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One of his best games and probably our best player today.
I had to post just how impressed I was with Smalling's excellent long passing and play.
Seemed to command and relax as I think he has a better rapport with Jones.
What is our overall record with these 2 at centre back?
Even Jones had a good game getting forward
Excellent game, good to see him comfortable in possession and being more adventurous with his passing too.
He turned into mike again. Back to his old form from the LVG days.
So much better when he doesn’t have a non-footballing entity next to him. Good game and some really good passing.
Had a great game and surprised with his vision and long-range pass to Shaw and the couple of through balls for Lingard/Rashford. De Gea MOTM for me though, that save was immense.
He was ok, new cast of characters around him tonight, probably delivered our best through ball of the match.
That little backheel on the touchline, when it looked like he was going to launch it, that was sexy football.
Can’t fault him today
For me he was our best player before De Gea made that save.
Yeah was really good tonight actually. Our best outfield player by a distance I thought
Mike Smalling decided to turn up, incisive forward passing and calm under pressure with the ball. No idea where this came from but hopefully we can carry on.
This is what he used to play under LVG. Especially loved that clever backward pass to keep the ball in and the pressure on.
Superb performance. Brilliant on the ball as well as defending.
Yeah, no it was surprising. It has been a couple of seasons since we've seen that of a complete performance for 90min from a CB, and with his great passing out from the back too. But to be fair to him and I think some of us probably almost forgot that this was an important CL night, but still good of him to know that, and he came prepared. Also, he is usually very confident against teams that sits deep against us so he can isolate and dominate the striker when we play with a higher line. Gave us plenty of chances to keep our attacking shape and go again, too bad we couldn't make use of all the time spent in their half. Good to see him actually take responsibility to try to play for once and not just pass it to the next man, as most of our team usually does these days.
Virgil van Mike. Top class performance.
MOTM. Some superb passing. @11101 what say you?
Good shout that. Not much more needs to be said about him, another superb performance. Rack em up!
I'm not sure about statwise, but they do tend to often do well. There is a reason they were the main partnership last season. The problem is that they'll occasionally throw in a poor performance (normally Jones), and those poor performances are absolutely terribly bad.
Both were great tonight, comfortably our best two outfield players.
He played like he did under Van Gaal. That one pass where he just switched the ball to Martial or Shaw was so good. Hopefully he plays like this instead of being scared to pass more than 5 yards.
He summoned Mike for this match
He is a very good CB. He just needs that luxury of a stable good CB next to him, rather than having to cover for his partner every minute, every game. He has barely had a stable partner next to him in over 4 years as first choice.
He's been decent recently. Unlike the agenda posters I can happily say when players have been good/bad.
Sad that Smalling had to be our best player against fecking Young Boys. I'm sure with any other top team, a forward player / creative player would have been MOTM against them in a home tie. We are so depressing.
He has some good ball playing skills in his locker - but we were playing Young Boys!! I enjoyed that pass and a couple of surges forward and forward passing from him yesterday.
He would find it more difficult when given less time and a more effective press by a better team - he's usually good at keeping is simple, the issue is the midfield who just pass it sideways.
Hes pretty much gonna play rest of the season. I hope this wasnt a one off with regards to his passing and distribution. I know we were playing YB, but still, a pass is a pass, (and makes a change from him launching it out into play or passing it behind a player on the run).
The thing is Lindelof and Bailly have moved the goalposts on how bad bad can be this season. Jones will be happy with that because he's more capable
Gets too much stick. He is a good cb. Not great but reliable. He certainly is our best and most reliable cb as well.
Injured or another one the manager has taken a dislike to?
Foot injury apparently.
Missed him today.
No Smalling, no party.
Thought he was off tonight, even forgetting the first goal he looked laboured in his movement.
Bobski could be onto something, looked uncomfortable and I don't think he's that keen on the back 3 system.
First goal he tripped over the Arsenal player behind him. But overall tonight he wasnt called on very much with all Ander's ball winning in midfield, the constant falling over of Arsenal players leading to set pieces and Bailly took charge at times as well
I watched him closely for a while just in general play and his movement was stiff. I know he was carrying an injury, who wasn't in the back 3, but he didn't look smooth. As Devil said a back 3 might not be a good fit for him either, well especially with 2 headless chickens alongside, at times that central pivot of the 3 does need a greater passing range than he possesses.
Its far more important on the sides. As we saw with Rojo who released the ball early and got us moving at times. He has the confidence to do it, although he also has the record of giving the ball to opposing attackers too.
A CB in the middle of a 3 will rarely play a great pass through the middle
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