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Chris Smalling 2018-19 Performances

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5.6 Average rating
34 Appearances
1 Goal
8 Clean sheets
2 Yellow cards
  1. Mar 7, 2019

    Yagami Full Member

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    I reckon that went without saying.

    Playing alongside a ball playing CB brings out the best in him and said ball playing CB. They compliment eachother very well. It was the same with Blind.
  2. Mar 7, 2019

    Sylar Full Member

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    Was he just played through with injury under our previous manager, hence why he looked out of sorts at times.
    Since then, it seemed he took some time out, got himself fit and has been a beast since. And not just in terms of defending, hes been a great CB overall.
  3. Mar 7, 2019

    MikeKing Full Member

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    We can not disregard the fact all our players have suffered under Mourinho. Especially those in the ballpark of being poor on the ball. Yes, we played to the strength of physical players but it also made the weaknesses of a few our players more pronounced. You can see how the system has benefitted most of our players and Smalling is not an exception. Players are showing up for the ball, and we play the ball quicker from side to side. We are creating triangles which makes it easier for everyone to follow those patterns. You don't have to be a creative genius as a CB in this setup you only need to make simple passes and if there is room for a forward pass you make it. Smalling is good enough on the ball to fit in with that philosophy.

    It is a weakness he has that can be worked around in a fluent way. In certain games the tactic may be too different to what he can offer, but thats ok. Would Pogba have been the perfect player for yesterdays win? Probably not. Should we drop him in games like that? Probably not, but if we are sure in a certain tactic he is not suited to is going to get us a win, then the team comes first. Same applies with Smalling.
  4. Mar 7, 2019

    Mcking Full Member

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    He is such an amazing defender. He is always switched on and rarely ever makes even the tiniest defensive errors. I doubt there is any defender that is as dominant as him, yet makes less errors - that would be the perfect defender. I wish he was younger, we'd have a top partnership for years to come.
  5. Mar 7, 2019

    Sylar Full Member

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    I think games like yesterday are made for him. Sort of a backs to the wall effort I think he excels the most out of all our defenders. The one critique ive always had of him was the games when opposition sits back.
  6. Mar 7, 2019

    mu4c_20le Full Member

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    The most important thing was that during the moments where we looked panicky and they were all over us, such as after we scored the pen, he would always be rock solid and repel all the high balls thrown into the box. The guy never panics.
  7. Mar 7, 2019

    Red_toad Full Member

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    Would have, but didn’t. Playing could have, would have, should have isn’t factual. Stick to facts it’ll help you in the long term...
  8. Mar 7, 2019

    All 3 United His tinfoil hat protects him from the Glazers.

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    Cheers for that but credit where credit is due. He has been outstanding.
  9. Mar 7, 2019

    iluvoursolskjær Full Member

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    Try reading through the thread [you know, in case there have been developments in conversation..] before replying, it'll help you in the long term.
  10. Mar 7, 2019

    Loublaze ATLien

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    This.
  11. Mar 7, 2019

    MikeKing Full Member

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    He does. I sort of agree. But, I actually think he has shown to be very important in certain other games where opposition sits back as well. I'm going to dumb it down a bit but typically there is two types of teams we face that are sitting back against us. You have the smaller European sides which usually have quick technical players up top waiting for the counter attack. Smalling has been an absolute boss in these types of games every time. You can pretty much just play a high line and push a lot of people forward because almost every clearance from the opposition will end up in close proximity of Smalling who will either dominate the striker to win the ball and eliminate all hold up play, or sniff out danger and make sure we keep possession and our attacking shape, without really having to commit too many players back.

    Then you have the Burnley, Newcastle etc. type teams. Usually lining up with strong players to aim the ball at when clearing the ball. Barnes, Vokes, Mitrovic, Carroll, Rondon etc. Sometimes tricky players and teams to come up against because they are so physical. Even if you predict what they are going to do, and you know how to stop them, if you don't have players that can physically compete against them in duels you have a big chance of conceding an unlucky goal out of nothing against these teams. Again, here Smalling is very valuable.

    I'm sure there is other instances and examples of games where we have dominated with the ball where we have had not a lot of creativity and urge to move forward, and Smalling is no solution to this problem. I think it is too easy to blame that on one player in particular, he is not the reason we are attacking now, but neither the reason we didn't manage to do that under Mourinho and LVG (as some like to claim).

    PSG yesterday were very good at playing out from the back but ultimately we took advantage of the tactic and made a goal out of nothing. They kept playing out from the back and while it is sort of refreshing and exiting to watch as a spectator it is not the be all end all for winning a game of football.
    This game was a prime example. We had a defensive masterclass and yet probably were about as attacking as them, without playing out from the back at all.

    Had a mini digression there, but back to the point, I'm of the opinion that Smalling should not play in games where we need every player on the pitch to be exceptional on the ball while we have no worries about the attacking players of the other team. And In other tougher games too, where if it seems more important to us to have two Lindelofs playing the ball out as a specific tactic, we should do that, if we think its the right set up to win that game.
  12. Mar 8, 2019

    Bao Loc Nguyen New Member

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    For those who still blame Smalling for the PSG's goal.
    When the ball was passed to Mbappe, Bailly was clearly half a yard behind Smalling and everyone else. Smalling was above Mbappe, and he would have been offsided had Bailly not been there.
    Not gonna comment about Bailly since we all seem to reach a consensus about his performance long ago.
    I would like to save you guys some time re-watching the clip by posting the screenshot, but can't do it yet.
  13. Mar 8, 2019

    Revan Assumptionman

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    Smalling and Lindelof did their job there (and Smalling almost blocked Mbappe's pass). As you said, Bailly fecked up there.
  14. Mar 8, 2019

    marktan Full Member

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    Smalldini. Watching the highlights again I remember I just felt so calm with Smalling in there, rarely ever gets beaten in a 1 on 1 and most of the time clears danger. Must be a nightmare to attack against.
  15. Mar 8, 2019

    Irwin99 Full Member

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    Would love to see a video of his performance against PSG but there's not one on Youtube as yet. He was outstanding.
  16. Mar 8, 2019

    MikeKing Full Member

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    There is this clip of the penalty. Watch Smalling in the back just harassing Mbappe for no reason:lol: At one point Mbappe seems to be screaming at him. Probably 'leave me alone' or something. Smalling is a nightmare to come up against, gets in your head. Ask Kane etc.
  17. Mar 8, 2019

    ManRed Full Member

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    Hahaha great spot that. Reminds me of Herrera on Hazard following him like a shadow.
  18. Mar 8, 2019

    Zoo Full Member

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    Mbappe is top right in this clip on his own, he’s the number 7.
  19. Mar 8, 2019

    MikeKing Full Member

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    Could it be Alves instead?
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2019
  20. Mar 9, 2019

    Zoo Full Member

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    I think so, he wears number 13 and was subbed for Cavani moments later looking pissed off.
  21. Mar 9, 2019

    MikeKing Full Member

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    :lol: He did. Love it
  22. Mar 9, 2019

    RussellWilson Full Member

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    Really was a fantastic performance. Pretty much a magnet to every ball into the box.
  23. Mar 9, 2019

    Hellboy Full Member

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    Smaldini :drool:
  24. Mar 9, 2019

    Yagami Full Member

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    You've been heard!
  25. Mar 10, 2019

    Irwin99 Full Member

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    I gave him a 10 out of 10 which was probably a bit too high (got carried with the emotion of it all) but I still say that was his best performance in a United shirt and he's had some good ones down the years. To dominate the player who terrorised us in the first leg is very impressive.
  26. Threadmark: Arsenal 2:0 Man Utd
    Mar 10, 2019

    MadMike Full Member

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    Good again. People are talking about buying someone to pair with Lindelof, yet Smalling's still the man in that defence as he has been for the last 4 years
  27. Mar 10, 2019

    RonaldoVII Full Member

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    Not much to pick from but don't think we had a better player today. Him, Young and Shaw did what they could against a strong attack.
  28. Mar 10, 2019

    MyOnlySolskjaer Creator of Player Performance threads

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    Actually had a decent game.
  29. Mar 10, 2019

    Amar__ Not so Full Member

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    Along with Shaw our best player again.
  30. Mar 10, 2019

    Bobski Full Member

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    He was very good, won all his one v one challenges, and given Lindelof struggling badly Arsenal still created very little. Pen and poor mistake from the keeper, not much else.
  31. Mar 10, 2019

    Stadjer Full Member

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    He is really fast.. keeps up with Auba (yeah whatever his name is) pretty easy.
  32. Mar 10, 2019

    11101 Full Member

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    Played well, with Lindelof struggling against Aubameyang he kept the score respectable.
  33. Mar 10, 2019

    MikeKing Full Member

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    Bossed it. In great form since coming back from his injury. He had good form prior to that too thought, in my opinion. Has to be draining to work so hard defensively only to concede two crappy goals from a dive penalty and a windy long shot.
  34. Mar 10, 2019

    VeevaVee despite the protests, wears Ugg boots Scout

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    Thought he was one of the only players that did their job well enough. Was really trying to win those headers in their box as well :lol: flattened Kolasinac a few times.
  35. Mar 10, 2019

    Bobski Full Member

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    There was a period earlier in the season when he looked a little laboured in his movement, slower, less agile. Over that now, looks in great nick.
  36. Mar 10, 2019

    Isotope Full Member

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    My MotM. Another good striker in his pocket also.
  37. Mar 10, 2019

    Devil may care Full Member

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    He was not great but not bad either.
  38. Mar 10, 2019

    roonster09 Correctly predicted France to win World Cup 2018 Scout

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    Shaw and Smalling had good games. He is quick, barely loses a foot race.

    Lindelof was poor today which didn't help the team to settle.
  39. Mar 10, 2019

    MikeKing Full Member

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    Pretty sure you are talking about when he played with a minor injury for a while under Mourinho? He was playing alright but I agree he looked different his movement and turning.
  40. Mar 10, 2019

    MadDogg Full Member

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    Was that when he was playing with a broken toe during the end of Mourinho's reign? As soon as Ole came in he was taken out for two months so he could actually heal.