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Chris Smalling 2017-18 Performances

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6.0 Average rating
41 Appearances
4 Goals
19 Clean sheets
4 Yellow cards
  1. Apr 16, 2018 at 00:30

    breakout67 Full Member

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    This is the anti-Martial thread. No matter what happens Smalling will get called shite, a bad defender and at fault for everything that went wrong in the game.
  2. Apr 16, 2018 at 00:43

    Loublaze ATLien

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    You can discuss it in this thread alright but I wonder if you would've even bothered posting it if the result was favorable. 'Man vs boy' is hardly an apt description of what happened between Smalling and Rondon.
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2018 at 00:49
  3. Apr 16, 2018 at 00:46

    el3mel Full Member

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    Smalling isn't a bad defender, actually a good one, reliable and is never injured, however, he's not also a top defender that's the problem. We can manage to have a more complete CB than the likes of him, Jones and Lindelof I have no doubt.

    I will keep him ahead of Jones any day, but not as starter as well. He's far from being our biggest worries, but doesn't mean we can't do better than him.
  4. Apr 16, 2018 at 01:56

    Isotope Full Member

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    Do you still think Ottamendi is better than Smalling? And if he were here playing for us instead of Smalling, we'd have better points in the league?
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2018 at 02:01
  5. Apr 16, 2018 at 02:00

    FerociousCorgis New Member

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    smalling has shown he could be the perfect squad guy to have. For me sell jones and rojo, bring in an experienced starting CB. Would give us bailly, lindelof, and new starting CB as our main 3. Smalling is the 4th. Tuanz and tfm the two youth guys and depth there. Problem solved.
  6. Apr 16, 2018 at 05:45

    Ashley R1+O New Member

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    Genuinley weird. Like the post a few below "he's not really really really ridiculously good, he's just really really really good... You know, better than most...?" ... Okay.

    He pocketed Rondon and marshalled Lindelof well today. Solid is as solid does, been that way for three years. Not much more needs to be added apart from get some proper fullbacks next season and see how it goes.
  7. Apr 16, 2018 at 06:06

    el3mel Full Member

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    Ottamendi is better because I don't base opinions on one game.

    Having more point if we have Ottamendi rather than him, no because as I said he's not our biggest worries. Doesn't mean we can't do better than him though. Smalling fans treat him as he's the best CB in the league and we will never find anyone better or more complete.
  8. Apr 16, 2018 at 07:31

    Steven Seagull Full Member

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    Once he’s gone your obsession with him will subside and you’ll feel much better for it. Not long now hopefully
  9. Apr 16, 2018 at 07:50

    OnlyTwoDaSilvas Gullible

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    Smalling has been infinitely better than Lindelof this season, and infinitely more reliable than Bailly (and arguably better too, Bailly had a number of howlers early on in the season).

    Why's he getting demoted behind two guys he has out-performed and one guy who doesn't even exist yet?
  10. Apr 16, 2018 at 07:52

    arnie_ni New Member

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    So lindeloff gets dominated in the air by randon who had 2 or 3 back post headers and we criticise smalling for being bullied by him?
  11. Apr 16, 2018 at 08:52

    Sylar Full Member

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    Well you can laugh all you want, but the fact is, hes limited. Theres nothing to suggest since hes become the 'experienced' man in our defence that hes the top CB we need to lead our defence.
    Another strike against him is the international manager not picking him due to his lack of ability on the ball. Thats not nonsense either.
  12. Apr 16, 2018 at 09:32

    OnlyTwoDaSilvas Gullible

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    It's up to you if you want to put more value in Gareth Southgate's opinion than Sir Alex, Louis van Gaal and Jose Mourinho's, who all rate him highly. Van Gaal used him effectively in a possession-hogging system, why can't Southgate? Van Gaal got 3rd place in the World Cup with a back three which included Ron Vlaar and Martins Indi. I'm not on board with the idea that all 11 players in the team need to be a secondary playmaker. I'd much prefer the centre backs be specialist defenders first and foremost. There are very, very few who are outstanding at both.

    Even Guardiola learned the importance of pure defending over ball playing this season, John Stones has been pushed out of the staring 11 picture and he's reverted back to Otamendi and Kompany, who are both rather limited on the ball as well. Both keep it simple and leave it to the rest of the team to play the ball more directly, but they are better defenders than Stones by a mile.


    Southgate will have his reasons, and he certainly knows more than any of us about coaching, but I still think he is making a mistake if he doesn't take Smalling to the World Cup. As a pure defender, Smalling is among the best the NT possibly has, and if Southgate thinks England are going to go to Russia and boss possession, the man is deluded. I'd have Smalling over Stones at CB for club and country any day.
  13. Apr 16, 2018 at 09:43

    Ekeke Full Member

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    Because his international manager is so good and has won so much right?

    Smalling is far better than Southgate was as a player too
  14. Apr 16, 2018 at 09:57

    A-man Full Member

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    I think the main issue is that he is the only one who is really strong in thew air, which means any other playing must be paired with him.
  15. Apr 16, 2018 at 10:41

    TMDaines Full Member

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    He’s the only one who has any sort of threat on set pieces for sure.
  16. Apr 16, 2018 at 10:45

    Sylar Full Member

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    Thats not really the point, but sure, if you want to go that way.
    How effective was that possession-hogging system under LVG though? Id like to see some numbers at least on the forward passes and forward runs made by Smalling in that system.
    But even then, without numbers, we all saw it ourselves and how slow it was transitioning from defence to midfield or defence to attack.

    TBF to Southgate, he has a plan and is sticking to it and signs of it can be seen within the friendlies he played.
    But that goes back to something I said earlier, I think Smalling is a good squad player and is perfect for defending against a team that will be pinging balls into the box (strangely I think he would defend well against United the way we set up). I see him as a penalty box defender and thats not a bad thing to be. But it just means, if you have him, you cant play that high a defence (or what happened in the City match first half when 2-0 happens). And if you do that, that means the midfield must drop deeper too or they get exposed. And thus theres a gap between midfield and attack or midfield and defence.

    On the point that Jose rates him highly, I would question that as we brought in defenders despite having him, he didnt start the season (despite being fit). He has mostly come in due to his consistency of not being injured this season. Looks like Jose rated Jones, Bailly and Rojo ahead of to start the season.
    Fergie saw potential in him as we all did, but he wasnt a constant in our starting line up.

    As I said, I have no issues with Smalling. But he has his limitations. At 28 imo, with the players hes been around, he should be much better than he is, at the very least at leading a defence.
  17. Apr 16, 2018 at 10:50

    TheFlagStaysDown New Member

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    That's a terrible comment, Smalling has been the best defender this season and Lindelof our worst CB by far, Bailly has hardly been solid let alone better than Smalling, potential is there but nowhere near to replace Smalling as no1
  18. Apr 16, 2018 at 12:42

    SteveW Full Member

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    Not sure what this is about. Why can't he play in a high line?
  19. Apr 16, 2018 at 13:40

    arnie_ni New Member

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    He's the fastest cb we have....
  20. Apr 16, 2018 at 13:46

    Sylar Full Member

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    Isnt really about speed but more about positioning. Hes not really great when he has to turn and run back to his own box when a ball is put over the top.
  21. Apr 16, 2018 at 14:16

    Red_toad Full Member

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    Still unable as to why this is an active thread after the West Brom game. Some people are just hard wired to find way to blame the guy. Our best defender by far this season and look at the crap he takes.
  22. Apr 16, 2018 at 14:34

    Loublaze ATLien

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    Your own obsession and dislike for Smalling (and other haters like yourself) is what drives me in this thread. I bet you've been spouting this garbarge about Smalling leaving for eons now. Every transfer window you sit there hoping this could be the one, but no, Smalling is still first name on the team sheet much to your chagrin. He'll be the only surviving CB from the Fergie era soon. Evans left and Jones will leave before Smalling. Im sure you hate seeing him start game after game even when the other options are fit. You hate it don't you? Good.

    Mourinho plays him at every chance now even when the other CBs are fit. Jones and Rojo have been fit for weeks now, where are they? Bailly has been rotated with Lindelof a few times but it seems Mourinho can't even afford to give Smalling a break, he starts every time! It's clear who the manager trusts, and Mourinho is a much better manager than the nobody-Euro 96 cup final bottler Southgate. If I had the power to stop United players from playing for England I would. England as a NT is an institution of failure and looping crushed dreams.
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2018 at 14:56
  23. Apr 16, 2018 at 14:52

    Ekeke Full Member

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    It must be the point. Surely if you're saying Southgate's selection is more indicative of Smalling's quality than Sir Alex, Val Gaal and Mourinho's selections then Southgate must at the very least be a very good manager. Otherwise thats entirely reflective on his managerial ability.

    I mean, did you watch us under Val Gaal? We passed the ball about all the time. Thats the problem, thats all we did. But Chris Smalling was selected even though some others are a bit better on the ball. Because he's a very good defender and they werent on that level. And most importantly, we didnt play with 1 CB. If we did only play with 1 CB then sure, that player would need good ability on the ball. But we have 2 CB slots, sometimes even 3. So the fancy footballer can take 1 or 2 of the other positions.
  24. Apr 16, 2018 at 15:10

    FerociousCorgis New Member

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    Because history has shown us he isnt anywhere near good enough to be a top CB for a title winning team? Look he has been ok this year. Nothing special. Bailly has shown he can be better, but has struggled this season for consistency. Im assuming lindelof takes a step forward and shows he was worth it next year. Im also assuming we get a legit CB to come in. If you want to play semantics and have smalling and lindelof be on the same level, so be it. Fact remains that hopefully bailly can stay healthy next year and we can actual have a cb partnership that can play most of the season together for a change. I really dont mind smalling, just dont think we should be playing him week in and week out.
  25. Apr 16, 2018 at 15:13

    Ekeke Full Member

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    No he hasnt been okay. He's been extremely good, although he did have a small period where his form dropped a bit around December if I recall correctly, but he bounced back and has continued to do a very good job defensively. This is probably his 2nd best season at the club - better than Bailly has done for us so far
  26. Apr 16, 2018 at 15:17

    FerociousCorgis New Member

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    can agree to disagree. Think the defence has been shaky as hell as a whole this season and needs to thank ddgod for saving their asses numerous times. The level of our whole defence needs to improve vastly. Perhaps with some real fullbacks there would be less pressure on them and maybe smalling would be fine there.
  27. Apr 16, 2018 at 15:51

    Ekeke Full Member

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    You're going to be sorely dissappointed if you want the entire defence replaced in 1 summer, especially given our track record with defensive signings. We've made plenty of attempts to upgrade our CBs but Smalling has outperformed them all.
  28. Apr 16, 2018 at 15:52

    MikeKing New Member

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    He should probably get a break against Bournemouth. Been non stop for him this season. Bailly and Lindelof/Rojo should be able to handle Bournemouth's attackers. No physical striker, except maybe King, and Bournemouth loves to keep the ball on the ground. I doubt it will happen tho as its crucial we keep second place.
  29. Apr 16, 2018 at 15:57

    FerociousCorgis New Member

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    Anybody who doesnt think we need two new fullbacks is just plain blind. Just because our other cbs have been shite for the most part doesnt make an average defender world class. If we add 2 new fullbacks and can get bailly to stay healthy perhaps smalling can give us that bridge for tuanz or tfm to make a step up. But it goes without saying that we need to overhaul our backline.
  30. Apr 16, 2018 at 16:34

    MadDogg Full Member

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    Smalling was suspended at the beginning of the season which allowed Jones and Bailly a chance to play ahead of him. The two of them did well enough that Mourinho rightfully continued with them for a while. Smalling played in every CL match, and once his league suspension was over Jose played a three man defence a number of times to bring Smalling in with the other two. As soon as a spot opened up Smalling went straight into the team and it's basically been Smalling +1 for the rest of the season.

    That's how it's been the last two years with Mourinho. Smalling only drops out of the team when he gets injured or suspended, and then when he comes back it may take a little while to get back into the team if the current two are doing well. But invariably he only has to wait a few weeks for his chance when one of the others gets injured or drops in form. It's happened two or three times now.

    Edit: Turns out I'm remembering it wrong and he wasn't suspended in the league at the beginning of the season.

    No 'arguably' there, he's been much better than Bailly this season. Bailly has been very inconsistent, both early in the season and recently. There was a brief period of about four matches a month ago where he did well, but that was probably the best run he's put together this season. He was also very inconsistent last season, although that was somewhat written off as being largely because of the ACON (it was when he came back from that where he was in abysmal form). Hopefully he can develop that consistency; his potential is huge but it doesn't mean anything if he spends half of every season all over the place.

    Smalling and Jones have been the only central defenders who can hold their head up as being even remotely decent this season. The others may have had a good period here and there, but overall they haven't been close.
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2018 at 16:47
  31. Apr 16, 2018 at 16:40

    Sylar Full Member

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    Except he was on the bench for the first two games of the season and five of the first six games.
    And it was Bailly and Jones(?) who were suspended in Europe hence why Smalling starting the CL games with Lindelof.
  32. Apr 16, 2018 at 16:42

    Ekeke Full Member

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    I dont disagree that we'd be best off signing some fullbacks, and sure while we're at it if we've got an unlimited budget go and get the world's best CB - to lineup next to Smalling.

    But do I think the club are going to sign 3 first team defenders in the summer? Or 4 like you're suggesting? And even if they did, would they get all of them right and we'd no longer see Smalling starting and outperforming the new CBs?

    Get out of here. We've done this already over several summers. We've bought hyped up CBs we thought would improve on Chris Smalling and they havent. We've also bought fullbacks who didnt oust Valencia and Young - even some who probably should have, but 5 years on and we're still overpicking them on the flanks, just this time its in defence instead of midfield.
  33. Apr 16, 2018 at 16:46

    MadDogg Full Member

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    Hmm, you're right about him being on the bench. What the hell was he suspended for then, as I'm sure he was? Unless I'm completely wrongly remembering the start of the season.
  34. Apr 16, 2018 at 16:48

    Sylar Full Member

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    Sure he was suspended beginning of last season for the FA cup final red.
  35. Apr 16, 2018 at 16:53

    MadDogg Full Member

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    I guess maybe I'm thinking of that and getting the seasons mixed up. Bloody strange as I was sure it was this season, but looking at the line-ups he was always there.
  36. Apr 16, 2018 at 16:58

    Loublaze ATLien

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    Mourinho probably saw those two (Bailly and Jones) as his best starting CBs, but I don't think he sees it that way now. I don't think he trusts Jones anymore or doesn't find him reliable. The whole pain injection thing while on England duty upset him but I think Jones really went down in Jose's estimations after the Newcastle United defeat.
  37. Apr 16, 2018 at 17:08

    MadDogg Full Member

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    It is possible. I don't think he particularly highly rates any of our defenders (when compared to the truly world-class defenders he's had in previous teams). None of our defenders slot straight back in when they come back from injury, which does tell me he doesn't have a definitive #1. Smalling fills that role, but it's as much because of the failure of any of our others as he himself being brilliant. Which is why it is possible Jose could look to bring someone else in and potentially push Smalling to the bench, but there's also no way he willingly sells Smalling which so many people on here want. He's the only one we have who is reliable.
  38. Apr 16, 2018 at 17:19

    Ekeke Full Member

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    We'll try and fail again like every summer. We'd need 2 top notch CBs to push Smalling out of the team, we don't have 1 yet
  39. Apr 17, 2018 at 03:23

    Isotope Full Member

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    Surprisingly some have short memory on how Jose's CB purchase pans out so far. One has high potential but isn't yet reliable, and the other isn't ready for at least another couple years (if so).
    None of his purchase are able to put Smalling out of his best XI.

    His succes ratio for CB so far could barely 50% success. And some can't wait to get rid of Smalling, his most reliable CB, when the new CB coming in. Just clueless.
  40. Apr 17, 2018 at 12:59

    Acole9 Outstanding

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    I'm not a fan but it's ridiculous to criticise him for how poor we were.