struggle
  34. Jan 1, 2017

    Dion Full Member

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2010
    Messages:
    2,913
    One DM isn't going to be able to track 3 runners. Herrera was marking one of the runners when the move started.
  35. Jan 1, 2017

    Amar__ Not so Full Member

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2010
    Messages:
    14,918
    Location:
    Sarajevo
    Supports:
    MK Dons
    That's actually a good point. I just checked, he played with Carrick just once this season, against Fenerbahce in EL(4-1, we conceeded late goal when Smalling wasn't on the pitch).
  36. Jan 1, 2017

    criticalanalysis Full Member

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2015
    Messages:
    1,419
    That goal was absolutely Smalling's fault. It was a simply cross from deep that wasn't going to the near post or far. As a defender you always play to percentages and cover what's most important i.e opportunities that lead directly towards the goal. You don't adjust your position to run out and press other players or cover ones NOT in your vicinity. You're just making it more complicated than it needs to be.

    Still he's been out for so long so we'll have to give him benefit of the doubt and support him because we'll need him.
  37. Jan 1, 2017

    Revan Full Member

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2011
    Messages:
    31,996
    Location:
    Venice
    He was brilliant on Caf last season. He wasn't brilliant last season though. Instead he was brilliant for a few months, then had a shock horror game against Wolfsburg last December, and since then was hit and miss, with most of the times being miss.

    It was perfectly clear on the second half of last season than Blind was outplaying him, but Blind isn;t a CB of course, and Smalling is big and strong, so people were still claiming him to be the best CB in the league and a disgrace for not getting picked in league's XI.

    He is playing even worse this season. Remove the defensive football, put only one defensive midfielder ahead of him (or none like yesterday) and he suddenly isn't that good.
  38. Jan 1, 2017

    OnlyTwoDaSilvas Gullible

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2013
    Messages:
    13,750
    Location:
    The Mathews Bridge
    Yeah, he was only good on the Caf.

    The Caf must also vote for the Players Player of the Season award too.



    The 'Blind outplaying Smalling' line is one that just becomes true if it gets repeated enough. I'm certain that nonsense was debunked recently with ratings of Blind and Smalling from every game in the 2nd half of last season, where Smalling still came out on top in the majority of games. It keeps coming back though.
  39. Jan 1, 2017

    Amar__ Not so Full Member

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2010
    Messages:
    14,918
    Location:
    Sarajevo
    Supports:
    MK Dons
    Smalling was poor for second half of last season, nowhere near his best, but people who continuosly keep saying Blind was better keep forgetting that Blind had games around February I think when he was playing like drunk all the time, people literally asked for him to be subbed at half time here.
  40. Jan 1, 2017

    MadDogg Full Member

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2002
    Messages:
    7,656
    Location:
    Manchester Utd never lose, just run out of time
    Well, I just finished watching the game again, trying to get some understanding of where the Smalling critics were coming from (that's not why I watched it again, but I was keeping an eye on it). And it just furthered my confusion.

    Smalling made a bit of a mistake for the goal, but otherwise the closest other thing to a 'mistake' was soon afterwards when Adama Traore was able to get around him out wide and put a low pass into the box (but Traore had moments where he went past everyone with that ridiculous pace). Otherwise he was very solid, clearing eveything in his area in the air and not letting anything get past him on the ground.

    Meanwhile, Bailly 'mistakes' led directly to two of the better chances for Boro (pushing up somewhat out of position to go for a header, and then not winning it), and I noticed something on watching the game again that I haven't seen anyone else mention - he was quite lucky not to concede a foul right outside the box (and get a yellow) for taking out Traore after he'd passed the ball and was running past him. And if somebody is going down the 'well his mistakes didn't lead to goals' route, earlier in the season he made a very similar mistake as what Smalling did to concede a goal.

    Both were generally solid in the game. Nothing more, nothing less.
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.