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

Robbo*

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Heard somebody making a £9m offer for him today.
 

Isotope

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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.
So who is this "reliable and unquestionable" CB we have now?
 

He'sRaldo

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Lindelof should have been third choice purely based on merit. His showing the season before in no way guaranteed him a starting spot.

With that said, no use in trying to bring Smalling back. He'd be better than Lindelof but it's too late at this point.
 

thepolice123

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His weakness on the ball shouldn't be something that is brushed away. We can't be playing hoofballs from the back because our are front 3 are very poor in the air and Ole is clearly trying to implement a style.

Currently, our build up from the back is hardly fantastic and we rely alot on the CBs to hold the ball in tight situations. Smalling needs to play as the right-sided CB where he can use his preferred foot. Couple that with AWB beside him and it will be a complete nightmare.
 

UNITED ACADEMY

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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 think if we have Pereira or Trent as a right back who are good in keeping possession when under high pressure instead of Bissaka, may be Smalling will still be okay as an option. We're playing from the back & Smalling doesn't suit with the style. Under Mourinho we used to just take a long goal kick and let Lukaku wins the header.

31 years old centre back this year who hasn't been stepping up as a leader as well as doesn't suit our style of play and has club who wants to make offer for him with potential fees of £16m to £18m. I think you wanna take the chance there. But if Ole see the importance of him in our squad then I don't see why we should against it.
 

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JoeyJoJoJrShabadoo

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I love Smalling. Thought it was crazy we let him go. Strong, quick, good in the air. Was guilty of rugby tackling in the box and sucks at passing but I'd argue he would be a good partner for Maguire.
 

Lay

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The cafe has this thing of slating players until they’re sold, but then as soon as they’re sold we pine for them to come back - or in this case, loaned out.
 

Bobcat

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Unless Roma are willing to pay north of 30 million for him i dont see the point of getting rid yet and there are plenty more that should be sold before him.

That being said though, one decent season in Italy does not mean hes top PL quality all of a sudden.
 

devilish

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I don't understand the hate around Smalling. He's fantastic in air, he's fast and he's strong. That all qualities Lindelof doesn't have. Sure his passing is meah. However he can be trained to play safe, a bit like Shaw does every fecking time he's got the ball at his feet. Gattuso wasn't Pirlo either but his contribution made Milan and Italy win CLs and a WC
 

devilish

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Unless Roma are willing to pay north of 30 million for him i dont see the point of getting rid yet and there are plenty more that should be sold before him.

That being said though, one decent season in Italy does not mean hes top PL quality all of a sudden.
I wonder why we don't involve Smalling in a swap + money for Zaniolo. The guy can play as RW, AM and MC. He's the biggest young talent in Italy.
 

EwanI Ted

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His weakness on the ball shouldn't be something that is brushed away. We can't be playing hoofballs from the back because our are front 3 are very poor in the air and Ole is clearly trying to implement a style.

Currently, our build up from the back is hardly fantastic and we rely alot on the CBs to hold the ball in tight situations. Smalling needs to play as the right-sided CB where he can use his preferred foot. Couple that with AWB beside him and it will be a complete nightmare.
Yeah, the thought of Smalling trying to pass his way through a press in his own box is kind of frightening.
 

SteveW

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Apart from his passing all he did wrong was not be stylish enough for some supporters to take to. He was a very solid defender for us. His good performance at Roma was completely predictable. He's a good defender.

Unfortunately for him passing is going to be more and more important for defenders under Ole so his future lies elsewhere. I'm actually pretty happy for him. It's good to see him appreciated properly for his performances.
 

SteveW

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Smalling has had an amazing season but I would rate him at Tom Cleverley/Mkhitaryan/Lingard/Welbeck level. A player who would thrive at West Ham or Everton, but not quite good enough for the first XI of Man Utd.

Southgate has picked Tyrone Mings, Lewis Dunk, Tarkowski, Michael Keane, Tomori, Gary Cahill, Joe Gomez, John Stones all ahead of Smalling.

I think if we bring back Smalling, I believe his performances would be on a par with what Lindelof offers. I think when we came up against world class forwards like Aguerro, Sadio Mane, Harry Kane..... I think Smalling would get exposed.
He came up against them for years and was never exposed. Why would it suddenly start happening now?
 

Relfy

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I like Smalling and he was one of our most consistent performers for a number of years, however, we are now trying to change the style to play out from the back, as evidenced by the number of short goal kicks this past season. With Smalling in the team we would be inviting pressure, as he isn't that composed and is guilty of being a poor passer of the ball. If he were to come back we'd almost have to switch to a back 3 so Lindelof and Maguire would be either side of him to try and alleviate teams pressing us too high up the pitch. He would in no uncertain terms be a weak point when we have the ball and teams would target that - not to say that our current defenders are perfect, but they are better suited to the current style of play.

Overall I think he will go on to enjoy a good few years towards to top, whether that be Roma or another PL team. He can still have a good end of his career, and I wish him all the success, but for United I think that ship has sailed now.
 

Red00012

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Would have broken the record for penalties conceded for holding through VAR

I’d take £15 milllion for him .

We need to move in and a lot more who are worse than him on.
 

rollingstoned1

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Someone mentioned that a defender having had the season he just had would cost us 30mn in the present market if we wanted to buy him. Id argue sans covid someone having had the kind of season he had would cost us at least 40mn quid. We got quoted crazy prices for an overrated Skriniar when we went looking for a cb last year who is in no way worth that much. Having him as a squad option wouldn't be the worst thing to do under the circumstances where Tuanzebe just hasn't developed so can't be relied on and we will have to divert funds away from other more critical purchases just to pad out the squad. It's another thing if we were looking at a starter like Koulibaly.
 

Eire Red United

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You could argue Lingard, Cleverley etc are good enough to be in our first XI. With a proper run in the team like Fred and McTominay got this season, a much riled player can suddenly turn into an important cog in the wheel.

But the Jury will always be out because Fred will never be Keane, Lingard will never be Rooney. I don't doubt for a second that Lingard could be a huge success at West Ham or AC Milan if he moves. There's definitely a player in there. But will he offer enough goals and assists to cement his place in the Man Utd first XI, even if he's playing very well each week?

And I just think Smalling is one of those players. Of course he could partner Maguire and be decent next season. But I feel the jury will always be out that he's lacking that bit extra that a true Man Utd player has. I don't personnaly think he would offer more than Lindelof.
Think Smalling has his uses as a back up here, was our best and most consistent cb post Fergie but his brutal ability on the ball lets him down big time.

Would be keeping him here over perma crock Jones and Rojo and the either injured or crazy Bailly.
 

dasty

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I don't understand the hate around Smalling. He's fantastic in air, he's fast and he's strong. That all qualities Lindelof doesn't have. Sure his passing is meah. However he can be trained to play safe, a bit like Shaw does every fecking time he's got the ball at his feet. Gattuso wasn't Pirlo either but his contribution made Milan and Italy win CLs and a WC
There isn't a single player that hasn't been hated on relentlessly before on this forum. Not a single one, not even one of our own like Rashford and McTominay. All of them have been trashed and called all sorts of insults before.
 

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Imo aside from his passing, him having a touch worse than Lukaku and his tendency to screw up (because he has made a bad touch previously) made him basically a no-go if we want to play out from the back.
 

MadDogg

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Would have broken the record for penalties conceded for holding through VAR
Why do people keep going on about this?

In his entire career he gave away one penalty for doing it. He's played under VAR all season at Roma and hasn't given a single penalty for holding. I believe he played in a couple of FA Cup games that used VAR the previous seasons and never gave one away. We've seen defenders doing it all season in the premier league (Maguire is regularly involved in it, both doing it himself and having players do it to him) and none of them have been given as penalties. During the last world cup we saw numerous examples far worse than anything Smalling ever does, and none of them were given except for one that happened immediately after a public uproar because of how ridiculous bad some of the previous ones had been.

There are reasons to criticise Smalling. But the holding isn't one of them and it basically makes anybody going on about it look extremely biased and not worth taking seriously.
 

Devil81

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He was good enough to be a squad player in my opinionand much rather his height than Lindelof any day of the week.
 

fps

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He is very poor on the ball, not a great communicator, can’t carry the ball out as Ole wants. Also quite simply I don’t think he has the character to be a Man Utd starting player. However, if our transfer budget is going on other areas I’d be happier with him being our first change centre back than Bailly etc, obviously.
 

EwanI Ted

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If ake goes for 40mil, whats smalling worth?
Ake is 25 and could improve with experience. Smalling is 30 and is only likely to get worse. So that plays a factor. If Ake is worth £40M then Smalling is worth... £10M to £15M perhaps?
 

MikeKing

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He is very poor on the ball, not a great communicator, can’t carry the ball out as Ole wants. Also quite simply I don’t think he has the character to be a Man Utd starting player. However, if our transfer budget is going on other areas I’d be happier with him being our first change centre back than Bailly etc, obviously.
De Gea isn't vocal at all he is very quiet and so is Lindelof and Maguire. They have been afforded a lot of time to get the partnership working this season, but De Gea seems insecure and void of confidence. He didn't when Smalling was around. Smalling played with many different partners and is very very loud, and clear.

He showed a 'never give up' winning mentality several times during his time here. He obviously has the right character. Scoring the winning goal against City and in other comebacks, goals in injury time etc.
 
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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.
I had expected him to partner Maguire. With Tuanzebe/Bailly paired with Lindeloff as the alternative pair. Then he got sent on loan and we stayed with Jones....
 

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He's good but he's not the most 'switched-on' defender. Plus the way Ole wants us to play out of the back, he is a disaster waiting to happen since every team seems to press high these days.
 

eire-red

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I'm not sure how anyone believes this. For I remember us dropping crucial points in the league due to using Phil Jones. Not to mention it costing us a cabrao cup semi....He starts that fa cup semi ahead of Bailly. I doubt a chelsea beats us.
Each to their own, but I find it hard to believe that anyone looking back on our season could sit there and think "If only we had Smalling".

Good player, but not a difference maker. We lost/drew games because we were unable to control the game and play football. He doesn't add enough value to be in that team, given how we play.
 

Manny

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From a tactical point of view, we really need someone new in because having to play Smalling is a backwards step.

Smalling can't pass out from the back, which means Pogba would need to drop even deeper, more ball holding from Matic, hoofballs up to Martial and Rashford, full backs dropping deeper to give Smalling options and so on

The idea that his passing shouldn't matter because he's solid defensively is so stupid it hurts. We really need a new first choice CB and Lindelof can drop to the bench. After that we have Axel, Bailly and even TFM. Game time should not be wasted on Smalling and Jones.
 

fps

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De Gea isn't vocal at all he is very quiet and so is Lindelof and Maguire. They have been afforded a lot of time to get the partnership working this season, but De Gea seems insecure and void of confidence. He didn't when Smalling was around. Smalling played with many different partners and is very very loud, and clear.

He showed a 'never give up' winning mentality several times during his time here. He obviously has the right character. Scoring the winning goal against City and in other comebacks, goals in injury time etc.
Smalling was part of a series of defences that were vulnerable and poor. He’s been at the club for years and had a million chances. Maguire has come in straight away and been a leader, perhaps this has made Lindelof look better but I like Lindelof as a younger centre back who is constantly improving and also showing increasing aggression, control on the ball and leadership qualities. DeGea has special talents which have meant previously his lack of being vocal hasn’t been an issue, but I’d argue it is also an issue with him, and that doesn’t make it ok in Mike.

As I say, I think Smalling would be a good squad option centre half, but to me he is as much part of the dropping of standards at United as a lot of the others. As much as anything I think if he’s staying the hope is his loan has helped build his character.

The odd goal he scores is neither here nor there in terms of judging character and quality to me.
 

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Smalling has had an amazing season but I would rate him at Tom Cleverley/Mkhitaryan/Lingard/Welbeck level. A player who would thrive at West Ham or Everton, but not quite good enough for the first XI of Man Utd.

Southgate has picked Tyrone Mings, Lewis Dunk, Tarkowski, Michael Keane, Tomori, Gary Cahill, Joe Gomez, John Stones all ahead of Smalling.

I think if we bring back Smalling, I believe his performances would be on a par with what Lindelof offers. I think when we came up against world class forwards like Aguerro, Sadio Mane, Harry Kane..... I think Smalling would get exposed.
That says more about Southgate than it does smallings abilities. There’s no way the likes of Mings is better defensively or better on the ball. He’s just not.

The only logical thing I can think off is that smalling a a troublemaker in the squad. I mean ole alluded to it without naming anyone and we all thought Sánchez, but what if he was talking about smalling?

It’s the only thing that makes sense to me, because his ability is better than some at United and some being picked for England.
 

Foxbatt

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Lindelof is vocal. He does give instructions too. He doesn't look worried Smalling looks like he is carrying all the problems of the world on his shoulder. It brings instability to the defense.
 
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Each to their own, but I find it hard to believe that anyone looking back on our season could sit there and think "If only we had Smalling".

Good player, but not a difference maker. We lost/drew games because we were unable to control the game and play football. He doesn't add enough value to be in that team, given how we play.
He is good at stopping goals. Since Fergie left every season that has had a good defensive partnership at the back ta United has included him. It isn't by coincidence. Plus given we actually lost important games and points because of the likes of Jones playing. There is nothing strange about saying he was missed.
 

romufc

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List the ones that were his fault. Before you bring this up as a point to knock him
He is part of the defensive unit. We didn't lose to Chelsea and City because we missed Smalling.

Let me ask you, which crucial points have we dropped because of Phil Jones?

Let me actually get this straight - City - We played Phil Jones, even Lindelof and Maguire have dealt with City 3 times this season and done well.

Bailly played against Chelsea - the goals came after he got subbed off so I am not sure what Smalling would have done there.
 

drdoityourself

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Can you use it in a sentence?
It's hard to say apart from his passing, I think it's such a big part of defending now. His passing is poor, but also he gave up so many chances of winning possession by not trusting his touch or his passing. He was all too comfortable giving up a throw in or a corner because he didn't fancy taking a touch under pressure and keep possession. Couldn't recycle the ball when others could. That just leads to extra possessions, deep into our half, for the opposite side.
Remember the four nil loss at Everton, the all important first goal came from a long throw, needlessly given away by Smalling. It's hard becoming a dominant force with such a player. The defence, even though it still has a room for improvement, feels much more at ease now rather than the days when Smalling was there. A

Top teams nowadays are on the front foot, keep possession and limit chances. He doesn't really fit that. It would be a backwards step to bring that type of defender back into the fold.