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

el3mel

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He's better than Jones, Rojo & Baily.

Perfectly happy to have him back as a rotation option, alongside Axel.

There could be a lot of games next year.
He would have stayed this season if he had been fine to be a rotational option. He wants to be a main player, so he left on loan.
 

World Game

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As far as passing goes, this is what the most expensive CB in history does but he's considered good on the ball.

So I don't think it's as big of a deal as people make it out to be. His issue seems to be his skillset doesn't compliment the system/partner he plays with. His best period came when we were defending in a high line and he was partnering Blind who plays completely different from all the other CBs we have now.
 

diarm

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Aside from the lapses in concentration, the weakness on the ball and the wrestling with lads in the box, the thing that annoys me the most is his penchant for going to make a clearance with the wrong foot, even when going with the right foot would be easier. The amount of times he's given away chances, corners or even own goals by doing this got beyond a joke.

I think he's the most overrated player we've had through all these bad years. Was delighted to see the back of him and really hope it's for good. Jones is shite but at least he's honest about it - Smalling has this band of groupies who would have us all believe he's the second coming of Baresi.
 

Al-T

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I'd keep him ahead of Jones/Rojo/Bailley because he represents an actual option at Centre Back whereas if we needed to call on the other three, well, you'll be looking for them in the treatment room.

Understand at his age he wants regular football. That being so, he should go with out blessing. In an ideal world, however, I'd be looking to move on those three before Smalling.
 

Revan

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He's better than Jones, Rojo & Baily.

Perfectly happy to have him back as a rotation option, alongside Axel.

There could be a lot of games next year.
Lindelof and Maguire get rarely injured. Unless some freak injury happens, they are gonna play in EPL and UCL. Which leaves only the two domestic cups for whoever is backup.

It feels good to have defenders who are not injured most of the time. I actually think that was the biggest reason for our good record. A partnership between CBs is as important (if not more) than their individual qualities. And well, hard to create partnerships when the defenders are not available.
 

MattofManchester

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Tbh, if he's willing to be third choice behind a new CB(if), I'd keep him.
Personally, he's certainly better than Bailly and Tuanzebe because he can actually stay fit.

I'm seriously of the opinion we should be cutting ties with Bailly because he's hardly ever available and when he is, there's a chance he's going to forget his brain at home.
 

red woppit

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My main problem with Smalling was the way he grabbed opponents, sometimes almost hugging them in our own penalty area, and I believe that was one of the reasons that Ole moved him on. He was always a good defender, and better on the ball than most give him credit for, but he was prone to the misplaced pass now and again. I would rate him higher than Rojo (too headstrong, prone to nasty tackles, always a red card in waiting) and Jones (very committed, and too prone to rushes of blood, and lack of defensive nous). Bailly is a good defender, also committed and very good when under pressure, and can pass the ball well, ideal fit with Maguire in my eyes. With Tuanzebe, Mengi and Bernard (possibly) in the frame, I think Smalling will be sold, I don't think he would want to come back as a bit part player.
 

DON’T PANIC ™

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Smalling never looked assured when we were in defensive situations. On paper he was our number 1 defender but he was not a leader. To me his uncertainty bordered on panic at times and this seemed to spread throughout the whole team. Perhaps, playing alongside a more confident player such as Maguire would bring the best out of him. I’d be willing to try him there anyway for a spell.
However, when an established player is loaned out, returning to become a regular at the parent club again rarely works out.
 

Chesterlestreet

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I don't think he did anything horribly wrong, in and of itself. And I don't think Ole was of that opinion either. It was a question of him not being in a position where he'd be a guaranteed starter - and he fancied a loan over being a backup player. Given his age and whatnot, that's understandable.

Why wasn't he a guaranteed starter? That has been covered already. His traits as a defender are well known. There are certain question marks over it, certainly: I don't disagree wildly with those who say that Smalling might have been a decent foil for Maguire, perhaps better than Lindelof (who isn't a better "pure" defender than Smalling, who is clearly worse in the air - and who hasn't established himself as a decidedly decent/productive ball player either).

Bottom line, for me, though: Smalling obviously wasn't a great option who was let go randomly or foolishly (there have been attempts to spin that particular story - and it's clearly bollocks, we all know precisely what sort of player Smalling was for us). He could have stayed and challenged for a place in the starting line-up (Lindelof being his main rival for that place), and it could have worked out - but he didn't fancy that, and there really wasn't any reason for Ole to go out of his way to keep him around when an offer the player himself fancied was on the table.

And "out of his way" likely would have meant giving Smalling assurances that he'd be a starting man per default. Which he didn't deserve - it's as simple as that. If Smalling had developed ideally, he would've been our go-to man at CB by now - a veteran, reliable and unquestionable. But he isn't that, is he? He never turned into that.

If he, himself, wants to come back and fight for a place in the starting XI (but being prepared for a more marginal role, as a squad option) - then by all means. I'd have no problem with that. Would be odd, though, given why he wanted that loan in the first place.
 

lex talionis

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If Smalling is willing to accept a rotational, rather than nailed on regular starter, role for United, I'd definitely bring him back and spend -- if we need to -- a massive sum next summer. Smalling is flawed, but he's better than Lindelof in his defending, but worse than Lindelof in his passing. It's not hard to see Smalling pushing Lindelof -- who's pretty decent but is nowhere close to being world class -- out of his way. That's how it should be.

Our more immediate need to address is forwards and midfielders. This isn't the thread for that discussion, but I'd just say that if we have Maguire, Lindelof, Smalling, Tuanzebe and Bailly we're pretty well covered at CB going into next season.

But Jones and Rojo, the Laurel and Hardy of PL CBs ("one fine mess..."), have to go.
 

Revan

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If Smalling is willing to accept a rotational, rather than nailed on regular starter, role for United, I'd definitely bring him back and spend -- if we need to -- a massive sum next summer. Smalling is flawed, but he's better than Lindelof in his defending, but worse than Lindelof in his passing. It's not hard to see Smalling pushing Lindelof -- who's pretty decent but is nowhere close to being world class -- out of his way. That's how it should be.

Our more immediate need to address is forwards and midfielders. This isn't the thread for that discussion, but I'd just say that if we have Maguire, Lindelof, Smalling, Tuanzebe and Bailly we're pretty well covered at CB going into next season.

But Jones and Rojo, the Laurel and Hardy of PL CBs ("one fine mess..."), have to go.
He is not needed.

Smalling for the domestic cups and to cover Harry/Victor, same for Tuanzabe (who actually might push Lindelof out of the team if he really progresses and stays injury free) is a decent set of defenders. The nice thing is that Maguire and Lindelof are rarely injured (and Smalling is fit most of the time too), so we do not need to have 7 central defenders in the book.

I think that signing Sancho, cover for Bruno/Pogba, upgrade on Matic, upgrade on Shaw (sorry Luke, but being injured half of them time is problematic), upgrade on De Gea (if he doesn't go back to his best next season), upgrade on AWB should take precedence over signing another CB. At least for the next season, I would be happy to go with what we have.
 

Jezpeza

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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 wouldn't count myself as a tactical football genius, being a fan, but i would say i think it is because by the time smalling plays the ball to matic, who then needs to Turn to play another pass, any team Playing a pressing Style will have won the ball. You need defenders who can play the ball out and have passing ability.

That said he isnt a bad defender. If he played for a team further down the table i think he would look very good.
 

Jeppers7

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Great to move on from him. Maguire has made a massive difference to the way we play now. Get jones out the door next.
 

lex talionis

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He is not needed.

Smalling for the domestic cups and to cover Harry/Victor, same for Tuanzabe (who actually might push Lindelof out of the team if he really progresses and stays injury free) is a decent set of defenders. The nice thing is that Maguire and Lindelof are rarely injured (and Smalling is fit most of the time too), so we do not need to have 7 central defenders in the book.

I think that signing Sancho, cover for Bruno/Pogba, upgrade on Matic, upgrade on Shaw (sorry Luke, but being injured half of them time is problematic), upgrade on De Gea (if he doesn't go back to his best next season), upgrade on AWB should take precedence over signing another CB. At least for the next season, I would be happy to go with what we have.
Me too, except I wouldn't get your hopes up too high that we're going to upgrade Shaw and De Gea. That's a bridge too far and there aren't many realistic options anyway even if you're down on both of them.

On the concern regarding Smalling's limited passing ability, I hope we start moving away from trying to play the ball out of the ball on almost every single possession. It invites pressing, puts enormous pressure on defenders who by their nature are not the greatest passers of the ball and when things do go wrong the opposition is almost immediately in a scoring position. When Pogba got dispossessed right outside the 18 yard box in our our final PL games, the ball was in the net within seconds. We should mix it up with some long passes to keep the opposing press a bit more honest. But Chris "grenade at his feet" Smalling does need to improve his passing game if he expects to ever land a regular starting role for United again.
 

berbatrick

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Always felt Smalling was a bit grabby and that was a concern given VAR - I think he's been pretty solid by all accounts in Rome
His VAR problem has been handballs - 1 call was total BS but he had a few brainfreezes too.
Overall he seems to have been ok/solid 7/10, some sepctacular goal-line clearances and a decent goal return from corners. His passing seemed ok and even progressive at times but he wasn't getting pressed a lot, hard to say.
 

SadlerMUFC

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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:
I haven't really seen him play in Italy and can just go by word of mouth that he's apparently doing well. But if he gave away 4-5 penalties and was at fault for a couple more goals, he would be slated. Maguire made two mistakes this year that his keeper forgot to bail him out for and he got destroyed online. And btw....I've never rated DeGea. Not even when he was our player of the year. I was always amazed by some of the saves he made, but always thought he was lacking and I wasn't happy when the fax machine "broke down"...
 

Revan

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Both Chelsea and City would have had ~5 points more if they had him this season. Their CBs have been shocking for long stretches.
There is no way that Pep would have put Smalling even in bench. If hard pressed, he would have played Aguero and David Silva as CB before he would have opted for Smalling.
 
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Both Chelsea and City would have had ~5 points more if they had him this season. Their CBs have been shocking for long stretches.
And they will recruit quality to rectify it.

Meanwhile a disturbing amount of people on redcafe think a player who did nothing over nearly a decade is going to come back and improve our team...
 

Gopher Brown

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My main problem with Smalling was the way he grabbed opponents, sometimes almost hugging them in our own penalty area, and I believe that was one of the reasons that Ole moved him on. He was always a good defender, and better on the ball than most give him credit for, but he was prone to the misplaced pass now and again. I would rate him higher than Rojo (too headstrong, prone to nasty tackles, always a red card in waiting) and Jones (very committed, and too prone to rushes of blood, and lack of defensive nous). Bailly is a good defender, also committed and very good when under pressure, and can pass the ball well, ideal fit with Maguire in my eyes. With Tuanzebe, Mengi and Bernard (possibly) in the frame, I think Smalling will be sold, I don't think he would want to come back as a bit part player.
As much as I enjoy Bailly’s clear enthusiasm, he is far too erratic to ever be a top class centre back. He’s also injured a lot, and similarly to Jones, it is in part due to his style of play. Jones and Bailly would rather injure themselves than give away so much as a corner.

The problem with kamikazes is that they’re never around for the next mission.
 

MrSingh2002

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Please God no.

We're down to our last 6 seriously shit players.

Let's keep moving them out.
 

berbatrick

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And they will recruit quality to rectify it.

Meanwhile a disturbing amount of people on redcafe think a player who did nothing over nearly a decade is going to come back and improve our team...
You said he's not upto standard because he wouldn't improve those teams.
 

Jezpeza

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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:
Valencia Smalling Jones Young

That was the defense that started the Fa cup final with chelsea In 2018. Read it without shivering. We’ve come a long way for the people who claim the defense we have now is shit
 

Icemav

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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?
His problem was his passing.
 

berbatrick

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He wouldn't improve them. He's an average player that's already had his 'best'. Hence why he want to remain in Serie A.
He clearly would, it's just absurd to not recognise what he brings to a defence, especially one as lacking as Chelsea's.
About the use of "best"; the contempt for some of our best performing players (2016 POTY) here is amazing, and of course is not limited to Smalling.

Anyway I think he should stay at Roma. He's not young and doesn't want rotation.
 

meamth

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Nah.. the memories of him hoofing the ball during Mourinho's tenure giving me nightmares.

Better if we sell.
 

Paul_Scholes18

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Valencia Smalling Jones Young

That was the defense that started the Fa cup final with chelsea In 2018. Read it without shivering. We’ve come a long way for the people who claim the defense we have now is shit
Yes we ended second that year with a strong defensive record and also reached the cup final. People claim it was shit since they didn't like the players we had. Same as claiming we had shit defenders under LVG.
It is not shit now either though. It is a solid defense. Better than the one City had both of these times I would say. Just that they got stronger attack and midfield and mainly a better manager.
 

Jezpeza

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Yes we ended second that year with a strong defensive record and also reached the cup final. People claim it was shit since they didn't like the players we had. Same as claiming we had shit defenders under LVG.
It is not shit now either though. It is a solid defense. Better than the one City had both of these times I would say. Just that they got stronger attack and midfield and mainly a better manager.
I would use examples of the likes of Sheffield united and burnley in past seasons who have a great defensive record but they dont have amazing individuals. They set the team up defensively and scrap for every 50/50 and are hard to beat. Thats good for them and will ensure relative success to those clubs, but thats really what we did under jose. If we tried to play better football Going forward we would have bled goals with that back 4, they were not good we just played a defensive team game.

Man city also conceded a goal less than us That season in 2018, whilst accumulating 100 points and 106 goals, so the boring gain of a good defensive record doesn't really count as any sort of achievement.
 

el3mel

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Valencia Smalling Jones Young

That was the defense that started the Fa cup final with chelsea In 2018. Read it without shivering. We’ve come a long way for the people who claim the defense we have now is shit
Young was one of our best players this year, to be fair.
 

Paul_Scholes18

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I would use examples of the likes of Sheffield united and burnley in past seasons who have a great defensive record but they dont have amazing individuals. They set the team up defensively and scrap for every 50/50 and are hard to beat. Thats good for them and will ensure relative success to those clubs, but thats really what we did under jose. If we tried to play better football Going forward we would have bled goals with that back 4, they were not good we just played a defensive team game.

Man city also conceded a goal less than us That season in 2018, whilst accumulating 100 points and 106 goals, so the boring gain of a good defensive record doesn't really count as any sort of achievement.
In the bigger games we did, but we tried to be more attacking against the smaller teams. At least early on and we had great defensive record then even scoring loads of goals.
Against Sevilla I guess Jose did his stupidity with defensive tactics. 0-0 away is not really a good result and then we messed it up at home anyway. No Pogba I think playing then either.
 

el3mel

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Says it all.

So glad Ole has improved things and the future is looking brighter
Yeah everything considered, the current defense has much more potential and looks better than anything we have put post Fergie, even with minor complaints here and there, I will definitely won't want Smalling or Jones in the main team again.
 

VeevaVee

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I'd definitely have him back next to Maguire if we're not planning on going for a worldy. I'd have him back as third choice too if we did but he obviously doesn't want that.