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Womp

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He has successfully won his spot against everyone, I am sure he will fancy his chances
Everyone except Lindelof, funnily enough our only defender that doesn't have any severe drawbacks. He isn't going to stand a chance against Maguire. We need defenders who are good on the ball to pull off what we're going for.

It's a shame, because when everything is taken into account, he's probably our third best option now, but he's the only one other teams would probably be interested in.
 

redpatron

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As season goes by, he'll be back in starting line up cementing his place. It's been proven historically, regardless of any new shinny signing.
it means we are shite too, maguire is a bust and/or lindelof got injured. Not the idea situation for the club, we would be back looking for another cb in 2020 and europa league regulars.

What planet are you on? Seriously you Smalling fanboys just need to let it go. This obsession for such an average player is just baffling. We conceded 54 goals last season. We need to move on.
yes sir. also smalling is the worse fit for the style Ole is trying implement to this team. Lukaku is not his type off striker, Smalling is not his type of defender. Jones is the best third option as he's the closest thing to Victor/Maguire in style of play. Hopefully, Axel stays and takes the backup role. I like what Ole is trying to do, he's trying to use the same ideas Pep and Klopp are using with their clubs, interchangeable players within a fluid system. Inserting Smalling in for cup games messes up the dynamic and team chemistry, its just plain stupid and will mess up the team form as the season progress. Just get rid of him like Lukaku.
 

POF

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In games where United expect to make the running, it's very unlikely that he will play. His ability on the ball really restricts him with Ole's preferred style of play.

But in big games against the top teams I would play him. He's the best defender at the club. Even in the friendly vs Spurs, his headed clearance to deny Kane was superb.
 

Ekeke

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Everyone except Lindelof, funnily enough our only defender that doesn't have any severe drawbacks. He isn't going to stand a chance against Maguire. We need defenders who are good on the ball to pull off what we're going for.

It's a shame, because when everything is taken into account, he's probably our third best option now, but he's the only one other teams would probably be interested in.
Lindelof didnt take his place he played next to him. He has the same drawbacks Evans did.
 

AgentP

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No way in hell should Smalling leave before Rojo and Jones.
I would also let Bailly go before Smalling. I want Tuanzebe and Smalling to be our backup CBs this season. The other three we should try to get rid somehow.
 

Alabaster Codify7

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The Smalling situation is actually a perfect representative of the predicament we find ourselves in.

Smalling is probably our best CB, if you take away his lack of passing ability. Certainly our most consistent, and probably our most valuable (apart from Lindelöf but personally, I think Smalling is a better overall CB, but that's besides the point).

If the rumours are true that we are willing to release him, its because Smalling would actually command a tidy transfer fee - there would be queue of PL teams lining up for him along the lines of Everton, West Ham, Palace, Newcastle etc. We could probably fetch £40m or so for Chris Smalling. Double the amount we would get for Jones, Rojo or Bailly.

And therein lies the problem.

We would be keeping CB's over Smalling for the simple that they are worthless.

Does that not partially explain why we have been so shite since 2013? We are hanging onto players for years and years for the simple reason that they ae not worth anything. Worthless players = a worthless squad.

Instead of demoting Smalling and replacing him with Maguire, giving us a pretty solid backup option (better than the majority of the top 4 have, actually), we might be getting rid him altogether and rewarding Jones, Rojo and Bailly for being worthless.
 

Womp

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Lindelof didnt take his place he played next to him. He has the same drawbacks Evans did.
Yes, but for the most part our defence has been constantly chopped and changed, Lindelof is the only one who has been a mainstay. The same will be the case for Maguire.
 

Kostov

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I would also let Bailly go before Smalling. I want Tuanzebe and Smalling to be our backup CBs this season. The other three we should try to get rid somehow.
I like Bailly very much but his constant injuries mean he will never become the player he has the potential to be, so yeah, you are probably right.
 

Revan

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Lindelof didnt take his place he played next to him. He has the same drawbacks Evans did.
Lindelof was clearly our best and No. 1 defender last season, both under Mourinho and Ole.
 

SteveW

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Selling Smalling would be crazy. One injury and we'd be fecked again. Sell Rojo, Bailly and Jones. Keep Smalling and Axel.
 

Ekeke

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Yes, but for the most part our defence has been constantly chopped and changed, Lindelof is the only one who has been a mainstay. The same will be the case for Maguire.
Was. Smalling was also a mainstay after he came back into the team. And Lindelof was also a mainstay in the first half of the season when we conceded so many goals.

The only thing we can be sure of right now is that Maguire will be starting
 

red4ever 79

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We need to get players off the books in the CB position so it's whoever is asked about really. In an ideal world you keep Smalling and sell Jones, Rojo and Bailly, but as said it depends who we get offers for. 7 CB's is crazy
 

RedPed

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The Smalling situation is actually a perfect representative of the predicament we find ourselves in.

Smalling is probably our best CB, if you take away his lack of passing ability. Certainly our most consistent, and probably our most valuable (apart from Lindelöf but personally, I think Smalling is a better overall CB, but that's besides the point).

If the rumours are true that we are willing to release him, its because Smalling would actually command a tidy transfer fee - there would be queue of PL teams lining up for him along the lines of Everton, West Ham, Palace, Newcastle etc. We could probably fetch £40m or so for Chris Smalling. Double the amount we would get for Jones, Rojo or Bailly.
A midtable defender starting for a top 4 team?
 

RedPed

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Our best defender from a top 2 team in 2018
You Smalling fans really know how to move the goalposts to suit yourselves. It wasn't me who said our best defender was only good enough for the likes of West Ham and Newcastle. And if you really believe that Smalling had to anything to do with our Top 2 finish when it was DDG that was saving the defenders' asses week in week out, you really are deluded. I'm surprised you didn't bring up his Player's Player Award from 30 years ago which surprise surprise DDG won that year we finished 2nd?
 

Ekeke

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You Smalling fans really know how to move the goalposts to suit yourselves. It wasn't me who said our best defender was only good enough for the likes of West Ham and Newcastle. And if you really believe that Smalling had to anything to do with our Top 2 finish when it was DDG that was saving the defenders' asses week in week out, you really are deluded. I'm surprised you didn't bring up his Player's Player Award from 30 years ago?
Regardless, we finished top 2 with Smalling as our best defender and a good record the season before last. So he's clearly a good defender and in pretty recent times

It takes mental gymnastics to even fathom an argument that suggests he wasnt among the better CBs in the league that season.
 

RedPed

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Regardless, we finished top 2 with Smalling as our best defender and a good record the season before last. So he's clearly a good defender and in pretty recent times

It takes mental gymnastics to even fathom an argument that suggests he wasnt among the better CBs in the league that season.
If he was that good he would have compensated for De Gea's dip in form last season but he didn't and that's why we shipped in 54 goals last season. Without DDG our defence is rubbish. Thank feck he's staying. That's why we've spent £130m to make a start on putting it right. We won't be seeing much of Smalling in the PL I can guarantee you that. Cups for him I'm afraid.
 

11101

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Actually being reliable on the pitch is the most important part of being a defender. Someone who messes up a lot is never going to be a top CB
By reliable I mean always ready and available. He's never been good enough to be a fixture in a team with title aspirations. He's a squad option at best, and that's fine if he is happy with that role. I'd rather that than the other 3 who can never be relied on to be available.

Still, I have a feeling he's going to become Rio and Vidic rolled into one as he sits on the bench this season. He has some serious fanboys on here.
 

devips

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Those who insist Smalling is not our best defender have, I am afraid, a very warped idea about football and the art of defending.
 

dove

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Regardless, we finished top 2 with Smalling as our best defender and a good record the season before last. So he's clearly a good defender and in pretty recent times

It takes mental gymnastics to even fathom an argument that suggests he wasnt among the better CBs in the league that season.
Smalling just happens to be the best out of our terrible bunch of CBs (except Lindelof) but it doesn't make him a great defender. I think we should keep him until we ship Jones, Bailly and Rojo but that's about it, he should be gone after that.
 

EwanI Ted

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Smalling reminds me of the kind of player Liverpool used to get in the 90s, too good for a midtable team but not good enough for the teams winning the league. We have a lot of those players at the moment and it’s a difficult problem to solve. It means ejecting players who haven’t done too much wrong really, and for players who are only a bit better. But that small difference is what takes you from competing for the top four to competing for the title.
 

OnlyTwoDaSilvas

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I'd be surprised if we let him leave ahead of Jones, Bailly and Rojo. Those 3 need to go first. All 3 are unreliable and massively more flawed than Smalling.

Lindelof and Maguire is a decent first choice pair on paper, and Smalling and plus one of the rest is decent backup. Preferably Tuanzebe, if he can play to his potential.

With the Europa League, there's a lot of games to play. We need more than just one pair, and Jones, Bailly and Rojo can't be relied upon as much as Smalling can, even if he is limited.

I'd only be comfortable with him going if we somehow bring in another good CB, but that's unlikely.
 

MikeKing

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I actually think he could make a great partnership with Maguire. Firstly, he has the speed and positional awareness to cover for the adventurous Maguire, who sometimes will lose the ball going forward while being too slow to recover. Bailly is also quick, but can't stay fit and have other issues.

While some things can be said about having two ball-playing CB's a lot can be said about having two aerially strong CB's playing for your team. In certain games you might prioritise Lindelof, in other games Smalling is your best bet.

I think it also has to be said that while Smalling have some deficiencies on the ball, they have been greatly exaggerated at times and he has been scapegoated as the main culprit of why we struggled to quickly build attacks and play ourselves out of trouble. If you think that, I think a few points have been ignored. Like the lack of movement from our attackers, or the unbalanced central midfield that doesn't really breath without someone like Carrick or Scholes in it. Pogba and Matic can drop deep and did so decently but they are often too lethargic on the ball, and in that position you can see it is not Pogba's natural game. What about the constant makeshift right back and left back, you have seen Young and Rojo hoof the ball at every turn by just the slight bit of pressure. It seems like a lot of these things have now been fixed.

I think too much is being made out of Smalling's ability on the ball, and I'd stay positive that he might really shine playing alongside an actual right-back for once, and with a partner that excels in the very area he struggles in, while he does the same for his partner. Hopefully we'll get a decent defensive midfielder in this window to give them all some protection.

It also has to be said that Wan-Bissaka and Smalling playing together for Man Utd and having that right side on lock would be a beautiful story as well.
 

Kush

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Why is anyone surprised by the rumors? Ole has been getting rid of most technically limited players in position we have a lot of options in. Fellaini was sold in January, Lukaku is for sale. With the signing of Maguire, most likely Smalling time is up.

Can’t say I'll care if he does go, should’ve been binned long time ago along with other frauds. Hopefully they’ll be binned too in coming windows.
 

RedPed

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Listen to Ole's pre-match conference for the Milan game. He said that most of the players had impressed him during pre-season. I'm willing to bet that Smalling is one of those that didn't.
 

Andersons Dietician

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You know what’s kind of weird bar Shaw Smalling probably picked out the best and most adventurous passes over the season yet people say he is terrible. I think most are in agreement he isn’t the very top tier in the premiership but that’s VVD and Laporte and everyone else is playing catch up and Smalling is probably in the top 10 CB’s in the league. Now he’ll probably become first back up or certain games he’ll start over Lindelof depending on circumstances.
 

Ekeke

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Listen to Ole's pre-match conference for the Milan game. He said that most of the players had impressed him during pre-season. I'm willing to bet that Smalling is one of those that didn't.
So listen to what the manager says, then make something up. Got it
 

MadDogg

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Lindelof was clearly our best and No. 1 defender last season, both under Mourinho and Ole.
Not really. Overall the two of them were fairly even, with both of them having patches where they were better than the other. Smalling edged it in the first half of the season, Lindelof in the second. Lindelof being the 'bright new toy' got all the acclaim and positive press though.

Still, I have a feeling he's going to become Rio and Vidic rolled into one as he sits on the bench this season. He has some serious fanboys on here.
I'd say the opposite. Most of the 'fanboys' (which I'm probably considered a member of) tend to be realistic and just point out that he's better than the others we've got and that every time we attempt to replace him he ends up pushing the others back down the pecking order again. Most of us acknowledge his deficiencies on the ball and think it'd be great if we could actually get the defenders who truly improve on him, but it's obviously easier said than done as we've failed time after time. There's a definite chance that it could happen again, as the partnership we're obviously looking to use has a definite lack of pace which could potentially hurt us if we're looking to play high up the field. Hopefully not, but it's obviously a possibility.

It's normally the 'haters' who go massively overboard. They try to include him with the likes of Jones, Rojo and Bailly in terms of injury problems and mistakes, constantly go on about his grabbing in the box even though he's only given a grand total of one penalty for doing it in his entire career, make out he's a championship level defender, say he constantly gives the ball away (which is statistically proven to be false everytime) and so on.
 

Red_toad

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Lindelof was clearly our best and No. 1 defender last season, both under Mourinho and Ole.
Clearly to whom? Shaw was player of the year, he's the only defender to win any awards based on performances. Maguire 'should' now be our best defender, who's his partner is very much subject to debate. I'd say Tuanzebe is probably his best partner long term, as he's he's got pace. Lindelof is over rated on the Caf as he's the best of a bad bunch, he has no outstanding attributes, decent on the ball, poor in the air, not fast. He still has it all to prove.

As for Smalling he's a valuable part of the squad, I'm happy if he stays, he'll come in useful over the season of that I'm in no doubt. 'If' he goes I'm hoping it'll be a trade where we get a midfielder that we so obviously need.
 

AshRK

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I find it really funny how smalling fan boys are hell bent in proving how crap lindelof is. Well smalling had his chances. Almost 10 years at this club and yet he has nowhere cemented his legacy of leading our defence. The guy is not a bad defender but he cannot be trusted to win you major trophies. Fortunately for him he has Jones, rojo and now baily as his compatriots making him look best of the bunch. Imagine if we still had clevelry, anderson, welbeck that would have made lingard look the best of them, doesn't mean he is good enough to start every match.
 

villain

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The Smalling situation is actually a perfect representative of the predicament we find ourselves in.

Smalling is probably our best CB, if you take away his lack of passing ability. Certainly our most consistent, and probably our most valuable (apart from Lindelöf but personally, I think Smalling is a better overall CB, but that's besides the point).

If the rumours are true that we are willing to release him, its because Smalling would actually command a tidy transfer fee - there would be queue of PL teams lining up for him along the lines of Everton, West Ham, Palace, Newcastle etc. We could probably fetch £40m or so for Chris Smalling. Double the amount we would get for Jones, Rojo or Bailly.

And therein lies the problem.

We would be keeping CB's over Smalling for the simple that they are worthless.

Does that not partially explain why we have been so shite since 2013? We are hanging onto players for years and years for the simple reason that they ae not worth anything. Worthless players = a worthless squad.

Instead of demoting Smalling and replacing him with Maguire, giving us a pretty solid backup option (better than the majority of the top 4 have, actually), we might be getting rid him altogether and rewarding Jones, Rojo and Bailly for being worthless.
Good post.
 

RedSky

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I find it really funny how smalling fan boys are hell bent in proving how crap lindelof is. Well smalling had his chances. Almost 10 years at this club and yet he has nowhere cemented his legacy of leading our defence. The guy is not a bad defender but he cannot be trusted to win you major trophies. Fortunately for him he has Jones, rojo and now baily as his compatriots making him look best of the bunch. Imagine if we still had clevelry, anderson, welbeck that would have made lingard look the best of them, doesn't mean he is good enough to start every match.
I've defended Smalling from the tide of shit thats been pushed his way. But Lindelof isn't crap, i'd be shocked if anyone suggested that as he clearly showed his potential last season. I've said it all along that Smalling was our best choice as first team CB from the selection of players we had but the reality being that he shouldn't really be in that position. Ultimately he's squad material, a very useful player to have for specific games but not someone you'd rely on for the full season. I'm pretty sure most posters who've defended Smalling have agreed with that assessment, he was ultimately the best of a very bad bunch.

Jones and Rojo in particular should have been cast aside a few seasons ago. But conveyor belt of Managers along with constant injuries has proved difficult to get rid of them and we don't seem to want to simply release them but get at least some cash back. Bailly I think deserved a few season based on his first season form, but he's ultimately going the same way and probably should be sold either this Summer (not sure about his injury situation) or next. It's a farce really that we've kept hold of Rojo.
 

Kag

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About as good a third choice defender you’re going to find.

Lindelof and Maguire will likely pair up. Smalling and Jones will deputise. I’d send Tuanzebe on a Premier League loan so he can play regular football. I’d bin Rojo and (probably) take the hit on Bailly when he returns to fitness.

Both Smalling and Jones have received far too much criticism over the years. Moreso for what they’re not as opposed to what they are. Smalling, in particular, has stepped up and performed when most others haven’t. Look at the numbers. Last season aside, it’s been our goals scored column that has fecked us every year since Ferguson jacked in. It hasn’t been the defenders, no matter how easy the ‘Chuckle Brothers’ are to blame.

Smalling will be useful this season, as he generally always is.
 

Kag

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If he was that good he would have compensated for De Gea's dip in form last season but he didn't and that's why we shipped in 54 goals last season. Without DDG our defence is rubbish. Thank feck he's staying. That's why we've spent £130m to make a start on putting it right. We won't be seeing much of Smalling in the PL I can guarantee you that. Cups for him I'm afraid.
We conceded 54 goals last season because the entire club, whether it be atmosphere, quality on the field or the lass making the lasagne at Carrington, folded under Mourinho’s cloud. Don’t be a plonker. Your agenda is obvious but even you will know that De Gea’s collapse came about during a period in which the goals conceded per game ratio went down drastically.
 

AshRK

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About as good a third choice defender you’re going to find.

Lindelof and Maguire will likely pair up. Smalling and Jones will deputise. I’d send Tuanzebe on a Premier League loan so he can play regular football. I’d bin Rojo and (probably) take the hit on Bailly when he returns to fitness.

Both Smalling and Jones have received far too much criticism over the years. Moreso for what they’re not as opposed to what they are. Smalling, in particular, has stepped up and performed when most others haven’t. Look at the numbers. Last season aside, it’s been our goals scored column that has fecked us every year since Ferguson jacked in. It hasn’t been the defenders, no matter how easy the ‘Chuckle Brothers’ are to blame.

Smalling will be useful this season, as he generally always is.
As I said Smalling is not a bad defender. Actually he is a perfect back up defender one can have. My issue is if someone tells me smalling will lead our defence for another season I would not be happy. He has got his chances and his time as a first choice defender at this club should be up.

Now that does not mean Lindelof is the next vidic or anything but from what I have seen he looks like someone who has higher ceiling than smalling so I would rather see him progress than again see the same face who has continuously disappointed.
 

AFC NimbleThumb

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We could do A LOT worse than having Smalling as 3rd/4th choice.

Vast experience in big games & in spite of his lack of ability on the ball is a good character to have around & can actually defend.

Not many teams can bring in a Smalling to back up their first choice partnership.

In all fairness, Smalling & Jones as back up is somewhat of a luxury imo.

I don’t rate Lindelof half as much as some on here but if he can go up a level alongside Maguire then we’re somewhat set in those positions; with Baily as the wildcard.