Chris Smalling image 12

Chris Smalling England flag

2019-20 Performances


View full 2019-20 profile

Ekeke

Full Member
Joined
Aug 1, 2006
Messages
46,432
Location
Hope, We Lose
I think he, and many other CBs, have cleaned up their game and adjusted for VAR. They lose a weapon or two, and how important that is depends on the CB. I personally can’t say if he is less effective now when he has to be less physical in the box, especially not since he moved to another league.

Now he should try to clean up the handball part as well.
:rolleyes: I guess Lindelof should try to clean up the own goal part too
 

KennyBurner

Full Member
Joined
Aug 6, 2018
Messages
2,471
Location
ATL
Do what, point out the fact that his passing success rate was high? Don't dispute a fact
His passes were short and safe. If we were to look up his progressive passes and I’m sure they would be low compared to his peers and also unsuccessful.
 

A-man

Full Member
Joined
Nov 25, 2017
Messages
2,316
:rolleyes: I guess Lindelof should try to clean up the own goal part too
Of course everybody wants to minimise own goals but it’s very rare anyway and hard to change anything. But a true professional adapts when the rules and interpretations of the rules change. With VAR you can’t use your arms in the same way as before. We have seen for many years how some defenders, like Ramos or as an United example Lindelof, hid their arms behind their back. Now it’s a reality that VAR will catch handball and players need to adapt

It is clear that Smailing needs to control his arms better or he will continue to cost his team vital points.
 

Revan

Assumptionman
Joined
Dec 19, 2011
Messages
41,631
Location
CA
This is something that gets overlooked as everybody focuses on his ball playing ability. He is an excellent 1v1 defender, arguably the best we have, but his game reading and concentration is poor vs any team with good movement. He's awful at reading diagonal runs and passing marked players along to his teammates during an attack.

Roma have conceded 40 goals in his 29 games. We have conceded 36 all season, in a significantly stronger league. He's had a good season there no doubt but let's not kid ourselves that he's in some way better than Maguire and Lindelof.
There is no way on Earth he is better than Lindelof in 1 on 1s. Lindelof is practically undribbable and has a higher win share than Smalling in every possible category.

Smalling is our Lucas Leiva. The longer he is out of the team, the better he becomes.
 

berbatrick

Full Member
Scout
Joined
Oct 22, 2010
Messages
15,456
A fun statistical fact is that when Smalling was at Lindelof’s age (26), he didn’t win more headers than Lindelof does now (2.7 aerials per game).

Smalling’s PL stats:
20 years old - 3.1 aerials per match
21 years old - 1.2 aerials per match
22 years old - 2.0
23 years old - 2.5
24 years old- 2.8
25 years old- 3.5
26 years old - 2.7
27 years old- 3.7
28 years old- 3.1
29 years old -4.3
Funny that it's sandwiched between seasons where he had clearly higher stats, which is usually a sign of an anomaly, whereas 2019/20 has been Lindelof's best aerial season by a factor of about 1.5.

Lindelof's last 3 years:

This year he seems to have improved his aggression but not his success.

Smalling:
 

A-man

Full Member
Joined
Nov 25, 2017
Messages
2,316
Funny that it's sandwiched between seasons where he had clearly higher stats, which is usually a sign of an anomaly, whereas 2019/20 has been Lindelof's best aerial season by a factor of about 1.5.

Lindelof's last 3 years:

This year he seems to have improved his aggression but not his success.

Smalling:
It was meant a little bit of a joke, but the thing is if we look at the figures, Smalling developed his aerial dominant game relatively late. You can say the figures are sandwiched but in reality, Smalling didn’t have very impressive numbers when he was at Lindelof’s age or younger. (His best up until that was when he was 25 and paired with Blind, which shows how strong the aerial stats is linked with the role the player has).
 

Real Madras

Full Member
Joined
Nov 30, 2016
Messages
509
Location
London
Never had a problem with Smalling but it’s obvious he has some flaws but then again I’d much rather a player who can actually consistently take to the pitch every week and outside our top two Centre Backs, Smalling would easily be my 3rd choice. He’s not a bad defender and with 60+ games a season will get at least 25+ games a season. I’d also like to see what he would be like with Maguire next to him. I think that partnership has potential.
 

Number32

New Member
Newbie
Joined
Jan 11, 2015
Messages
461
I’ve watched the same games you have this season, and Maguire has not made 0 mistakes leading to goal scoring chances.
That's what the stats said officially in Premire League. Just check it out, De Gea 3, McT 1, Tuanzebe 1, Pogba 1, Penalties: Pogba 1, AWB 1, Bailly 1.
He might had some errors but somehow did not end to concede a goal.
 

amolbhatia50k

Sneaky bum time
Joined
Nov 8, 2002
Messages
75,216
Location
india
That's what the stats said officially in Premire League. Just check it out, De Gea 3, McT 1, Tuanzebe 1, Pogba 1, Penalties: Pogba 1, AWB 1, Bailly 1.
He might had some errors but somehow did not end to concede a goal.
This is like the stat about Rooney being the Usain Bolt of football.
 

Number32

New Member
Newbie
Joined
Jan 11, 2015
Messages
461
This is like the stat about Rooney being the Usain Bolt of football.
Stat is for comparison not an ultimate recogniton though. Rooney is Usain bolt of football If you compared Rooney to average English footballers.

Smalling did far more errors than Maguire this season, and the stats don't lie.
 

amolbhatia50k

Sneaky bum time
Joined
Nov 8, 2002
Messages
75,216
Location
india
Stat is for comparison not an ultimate recogniton though. Rooney is Usain bolt of football If you compared Rooney to average English footballers.

Smalling did far more errors than Maguire this season, and the stats don't lie.
Maguire has made a fair number of errors. Just after the restart he's made a few. There's no point in relying on stats which tell an incorrect picture.

Comparing Rooney to average footballers would make for a pointless comparison.

I think Maguire has done pretty well for us this season. At the same time I do think Smalling was the best defender defender I've seen at United in the post SAF era. His quality on the ball isn't great but if he's willing to rotate he'd be a brilliant option to have in the squad. We probably do need two CBs with quality on the ball consider AWBs limitations, but it would be great to be able to field two CBs like Maguire and Smalling who can dominate teams.
 

Yagami

Kira did nothing wrong
Joined
Jan 27, 2013
Messages
9,101
What counts as an error then? I thought Maguire being easily beaten for Bournemouth's first in the 5-2 would've counted as one but apparently not...
 

roonster09

Correctly predicted France to win World Cup 2018
Scout
Joined
May 10, 2009
Messages
24,413
A fun statistical fact is that when Smalling was at Lindelof’s age (26), he didn’t win more headers than Lindelof does now (2.7 aerials per game).

Smalling’s PL stats:
20 years old - 3.1 aerials per match
21 years old - 1.2 aerials per match
22 years old - 2.0
23 years old - 2.5
24 years old- 2.8
25 years old- 3.5
26 years old - 2.7
27 years old- 3.7
28 years old- 3.1
29 years old -4.3
Smalling played few games as a sub, which will skew per game stats. Both Smalling and Lindelof per 90 mins stats

Smalling vs Lindelof.

Lindelof's best season is 2019-20 where he won 2.8 headers per 90 mins which would be 2nd worst for Smalling. IIRC Smalling played most games as RB in 2011-12, one of the reason why he went for less headers (not sure btw, it was long back).

Smalling vs Lindelof is not a contest when it comes to headers.

Season​
Age​
Total Headers​
Headers won​
Win %​
Season​
Age​
Total Headers​
Headers won​
Win %​
2009-10​
20​
5​
2.8​
56.00%​
2016-17​
22​
3.7​
2.2​
59.46%​
2010-11​
21​
5.4​
4.1​
75.93%​
2017-18​
23​
3.3​
1.5​
45.45%​
2011-12​
22​
2.2​
1.6​
72.73%​
2018-19​
24​
3.8​
2.4​
63.16%​
2012-13​
23​
4.2​
2.7​
64.29%​
2019-20​
25​
4.2​
2.8​
66.67%​
2013-14​
24​
4.2​
2.9​
69.05%​
2014-15​
25​
5​
3.4​
68.00%​
2015-16​
26​
5.5​
3.5​
63.64%​
2016-17​
27​
4.9​
3.6​
73.47%​
2017-18​
28​
5.7​
3.8​
66.67%​
2018-19​
29​
6.7​
4.3​
64.18%​
2019-20​
30​
4.9​
3.5​
71.43%​
 

roonster09

Correctly predicted France to win World Cup 2018
Scout
Joined
May 10, 2009
Messages
24,413
It was meant a little bit of a joke, but the thing is if we look at the figures, Smalling developed his aerial dominant game relatively late. You can say the figures are sandwiched but in reality, Smalling didn’t have very impressive numbers when he was at Lindelof’s age or younger. (His best up until that was when he was 25 and paired with Blind, which shows how strong the aerial stats is linked with the role the player has).
No, he didn't develop it later, he was always aerially dominant player. When he was 21, he won 4.1 headers per 90 mins which is his second best, also aerial duel success of 75.93% which is his best ever.
 

Isotope

Full Member
Joined
Mar 6, 2012
Messages
15,165
Supports
Ole Ole Ole
Winning percentage also skewed by a player's attempt on contesting for the ball. Some are just ball watching, thus his "duel" percentage is higher.

It's like Ronaldo. He makes lots of shots thus his goal to shot percentage is lower than for instance, Martial, although Ronaldo is considered one of the GOAT.
 

Number32

New Member
Newbie
Joined
Jan 11, 2015
Messages
461
Maguire has made a fair number of errors. Just after the restart he's made a few. There's no point in relying on stats which tell an incorrect picture.

Comparing Rooney to average footballers would make for a pointless comparison.

I think Maguire has done pretty well for us this season. At the same time I do think Smalling was the best defender defender I've seen at United in the post SAF era. His quality on the ball isn't great but if he's willing to rotate he'd be a brilliant option to have in the squad. We probably do need two CBs with quality on the ball consider AWBs limitations, but it would be great to be able to field two CBs like Maguire and Smalling who can dominate teams.
I do think Smalling is a better defender too, please check my previous post. But He just won't fulfill our expectation to play attacking football in Ole's system because of his limitation technically, concentration, and lack of leadership.
What counts as an error then? I thought Maguire being easily beaten for Bournemouth's first in the 5-2 would've counted as one but apparently not...
Losing the ball or a miss-placed pass in defending area
 

A-man

Full Member
Joined
Nov 25, 2017
Messages
2,316
No, he didn't develop it later, he was always aerially dominant player. When he was 21, he won 4.1 headers per 90 mins which is his second best, also aerial duel success of 75.93% which is his best ever.
As I wrote, it was kind of a joke but also a fun fact, that when Smalling was at the same age as Lindelof, Smalling won the same amount of aerials. I’ve never said that Lindelof is better at clearing the ball with his head or anything.
 

roonster09

Correctly predicted France to win World Cup 2018
Scout
Joined
May 10, 2009
Messages
24,413
As I wrote, it was kind of a joke but also a fun fact, that when Smalling was at the same age as Lindelof, Smalling won the same amount of aerials. I’ve never said that Lindelof is better at clearing the ball with his head or anything.
No that's clearly wrong. Smalling played many games as a sub, that's why per game stats are low. It does't make sense to use per game when he came as sub in many games. That's why per 90 mins is better way to judge and Smalling is miles ahead.
 

A-man

Full Member
Joined
Nov 25, 2017
Messages
2,316
No that's clearly wrong. Smalling played many games as a sub, that's why per game stats are low. It does't make sense to use per game when he came as sub in many games. That's why per 90 mins is better way to judge and Smalling is miles ahead.
I’m not judging his aerial ability from stats, anybody who can see him knows that is his maybe biggest strength. Again, it was a fun fact not trying to prove anything.
 

Rozay

Master of Hindsight
Joined
Oct 22, 2012
Messages
18,478
Location
#SmallingPlusOne
That's what the stats said officially in Premire League. Just check it out, De Gea 3, McT 1, Tuanzebe 1, Pogba 1, Penalties: Pogba 1, AWB 1, Bailly 1.
He might had some errors but somehow did not end to concede a goal.
I don’t care what the stats say. I watch football, not read it. For example, off the top of my head I know his stupidity cost us a goal against Spurs weeks ago. Whether some silly stat picked that up or not is irrelevant to me in a player comparison.
 

roonster09

Correctly predicted France to win World Cup 2018
Scout
Joined
May 10, 2009
Messages
24,413
I’m not judging his aerial ability from stats, anybody who can see him knows that is his maybe biggest strength. Again, it was a fun fact not trying to prove anything.
How is it fun fact when it's not fact at all.
 

A-man

Full Member
Joined
Nov 25, 2017
Messages
2,316
How is it fun fact when it's not fact at all.
They had the same won aerials per match. That’s a fact. Then you can calculate it other ways taking in to consideration played minutes, positions etc. But again, you don’t need to be so insulted on Smalling’s behalf, he is good and strong in the air and nobody has said anything else.

The “Aerials won” stats roughly reflect ability in the air, game style and what role the player has.
 

roonster09

Correctly predicted France to win World Cup 2018
Scout
Joined
May 10, 2009
Messages
24,413
They had the same won aerials per match. That’s a fact. Then you can calculate it other ways taking in to consideration played minutes, positions etc. But again, you don’t need to be so insulted on Smalling’s behalf, he is good and strong in the air and nobody has said anything else.

The “Aerials won” stats roughly reflect ability in the air, game style and what role the player has.
Eh? It's bit rich coming from Mrs Lindelof.

No, Aerials won shows how good player is at heading the ball, you can play Lindelof in any role, he won't win many headers.
 

A-man

Full Member
Joined
Nov 25, 2017
Messages
2,316
Eh? It's bit rich coming from Mrs Lindelof.

No, Aerials won shows how good player is at heading the ball, you can play Lindelof in any role, he won't win many headers.
As I wrote, it is the ability but also the role you have in the team.
Smalling is very good in the air, and has the role where is the CB who clears a lot on the air, like Maguire. If he was paired with Maguire his number of aerials would probably go down. Smalling also has the role to win aerials at set pieces which means he also wins a lot of offensive aerials.

Lindelof is average in the air and Maguire has the role to dominate the air. Those two together, ability and role, are behind his numbers 2.7 won aerials per game.

You can see the same with for example Rio Ferdinand who won very few aerials:
2009/10: 1.8 per game
2010/11: 2.1
2011/12: 0.8
2012/13: 1.6
2013/14: 1.1

He was not dominant in the air but played with other players who were very dominant in the air. Ability and role.
 

roonster09

Correctly predicted France to win World Cup 2018
Scout
Joined
May 10, 2009
Messages
24,413
As I wrote, it is the ability but also the role you have in the team.
Smalling is very good in the air, and has the role where is the CB who clears a lot on the air, like Maguire. If he was paired with Maguire his number of aerials would probably go down. Smalling also has the role to win aerials at set pieces which means he also wins a lot of offensive aerials.

Lindelof is average in the air and Maguire has the role to dominate the air. Those two together, ability and role, are behind his numbers 2.7 won aerials per game.

You can see the same with for example Rio Ferdinand who won very few aerials:
2009/10: 1.8 per game
2010/11: 2.1
2011/12: 0.8
2012/13: 1.6
2013/14: 1.1

He was not dominant in the air but played with other players who were very dominant in the air. Ability and role.
Rio wasn't very good at headers either, if you are good you attack the ball.

Lovren - 5.7/8.8
Matip - 6/6.6
Van Dijk - 6/6/6
Joe Gomez- 3.2/5.4

That's from Liverpool CBs this season and everyone won many aerial duels. It's because they all are good headers of the ball and aggressive. Both CBs can head the ball. Maguire playing alongside Smalling doesn't mean one of their headers number will drop, they both will go for headers that Lindelof hesitate and don't compete

If you check Chelsea CBs,
Zouma - 4.1
Christensen- 3.5
Rudiger - 3

Burnley
Tarkowski - 5.2
Ben Mee - 4.1

You can see there are CBs from same team who all won more headers. You can pair Lindelof with Blind, doesn't mean one of them will start winning headers, likewise playing Maguire with Smalling doesn't mean numbers will drop. They both will attack everything and will contest for every header.
 

A-man

Full Member
Joined
Nov 25, 2017
Messages
2,316
Rio wasn't very good at headers either, if you are good you attack the ball.

Lovren - 5.7/8.8
Matip - 6/6.6
Van Dijk - 6/6/6
Joe Gomez- 3.2/5.4

That's from Liverpool CBs this season and everyone won many aerial duels. It's because they all are good headers of the ball and aggressive. Both CBs can head the ball. Maguire playing alongside Smalling doesn't mean one of their headers number will drop, they both will go for headers that Lindelof hesitate and don't compete

If you check Chelsea CBs,
Zouma - 4.1
Christensen- 3.5
Rudiger - 3

Burnley
Tarkowski - 5.2
Ben Mee - 4.1

You can see there are CBs from same team who all won more headers. You can pair Lindelof with Blind, doesn't mean one of them will start winning headers, likewise playing Maguire with Smalling doesn't mean numbers will drop. They both will attack everything and will contest for every header.
Of course you can have two CBs who win many headers. It comes down to how you play, how much you need to defend etc. But of course, if you pair Lindelof with Blind instead of Maguire he will attempt more headers. There are many aerials where any of the CBs can make an attempt, but Maguire takes the main part of those and Lindelof covers. Anything else would be stupid.
A more obvious part of how much the role affects the stats is if you are the target for corners, free kicks, etc. The offensive aerials are a big part of for example Smalling, Maguire, VvD but only a very small part of Lindelof’s for example. The reason is that they are targets in offensive setpieces.
 

roonster09

Correctly predicted France to win World Cup 2018
Scout
Joined
May 10, 2009
Messages
24,413
Of course you can have two CBs who win many headers. It comes down to how you play, how much you need to defend etc. But of course, if you pair Lindelof with Blind instead of Maguire he will attempt more headers. There are many aerials where any of the CBs can make an attempt, but Maguire takes the main part of those and Lindelof covers. Anything else would be stupid.
A more obvious part of how much the role affects the stats is if you are the target for corners, free kicks, etc. The offensive aerials are a big part of for example Smalling, Maguire, VvD but only a very small part of Lindelof’s for example. The reason is that they are targets in offensive setpieces.
Or how many excuses we have to find.

I have given you extreme examples too, champions vs Brunley and also Chelsea. If you have CBs who are good headers of the ball, they will win them. All this role is just excuse. Of course one would be aggressive than the other but still both will come away with good numbers.
 

A-man

Full Member
Joined
Nov 25, 2017
Messages
2,316
Or how many excuses we have to find.

I have given you extreme examples too, champions vs Brunley and also Chelsea. If you have CBs who are good headers of the ball, they will win them. All this role is just excuse. Of course one would be aggressive than the other but still both will come away with good numbers.
So if a player is a target for offensive corners or stays back at offensive corners will not affect the stats? How could it not matter? Of course the role is important. The same way a penalty taker is likely to score more goals than if he didn’t take penalties.

I’m not really sure what you want with your examples. One team that conceded 3 goals less and then two teams that conceded like 50% more goals than us, is it suppose to prove something?

And what is this talk about “excuses”? I’m not making excuses for neither Lindelof who wins average amount of aerials, not Ferdinand who won very few. I just state the obvious.
 
Last edited:

roonster09

Correctly predicted France to win World Cup 2018
Scout
Joined
May 10, 2009
Messages
24,413
So if a player is a target for offensive corners or stays back at offensive corners will not affect the stats? Of course the role is important. The same way a penalty taker is likely to score more goals than if he didn’t take penalties.

I’m not really sure what you want with your examples. One team that conceded 3 goals less and then two teams that conceded like 50% more goals than us, is it suppose to prove something?
Are you arguing for the sake of it now? You said how Smalling numbers would drop if he played alongside Maguire, I showed how more than 1 CB have good numbers in aerial duels. If Smalling plays alongside Maguire he will clear everything on the right side, Maguire on the left side. Now we don't have anyone to head the ball on Lindelof side.

If a player is a penalty taker that means he is good at penalties. If a player is target for offensive corners then he is good at heading the ball. It's not even just set pieces, they just win more aerial duels in general play as they are stronger, have good leap and more aggressive.

Even at Benfica he won 2.2 headers per game at around 59% success rate. You can play Blind or some dwarf, it won't change a thing, he isn't aggressive and strong, which means he will win less headers no matter what role he plays. Likewise Maguire and Smalling will always win more headers.
 

romufc

Full Member
Joined
Apr 30, 2019
Messages
4,888
That's from Liverpool CBs this season and everyone won many aerial duels. It's because they all are good headers of the ball and aggressive. Both CBs can head the ball
This is more to do with how teams play against Liverpool. Liverpool CB's have a very high line and press opponents. Their only option out is to clear the ball and hope for their strikers. As the players are pressed quicker the ball out is a hoof out and Liverpool CB's win the duel.
 

roonster09

Correctly predicted France to win World Cup 2018
Scout
Joined
May 10, 2009
Messages
24,413
This is more to do with how teams play against Liverpool. Liverpool CB's have a very high line and press opponents. Their only option out is to clear the ball and hope for their strikers. As the players are pressed quicker the ball out is a hoof out and Liverpool CB's win the duel.
And the opposite play style is Burnley where you have both CBs winning lot of headers, Chelsea CBs wins lot of headers too.
 

romufc

Full Member
Joined
Apr 30, 2019
Messages
4,888
And the opposite play style is Burnley where you have both CBs winning lot of headers, Chelsea CBs wins lot of headers too.
Winning a header doesn't make you the an elite CB. Chelsea CB's have issues too.
 

A-man

Full Member
Joined
Nov 25, 2017
Messages
2,316
Are you arguing for the sake of it now? You said how Smalling numbers would drop if he played alongside Maguire, I showed how more than 1 CB have good numbers in aerial duels. If Smalling plays alongside Maguire he will clear everything on the right side, Maguire on the left side. Now we don't have anyone to head the ball on Lindelof side.

If a player is a penalty taker that means he is good at penalties. If a player is target for offensive corners then he is good at heading the ball. It's not even just set pieces, they just win more aerial duels in general play as they are stronger, have good leap and more aggressive.

Even at Benfica he won 2.2 headers per game at around 59% success rate. You can play Blind or some dwarf, it won't change a thing, he isn't aggressive and strong, which means he will win less headers no matter what role he plays. Likewise Maguire and Smalling will always win more headers.
It’s obvious that the role influence your stats. Don’t think many would question that. And again, nobody has questioned Smalling’s ability in the air.

Smalling’s numbers would most likely be lower if he was partnered with Maguire than if he was partnered with Blind, if everything else equal.
If we look at current numbers, Smalling wins 25% more aerials than Lindelof (0.7 aerials more per match). If we only look at defensive aerials the difference is probably even smaller. Does that mean that Smalling is only slightly better than Lindelof in the air? Not according to me, as it is not only the ability that is behind those stats.
 

roonster09

Correctly predicted France to win World Cup 2018
Scout
Joined
May 10, 2009
Messages
24,413
It’s obvious that the role influence your stats. Don’t think many would question that.
They would as it's to hide weak players like Lindelof. I have already given you examples too.