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

CG1010

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I would certainly welcome him back as he is well above Jones, Rojo, etc. Not sure why he went on loan in the first place, as we were one injury away from disastor.
 

Denis' cuff

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Was/is a decent cb but we can do without another clueless fecker with the ball at his feet, the way we are trying to improve in that area. Also, how we got away with his constant shirt pulling I still cannot fathom. We’d be giving pens away left, right and centre with var on the case.
 

Mailo

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As a pure defender, how many of you actually believe Smalling is inferior to anything we have at the club? Apart from his grabby hands and poorness on the ball, the guy is rarely beaten as an actual CB and he doesn't come with a lack of strength, pace, bravery, athleticism or any kind of weakness in the air.

I see he's lumped in with Jones very flippantly by some posters here which doesn't make sense.

This talk of us being cash-strapped whilst needing to pad out the squad (post-Sancho) and get in a supplementary CB for Maguire when we still have Smalling, who is not the worst partner for Maguire by any means, is quite weird. Why is there talk of spending north of £50m on a CB when we have Smalling?

With regard to his passing., traditionally the onus is on the anchoring midfielder to alleviate the issue and take over the play as soon as possible. In the world of the high press, this is not ideal, of course, but even then, if Maguire is this ball-playing CB some people think he is, he gets more chance to showcase it in a traditional stopper/ball-player pairing, which he and Smalling would be.

If Smalling wants out, fair enough. But if we have him and he wants to stay, who is against him being our starting CB next season, and if you are against it, can you state why?
I believe he's the best defender at the club. Don't understand the animosity towards him at all. Far quicker than anyone we have. Strength equalling Maguire. Heading equalling Maguire. Lot more athletic than Maguire. Maybe the best 1v1 defender. His passing is not far off Maguire, who some regard as the second coming of Beckenbauer. Far overrated ballplaying ability. He only has his pricetag on Smalling.
 

BaneIsPain

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I’d take chance on Smalling. He still a decent defender in my books. Sure, if tuanzebe is not injured, I would rather start tuanzebe.
 

Jonno

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Many posters here seemingly dissapointed he went ahead of Jones, whos still here.

Don't forget, for a player to go out somewhere on loan, it requires an interested club....

Clubs took Smalling over Jones because he's better. We couldn't shift Jones.
 

LawCharltonBest

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I was a big critic of him.

I'd be open minded to his return, if that's what Solskjaer wants.

I think Smalling and Maguire would compliment each other. The weaknesses I see for one, the other is very good at.

We also have a lot of young players in the squad who haven't won anything yet. So I wouldn't mind having Smalling's experience in the squad, and he's a PL winner, FA Cup winner, Europa League winner, League Cup winner.. And I think he started all of those finals.
 
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Ffs he had the best part of a decade to prove himself. It would be a huge backward step allowing him back.

If the club are serious about getting United back to the top and backing the Manager players like Smalling should not even be thought about
 

iHicksy

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As a pure defender he's superior to Lindelof in every way. From purely a defensive standpoint Maguire and Smalling would be very good. The issue is that if Manchester United want to get back to the top and implement the kind of football that they want/need to. Then Chris Smalling has no place at the club. Not even as a backup. You can't have a defender in this system that cannot pass between the lines. That's all there is to it. He's a great defender in the right team, of that there should be no doubt. But that team can no longer be us if we wish to challenge for the title. This a guy who's passing is so bad that Jose made a joke about it in a press conference. Let's not forget his entire body 360 turn to make a pass vs brighton.
 

ghagua

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I would start Smalling alongside Maguire until we have a better player to pair with Maguire. There is more to being a center half then being just being able to pass the ball like a Beckenbauer, like winning a header. Tuanzebe has not been fit enough to show what he is capable of.
 

Jonno

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I believe he's the best defender at the club. Don't understand the animosity towards him at all. Far quicker than anyone we have. Strength equalling Maguire. Heading equalling Maguire. Lot more athletic than Maguire. Maybe the best 1v1 defender. His passing is not far off Maguire, who some regard as the second coming of Beckenbauer. Far overrated ballplaying ability. He only has his pricetag on Smalling.
If Smalling is equal to Maguire, then why have we conceded some 30 less goals this season than last season, have more clean sheets across the 5 big leagues than any other club - despite having a keeper whos throwing the ball into the net on multiple occasions. Remember, we've swapped Smalling for Maguire and since then the stats are dramatically better. I appreciate swapping Young for AWB has helped, too.

Maguire has an authority, a presence, he's an organiser, a leader, and a good defender. He's very slow, he's limited, he's not great at a few things, but he's better and more sure than Smalling will ever be.

Smalling has been embarrassed on the pitch more times than Maguire has. By some distance. The way he got sent off V's City once is unforgivable. The way he gives lots of penalties away, compared to Maguire "just doing enough" to put strikes off, without giving away penalties, is a big difference.

What Maguire needs is a faster, more athletic CB who can form an excellent partnership with Maguire, who can lead, drive the team and be a constant presence.

He's a solid, decent centre back, Smalling - but no more. Hence he's been a success in Italy. Plus, his time seems up, flog him and move on.
 

Based Adnan

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He had 9 years to prove himself and all he proved was he wasn't good enough. His 2 best seasons came in massively defensive set ups under LVG and Mourinho as well.

The way people bang on about Smalling on here you'd think he was one of the best CBs in the world. Realistically he's a central part of the 9th worst defensive team in Seria A. There is a reason no team bigger or better than Roma is in for him.

The sooner we move on from Smalling the better.
 

King Andow

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Ffs he had the best part of a decade to prove himself. It would be a huge backward step allowing him back.

If the club are serious about getting United back to the top and backing the Manager players like Smalling should not even be thought about
I almost wish that he'd come back to refresh the memory of some fans. An overrated, error-prone donkey with awful positioning and low football IQ who's never been good enough and proved that time and time again. I honestly can't believe that so many fans still, somehow, rate this guy. Being british helps, I guess.
 

SuperiorXI

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I rate him higher than Lindelof, but as a partner to Maguire, we need someone quicker and better on the ball.
 

arnie_ni

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He is still the second best center half in our books.
He's the best defender but Maguires ball paying ability elevate him.

Alwayd been a smalling fan and defended him in his thread these last few years.

Think he's pefect to play alongside maguire until a cant miss player becomes available.
 

Andersons Dietician

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It’s weird that Smalling at his best was playing in a highline in a possesion based team. We might not technically be a possesion based team now but we clearly want to play in a high line and out of all our defenders Smalling is the one I’d feel most comfortable with doing that.

Maybe he isn’t going to play defence splitting passes from this position and I’d give Lindelof and Bailly that over him but the way people speak about his passing is the usual Caf stupidity. Make it seem like he couldn’t pass 5 yards.
 

MadDogg

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If Smalling is equal to Maguire, then why have we conceded some 30 less goals this season than last season, have more clean sheets across the 5 big leagues than any other club - despite having a keeper whos throwing the ball into the net on multiple occasions. Remember, we've swapped Smalling for Maguire and since then the stats are dramatically better. I appreciate swapping Young for AWB has helped, too.
Last season was a complete outlier. De Gea was probably even worse than what he was this season. Matic was played every game despite being absolutely terrible and letting opposition run straight at the defence every match. Young was playing on the right (which was always his weaker side when playing fullback) and was obviously 12-18 months past his peak. Mourinho started the season deliberately fecking around our defence to make a point and went out of his way to destroy their confidence.

Every other season with Smalling we had similar or better defensive stats than we had this season.

This season replacing Young with AWB and having decent cover in midfield made much bigger impacts than Maguire coming in (although he did help as well).
 

GazTheLegend

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He was injured all the time.

He played maybe 20-25 games a season. You really need a settled partnership to play like 30-38 games.

Besides that, he's a good player. It's no coincidence the season we came second he played the majority of the games. Terrible on the ball and has had some absolute STINKERS for us, but with Maguire maybe he'd do better.
 

GazTheLegend

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It’s weird that Smalling at his best was playing in a highline in a possesion based team. We might not technically be a possesion based team now but we clearly want to play in a high line and out of all our defenders Smalling is the one I’d feel most comfortable with doing that.
I wonder if it's because Chris Smalling is sneakily fast.

I'm pretty sure he clocked some ridiculously high speeds in a few games for us and was up there in Lukaku's leaked training speed test - faster than Dan James if I recall correctly!
 

arnie_ni

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:wenger: The mention of VAR and his grubby hands in this thread, how many is it?

Seriously, how many penalty is given this season by VAR?
For being graby-graby?
None for smalling in italy anyway.

This myth will always stay with him
 

Offside

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He’s far too average as a defender to justify the fact he can’t play football.
 

Andersons Dietician

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I wonder if it's because Chris Smalling is sneakily fast.

I'm pretty sure he clocked some ridiculously high speeds in a few games for us and was up there in Lukaku's leaked training speed test - faster than Dan James if I recall correctly!
There was that and I know he was one of the fastest players in the team but even when he was 1 on 1 he was destroying people when faced up with them. People forget how good he was that season and not just because “we were a defensive team” we weren’t but Caf gonna Caf.
 

tenpoless

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His brainfarts, they don't happen most of the time but when they do it's usually a huge one that leads into a goal. It should be better with a proper partner at least.
Play with both Smalling and Jones/Bailly however, you are simply waiting for mistakes. You can't play with two panicking CBs when things go tits up.
 
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Squeaky Bumtime

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What is he selling knock-off watches? :lol:

I take the point though, he gets better in our minds the less we see of him and does he make the first XI any better than it is now? The answer is no, not to any great extent, but I'd have him back in the squad as he's our third best CB, all things considered. I'm also in two minds about his on the ball ability, in that while I think just how disastrous he is on the ball and how poor he is at passing is overplayed it's his decision-making, getting it out from under his feet to make a pass etc. that takes too long and would not improve us under a high press. Actually I would take issue with your assertion that we are good at building from the back and Smalling would disrupt it, we're still pretty poor at it now but I take the point Smalling's presence would not improve that aspect of our game.

Maybe it's all academic anyway. He seems happy at Roma, they seem keen to sign him and we seem fairly keen to move onto another target and get a fee. I heard the reports that we'd try to get him back in if we fail to sign a replacement, which sounds fine to me, but I doubt Smalling would be very happy with that.
Isn't that the expression for someone who's eternally injured? :lol:

As for building from the back we're by no means great but better than before. Maybe it's the fact we havent done it for a good while at all so we now look semi decent at it.
Bringing him back for squad option wouldn't be bad, our squad options at CB arent looking good. Maybe we'll go for another first team CB, it remains to see what Ole sees for that position. And you're right I doubt Mike would be happy with being an option from the bench.
 

RashyForPM

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Don’t understand how he’s supposedly worse than Maguire on the ball. Ok nowhere near Lindelof but Maguire is really shit on the ball. Continually overhits his passes.
 

gerdm07

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I rate him higher than Lindelof, but as a partner to Maguire, we need someone quicker and better on the ball.
Not so fast. Lindelof had the best stat in the league for Dribbled Past this year. 0.1 to VVDs 0.2

Time to move on IMO. I would rather buy a promising 24 year old than give a 30 year old another chance.
 

Drainy

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Passing at the back is fecking important for a club with expectations. Look at how Wan Bissaka borks our game when we're allowed the ball and the opposition press. Shaw to some degree too.
 

tenpoless

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It’s weird that Smalling at his best was playing in a highline in a possesion based team. We might not technically be a possesion based team now but we clearly want to play in a high line and out of all our defenders Smalling is the one I’d feel most comfortable with doing that.

Maybe he isn’t going to play defence splitting passes from this position and I’d give Lindelof and Bailly that over him but the way people speak about his passing is the usual Caf stupidity. Make it seem like he couldn’t pass 5 yards.
Maybe it's because he's quick and actually good at defending. Yeah I agree maybe when people said passing they meant accurate crosses to the wingers/strikers. Smalling is clearly capable of doing simple passes to the midfielders and fullbacks... which was what Lindeol and Maguire did most of the time anyway.
 

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I find it hilarious how people tend to underrate what we have on our team but overrate players abroad. When Smalling was here he took a lot of slack and was called an average defender. Now that he's playing in Rome people are talking about how great he is. Truth is somewhere in between. He's a decent player who would be 4th pick in our line up and taking minutes away from Tuanzebe. He's clumbsy, handsy, not good on the ball and injury prone. That's not going to change...
 

Red_toad

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I always thought Smalling was a good defender who did very little wrong and got far too much shit
Criticised for his flaws and his strengths not appreciated. He followed on from Rio and Vida, so it was never fair to judge him against a wonderful defensive duo. I still think he’d be a good partner for Harry.
 

Fracture90

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As a pure defender, he's probably as good if not better than Maguire and Lindelof.

I guess only thing that's setting them apart is their avarage ball playing ability whilst our ol' Mike, always looks quite flimsy with the ball at his feet. Also he's telephoning every pass he's about to make, is like he's charging a spell bar when he's about to make a pass.
 

roonster09

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There was that and I know he was one of the fastest players in the team but even when he was 1 on 1 he was destroying people when faced up with them. People forget how good he was that season and not just because “we were a defensive team” we weren’t but Caf gonna Caf.
Yeah in 2015-16 season we used to laugh at the ease with which Smalling used to brush off players and win 1v1 duels. He played his best season under Van Gaal who was the only manager who implemented playing out from back no matter what.

Just to make it clear, Smalling isn't very good with passing and bringing the ball out of defense but he isn't as bad as many want everyone to believe, playing same 5-10 seconds video on repeat to highlight his lack of technique when you can do that for everyone. Twitter is probably the worst thing that happened when it comes to judging football players.
 

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When a team is not successful- alot of generic fans tend to point at individual players. these individuals are usually some of the better players but are not consistent in their performance due to the obvious dross they play around with.

I have seen fans talk crap about Rashford, Martial, Pogba, Smalling and more recently Maguire, Shaw and AWB.

The fans shut up shop when they do well but soon as a bad performance arises to talk bad about them to show off their 'ability to read football'.

Smalling is the type of player we should keep due to his ability to be a leader near 30 than he is 20. He has been a consistent defender once he made the step up. Whilst he isnt a ball playing defender - neither do I think our current defenders are great at it either.

Smalling & Maguire could score goals from corners as much as they save our defence from an opposition corner. Smallings strengths play around Maguires weaknesses and vice versa.

It's the type of defence that allows you to play a more attacking minded centre midfield.

Smalling didn't get told he was not in consideration at United - he said he had to compete for his place which he thought was not right for a player of his age and his performances to United. I can see why Ole did it to give Lindelof and Bailly a chance at RCB but if Smalling had stayed - he would have eventually dropped Lindelof down to the subs bench.

Buying a left footed LCB and bringing back Smalling would strengthen the tactical quality and quantity of our defence.
 

jackal&hyde

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I find it hilarious how people tend to underrate what we have on our team but overrate players abroad. When Smalling was here he took a lot of slack and was called an average defender. Now that he's playing in Rome people are talking about how great he is. Truth is somewhere in between. He's a decent player who would be 4th pick in our line up and taking minutes away from Tuanzebe. He's clumbsy, handsy, not good on the ball and injury prone. That's not going to change...
That's how i see it. Many don't rate Maguire, Lindelof, Shaw, DDG yet we have the second or third best defense in the league and it can only improve with more time playing together. Not appreciating what you have and the grass is always greener on the other side type of thing. Imagine the abuse Smalling would get this season after giving away 4 or 5 penalties as he did in Rome with a few more goals due to poor positioning :lol:
 

eire-red

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We seem to be dead set on playing from the back, so that just instantly rules out Smalling. As you said, he didn't exactly do anything 'wrong', but he's just not a good enough footballer to play in a possession based team that require more from their centre backs than pure defensive attributes.

I doubt Ole has any issues with Smalling, but he doesn't fit his style, just like Lukaku. We all know Lukaku is a quality goalscorer, but didn't offer enough to the team as a whole.

It's also easy to look back and cherry pick Smalling's good attributes, and how he's strong and quick and would compliment Maguire, but the list of mistakes he's made over the years is also quite comprehensive, going far back as being beaten in the air by Kompany in 2012, getting sent off in the FA Cup final, giving away silly fouls, to just bringing an air of unease and a lack of composure to the back line due to his lack of quality on the ball.

I was surprised when he went at the start of the season and Rojo, Bailly and Jones stayed, but in reality we haven't missed him this season. Good player, but very limited. We should take 15-20m and see it as a good deal. If we get another 15m on top of that for selling Rojo and Jones then that will be great business.
 

Acole9

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What with VAR coming in his constant grappling of players would've proven costly.