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Chris Smalling 2018-19 Performances

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5.9 Average rating
26 Appearances
1 Goal
8 Clean sheets
1 Yellow card
  1. Mar 11, 2019

    Red Dreams Full Member

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    Captain.
    It should be either Herrera or Pogba.
    If we give it to Pogba he will be that much keener to extend his contract.
    I have no problems with Smalling. But I don't think he is under consideration.
  2. Mar 11, 2019

    Loublaze ATLien

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    Yes. Fergie, LVG, Mourinho and Solksjaer have really set united back allowing that Maidestone player to steal a living at United. Dont worry, united are buying a 100M plus world class CB this summer to partner Lindelof (last summer it was to partner Bailly so who knows?) and Smalling will be shipped off to Burnley, that's his level after all innit?
  3. Mar 11, 2019

    MikeKing Full Member

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    Difference is that Pereira currently isn't our best midfielder while Smalling is and has been our best defender. He can pass the ball too when he has options in front of him. He is not great on the ball though and sometimes a bit nervous about that weakness, and while that fact usually means he doesn't give away the ball dangerously it also means he ignores a few of the passes he probably could have made. The importance of this is not very big and its so overstated it is being being regurgitated way beyond reason on this forum. I could easily pull up clips from games where Smalling has done things on the ball his detractors would feel he has never done.
  4. Mar 11, 2019

    ash_86 Full Member

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    I never had a problem with where he came from. Just that we can do much better than him and ball playing qualities are very important for a top team today. I'd keep smalling as a backup as he's still a good defender. He cannot be a starter next season for me.
  5. Mar 11, 2019

    ash_86 Full Member

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    While i agree that Smalling gets basic passing right, we need more than that. You are underestimating the stability a calm and composed defender with good ball playing capabilities brings to a team. When smalling has the ball, he looks like handling a grenade. Teams can easily put pressure on us as his passing range is very minimal. Cover his left and right and he passes it back to the keeper. I don't hate smalling, just that we could do much more than him. I wouldn't go into the next season with him in the starting 11.
  6. Mar 11, 2019

    Loublaze ATLien

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    You have a pair or a back three in a starting 11 at the back. None of our other CBs dominate their own area like Smalling does. What's wrong with pairing an exceptionally good out and out defender with another who possesses the qualities you brought up? I think Smalling and Lindelof complement each other quite well. Lindelof offers a few things Smalling doesnt and vice versa, but you won't find many CBs in Europe who dominate their opponents like Smalling does and that aspect of his game is criminally underrated.
  7. Mar 11, 2019

    Ekeke Full Member

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    I've seen Fernandinho play matches where he mostly passes the ball backwards and towards the goalkeeper. Thats his role in the team, to select safer passes and not give the ball away. Occasionally he'll find a good pass forward too. But thats from a midfielder.

    1 CB who is playing safe passes is nothing. It just means the other CB has to be doing more than that. Thats why Blind was a good partner.
  8. Mar 11, 2019

    ash_86 Full Member

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    The problem is we're wasting time each time he gets the ball. When we're chasing a goal, it gets incredibly frustrating to watch passes between defenders cause they cannot give pass over the head of opposition to someone in the flanks. The opposition knows this exactly and will try to close him out. I have no doubts that Smalling is good defensively and is one of the best headers of the ball, so we look for someone who can do both in our next defender. I would take a small drop in defending quality for a better ball playing quality.
  9. Mar 11, 2019

    ash_86 Full Member

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    Well it gets monotonous very fast and opposition will use this to their advantage. Press smalling and he'd give the ball back to the keeper , who then hoofs the ball and our procession is gone.
  10. Mar 11, 2019

    MikeKing Full Member

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    Well, yeah. That wouldn't necessarily even classify as one of the moments I consider him too safe on the ball, that is just common sense. You see all the possession based teams involve their goalkeepers for this reason, not because their CB's cant pass but because the only realistic option is to hoof yourself out of pressure or try a risky pass. More often than not they pass it back to the goalkeeper and try to play out from there. You'll see the best ballplaying CB's pass back to the keeper a lot especially when the opposition is pressing them.

    We barely had anyone showing for the ball against Arsenal if that is your current reference of view, you can not expect CB's to magically pull of complicated passes consistently without having to risk a lot defensively, so they wont do it. If you want that to be a specific tactic you need to train your midfielders to create triangles and especially not hide higher up the pitch when pressured.
  11. Mar 11, 2019

    Ekeke Full Member

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    If thats what happens then its De Gea's fault. He can find a pass just like Smalling can
  12. Mar 11, 2019

    ash_86 Full Member

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    We cannot train if the defender is scared to pass the ball. The trust works only if both defenders and midfielders trust each other ball playing abilities.
  13. Mar 11, 2019

    Mcking Full Member

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    That wouldn't be a problem if the goalkeeper does not proceed to hoof the ball.
    Playing out from the back is not only about individuals though. It is done as team, depends on the system and requires consistent coaching.
  14. Mar 11, 2019

    MikeKing Full Member

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    That didn't sound right, but I understand the sentiment and I get the frustration from seeing Smalling and Lindelof on the ball against Arsenal in a few moments mainly at the end where we wanted to move the ball up field but all our passing options in midfield were being marked out of the game and we knew the hoof would result in loss of possession with the strikers we had up top. Usually, good teams in that situation you can see their defenders being patient on the ball waiting for an opening, but it was frustrating for us because of the two goals behind and really didn't have the time to build up patiently.

    I love ball-playing CB's and Smalling is not one, but it is just one aspect of being a great CB and while Smalling isn't the best there I don't think this weakness of his is as detrimental to our attacking play as some like to harp on about. I think he is capable enough in a normal set up.
    I'm not even sure I'd want United playing some sort of system where we have to rely on our defenders as the main source of creativity in our build up. I think Spurs overdo this sometimes, and as a neutral I don't think its very fun to watch. Sometimes I find myself quite happy if Smalling doesn't try a stupid pass, because I've seen countless times overconfident CB's cost their team. Even Rio a few times had that problem.
  15. Mar 11, 2019

    Amar__ Not so Full Member

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    When will people realise that it's really not that easy to replace him? We have signed 3 CBs that cost us a lot in recent years, and neither of them are equally good as him, let alone better. Neither of them are actually even that better with ball at their feet, let alone actual fefending City signed so many defenders and hardly any of them are anything special, Liverpool signed so many defenders and van Dijk is pretty much the only one you can say is better than Smalling and he costed them world record to sign.
  16. Mar 11, 2019

    abdo99 Full Member

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    Smalling is the best out and out defender at the club. it's up to his partner to make up for what he may in lack in passing ability.
  17. Mar 11, 2019

    arthurka Full Member

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    As Vegan fella I fully agree with you. When me and my better other gave up meat and other animal products three years ago my family and friends kind of took it very strangely. It kind of got to the point of them being a little bit let down.. What are you going to feed your kids?

    But all guys at work took it one further as they always have to comment on me not eating meat, "hey dont eat the food from our food" and "when are you going to skip the starter and have a full meal"? " On my way down today I saw this beautiful all you can eat buffet for you, its the one roundabout that the grass hasnt been cut". I ride my bike to work as often as possible or around 150 km a week for 6-8 months a year or until the weather turns grim and they ask me if I am getting enough protein and carbs from the diet to do this.. As if all the protein and carbs on earth dont start as plant based?

    I really dont give any shits what so ever if people eat meat as I did it for 40 years and have no problem with it but it seems to be bothering people who arent vegan more that I dont.
  18. Mar 11, 2019

    ash_86 Full Member

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    Lot of points i agree with. Even i don't think we'd need to play from back all the time, just that i want someone who can do it when needed without breaking a sweat. I'd definitely like to keep Smalling around though. He's one of the fittest defenders out there.
  19. Mar 11, 2019

    tomaldinho1 Full Member

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    Yh this is the problem, it's not that a CB needs to be Pirlo on the ball but he needs some kind of passing range. For example, VVD isn't actually that amazing on the ball - his greatest assets are defensive & physical in my eyes but he can play off both feet when needed and has a decent long range pass in his locker - but he's good. That makes him all round an absolute specimen of a defender. Lindelof isn't that amazing on the ball but he's good enough and the same goes for most top CBs, if they need to pick a pass they generally can.

    I think with modern football the base level for a CB's technical game has risen quite sharply over the last 5 years and that's what really counts against Smalling.
  20. Mar 11, 2019

    Revan Assumptionman

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    There is the difference between everyone would want him, he is a 100m player (which no one, not even Ekeke and Amar who are his mom and dad has claimed) and he is a very good defender, which he undoubtedly is.
  21. Mar 12, 2019

    Cabin Clown New Member

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    He's also one of the fastest players in the PL according to Opta stats in the 17/18 season.

    There's supporters who struggle to differentiate a good to bad game with players they resonate with and disapprove of. Some people will lazily call Young shite after a game when an unbiased opinion is he played decent. Or Smalling could play one bad pass and the user above will get infuriatied when he could have done other good things they subconsiously choose to ignore.

    Chris is one of the first names on the team sheet for me.
  22. Mar 12, 2019

    Hammondo New Member

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    I think we would get a lot of money for him if we sold him.
  23. Mar 12, 2019

    Hammondo New Member

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    Pogba is no leader, he shouldnt be mentioned for it imo.
  24. Mar 12, 2019

    Red Dreams Full Member

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    Pogba has been vocal in the dressing room about what the players should do.
    he is also going to be the captain next season, so Ole must see leadership in him.
    Herrera is the true organizer and leader for me.
    Smalling is a good shout too.

    Its not about the armband. Players step up.
    Lindeloff has shown it too.
  25. Threadmark: Wolves 2:1 Man Utd
    Mar 16, 2019

    Devil may care Full Member

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    A couple of erratic moments but used the ball well on a couple of occassions and was solid enough overall.
  26. Mar 16, 2019

    MikeKing Full Member

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    Our MOTM for me along with Shaw maybe as the only contender. Couldn't do more than he did really. He has to be pretty pissed off at his team mates for conceding goals when he has been playing so very well lately. Good hard passes in front of the players, and a couple nice ones through the lines to try create chances. Made good decisions with the ball and didn't shit himself under pressure. Also had a nice run on the wing where he dribbled past a player and got us a corner after crossing.

    Only erratic moment I can remember was when he ran back real quick from a corner and almost stopped that counter, but the ball got picked up after by one of their attacking players to continue the counter attack.
  27. Mar 16, 2019

    UNITED ACADEMY New Member

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    Motm with Shaw & Romero. The rest were poor today. Smalling was solid defensively and made couple of good passes as well.
  28. Mar 16, 2019

    Adnan Full Member

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    Played well again and was our MOTM I thought. The rest just weren't at the races sadly.
  29. Mar 17, 2019

    Andersons Dietician Full Member

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    It’s a shame he can’t pass... oh wait... that ball through where Rashford should have pinged it across to Martial for a tap in at the back post, that was a thing of beauty. Then the little mazy run down the wing brushing past people and skipping over tackles. Thought he was really good apart from 1 duff moment where he tried to cut something out with like a back flick and it just didn’t quite work.
    Was close between he and Shaw for MOTM.
  30. Mar 17, 2019

    Isotope Full Member

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    I'm willing to bet with anything and anyone that if we get a decent CB this summer, he'll be partnering Smalling. As every seasons has proven in the last 5 years.

    Mr. Consistent and reliable. But yeh, some will still use their feeling instead of fact to support their argument.
  31. Mar 17, 2019

    abdo99 Full Member

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    he's the ball defender in the Lindelof partnership.
  32. Mar 17, 2019

    MadDogg Full Member

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    We'd likely do the same thing as usual and start with the new guy and Lindelof, and if the two of them actually perform then that is how we'd stay. However, every season they end up failing and Smalling cements himself as first choice again, and I'd say there is at least a 50% chance that the same would happen. Especially if it's Toby who seems the most likely at the moment, as I don't think he and Lindelof would work together.
  33. Mar 17, 2019

    Oldyella Full Member

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    Played well, hard to do given the shit show going on all around him. As others above have said, can well see any cb signing partnering him next season rather than replacing him.
  34. Mar 17, 2019

    OnlyTwoDaSilvas Gullible

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    His lack of ability on the ball is greatly exaggerated. Was better than the supposed ball-playing centre back next to him.
  35. Mar 17, 2019

    Ashley R1+O New Member

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    Why is he not wearing the armband it doesn't make sense. He's the first name on the sheet and by far and away the best nailed down "fits the position he plays" player we have.
  36. Mar 18, 2019

    Swiss_Red89 New Member

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    Have to say i like him. He has his limitations but he's a very good defender. Dont has many errors in his game. Cant believe Southgate refuses to call him up for the national team.

    But so far so good, he can rest now and hopefully will be in topform for the rest of the season.