Apart from his passing, what did Smalling actually do wrong? And are you against him coming back next season?

yardieUnited

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He is 31 and still has problem with positioning.
Chris is brilliant 1 on 1 but his positioning is not that good.
 

TheRedDevil2019

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Find the whole Smalldini debacle laughable really. I mean Roma weren't prepared to pay a measly 3million more to meet our valuation so have bailed. Yet you have SL Benfica completely outspend Roma on an unknown Brazilian striker that could either be another Falcao or the next Adrian Lopez.
 

jamesjimmybyrondean

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There's no harm in trying out a backline of Awb Smalling Maguire and Shaw in a few certain games to see how it works. Transfer window doesn't close till October so there's no rush to sell
 

GiddyUp

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VAR will destroy Smalling. I've never seen a defender get away with so many infractions in the box, especially shirt tugging. All it would take is the opposition falling to the floor on a corner and if it went to video they would have no choice but to give a penalty. Sell and move forward. We should not be bringing back players that are barely good enough for a squad place in a mid table team.
 

Paul_Scholes18

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VAR will destroy Smalling. I've never seen a defender get away with so many infractions in the box, especially shirt tugging. All it would take is the opposition falling to the floor on a corner and if it went to video they would have no choice but to give a penalty. Sell and move forward. We should not be bringing back players that are barely good enough for a squad place in a mid table team.
Pool defenders like Van Dijk gets away with far more. Although they are the VAR favorites.
 

RussellWilson

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Smalling paired very well with Blind and Maguire has many of the same weaknesses Blind did in terms of pace and agility. Think Smalling and Maguire would be a great pairing, both immense in the air so crosses and set pieces will be helped massively. And Smallings pace will allow us to player higher line and press better, at the moment the front players are pressing and the defenders are still holding back probably worrying about leaving too much space for attackers to run into.
 

RussellWilson

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VAR will destroy Smalling. I've never seen a defender get away with so many infractions in the box, especially shirt tugging. All it would take is the opposition falling to the floor on a corner and if it went to video they would have no choice but to give a penalty. Sell and move forward. We should not be bringing back players that are barely good enough for a squad place in a mid table team.
Pretty sure they are using VAR in Italy and he has been fine. Another imaginary criticism people have of Smalling.
 

b82REZ

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VAR will destroy Smalling. I've never seen a defender get away with so many infractions in the box, especially shirt tugging. All it would take is the opposition falling to the floor on a corner and if it went to video they would have no choice but to give a penalty. Sell and move forward. We should not be bringing back players that are barely good enough for a squad place in a mid table team.
Why didn't he get destroyed by it in Italy, then?
 

Oldyella

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VAR will destroy Smalling. I've never seen a defender get away with so many infractions in the box, especially shirt tugging. All it would take is the opposition falling to the floor on a corner and if it went to video they would have no choice but to give a penalty. Sell and move forward. We should not be bringing back players that are barely good enough for a squad place in a mid table team.
We were hearing that for years and it never happened.
 

tomaldinho1

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VAR will destroy Smalling. I've never seen a defender get away with so many infractions in the box, especially shirt tugging. All it would take is the opposition falling to the floor on a corner and if it went to video they would have no choice but to give a penalty. Sell and move forward. We should not be bringing back players that are barely good enough for a squad place in a mid table team.
Shirt pulling is still rife - look at all the top defenders in the league. VAR also never overturns anything so unless the ref actually whistles for the foul, which they never do, it's unlikely to be any different to pre VAR days.
 

roonster09

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Why didn't he get destroyed by it in Italy, then?
He played in England too when VAR was used (in cup games), surprisingly he wasn't destroyed. Thought finally that myth would be put to bed, but no, it will never die even after the season in Italy.
 

b82REZ

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He played in England too when VAR was used (in cup games), surprisingly he wasn't destroyed. Thought finally that myth would be put to bed, but no, it will never die even after the season in Italy.
Its just one of the lazy arguments against him that gets thrown around ad nauseum.

Ball playing aside, Smalling is our best defender. The arrogance of some of fans over Smalling is ridiculous. The guy has moved to a different league and not skipped a beat. He didn't deserve to be jettisoned like he was last summer. There was a reason he was a mainstay in our defence for so long.

If Ole can move past this obsession of splitting his centre halves and trying to play from the back, Smalling will make an excellent foil to Maguire. Unfortunately I think he will move on and we'll sign some unproven CB and then fans will be surprised when players bully him all season (see Lindleof's first season).
 

Shimo

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My personal opinion is that Ole was drinking from the Southgate kool-aid. Smalling was discarded as a feasible partner for Maguire for a team wanting to play out the back. If you watch us earlier in the season, he was even setting us up for corners / free kicks in the exact same way as when Maguire plays for England. Yeah it was effective against lesser nations for England but, was not that effective when translated to United against PL teams.

Ole took a gamble last season that his preconceived pairing based on how he wanted to play was the way forward and didn't even want to try a partnership of Maguire / Smalling as secondary option. As far as Lindelof goes, I think he is very good on the ball but, his role has been consigned to ball recycler for the most part - something Smalling is more than capable of doing.

Reading that Vida interview recently, he talked about how it was kind of known that Rio was going to be one of the defacto CBs but, there wasn't a preconceived notion that Vida would be his partner. It was going to be fought out and through that a natural partnership was borne. We saw that happen with Smalling/Blind, they ended up working well together. Ole needs to approach this season at least with the idea that Smalling / Lindelof / Baily should have to at least fight it out to see if they can partner with Maguire. Unless we end up buying another absolute must starting CB as well.
 

Web of Bissaka

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Smalling paired very well with Blind and Maguire has many of the same weaknesses Blind did in terms of pace and agility. Think Smalling and Maguire would be a great pairing, both immense in the air so crosses and set pieces will be helped massively. And Smallings pace will allow us to player higher line and press better, at the moment the front players are pressing and the defenders are still holding back probably worrying about leaving too much space for attackers to run into.
Interesting good comparison. Maguire and Blind.
 

EwanI Ted

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Another average player who's abilities are massively overestimated the longer they go without playing for us.
I find the love for Chris Smalling really odd. He's been okay for us, generally solid and far from our biggest problem since Fergie left, not a guy I have a problem with by any means. But after nearly 10 years at the club and after numerous spells in the first team, he's never nailed down a place. I can't help think that, if he really was this amazing natural defender that people make him out to be, he'd long since be a first team fixture for us. Instead, every time he's had a run in the team, we end the season trying to replace him in the transfer market.
 

Craig Ward

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Cant we just move on from this debate? Smalling doesnt feature or he wouldnt have gone on loan. It would be a backward step having him in and around the 1st team.

Smalling has been a decent player for us, but we need to move forwards not backwards. He's done ok in a much poorer league and people rave about him like he's suddenly become world class.

Smalling isnt the answer for us at CB and he never will be
 

Nou_Camp99

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Cant we just move on from this debate? Smalling doesnt feature or he wouldnt have gone on loan. It would be a backward step having him in and around the 1st team.

Smalling has been a decent player for us, but we need to move forwards not backwards. He's done ok in a much poorer league and people rave about him like he's suddenly become world class.

Smalling isnt the answer for us at CB and he never will be
Don't think Ole wanted him to leave on loan. Sounds like it was Smalling who pushed for it when he learned he might be a back up. Fair play to the guy for wanting to actually play.

Still not seen anything in Lindelof that makes me think he's a better defender. Slightly better on the ball and thats about it. Smalling is quicker, stronger, better in the recovery, better in the air, better at marking, more of a goal threat.
 

Teja

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My personal opinion is that Ole was drinking from the Southgate kool-aid. Smalling was discarded as a feasible partner for Maguire for a team wanting to play out the back. If you watch us earlier in the season, he was even setting us up for corners / free kicks in the exact same way as when Maguire plays for England. Yeah it was effective against lesser nations for England but, was not that effective when translated to United against PL teams.

Ole took a gamble last season that his preconceived pairing based on how he wanted to play was the way forward and didn't even want to try a partnership of Maguire / Smalling as secondary option. As far as Lindelof goes, I think he is very good on the ball but, his role has been consigned to ball recycler for the most part - something Smalling is more than capable of doing.

Reading that Vida interview recently, he talked about how it was kind of known that Rio was going to be one of the defacto CBs but, there wasn't a preconceived notion that Vida would be his partner. It was going to be fought out and through that a natural partnership was borne. We saw that happen with Smalling/Blind, they ended up working well together. Ole needs to approach this season at least with the idea that Smalling / Lindelof / Baily should have to at least fight it out to see if they can partner with Maguire. Unless we end up buying another absolute must starting CB as well.
+100
 

Grande

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Apart from the aquaducts, sanitation, roads, irrigation, medicine, public order, wine and ...

I am quite fond of Chris Smalling, and think he is a very good CB and a very likeable chap. Of course I would welcome him, still I’m very happy that Solskjær is unwilling to look the other way regarding his passes. Against high pressing teams, it is hard enough to play out of defence with Maguire and Lindelöf. Smalling and Wan Bissaka together on th right would make highpressing us a much easier job. Mourinho wouldn’t have minded so much, but happily Solskjær is quite adamant how he wants to play, evidenced in how he put Lukaku on the bench and sold him despite him being our by far most dangerous attacker at the time, and how he loaned out Smalling despite him being a very good defending defender and a really likeable chap.
 

UNITED ACADEMY

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I believe when Smalling with us, he made more progressive passes than Lindelof did. It's not about his passing but it's actually about his inability of playing against high press team. On top of it, we are going to play him next to Bissaka who is also not very good to keep possession against high press. I'll still welcome him & everyone should welcome him if he comes back to our squad for next season. Although, I think Roma will come back with the same bid and we will accept it, Europa League is over for them.
 

Denis' cuff

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Shirt pulling is still rife - look at all the top defenders in the league. VAR also never overturns anything so unless the ref actually whistles for the foul, which they never do, it's unlikely to be any different to pre VAR days.
Good points and I hope you are right regarding refs. I actually like Mike and he would be my preferred partner for Maguire, but anyone calling his shirt pulling a lazy, imagined issue that isn’t happening just hast been paying attention. My heart has been in my mouth numerous times and I’ve been amazed what he has got away with. It only takes this aspect of his game to take traction in the media and they’d fecking love to make a meal of it and then, of course, refs become compelled to act. I haven’t particularly noticed but I’m sure it’s rife throughout the PL but as ever, United always seem to be the special case. Possibly jumping to conclusions with concerns but to say it is not an issue with him is pure denial. Still, I’d be happy to have him back, at least until we improve on him - but we haven’t so far and along with Harry, is our best defender.
 

ivaldo

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I believe when Smalling with us, he made more progressive passes than Lindelof did. It's not about his passing but it's actually about his inability of playing against high press team. On top of it, we are going to play him next to Bissaka who is also not very good to keep possession against high press. I'll still welcome him & everyone should welcome him if he comes back to our squad for next season. Although, I think Roma will come back with the same bid and we will accept it, Europa League is over for them.
You really do come to some odd conclusions...
 

wolvored

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As a pure defender Smalling is probably the best we have on the books and his aerial strength, mobility and presence in the box were ideal for making up for De Gea's weaknesses in those departments. He did get away with murder with holding at set pieces though which he'd have to cut out sharpish with VAR about.

Ultimately though, to be a top centreback in an attacking team in an attacking league you need a level of ability on the ball which Smalling doesn't have. Still a good squad option to have though, but given that he's starting at a decent level in a more defensive league I wouldn't say it's in his interests to warm the bench here.
That was on of the reasons he was let go in my opinion. VAR would have given so many penalties and free kicks around the box from him and Ole didnt want to take the risk, along with being able to bring the ball out from the back and successfully pass it on. Southgate also mentioned this when questioned why he had dropped Smalling from England.
 

RoyH1

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I've moved on him. He's a good player, but never developed into the world class centre back I expected him to be.
 

ivaldo

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You are being too defensive when it's about Lindelof.

That doesn't equal progressive, mate. It's genuinely baffling for anyone to have watched them both play and then claim Smalling is a more progressive passer. Did Lindelof hurt you in some way?
 

romufc

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That doesn't equal progressive, mate. It's genuinely baffling for anyone to have watched them both play and then claim Smalling is a more progressive passer. Did Lindelof hurt you in some way?
It's the Lindelof agenda. Comparing stats in the PL to Serie A for passing. One of the slowest leagues, teams do not press.
 

VojjE

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It's the Lindelof agenda. Comparing stats in the PL to Serie A for passing. One of the slowest leagues, teams do not press.
The stats are from last season. But yes, the stats are very misleading looking at how the matches were actually played.
 

SecondFig

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I like Smalling, and would definitely prefer him to Jones or Rojo. But, I don't think he starts ahead of Maguire or Lindelof, and I can understand that he wants a starting place. And all of that is before anyone new comes in, or youth players like Tuanzebe etc step up.

So hopefully his season at Roma attracts a buyer, and hopefully we can shift Rojo to someone in Argentina, and Jones to someone called David Moyes.
 

UNITED ACADEMY

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That doesn't equal progressive, mate. It's genuinely baffling for anyone to have watched them both play and then claim Smalling is a more progressive passer. Did Lindelof hurt you in some way?
More forward passes, less backward passes, more long balls & higher average passing length. If that's not more progressive passes, feel free to explain it to me.

You are being too defensive on this. Lindelof is better on the ball than Smalling, however being better is different to being perfect. There is aspect that Lindelof is worse at.
 

ivaldo

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More forward passes, less backward passes, more long balls & higher average passing length. If that's not more progressive passes, feel free to explain it to me.

You are being too defensive on this. Lindelof is better on the ball than Smalling, however being better is different to being perfect. There is aspect that Lindelof is worse at.
Knock knock. Who's there? Context. Context who? The fact Lindelof created more opportunities and played more through balls should tell play more about progressiveness than how many forward passes they make. Maybe Lindelof should start collecting the ball an extra 5 yards deeper. Think how much progressive he'd become!

For someone who continuously claims you have no agenda against Lindelof, you are pop up frequently across various threads eager to tell everyone about Lindelof's weaknesses. It really is odd.
 

romufc

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More forward passes, less backward passes, more long balls & higher average passing length. If that's not more progressive passes, feel free to explain it to me.

You are being too defensive on this. Lindelof is better on the ball than Smalling, however being better is different to being perfect. There is aspect that Lindelof is worse at.

Have a look at the stats below on passing

Lindelof had a better passing accuracy %, more passes ending in the final 1/3, and more passes in the opp half. That is progressive passing and play.




https://www.squawka.com/en/harry-maguire-man-utd-centre-backs-compare/
 

UNITED ACADEMY

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Knock knock. Who's there? Context. Context who? The fact Lindelof created more opportunities and played more through balls should tell play more about progressiveness than how many forward passes they make.

For someone who continuously claims you have no agenda against Lindelof, you are pop up frequently across various threads eager to tell everyone about Lindelof's weaknesses. It really is odd.
It's not like 0 vs 0.05 ''through ball'' is any difference. But if that's how you want to describe it than I'll play along with.

The point is me talking about Smalling's problem not Lindelof's weakness. How is making less progressive/forward passes is weakness? Like I said before, you are being too defensive on Lindeof.
 

Okey

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New owners at Roma. Loaded too. Any chance they stump up the cash now? He isn't in the Europa squad. Would be great to get another player moved on. Leaves just the half dozen to go...