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Chris Smalling image England flag

Chris Smalling 2016-17 Performances

Jump to: Man Utd 2:0 Hull City

View full 2016-17 profile

5.7 Average rating
16 Appearances
1 Goal
8 Clean sheets
  1. Jan 10, 2017

    Loublaze ATLien

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    Rojo is not first choice. If anything I think Bailly and Smalling are first choice, especially Bailly and thats only because he's a Mourinho signing. The other three are fighting for a starting berth when at full fitness but in the end Smalling's physicality and his height will win out. Mourinho doesn't care about ball playing CBs, he wants pure centerbacks with speed, power, height and aerial ability. Smalling ticks all those boxes. Lets see who plays when all fit. They'll be a lot of discussion on these player threads
  2. Jan 10, 2017

    SteveW Full Member

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    Where are you from out of curiosity?
  3. Jan 10, 2017

    RedPed Full Member

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    Your source?? We'll see. Rojo when fully fit will start ahead of Smalling. Nothing gets past him and he adds more to the build up play.
  4. Jan 10, 2017

    ti vu Full Member

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    Currently in Singapore. Aussie born, live in London for 3 years 6 years ago, travel all over the place with family and on my own.

    Used to follow Serie A in late 90 and early 00. Going to random football games whenever I have time too
  5. Jan 10, 2017

    izec Full Member

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    Liverpool will be his downfall. I see a massive brainfart coming.
  6. Jan 10, 2017

    SteveW Full Member

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    Not to generalise but the British have achieved a lot more in football than the Aussies ever have so don't get your lecturing them as a country about their inability to understanding the game. As an Australian that could be thrown back at you a lot harder.

    Anyway back to the discussion, what makes you so sure Smalling is incompatible with his team? His pace allows us to play a high line and also let the full backs bomb forward. He wins everything in the air. I don't see anything wrong with him playing simple passes to the midfielders either. To me that seems much better than Rojo's usual aimless hoofs up the pitch (nobody seems to even comment on this for some reason, he does it constantly) I also don't get the feeling he's going to get injured or get sent off every time he goes into a challenge. All I can think of as a criticism is that he's not the most stylish player in the world. That's not a prerequisite for being a good centre half though. What am I not seeing that you are?
  7. Jan 10, 2017

    SteveW Full Member

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    Jesus wept. How in the world can you even try to predict something like that.
  8. Jan 10, 2017

    ravi2 Full Member

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    :nono:
  9. Jan 10, 2017

    Loublaze ATLien

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    My source? His history. Look at the players he has signed over his career. Mourinho favors those attributes. He prefers the same in his defensive midfielders or at least height and physicality (Fellaini partially suits this need). This is why we shouldn't expect a like for like replacement for Michael Carrick, why United are looking at a player like Bakayoko and why he signed Bailly.

    Smalling has helped keep two back to back clean sheets. Another solid performance against Liverpool and he's not going to be dropped until he gets injured or hits a patch of bad form. This is how Rojo and Jones got their chance in the first place when Bailly and Smalling got injured. Theres no need to drop him now. You will be disappointed
  10. Jan 10, 2017

    Walters_19_MuFc Full Member

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    Solid tonight. Dominant in the air as usual. Defended well. All you can ask of him really.
  11. Jan 10, 2017

    Loublaze ATLien

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    You're hoping it happens no need even denying it
  12. Jan 10, 2017

    izec Full Member

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    I know Smalling, he will bottle it.

    I am not hoping it, i know it. Wait and see. It will be typical Smalling.
  13. Jan 10, 2017

    simonhch Horrible boss

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    Smalling has always been a good defender, with limited technical skills. But he's a good defender. People shouldn't underestimate his ability to pick up some excellent form. He was really good last season. Find me a CB that doesn't make the odd mistake, and you've got yourself an 80M defender.

    Jones has been our best and most consistent performer in defence this season, and plenty would say that he's the most naturally talented of the bunch. So it comes as no surprise, once he is injury free. But he can't play every game, and so having a fit and firing Smalling will be really important for having a competitive and successful season. Rojo's emergence is a major plus; and he looks the most comfortable of all in the LCB role. Bailly is fantastic, and for me I'd see Jones/Bailly as our most likely partnership.
  14. Jan 10, 2017

    Sylar Full Member

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    Yeah, is not quite Rio is it? :lol:

    Massively.
  15. Jan 10, 2017

    ti vu Full Member

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    I am not talking from a point of being an Aussie bringing our football achievement as way to compare. I got your point and thanks for reminding that. I live most of my childhood in Vietnam (got a Vietnamese name and used as my nickname on CAF). I live in Spain, Italy for short period during my childhood too. I am not acting like I am associated myself to a style of football/ football culture.

    My point is majority of British can't see past individuals in football. Too often people talking about this player is good/not good enough without "novel of analytic breakdown" (like one on here likes to call) of player compatibility to the team. Different coaches/ managers have different style. Players' performance may differ under different styles.

    Back to Smalling, under Mourinho, we want our CB to be comfortable to be comfortable push up the pitch (your point). The difference in our view is Smalling way of passing. Passing simple to midfielders are Okay. However, the way Smalling pass the ball is often more like a lay off. The last line needs to pass the ball so that the higher line is comfortable to take the ball (supply the ball/ ball playing). With Smalling, we need his partner to be Blind level in defense, Carrick level as no.6. Without those to partner him, our build up rhythm from the back is subpar and we require Pogba, Mata, Mikhi... to drop deeper which takes its toll on our attack.

    Keep in mind this is overall assessment, not going to extreme saying that a player at professional never be able to do it at all. Smalling can at times, but not on consistent basis.

    Mourinho is trying to build the team differently from LVG with our back passing the ball quickly. They're comfortable to run out of defense too (pass to player upfront instead of passing back). The hoof ball is calculated which Zlatan played huge role. You can find my post talking about Rojo and Jones vs Tottenham somewhere... I talked about our game plan to bypass Tottenham midfield & pressing and counter pressing their back and midfield (Tottenham can't play long ball due to not having good hold up play focal point) which they played into our hand.

    Despite the generalization of pragmatic football thrown at Mourinho, his CBs are always quite solid/capable on ball (at least compared to Smalling): Carvalho, Jorge Costa, Ricardo Costa, Terry, Gallas, Lucio, Samuel, Chivu, Lucio, Pepe, Raul Albiol, Garay, Cahill... He actually always has team that solid at building from the back. Depend on how good the no 6 is, he built different attacking pattern. With United, as I said, he wants our defenders being capable to push up and allow our midfield to stay higher up-field and by pass the need of a Carrick type of player (pick the ball from the back)
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2017
  16. Jan 11, 2017

    Loublaze ATLien

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    Like I said, you're hoping it happens. You don't know shit with all due respect. Wait a minute, do you know that we kept a clean sheet with Smalling playing 90 mins against Liverpool at Anfield this season? The 0-0 draw. That was only the second time in 18 home games that Liverpool failed to score (before the Plymouth FA cup tie). The other game they failed to score at home in was also against United, last season on January 17 in the 0-1 win for United. Smalling also played 90 mins in that game. You know him though, typical Smalling keeping Liverpool out for two straight league games. Mane had nothing on him in the last tie
  17. Jan 11, 2017

    Loublaze ATLien

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    Im the one. You can say my name sir.

    Off topic but were you really born in Australia?
  18. Jan 11, 2017

    DWelbz19 Correctly predicted Portugal to win Euro 2016

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    Exactly. The biggest critics in here have been frothing for someone like Virgil Van Dijk, for instance, who has made some high profile mistakes this season and the red-card he got recently just screamed 'Chris Smalling' - a silly first yellow and then a needless shirt tug for a second yellow.
  19. Jan 11, 2017

    ti vu Full Member

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    For real

    You didn't want to read the novel of analytic breakdown so I thought I shouldn't tag you in my post!?
  20. Jan 11, 2017

    Loublaze ATLien

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    You mentioned me without mentioning me if you catch my drift. I just assumed English was your second/later learned language but then again i'd be assuming again that its your first just because you were born in Australia
  21. Jan 11, 2017

    ti vu Full Member

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    I was discussing about generalization with another poster. On that topic "the novel of analytic breakdown" term (first heard from you here) is relevant to the discussion showing how instead of analyzing how player fit the team under specific manager, people rather ignore and bring up past performance under different style and coach.

    I was actually not bringing you into the discussion (not a dig). Is that fair enough an explanation? Please excuse me now for me to get out of this off topic discussion.
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2017
  22. Jan 11, 2017

    Regulus Arcturus Black Full Member

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    Carvalho was his first (& best in my eyes) Chelsea signing right?

    This man also signed Lucio & Varane.
  23. Jan 11, 2017

    stevoc Full Member

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    Surely no one actually believes that sort of shit. If anything it was the other way around, a lot of Blind's deficiencies with not being an actual CB were covered up by Smalling being so good last year.

    We also had to play Fellaini in most games last year to cover for Blind's lack of height on set-pieces.
  24. Jan 11, 2017

    sizzling sausages Thinks TPB is a soft tagline whore

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    We'll keep a clean sheet and Smalling will do more than fine.
  25. Jan 11, 2017

    Loublaze ATLien

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    I don't see the point you're trying to make. Other than Carvalho the majority of the defenders he's signed have been at least 6'2 or more. Varane is 6'3 and fits the other attributes and more. Lucio was another strong tall defender but Mourinho's signings in Italy and Spain were not typically the same as his PL signings. Its a well known fact he prefers tall, quick and powerful defenders/defensive midfielders. Even his fullbacks, hence why he's played so many converted CBs in fullback roles. He made Chelsea the tallest team in the league during his two spells. Any knowledgeable Chelsea fan will tell you that. Smalling is our tallest, fastest, most physical and most aerially adept defender.
  26. Jan 11, 2017

    simonhch Horrible boss

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    I'm not sure that is correct. Jones is certainly as dominant aerially, and definitely as physical. Boy is a tank. Not saying you're wrong about Smalling, just that in physical terms Jones is every bit his match.
  27. Jan 11, 2017

    Isotope Full Member

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    Could it be there are two Jones? I'd say he's the weakest aerially among 4 CB we have.
  28. Jan 11, 2017

    simonhch Horrible boss

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    No way. Bailly is the weakest in the air. Jones is a beast, wins everything.
  29. Jan 11, 2017

    Amar__ Not so Full Member

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    Burn. :lol:
  30. Jan 11, 2017

    ZDwyr Full Member

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    We must watch a different Phil Jones. He is good at a lot of things but he is pretty average in the air IMO.
  31. Jan 11, 2017

    Loublaze ATLien

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    Smalling is by far the most dominant defender we have aerially. He won 121 aerial duels last season and that was the second most in the entire league. Jones actually struggles with some aerial challenges and he likes to climb on players backs to give him spring in the jump. Rojo is slightly better in this regard but he's also been beaten easily in a few aerial duels this season or showed weakness in the challenge. They are both average in this respect.

    Case in point against West Brom there were two instances where Rondon was allowed a free header with both Jones and Rojo just standing there. One of those chances had De Gea rooted and luckily it was off target. They both struggle against big and aerially strong forwards. @Isotope and @ZDwyr are right

    Now check these stats from this season (in the league only), courtesy of Squawka comparison matrix:

    Jones: 9 games played, 810 minutes, 19 aerial duels won, 67.86% aerial duels won

    Rojo: 12 games played, 966 minutes, 25 aerial duels won, 56.82% aerial duels won

    Bailly: 12 games played, 925 minutes, 14 aerial duels won, 60.87%

    Smalling: 10 games played, 560 minutes, 19 aerial duels won, 78.08%

    Smalling won the exact number of aerial duels as Jones with a much higher percentage win rate and only 6 less duels than Rojo who has played the most minutes and has the lowest percentage win rate of aerial duels. How would these numbers look if Smalling played as many minutes as the other two? Im sure one might say well Smalling played a few sub appearances at the end of games when the opposition team went route one with the crosses, but there's too small a sample of that to even make an impact. Smalling is clearly way more dominant in the air.

    When I saw your response I thought you were talking about my claim about Mourinho signing mostly defenders who are 6'2 or more because that's what you had in bold letters.
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2017
  32. Jan 11, 2017

    simonhch Horrible boss

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    No problem. Good post. But he's still fair from the weakest, and those stats show he's actually very good in the air.
  33. Jan 11, 2017

    Loublaze ATLien

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    I agree. Rojo is clearly the weakest based on those stats. I also looked at 2014/15, the only season all three shared very similar game time. Just for more context. Smalling played 25 games and Rojo and Jones both played 22 and the minutes they played was Smalling 1882, Rojo 1766 and Jones 1876. Smalling won 67 duels at 65.69%, Rojo 57 at 52.78% and Jones 46 at 59.74%.
  34. Jan 11, 2017

    POF Full Member

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    Jones is quite poor in the air for a centre back. He doesn't even go forward for corners.
  35. Jan 11, 2017

    simonhch Horrible boss

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    Look back at the last few posts @Loublaze has done and you'll see that is clearly not true.
  36. Jan 11, 2017

    The Mitcher connoisseur of pot noodles and sandwiches

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    Cherry picked examples.

    Also against city the season after he scored the winning goal and was a rock.
    In the semi final of that cup run he was immense.
    Hardly cost us four goals, blind and other defenders had as much fault, plus he was playing injured.

    How can you even suggest he was at fault for every single goal, that is absolute bullshit. He's performed well in most big games, and has barely made any big errors in his entire career. Those two errors are probably two of four he's done in his career with us. The 2nd turned out to be inconsequential as we won the game and the cup. And btw, Smalling has also kept those players in his pocket and rojo at left back was largely mediocre against them. You seem to be rewriting history. And how did smalling cost us that goal against boro, how was that his fault? You seem to be blaming him for random goals, and again we won that game so even if he had cost us a goal, its inconsequential and says nothing about his quality. How biased can you possibly be?

    Let's not forget your boy rojo (again inconsequential but worth pointing out) was a defensive liability by your standards by almost getting sent off for two two-footed lunges in two games in a row. How does Smalling not get away with this but Rojo does?
  37. Jan 11, 2017

    SkeppyRed Lineups Game Winner 2012/13

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    I'm worried about the dippers pressing him. He takes 10 minutes to get the ball under control let alone pick a pass.
  38. Jan 11, 2017

    POF Full Member

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    Of course it's true. You can look at the stats or look at what you see on the pitch with your own eyes.
  39. Jan 12, 2017 at 02:45

    Loublaze ATLien

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    Here here!

    @Jaybomb has a huge irrational dislike for Smalling. Just take a glance at his posts in this thread and/or in the Rojo thread
  40. Jan 12, 2017 at 04:01

    The Mitcher connoisseur of pot noodles and sandwiches

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    I think I meant the very same season when Smalling scored that header. I mean the fact he can only name two or three actual mistakes smalling has done, is surely proof of his quality? Blind almost always has a mistake a game, he's bailed out either by Bailley or Smalling.