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

Amerifan

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Smalling was on many deadwood lists a year ago. Now, because he was not involved this season he is automatically superior to those who were. If he was actually better he would have been selected more often and not have had to leave to get game time.
 

LuckyScout78

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Remember even David Moyes prefer and pick Fellaini and most of the fans don’t rate him. Doesn’t mean the manager is right and the fan is wrong.

Same with Smalling. Even Ole pick Lindelof or Bailly over Smalling. I decide that Smalling is not good enough for a regular starter last season. Mean that Ole decision is right and some of fans who think Smalling is better Lindelof is wrong.

First a manager rating and prefer is subjective, not objective. I pick what he think will suit his style and philosophy. And style and philosophy is many and subjective.
Second. Trust and meant. Someone are meant to work for specific manager. Still subjective and a cup of tea. I like this cup more than the other. What is right for you. Maybe not right for other. Its matter of suit or meant to work for each other’s. Like Smalling for this United top 3. But the time. A new manager in Ole came. Everything will change. Same with the team of a manager. Many manager change the whole staff. It doesn’t mean the previous are not good enough. This is objective point of view. That managers have different taste of player and different taste of cup.

So for Smalling or like Lukaku. Scoring over 20 goals for Inter this season. Even Ole doesn’t prefer you. But keep believing in yourself, doing well at other clubs. BUT in some occasions. Players are out of date, not good enough anymore. Yeah Smalling might not good enough for a premier league team. But i am sure United will get top 4 if United keep Smalling and buy Bruno in last summer. 100% sure about this. Bruno is the biggest impact this season. Bruno was lifting every player. Including Bruno lifting Matic too. Better teammates lift your confidence. And with Bruno. United have the ball more, dominate more and it help United defend too. Because if United dominate and have the ball, it mean opponents teams have lesser time to create chances.
Luckily for United. Bruno came and still available. If not that top 4 ship would sail away. If Bruno didn’t came.

So unlucky for Smalling. Smalling didn’t play at the time with Bruno. If Bruno came January 2019. Smalling wouldn’t be loan. Because after PSG last year. United were really poor. Not only because of Smalling. But the injury of Herrera and of course no leader like Bruno. So things happen that way.

In the end. I try to be as objective as i can. I am not on Smalling or manager side. I just telling what i observed. From the last PSG game last season. And from objective of view. Managers taste and who they prefer.

Objective = managers has different taste of players and cup. At the same time. Still the taste.
Subjective = This manager/I like this player and cup more.

Discussion base on subjective point of view. Will never end.

But again. From my subjective point of view. If i was United manager. I would not loan out Smalling before last season. I am 100 % sure of this. I will just blame on Bruno. Why not came few years earlier. So sorry. I might blame Mourinho. Portugese countryman = joke but still wish Bruno came last summer.
And one of the reason is. United prefer and use time on Eriksen and Dybala as nr.10, until the last days of summer transfer. Bruno was premier league unproven and managers were not 100 sure. So from what things happen. United prefer Eriksen and Dybala over Bruno. Both of them rejected United. Dybala in the last days of transfer window. Then you don’t have enough time. To work on the next option.

But luckily for United. Spurs, Arsenal, Wolves, Chelsea and the unbelievable Leicester City that could drop so many points and let United slide ahead, before last match of the season. Strange season. Feel like it was meant to happen. Like a script. Soyuncu red card and 3 match ban. And Leicester goalkeeper mistakes. Feels like the script is already written. Meant to happen.

So it is like are meant to be, or not meant o be. Born to be a winner. Another, at the right time and place. Right place , but wrong time. Bad for you. Many factors and reasons behind a result (success or fiasco)

That are mine thoughts and knowledges i want to share with you. On a positive direction. To lift peoples up. You still young and passionate. Even managers and peoples who to pick or prefer you, doesnt mean you are good enough. Success is like a meal. Success need every factors, reasons, ingredients to make the end result happen. Success or your goal. Again. I have tried to be as objective as i can. I am on no one side. Wish you all the best ;)
 

Chesterlestreet

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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?
Doesn't seem likely to me. There have been plenty of rumours going around with regard to Sanchez - not fitting in, not getting along with the others, issues pertaining to his insane wages, and so forth.

I have never heard a whisper about Smalling being a trouble maker. He wasn't that highly rated - it's just that. And he wanted minutes, as a regular starter - Ole couldn't guarantee that, and presto, he was allowed to go away on loan.

Also - and this isn't aimed at you in any way, it's just a general observation: the "why the feck was Smalling shipped out and not Jones" argument makes no sense whatsoever. Jones is famous for being a perma-crock (and has done nothing but reinforce that impression under Ole). If Roma - or anyone else - had expressed a desire to loan him, does anyone really think Ole would have put his foot down? Again, Smalling was allowed to leave primarily because he, himself, wanted the move. Not because Ole considered him a useless or disruptive player. He simply didn't rate Smalling as highly as some posters on here do, and wasn't prepared to make him a default starter.
 

golden_blunder

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Doesn't seem likely to me. There have been plenty of rumours going around with regard to Sanchez - not fitting in, not getting along with the others, issues pertaining to his insane wages, and so forth.

I have never heard a whisper about Smalling being a trouble maker. He wasn't that highly rated - it's just that. And he wanted minutes, as a regular starter - Ole couldn't guarantee that, and presto, he was allowed to go away on loan.

Also - and this isn't aimed at you in any way, it's just a general observation: the "why the feck was Smalling shipped out and not Jones" argument makes no sense whatsoever. Jones is famous for being a perma-crock (and has done nothing but reinforce that impression under Ole). If Roma - or anyone else - had expressed a desire to loan him, does anyone really think Ole would have put his foot down? Again, Smalling was allowed to leave primarily because he, himself, wanted the move. Not because Ole considered him a useless or disruptive player. He simply didn't rate Smalling as highly as some posters on here do, and wasn't prepared to make him a default starter.
I take your point too, but I’m just also thinking of the England situation where players like Mings are getting picked ahead of him. He’s not a better passer or a better defender so I don’t get it. Does Southgate just not like his personality for some reason? That’s where I’m coming from
 

jeepers

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Better pure defender than Maguire. Maguire’s only better with passing than Smalling. I was mad when we were linked with, and then announced Maguire for that kind of money. 80m. Maguire’s worth Max maybe 50m. Maguire was, and still is, a poor transfer in my eyes. Not much of a leader, either. A fit and not-eccentric Bailly and Smalling would make an excellent pairing, imo.
 

romufc

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Smalling was on many deadwood lists a year ago. Now, because he was not involved this season he is automatically superior to those who were. If he was actually better he would have been selected more often and not have had to leave to get game time.
The caf has selected memory. If he was actually that good, more clubs would be in for him too. Only Roma are in for him for a fee of £12m.

For a player many on here think is the best defender in Serie A.

Lovren who has hardly played got sold for £11m. let that sink in.
 

Chesterlestreet

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I take your point too, but I’m just also thinking of the England situation where players like Mings are getting picked ahead of him. He’s not a better passer or a better defender so I don’t get it. Does Southgate just not like his personality for some reason? That’s where I’m coming from
My take on it, simply put: he's not a bad player (and he isn't considered as such by either Ole or Southgate), but he just doesn't stand out enough. For a team with lofty ambitions, he's a run-of-the-mill "pure" defender with certain weaknesses, who is now past 30.

Mings is nothing special, obviously, but he's some years younger, etc. Lindelof is younger too, and has more potential to take further steps, etc.

Just a case of him not being anything special - not a case of him being useless. In fact, as a squad option for United right now, I'd take him over Bailly/Jones/Rojo...I mean, of course I would, they all have much larger question marks over their heads than Mike. But then again, I wouldn't fight tooth and nail to keep him at the club either. It should be possible to replace what he potentially brings relatively easily.
 

Silverman

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Great defender but a liability on the ball which is what most top teams require off their CBs nowadays. Teams like Southampton would sit on him from our goal kicks to wait for him to make a mistake.
Had we got a top class ball playing CB alongside him, it may work. Sadly, we do not.
 

Decomposing In Paris

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I think there was concern that in the VAR era, the way he used to grapple with forwards in the penalty area would cost us penalties. I haven’t seen enough of him this season to know if he’s ironed this out of his game.
 

hmchan

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Great defender but a liability on the ball which is what most top teams require off their CBs nowadays. Teams like Southampton would sit on him from our goal kicks to wait for him to make a mistake.
Had we got a top class ball playing CB alongside him, it may work. Sadly, we do not.
Isn't Maguire supposed to be the top class ball playing CB given his price tag and reputation? Why not just play the ball long when we face teams like Southampton (Maguire and Lindelof were also swinging the ball away like Smalling under those intense pressing)?
 

KcB32

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Isn't Maguire supposed to be the top class ball playing CB given his price tag and reputation? Why not just play the ball long when we face teams like Southampton (Maguire and Lindelof were also swinging the ball away like Smalling under those intense pressing)?
The thing that frustrates me is how often Matic drops back level with the back line, receives 3 yard sideways pass from Maguire then starts the play from the back. What's the point of having 2 ball-playing CBs if our CDM is the one that drops all the way back to move the ball forward? Not only does this make it difficult for our more advanced midfielders, but it makes Smalling's ball playing ability a moot point.
 

Silverman

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Isn't Maguire supposed to be the top class ball playing CB given his price tag and reputation? Why not just play the ball long when we face teams like Southampton (Maguire and Lindelof were also swinging the ball away like Smalling under those intense pressing)?
Was he meant to be? He isn't in my opinion. Ya can do that but if it's not your main style of play it will disrupt the team and hamper the more creative players.
 

golden_blunder

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I think there was concern that in the VAR era, the way he used to grapple with forwards in the penalty area would cost us penalties. I haven’t seen enough of him this season to know if he’s ironed this out of his game.
People keep saying that but it just hasn’t happened. Neither did it lead to many penos pre-VAR either. It’s a narrative
 

golden_blunder

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The thing that frustrates me is how often Matic drops back level with the back line, receives 3 yard sideways pass from Maguire then starts the play from the back. What's the point of having 2 ball-playing CBs if our CDM is the one that drops all the way back to move the ball forward? Not only does this make it difficult for our more advanced midfielders, but it makes Smalling's ball playing ability a moot point.
The current “playing out from the back” is a shambles and more often than I’d like, it leads to giving the ball away. Why can’t DeGea just take a bloody goal kick?
 
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He is part of the defensive unit.
He was the most impressive member of a poor defensive unit. You don't get rave reviews in Serie A, the home of defending for being rubbish


We didn't lose to Chelsea and City because we missed Smalling.
a major reason we lost is because we were forced to switch systems midway due to a center back injury, that took enough time to sort out that it messed up our concentration before half tie and we never recovered. I'm pretty sure a Smalling wouldn't have been taken off injured.

Let me ask you, which crucial points have we dropped because of Phil Jones?
Remember Sheff Utd away? surprisingly 2 zip down at half time due to him? We also lost two burnley at home when he played. Those points could have been super costly

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.
Maguire missed the home game vs City in the cabarao cup semi. We were 3 down by half time due to ineptitude of Jones as a replacement

Bailly played against Chelsea - the goals came after he got subbed off so I am not sure what Smalling would have done there.
He'd never have come off injured at the very least
 

WR10

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78 goals conceded last year vs 48 this year with Maguire. You can comment about his hair, his atrocious dribbling, his brilliant air dominance, his flawless 1 on 1s, or his terrible passing. None of it matters. At the end of the day, he is a colossal failure at organization. He has no business in composure and that is the last thing you want from your main CB. When you see a back 4 look frantic in defending it's almost always because of the loudest voice being a horrible leader. For you folks that have played high level football you will know what I'm talking about.

He was faced with 2 options: 1) Maguire will take your spot as both the defensive leader and the main CB spot. Deal with it and play alongside in a shrunken responsibility role. 2) Hold the ego and go somewhere else where they will praise you like a god.

He chose the ego option. If he's willing to swallow it and play alongside Maguire in rotation for Lindelof then he's welcome to. A man's ego is fickle though. Good luck to him.
 

eire-red

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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.
Yeah he's better than Jones, but Jones has been sat in the stand for majority of the season and will be sold if we find a suitable buyer. Smalling should follow him. Nothing against Smalling, but I think shipping him out is a sign of us as club heading in the right direction on terms of the type of football we want to play.

Lindelof and Maguire are far superior given the way Ole wants us to play. We should evaluate Smalling and how he would fit into the team based on the style of football we are currently playing, and in that sense he's a complete mismatch.

I will agree that when we're playing backs to the wall, Mourinho style football, he's a good defender. But in a team that plays progressive, forward thinking football, with defenders that take risks when playing out from the back, he's a disaster waiting to happen.
 

Isotope

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I wonder how much it will cost to get a better CB (with PL experience) than this "run-of-the-mill" Smalling.
 

Borussia Teeth

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Really don't understand why so many fans bum Smalling. He's bang average. I won't disagree that he's better than Lindeloff, but VL is bang average too. Sell him to Roma and buy a better CB please
 

The_Midfielder

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Better pure defender than Maguire. Maguire’s only better with passing than Smalling. I was mad when we were linked with, and then announced Maguire for that kind of money. 80m. Maguire’s worth Max maybe 50m. Maguire was, and still is, a poor transfer in my eyes. Not much of a leader, either. A fit and not-eccentric Bailly and Smalling would make an excellent pairing, imo.
Maguire is better on the air .. and is calm.. when he is under pressure he passes the ball correctly and keeps possession, not hoof it out..
Guess that is the way we want to play

I don't hate Smalling . he would. be a solid Number 3
 

Schmeichel=God

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Great post, well fleshed out.

I wondered the same thing.

Given the club continually renews deadwood player contracts, due to the supposed beneficial impact on the balance sheet, you'd think Smalling would be an easy case of he stays for a couple more.

However if we move on Jones and Rojo we have Maguire, Lindelof, Bailly and Smalling. That wont satisfy some as being good enough to take us up a notch. But what does Ole think, does he trust Lindelof? If so then that foursome is fine unless Bailly is considered far too injury prone. Then there's Tuanzebe, but 5 registered CBs is probably too much.

Overall I get the desire to strengthen. If a deal can be done with a quality player, that we can afford on top of priority positions...then sure, swap and change. But I agree completely with your analysis of Smalling and view him to be solid, and I'll add, more of a threat in the opposition box than Maguire imo.

Tall, strong, less foully (my word) than others, experienced, decent pace, more agile than Maguire (imo), knows the club and we know his mentality. Ticks a lot of boxes to allow us to stick rather than twist and spend our money where a need is glaring.
 

Oldyella

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I think Smalling is a better defender than Lindelof and would have made a better partner for Maguire but it's time to move on, best for both parties.
 

KeanoMagicHat

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Smalling was great under Van Gaal and for one season better than Maguire this season. But he’s missing all these intangibles that makes people like Maguire, he’s not a natural leader, Maguire looks like a captain and roars out instructions while Smalling is soft spoken. And Smalling was never highly rated when he was younger, he was never expected to be the next star of English football so has never had any hype. Have seen people say ‘ah yeah Smalling he’s no good’ after he put in 5 or 6 great games in a row, it’s almost like people made up their mind on him and there’s not much he can do to change that.

I think he’s a very good defender and one of the best CBs since Ferguson left, you might say that’s a low standard but you look at United’s league results and it’s not scoring enough goals that was the issue more often than conceding. Teams have competed for leagues with worse starting CBs than him.
 

Fussmeister

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I like Smalling alot but the way Ole wants to play he is a bad fit. Teams are going to press us and let Smalling get the ball because They know he is the weak link( with awb )

But we need another CB. The rest of our CBs are injuried to much and smalling could be a very good option.
 

Isotope

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The thing that frustrates me is how often Matic drops back level with the back line, receives 3 yard sideways pass from Maguire then starts the play from the back. What's the point of having 2 ball-playing CBs if our CDM is the one that drops all the way back to move the ball forward? Not only does this make it difficult for our more advanced midfielders, but it makes Smalling's ball playing ability a moot point.
Yeh. DM dropping back was always the point some posters were using to bash Smalling. Now they all just pretend this never happen with two "ball playing" CBs.

Always selective memory to this people. Just like using only last season's stats to big up how good the defence this season.
 
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That’s not how it works. It’s about chemistry, positioning, communication and more. Smalling has never made himself
part of a really good defensive unit.
the myth continues. He and Blind for example were part of an excellent unit. Even with Rojo and Bailly. Both under Van gaal and when we won the europa league. Disaster always struck when jones was added to the mix, strictly. Yet some how smalling seems to always bare the brunt of the criticism instead of jones
 

hmchan

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Smalling was great under Van Gaal and for one season better than Maguire this season. But he’s missing all these intangibles that makes people like Maguire, he’s not a natural leader, Maguire looks like a captain and roars out instructions while Smalling is soft spoken. And Smalling was never highly rated when he was younger, he was never expected to be the next star of English football so has never had any hype. Have seen people say ‘ah yeah Smalling he’s no good’ after he put in 5 or 6 great games in a row, it’s almost like people made up their mind on him and there’s not much he can do to change that.

I think he’s a very good defender and one of the best CBs since Ferguson left, you might say that’s a low standard but you look at United’s league results and it’s not scoring enough goals that was the issue more often than conceding. Teams have competed for leagues with worse starting CBs than him.
Spot on.
 

dove

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He definitely isn't the worst defender at the club and if he is fine being 4th choice CB I am fine with him staying with us. Jones, Rojo and Bailly should leave before him IMO.
 
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He definitely isn't the worst defender at the club and if he is fine being 4th choice CB I am fine with him staying with us. Jones, Rojo and Bailly should leave before him IMO.
100% agree.

How we are still stuck with Jones, Rojo and Bailly is beyond belief.

This is where we needed a director of football, we have them all bigger contract to ‘protect their value’, yet none of them have any transfer value. I don’t see any club paying a fee for any of these three.
 

themanguydude

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The harsh reality is CBs need to be good on the ball to play in today's top level football.

So besides his passing, he didn't do much wrong. But it's precisely because he can't pass out from the back that he can't play for any top level clubs.
 

Andycoleno9

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Bloody hell, this Smalling love is getting ridiculous. He was here 8 years and suddenly he is excellent defender whos only flaw is that he doesn't have good technique.
Move on people
 

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Here’s my CB list, in order of quality. Ratings based on these criteria: positioning, aerial, passing, pace, technical ability, athleticism, mistakes and finally, “defending”.

Maguire
Lindelof
Smalling
Bailly
Tuanzebe
Jones
Rojo

I rate Lindelof and Smalling almost even, but they are two very different players. Lindelof is a classic ball playing CB, and Smalling is fairly limited on the ball. Smalling is better in the air, less mistake prone, but physically dominant and better positioning. I rate their pace as close to equal. Lindelof way ahead on technical ability and passing. I can see a need for both players in the squad.

Bailly and Jones are incredibly mistake prone. Under no circumstances should they be played in an important match. Tuanzebe I rate, but he’s always injured. Rojo is a walking, talking red card who also is mistake prone.

Personally, I’d like to see Smalling return as he is a useful player. Also, it’s not like ball playing, pacey, strong defenders are everywhere...
 

JJ12

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Really don't understand why so many fans bum Smalling. He's bang average. I won't disagree that he's better than Lindeloff, but VL is bang average too. Sell him to Roma and buy a better CB please
Name one that’s available for the same price we will be selling Smalling