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2014-15 Performances


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6.0 Season Average Rating
Appearances
29
Clean sheets
8
Goals
4
Assists
0
Yellow cards
3
Red cards
1

ZDwyr

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Jan 14, 2014
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The thing I noticed watching tonight's game, was how the likes of Gerrard and Fernando drop deep, pretty much into the back line, to give the CBs options to pass to.

Now granted if we play 3-5-2 there IS more expectation for the central CB to take the ball out himself, but I really do think that Smallings passing deficiency is exaggerated, and if we had Carrick or Herrera fit then it wouldn't be something that people would notice, as those are players who will show for the ball and give options to pass to.
In the case of Gerrard he basically does all of the passing. The CBs play short simple passes but the responsibility of basically any attacking play starts with the deeper lying midfielder. I agree though, it'd assist Smalling if we did have that kind of midfielder. Although Evans coming back will probably be enough.
 

NoPace

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In the case of Gerrard he basically does all of the passing. The CBs play short simple passes but the responsibility of basically any attacking play starts with the deeper lying midfielder. I agree though, it'd assist Smalling if we did have that kind of midfielder. Although Evans coming back will probably be enough.
Skrtel is Liverpool's Smalling in terms of distribution.
 

Adam-Utd

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The thing I noticed watching tonight's game, was how the likes of Gerrard and Fernando drop deep, pretty much into the back line, to give the CBs options to pass to.

Now granted if we play 3-5-2 there IS more expectation for the central CB to take the ball out himself, but I really do think that Smallings passing deficiency is exaggerated, and if we had Carrick or Herrera fit then it wouldn't be something that people would notice, as those are players who will show for the ball and give options to pass to.
What that does is also add extra protection when the fullbacks go bombing on. Most teams when in an attacking transition actually are playing a "3-5-2". Liverpool drops Gerrard deep between the CB's as they spread, which allows Johnson and Moreno to push high and wide. That allows Coutinho to come inside and work the space between the midfield and defence; especially against City who had a 2 man midfield, they were already busy picking up Henderson and Allen.

I feel once Carrick is back we can also modify ourselves to play a similar 4-3-3 type formation, allowing Herrera and (Vidal hopefully) to bomb forward, and have Shaw and Rafael as the wing outlets. Mata/Januzaj can play the Coutinho role and Di Maria the Sterling.

As much as it pains me to say I like the way Liverpool play currently.
 

Walrus

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What that does is also add extra protection when the fullbacks go bombing on. Most teams when in an attacking transition actually are playing a "3-5-2". Liverpool drops Gerrard deep between the CB's as they spread, which allows Johnson and Moreno to push high and wide. That allows Coutinho to come inside and work the space between the midfield and defence; especially against City who had a 2 man midfield, they were already busy picking up Henderson and Allen.

I feel once Carrick is back we can also modify ourselves to play a similar 4-3-3 type formation, allowing Herrera and (Vidal hopefully) to bomb forward, and have Shaw and Rafael as the wing outlets. Mata/Januzaj can play the Coutinho role and Di Maria the Sterling.

As much as it pains me to say I like the way Liverpool play currently.
Yup - a Carrick or Vidal figure to slot in between the CBs can essentially transition the formation between 3-5-2 and 4-4-2 (diamond). What you then end up with is something like;

---------------DDG---------------
----Smalling -------- Evans-------
Di Maria ---- Carrick --------- Shaw
-------Herrera ---- Vidal?
-------------- Mata
--------- RVP ------ Rooney

Carrick can drop between the CBs when the WBs want to bomb forward, but when defending it can easily become a traditional back four with a packed midfield. Its an option anyway.

Back to topic, like I said I think Smalling has suffered a bit due to our current CMs not showing for the ball effectively enough. Countless times he would have it and visibly be looking for options, but nobody was making themselves available to recieve the ball.
 

Red Shorts

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Another injury. I hope Jones stays fit, he is the better defender.

I don't understand how you can a hamstring injury? If you stretch properly in the warm-up, this won't happen. I will understand if you get it at the end if the game.
First point not entirely true. Jones is brilliant at the last ditch tackles and so on, but his decision making and his positioning is weaker than Smalling's. I would also say Smalling at set piece defending is fantastic.

Second point, Hamstrings are the weakest part of your legs. If you have damaged them before, it is so common for it to recur, no matter how much stretching you have done. It's the biggest nuisance of an injury to get.
 

Al-T

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Feb 25, 2014
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Injured again. Two games -TWO GAMES - into the new season and Evans and Smalling are back in the sick room. Makes a bit of a mockery of the assurances the medical staff gave van Gaal that the trio of these two plus Jones would not be plagued by injuries this season.

The issue of the quality of any of these three has become secondary to their dreadful fitness records. We can't look to build a title winning side on the back of a Jones/Smalling/Evans defensive core. Particularly whilst also trying to adapt to van Gaals preferred system. They are not able to build understanding and gel as a cohesive unit because they are never fit enough to string a run of games together.

We now have Rojo but he will need time to bed in. Given the club knew Vidic was on his way and were not going to offer Ferdinand a new deal, it's pretty lame (pun intended) that we started out with three sick room season ticket holders as our senior central defenders.
 

Walrus

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Missed him tonight. Those waxing lyrical about Evans' passing compared to Smalling got a bit of a realty check I would wager.
 

DWelbz19

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Missed him tonight. Those waxing lyrical about Evans' passing compared to Smalling got a bit of a realty check I would wager.
Agreed. His passing hasn't been bad at all this season. Lazy narratives will always happen.
 

ZDwyr

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Jan 14, 2014
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Glad he's back. Hope he can stay fit for an extended period of time.
 

Adam-Utd

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Raf Smalling Rojo Shaw is my first choice back 4 at present.

Very quick defensive line will help us keep the high pressure.
 

Skills

Snitch
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Blind's presence should help him with his with ball work. Always seemed to be available last week for the CBs.
 

NinjaFletch

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Him and Jones need a chance to form a partnership. Already the best 2 at the club.
 

Sammyjunn

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In Smalling's pocket (as every other person)
That's just lazy posting to say Rio and Vida covered his errors. When we went on that 4 month clean sheet run in the team in 2009, I believe he made the most appearances of all our defenders in that period.
That's 5 years ago? I am talking about even more recently in 2012, or isnt it a huge coincidence that he looked very good when they were still here, since their decline/leave he has been proper average? When you play around better players, you soon can look better, the people next to you make it easier for you. For example, Munir El Haddadi, dunno if you have watched him but he is looking like a world beater right now, and thats not because he is the new Pele, its Neymar/Messi making it easy for him, they are putting him in good defenders, withdrawing defenders away from him, creating space for him, creating chances for him. Dunno how you could say Evans is our best defender, still think its a academy thing, nobody except for United fans rate him even a little bit.
 

krazyrobus

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That's 5 years ago? I am talking about even more recently in 2012, or isnt it a huge coincidence that he looked very good when they were still here, since their decline/leave he has been proper average? When you play around better players, you soon can look better, the people next to you make it easier for you. For example, Munir El Haddadi, dunno if you have watched him but he is looking like a world beater right now, and thats not because he is the new Pele, its Neymar/Messi making it easy for him, they are putting him in good defenders, withdrawing defenders away from him, creating space for him, creating chances for him. Dunno how you could say Evans is our best defender, still think its a academy thing, nobody except for United fans rate him even a little bit.
I didn't say Evans is our best defender, I'm saying that you are using lazy narratives to buffer your argument like how the others players make him look better, he's overrated because he's an academy player etc etc. I'm hardly his biggest fan, he'd be my 3rd choice CB( haven't seen Rojo at CB, Blackett hasn't played enough games to warrant a ranking) but I think he's done enough to show that he can cut the mustard here.
 

NinjaFletch

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Also I have no idea how/why people are saying Rojo should be first choice seeing as basically no one has seen him play at centre back.
 

Eric'sCollar

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Also I have no idea how/why people are saying Rojo should be first choice seeing as basically no one has seen him play at centre back.
We lost our two main CB's, we needed strengthening at CB and spent big money on one in Rojo. I think it's a fair shout to have him starting a CB.
 

JSMHE

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Feb 3, 2014
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:lol: they can feck off. We need defenders too, because 3 of them cant stay injury free for 2 weeks
Shouldn't let our best centre back go in January. But what worry me is he supported Arsenal when he was a kid.
 

ADJUDICATOR

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THE BRAVE AND THE BOLD
Good turnout from him in a diabolical defensive performance.
 

Bojan11

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3rd goal was his fault. Just doesn't communicate with Blind and heads the ball away poorly. Which wasn't the first time he did both today.
 

Firstouch20

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Apr 21, 2014
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He has zero composure and absolutely shits himself on the ball. His presense caused all sorts of panic in defense. Looks completely out of touch with modern football.
 

Isotope

Ten Years a Cafite
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Mar 6, 2012
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He's best at man marking, not organizing. When he's partnered with a 'car-crash' like Blackett, he'll suffer. When Blackett's gone, Smalling performed better. Coincidence?
 

JoaquinJoaquin

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Aug 7, 2014
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Awful performance today, I really worry every time the opposition get forward and attack us with Smalling at the back, He is so slow and positionally bad, He has not progressed at all in his time at the club, It doesn't help that he is not in a settled back line but I think the people who are hoping that Jones / Smalling is our CB pairing of the future are slightly deluded at this point
 

JoaquinJoaquin

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Yes he needs a leader alongside him. Does not make him a poor player, stick him in an experienced back four & he'll do very well.
Now this where I disagree, It doesn't matter if you have Hummels, Benatia or even Vidic in his prime next to him, He is just too slow, Leicester were running at him with ease, And to be a top defender at United you need to be better than that. To think people used to say they were glad we got rid of Pique because he was slow, He is lightening in comparison to Smalling
 

Red_toad

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Now this where I disagree, It doesn't matter if you have Hummels, Benatia or even Vidic in his prime next to him, He is just too slow, Leicester were running at him with ease, And to be a top defender at United you need to be better than that. To think people used to say they were glad we got rid of Pique because he was slow, He is lightening in comparison to Smalling
Smalling isn't slow, but you have your opinion & will only argue against facts ;)
 

Sixpence

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He shits his big girly pants when he's in possession, it's pathetic. Can't have these wimps at CB.
 

Ronnie O'Sullivan

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He has regressed since his first 2 seasons at United, would have surely been shipped out along with the other deadwoods if we were not lacking in defenders. Simply not United quality.
 

Sam

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Aug 1, 2007
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31,585
Close to giving up on him. He's never been good on the ball, but he seemingly can't even defend anymore.