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ManchesterYoda

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I would start with Maguire LCB and Smalling RCB. Defending is the priority.
 

A-man

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I dont think we'd get as much as in the past for Smalling because of his age. I dont think he'd be signed by a "top club" either since the only 2 we have in the PL atm are Liverpool and City.

Arsenal and Chelsea would take him for sure imo
There are now seven CBs in the team. It is impossible to give match time to everybody. Two of them must go. I think there is a chance Smalling will be sold. Maybe Leicester want him.
 

jackal&hyde

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If Tuanzebe stays, and i hope he does, Smalling will find it very hard to get in to the team (save for injuries).
 

Bwuk

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Everton loan turned down.

I reckon we’d accept transfers for him and Rojo. We don’t benefit from loaning him.
 

SilentWitness

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Everton loan turned down.

I reckon we’d accept transfers for him and Rojo. We don’t benefit from loaning him.
I don’t think we benefit from signing him full time much either which is why we enquired about a loan. I like him but I’d prefer ya investing transfers into long term players like we have with Kean and Gbamin.
 

Offside

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Good stuff. He’s due a testimonial next Summer would have been a shame to let him go now.
 

AltiUn

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Glad we turned down their offer, he'll play a big part in the team in the upcoming season. Even if he's not great with the ball his ariel ability, defensive nous and athleticism could be a wonderful foil to Maguire.
 

marktan

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Still easily been our best defender over the last 5 years, simply by virtue of being able to stay fit. Much rather loan or sell any one of the others that take turns to getting the physio off.

I could still see Smalling playing a starting role this season. The Maguire Lindelof partnership isn't guaranteed to work as both have had question marks on their defending in the past. With no mobile DM in our squad it could be quite vulnerable.
 

AltiUn

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If Tuanzebe stays, and i hope he does, Smalling will find it very hard to get in to the team (save for injuries).
Tuanzebe, Maguire and Lindelof are all very similar types of player, Smalling won't have any trouble getting in the team. The player I think should be sweating over his long term future is Lindelof, Tuanzebe has a very similar skill set plus the athleticism that Lindelof lacks.
 

AshRK

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Not his biggest fan but selling or loaning him but keeping Rojo and Jones would be a shambolic decision.
 
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Tuanzebe, Maguire and Lindelof are all very similar types of player, Smalling won't have any trouble getting in the team. The player I think should be sweating over his long term future is Lindelof, Tuanzebe has a very similar skill set plus the athleticism that Lindelof lacks.
Smalling isn't a ball playing defender and he's not comfortable on the ball, if Ole wants to stick to his philosophy Smalling won't get much game time unless there's an injury crisis.
 

Hammondo

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Smalling isn't a ball playing defender and he's not comfortable on the ball, if Ole wants to stick to his philosophy Smalling won't get much game time unless there's an injury crisis.
All true, but I bet we miss him if we sell him.
 

MikeKing

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I think he'll thrive alongside Maguire, and this season at 29 it can possibly be the start of his absolute prime years as a CB. Last season was a write off for most of our squad, even De Gea. Playing with a high line he can cover for Maguire and be aggressive while Maguire drops off. If their chemistry is good we'll be amazing defensively. I know people are negative towards anything, especially the likes of Smalling but the effect of having a settled defence around him is exactly what he has lacked previous seasons. I think he'll have his best ever season for us despite lack of game time in pre season. Unless he sulks and don't want to fight for his place, but that is not like him.
 

jackal&hyde

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Tuanzebe, Maguire and Lindelof are all very similar types of player, Smalling won't have any trouble getting in the team. The player I think should be sweating over his long term future is Lindelof, Tuanzebe has a very similar skill set plus the athleticism that Lindelof lacks.
What is the attribute that Smalling has in your eyes that the others don't in combination. Say Maguire+Lindelof.
 

jackal&hyde

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All true, but I bet we miss him if we sell him.
Even though i don't rate Smallig i tend to agree now. For all his faults, Smalling can stay fit, and that is more then you can say about all our CD bar Lindelof (and now Maguire).
 

Hughes35

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What is the attribute that Smalling has in your eyes that the others don't in combination. Say Maguire+Lindelof.
Well obviously Pace. Also, What does the Lindelhof / Maguire combo have that a Smalling / Maguire combo doesn't in your opinion?
 

jackal&hyde

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Well obviously Pace. Also, What does the Lindelhof / Maguire combo have that a Smalling / Maguire combo doesn't in your opinion?
I think it's much better to have 2 ball playing CD then just one. It helps the build up play a lot and it makes it harder for the opposition to press since both defenders are comfortable in passing.
 

Hughes35

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I think it's much better to have 2 ball playing CD then just one. It helps the build up play a lot and it makes it harder for the opposition to press since both defenders are comfortable in passing.
Agreed, but it also helps having at least one CB with pace and Smalling is much better in the air. If you purely look at it from a partnership then Smalling + Maguire ticks more boxes than Lidelhof / Maguire.

The only thing I see that Lindelhof has that Smalling doesn't is ability on the ball.... Even then I think Lidelhof is way overrated in that regards with Maguire being far superior.

Smalling + Maguire would be awesome in my opinion. I think at some point in the season Smalling will get his chance and will once again become first choice (next to Maguire).
 

jackal&hyde

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Agreed, but it also helps having at least one CB with pace and Smalling is much better in the air. If you purely look at it from a partnership then Smalling + Maguire ticks more boxes than Lidelhof / Maguire.

The only thing I see that Lindelhof has that Smalling doesn't is ability on the ball.... Even then I think Lidelhof is way overrated in that regards with Maguire being far superior.

Smalling + Maguire would be awesome in my opinion. I think at some point in the season Smalling will get his chance and will once again become first choice (next to Maguire).
Let me say how i see it then. We don't have great attacking fullbacks, like Liverpool has, but what we do have is very, very good defensive fullbacks with good pace. I think that rather then having our BF bomb forward, we will play with more akin to "inverted FB". Maguire/Lindelof will surge in midfield with their good passing (and even dribbling) abilities while one/ or both fullback stay back for cover. The issue of pace is then sorted while making use of as much passing ability as the squad allows.

I also think that Lindelofs defensive ability is underrated by some. He has improved a lot in the last year and his stats show it. There is a reason he has been a main stay in the team even during preseason while Smalling was not.
 

WolfInSharp'sClothing

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Maguire and a fully fit/in form Bailly would be some partnership.

But I don't think you will ever see it.
 

AshRK

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People keep on saying SMalling will thrive playing along with Maguire. In fact I think Lindelof will thrive playing with someone who is equally good with the ball and can lead the back.
 

Hughes35

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Let me say how i see it then. We don't have great attacking fullbacks, like Liverpool has, but what we do have is very, very good defensive fullbacks with good pace. I think that rather then having our BF bomb forward, we will play with more akin to "inverted FB". Maguire/Lindelof will surge in midfield with their good passing (and even dribbling) abilities while one/ or both fullback stay back for cover. The issue of pace is then sorted while making use of as much passing ability as the squad allows.

I also think that Lindelofs defensive ability is underrated by some. He has improved a lot in the last year and his stats show it. There is a reason he has been a main stay in the team even during preseason while Smalling was not.

To be honest, I kind of agree with you against the cannon fodder teams where we (should) have 70% of the ball and are trying to break a team down. Against many teams though (The top 8) or even some of the lower teams that can hit you on the break (Bournemouth) then you need that pace.

I also think you might be surprised how far forwards our full backs play this year. Especially Wan. I might be wrong but I expect his starting position to be very high up the pitch.

Either way, I'd absolutely 100% keep Smalling. Even if Ole wants Lindelhof as the first choice, Smalling offers something our other CB's don't in that he's quick, great in the air and a proper defender. Against a team like City where I still expect us to sit back and hit them on the counter, Smalling is still the way to go.
 

Ekeke

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People keep on saying SMalling will thrive playing along with Maguire. In fact I think Lindelof will thrive playing with someone who is equally good with the ball and can lead the back.
But nobody to cover his mistakes
 

MadMike

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Maguire and a fully fit/in form Bailly would be some partnership.

But I don't think you will ever see it.
Bailly + anyone is not a partnership anyone will ever get to see in more than a handful games. The lad's been here 3 years. There's no ifs and buts with him any more. He struggles to stay fit and is a massive liability when he plays. End of story.

Everyone still believing in him, might as well also believe in Cleverly and Darron Gibson suddenly becoming world class.
 

red4ever 79

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Bailly + anyone is not a partnership anyone will ever get to see in more than a handful games. The lad's been here 3 years. He struggles to stay fit and is a massive liability when he plays.

Everyone still believing in him, might as well also believe in Cleverly and Darron Gibson suddenly becoming world class.
Fully agree. Always injured, when he plays he looks nervous. Regressed a lot
 

jackal&hyde

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To be honest, I kind of agree with you against the cannon fodder teams where we (should) have 70% of the ball and are trying to break a team down. Against many teams though (The top 8) or even some of the lower teams that can hit you on the break (Bournemouth) then you need that pace.

I also think you might be surprised how far forwards our full backs play this year. Especially Wan. I might be wrong but I expect his starting position to be very high up the pitch.

Either way, I'd absolutely 100% keep Smalling. Even if Ole wants Lindelhof as the first choice, Smalling offers something our other CB's don't in that he's quick, great in the air and a proper defender. Against a team like City where I still expect us to sit back and hit them on the counter, Smalling is still the way to go.
I used to be very harsh on Smalling but i agree now that we should keep him. I agree with you that in certain games his defensive abilities (that are good) will be valuable. My one concern about playing him against the top teams is that those teams are also very good at pressing, and this is one area where being a good ball playing CD is very important IMO. But like you say, in certain situations where we have to defend deep and defend for our lives, a combination of Smalling and Maguire could be the way to go.

I probably underrate Smalling a bit, but i just think that football has moved on (for big clubs at least) from defenders that can just defend or attackers that can just attack. Now defenders need to at the very least be good enough passers to defuse pressing and at best contribute to build up and even assists (or second assist as they call it; Maguire and VVD are very good at this). Attackers now have to defend, through pressing, and the ones that are lazy or just don't have the stamina (think Mata and even Martial) can become problematic. Lingard is valued highly by Ole and England because of this IMO.

It becomes a long post but i feel a bit for Smalling TBH. He lives in a time where being good on the ball for a CD is no longer a plus, but a requirement. Worse "defenders" then him are more valued both by clubs and countries simply because the ability to defend is no longer enough. Had he been in his prime 15-20 years ago he would have been much more appreciated IMO.
 

Havak

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Everyone saying this style of play of philosophy change is why Smalling won't play... I'm not so sure. I'd expect Lindelof and Maguire to play most games, obviously, but I've still got a feeling that Smalling will be next on the list in terms of Premier League minutes and maybe overall minutes in all competitions. This change in style of play isn't going to suddenly occur over one summer window, much like us fixing all the holes in our squad isn't either. In most of the big games, we will probably defend more than we attack and I can see Smalling being brought on as kind of a reverse Fellaini if we need to defend a result. He always seems to find his way back into the side.

But the main part is, what good are three other CB's who do well to be fit for 50% of the season? Especially when they are still not better defenders than him when they are fit.

Obviously everyone is entitled to their own opinion about a player, but anyone picking Jones, Rojo, or Bailly over Smalling at this stage completely baffles me. Obviously, people will take this the wrong way and think I'm a Smalling lover. I do like the guy, but I'll be the first to admit he is not good enough for us, or at least only good enough to be 4th or 5th choice if we want to be a serious team challenging for major honours again. However, that doesn't mean he isn't currently the third best CB in our squad, and that is by some distance I might add. It shouldn't be a debate. It isn't close. Tuanzebe gets a pass because of his age and needing to develop, but he isn't better than an experienced PL CB who has won big trophies. Jones, Rojo, and Bailly however, are just absolutely not worth keeping and should all be gone within Ole's initial contract.
 

Smores

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No way should we sell unless we get a substantial offer 40mil plus.

We finally have some quality in defence let's not weaken our options. Sell Jones and/or Rojo. Axel, Smalling, Bailly can be backups.
 

Ekeke

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Axel will be there don't worry about that. If that also doesn't work we always a back up in Smalling.
Yeah I'd like to see more of Tuanazebe, he had less problems defending in pre-season than Lindelof did. Obviously needs to play a lot more competitive games to see if hes just as good, but it wouldnt surprise me
 

jackal&hyde

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Fully agree. Always injured, when he plays he looks nervous. Regressed a lot
It's because of his injuries imo that he looks that way and as soon as he gets confidence he gets injured again. I really feel for him as i think he has tremendous talent but will never be able to fulfil it. It's a shame really.
 

A-man

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Smalling + Maguire would be awesome in my opinion. I think at some point in the season Smalling will get his chance and will once again become first choice (next to Maguire).
I highly doubt that the plan was to buy Maguire for him to partner up with Smalling. Smalling is good at defending and often gets good stats but the whole team suffers when he plays. That is my personal opinion.
 

Ekeke

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I highly doubt that the plan was to buy Maguire for him to partner up with Smalling. Smalling is good at defending and often gets good stats but the whole team suffers when he plays. That is my personal opinion.
Maguire is actually a great partner for Smalling in theory. Does all the more flashy stuff running with the ball while Smalling can plug the holes he leaves behind when a move breaks down. Has very good pace to cover him also.
 

-Supreme-

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Not his biggest fan but selling or loaning him but keeping Rojo and Jones would be a shambolic decision.
Why do I see this comment pops up all the time :houllier:

If no one has shown any concrete interest in buying Jones or Rojo, but there are clubs willing to offer reasonable money for Smalling, should we keep them all simply because we need to get rid of the other two first :confused:
 

Ekeke

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Why do I see this comment pops up all the time :houllier:

If no one has shown any concrete interest in buying Jones or Rojo, but there are clubs willing to offer reasonable money for Smalling, should we keep them all simply because we need to get rid of the other two first :confused:
Yes obviously. Because what do you do when Lindelof has his 3rd poor start to a season in a row? You go back to who you can count on.

You dont go back to players nobody wanted to buy from us. Else at that point we've effectively nullified all the investment in defense
 

OnlyTwoDaSilvas

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Why do I see this comment pops up all the time :houllier:

If no one has shown any concrete interest in buying Jones or Rojo, but there are clubs willing to offer reasonable money for Smalling, should we keep them all simply because we need to get rid of the other two first :confused:
IMO yes, because Smalling, whilst flawed, is infinitely more reliable than those two. If we go deep in the Europa League and other cups, we could be playing 60 odd games this season. Maguire and Lindelof is the 1st choice pair I presume, but it's not enough for all comps. Smalling is adequate back up to those and is more likely to even challenge for starting spots in big games than Rojo and Jones.

I'd much, much rather have Smalling and Tuanzebe next in the pecking order than two players who are perennially injured and/or usually doing something reckless.

If we get rid of Smalling this window , we'd need to bring in another CB tomorrow.