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Need him to step up now.
He's still our best CB. Of the lot of them, he's the one who's shown the highest level, and has the highest ceiling. Bailly has the potential to match him, but Smalling, when fit, is already there.
That said, I don't really care which pair Mourinho wants to use. They're all obviously good enough when playing well, and under Mourinho they mostly seem to be doing so.
Already where? If Baily's potential is simply to match Smalling's current level then, we've been had.
Smalling was one of the best defenders last season, and I don't get where all the negativity about him comes from. People talk about his mistakes, he's made three big mistakes in almost 6 years of being with us. Stones had made loads more in his debut season at city.
I still think it's Smaily/Bailling combo as the way forward. Of all our CBs, he's the best on aerial ability; which kinda important in EPL.
Anyone know how many headers we have conceded this season?
He's been challenged to improve, at times last season he was excellent. He's capable of the odd error, we no longer accept the odd error.
Match the level which Smalling has already shown himself capable of, I meant. I don't know what you consider his 'current level' to be; he's been injured since October.
By 'level he's already shown himself capable of' I mean about seven months in a row last season when this is what the Caf had to say about him:
From the Guardian:
... you get the picture. It's pretty unanimous in his thread. And you have to go to February before the praise cools off a bit. Even then, amongst performances that were poor by the sound of the comments, there are at least as many that were obviously top quality:
Sorry for the quote dump. It's really worth skimming his 15/16 thread. First half of the season, you'd struggle to find anything but gushing praise in the whole thread. And then it's surprising how many games there are in the second half of the season when the thread suggests he was just as good as in the first seven months. More than bad ones, by my count.
Not like the Caf to go OTT.
I don't rate Smalling at all, but today was one of his better games in a while. He wasn't as wasteful on the ball as he usually is, and one of his passes to Rashford I think it was, was a brilliant moment.
Maybe Jose has had a word and told him he needs to be more calm in possession.
Not many, but I've seen we have difficulties defending set pieces/crosses.
It seems there is some truth in that he performs or at least seems more comfortable on the right side.
This we you speak of. Completely disagree, certain players are exempted from any blame, which is usually passed onto one of the scapegoats.
As for Jose he has high standards but knows the players are human... you cannot build a team by expecting perfection.
Thought he was to blame for the goal we conceded v Boro.
But he played well today. Ok it was Reading. I liked his runs up field. Jones too.
So where are the haters? Always so quick to point out when he makes a single mistake and silent when he has a good outing. It was only Reading but I said it, Smalling is taking his spot back. I expect him to feature against Hull and Liverpool
We're fecked if he plays against Liverpool. We need Rojo back for it, to add a bit of fight in there. Smalling will switch off and cost us again.
Bullshit. He performed well against them just this season when we drew with them at Anfield 0-0. Mane and company didn't have a sniff. Where was Rojo? Next you'll tell me it was all about Bailly.
We're unbeaten in 14 games with Rojo in the side... Need I say anymore? His injury is worrying news for us. Smalling and Jones especially are a woeful combination.
Jones is okay when he's got Rojo beside him though.
We've been unbeaten since Carrick was restored to the starting 11 and Pogba was finally played in his most effective position. Bailly and Smalling would've done well in that run too. As a matter of fact Liverpool have only failed to score at home twice in the last 18 games. Both of those were against United and Smalling played 90 mins in both. Smalling has a much better big game record than Rojo. You have nothing but blind hatred for the man. Far from objective
Smalling against City - Penalty + Red card
Smalling in the FA Cup Final - Red Card
Smalling against Chelsea - cost us 4 goals
"Big game player"
Meanwhile Rojo has been keeping the likes of Lukaku, Kane, Sanchez, Rondon, etc in his back pocket.
Lets not let that distract you from the fact that Smalling also cost us a goal against Boro. He's a massive liability.
Or maybe it makes no difference and he just happened to find an acre of space to play an accurate pass in this game and didn't happen to make a mistake.
He was good defensively vs Boro but because of one mistake he was deemed "shit". He was good defensively vs Reading but because of one good pass he was deemed good and it must mean he from now on must only ever be played on the right side of defence.
He just needs to stay fit and get a run of games and he'll be a very good defender like he was for the last 2 years.
The same Smalling who was getting glowing praise from all corners last season. Neville, Carragher and Keown all singled him out for praise and called him one the best centerbacks in England and the best at United. He also handled all the players you mentioned. Just look at the 15/16 Smalling thread after some of the big games. You're nitpicking rare incidents when the reality is Smalling has been mostly a beast since his transformation under LVG. He did it over a sustained period of time too, not just 14 games. He was a mainstay and is about to reclaim his starting berth much to your chagrin
I didn't talk about any pass. It is that his body shape while defending/marking/chasing/tackling the ball seem a bit more comfortable on the right side.
If Rojo can't be fit for L'pool, hope Smalling stepped up big time. Today game is quite comfortable for the team, so hard to assess individual player whether they're really up to it or not. Smalling had one of his personal better games this season. Only one moment of concern: leading Romero clashed with Mcleary (?), where Smalling didn't hold the defensive line but dropped deep on his own (again! Recall that incident leading to Boro goal). Not sure it's Smalling who played Mcleary onside, or Mcleary timed his run well against our defensive line, but still... Smalling needs to sort this out. Would be costly in another game.
Does he ever make an accurate forward pass? His passing is incredibly weak and that affects how the team plays in general. Personally I hope Rojo is fit for the Liverpool game. And dare I say Jones is our best CB.
Biggest concern with our CBs is that Eric, Chris and Jones are all comfortable playing on the right side of the CB and if any one of them is slotted on the let side they dont play as good.
Maybe we should get a left footed CB to relieve Rojo or try and make of the 3 to adjust to playing on the left
He did yesterday..
So you didn't see his through ball that led to Rashford's side-net miss after rounding the keeper? Someone on here even thought it was Carrick at first. It was that good
You missed his through ball which put Rashford 1v1 with keeper yesterday? Shocking but it did happen
So now Smalling needs to step up because he's nowhere near the standard of the great Marcos Rojo. Fck me this place has a short memory.
Delighted Rojo is FINALLY looking something like a United player after a few years of being awful. It's been a pleasant surprise but to say he's now a better player than Smalling because of it is simply mental.
Smallings been our best CB for a few years now. A little off form but nowhere near as bad as Rojo was consistently pretty much since he signed.
Sure, but for every single post to be raving about him for seven months solid, there had to be something in it. I've rarely seen a player's thread be so unanimously positive for so long.
Smalling and Jones have actually always played well together, imo. We just haven't got to see it all that often because it's rare that both are fit at the same time.
Smalling kept most of those players listed in his back pocket when he was a regular starter last season. Sanchez was a winger last season so I'm not sure if they went up against each other often or not in the matches against Arsenal.
And Smalling's red card against City wasn't in the box so you're wrong about the penalty unless he gave away one in a different match? And it's a really weird myth on here that he was at fault for the 4 goals against Chelsea.
Neville, Carragher and Keown all talk rubbish. Next you'll be telling me Paul Merson gave him praise. NOT a compliment.
And Smalling only looked good in LVG's system because it was so negative. LVG barely ever let the team play and therefore Smalling didn't have much defending to do. I remember some games where there was barely any highlights. Blind beside him helped aswell cause Smalling is notorious for his lack of footballing intelligence and clumsiness.
Clearly you're just a big Smalling fan. All I'm getting from these posts are "Smalling is brilliant cause he played well at one point!", you refuse to give Marcos any props for his performances recently. He's been vital and a big reason we've gone 14 games unbeaten.
It's a complete case of blind favourtism and bias on your part. You'll realise this when we start dropping points with Smalling in the side.
I just saw that now, only 5 minutes of the game I missed. Had to rewind it twice to check in was Smalling
Peach of a pass.
You must have missed the Moyes season. Smalling and Jones are woeful together. They need someone intelligent beside them like Blind or Rojo. Rojo can be aggressive at times but he can pass and dribble his way out of danger and clean things up and organise the back four. You never see Smalling doing that. Thats why it baffles me that people think he's captain material.
The ship has sailed on Jones/Smalling... they're never gonna be Rio and Vidic, just give it up. Rojo/Bailly looks like a much more promising duo to me.
Rojo has never really looked poor at CB, quite the opposite. Often rubbish at LB though.
But then again... I was never a fan of Smalling the RB either.
In fairness he's a big Lingard fan too so I think he just has a very positive outlook on United players, can't knock him for that.
@Loublaze has had no problem slagging Mourinho off though, go figure.
It's a myth that Rojo has been "absolutely god awful terrible". He had like one poor performance against Feyenoord in the Europa League this season at LB. Another performance last season, he gave away a Penalty when he was also playing at LB.
The way people exaggerate is ridiculous. Rojo was good playing as a CB in 14/15. I remember people praising him a lot. Playing Blind at CB ruined his development at United. Thankfully we're seeing the best of him now but this injury is bad news for him and for us.
Lets wait til Liverpool. Reading and Hull are not good enough to pose a threat.
I'm not even confident against Hull. They were hard to break down in the league, we only managed to scrape a win in the 89th minute.
Rojo should have been sent off twice, costing us at least two games. He's the biggest 'liabilty' in the squad.
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