Chris Smalling - does he start at any other top 6 team?

Reiver

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I suggested in the Chris Smalling performances thread that he wouldn't. After some debate, Arsenal seems a good possibility. After that I'm not sure.

I'm not saying that Smalling isn't a better defender than some other players who start for the other top 6 teams. But given the footballing philosophies of the other teams, and Smalling's technical limitations, would he walk into every other team other than City, as someone suggested? Maybe his technical ability isn't as bad as it's made out to be?

Although I'm not Smalling's biggest fan, this is not meant as a Smalling bashing thread. He has been our best defender in recent years. But would he have been a starter at the other top 6 clubs during this time? Would he he now? I'm not convinced.
 

Skills

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Arsenal.

Maybe Chelsea.

Not sure there's much difference between him and Matip so mabe Liverpool too.
He's better than Matip. Wouldn't start ahead of Gomez though, who was their first choice till his injury.
 

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Considering those teams have the likes of Stones, Lovren, Sokratis, Sanchez, Luiz, etc. starting for them, yes, he wpuld probably start for few of them.
 

Reiver

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He's better than Matip. Wouldn't start ahead of Gomez though, who was their first choice till his injury.
In the performance thread, I think someone suggested Smalling and VVD would be the best centre back partnership in the league.
 

Greck

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It's not purely about who's better defensively. The managers of those teams also emphasise ball playing with their CBs so it's a bit tricky to know. If I'm being honest I don't see Sarri, Emery, Klopp or Pep interested in Smalling if they had a choice
 

Kush

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City and Chelsea both emphasize on CBs who are good on the ball. Spurs have 3 solid CBs themselves, that leaves Arsenal where he would start.

We need better CB than his quality if we are aiming to win big prizes, he's not good enough with the ball at his feet and it hampers us in our build up.
 

OverratedOpinion

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In the performance thread, I think someone suggested Smalling and VVD would be the best centre back partnership in the league.
To be fair, Van Dijk and Titus Bramble would be the best centre back partnership in the league.

Smalling is a very good defender, would start for Arsenal and Chelsea whilst being above Davinson Sanchez in the pecking order at Spurs.
 

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City - no freaking way.

Chelsea - not enough star power, likely not.

Spurs - cover/backup role vs Sanchez. Alderweireld and Vertonghen are definitely their first two CB choices.

Pool - maybe, fair chance. VVD is their only confirm starter.

Arsenal - Yeap, finally they'll have a good defender at their back.
 

UnrelatedPsuedo

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In the performance thread, I think someone suggested Smalling and VVD would be the best centre back partnership in the league.
That’s a fair shout. Principally because Virgil is the best centre half in world football (Ramos perhaps) and improves everyone. And what Smalling lacks, VVD has in spades.

I’m a realist about Smalling. He’s not very good. But most centre half’s are bang average right now. He’d play as many games for any team in the league as he does for us.
 

Reiver

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To be fair, Van Dijk and Titus Bramble would be the best centre back partnership in the league.

Smalling is a very good defender, would start for Arsenal and Chelsea whilst being above Davinson Sanchez in the pecking order at Spurs.
That's probably another thread right there - what CB, if he was paired with him, is bad enough to make VVD look bad too?
 

settembrini

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Yes, obviously he would.

His 'technical limitations' are over exaggerated on this forum by people who get upset that he turns his body at an angle they find aesthetically displeasing when making a pass. When you consider that Ferguson bought him, Wenger tried to buy him on multiple occasions and possession obsessed Van Gaal had him as an ever present, the idea that other managers at big clubs wouldn't find a place for him doesn't hold much water.
 

dove

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Arsenal. Unfortunately for Chris, CB position is not only about defending these days, he would have been rated much higher some 10-15 years ago.
 

OverratedOpinion

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That's probably another thread right there - what CB, if he was paired with him, is bad enough to make VVD look bad too?
It would be very hard because he has real leadership qualities, if his partner started having a meltdown similar to David Luiz against Germany he would take the responsibility and pull the defence into a decent shape. There can be one off games where they get turned over but similar to Rio when he was at his best he seems to have the ability to mask his teammates deficiencies. Very good player.
 

Reiver

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Arsenal. Unfortunately for Chris, CB position is not only about defending these days, he would have been rated much higher some 10-15 years ago.
I like the idea of Smalling getting better the further he travels back in time. 50 years ago he would be world class. Late 1800s he would be a God amongst men.
 

dove

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I like the idea of Smalling getting better the further he travels back in time. 50 years ago he would be world class. Late 1800s he would be a God amongst men.
:lol: Yeah but you know what I meant.
 

Bobski

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There is a tendency to overrate Cb's at other clubs. Their defending does not get the same analysis and critique as those at Utd we see every week. Harry Maguire is the prime example of this, nice footballer, makes a lot of defensive errors that generally get ignored in favour of clips of him charging up the wing.

This applies to players at top 6 also. What has Rudiger shown in England to suggest he is a top class CB? Why is Alderweield's decline being ignored? Davison Sanchez makes Bailly look steady in comparison, Matip and Lovren are nothing special, Mustafi and Sokratis the same.
 

WR10

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Chelsea - easily.
Arsenal - easily.
Pool - better than matip/lovren - yes.
Spurs - alderwield and vertongen are not as bullet proof as people make them out to be. Yes
City - not in a million years. Do you see smallings body when he tries to make a pass? He looks like an average person making a pass with their weaker foot. Very technically limited.

Smalling is a fantastic defensive center back. If he played for any other top team we would want to sign him.
 

Bojan11

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Arsenal. Unfortunately for Chris, CB position is not only about defending these days, he would have been rated much higher some 10-15 years ago.
How so?

10-15 years ago we still had defenders who could pass the ball. It’s just more emphasis on playing the ball out from the back. That doesn’t mean defenders back then couldn’t pass.
 

Ducklegs

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Arsenal and that’s it.
This.

He is better than all of Arsenals centerbacks, who, and lets be fair to them, are shit.

He doesnt get a look in at the other sides though.

Smallings problems are not that he “cant play out from the back”, he cant carry the ball at all, his inability to start attacks compared to lindelof and even Jones is staggering.

He is also a reactive rather than pro active defender, he doesnt see anything until its happening, by which point its too late.
 

M Utd

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For pure defending, yes he could and probably would get games for them all. It's about the pairing not just a single CB. Smalling and Lindelof make a good pairing and complement each other well. Long term who knows what could happen or who might come in but right now they are me favourite utd pairing.
 

Adisa

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With the exception of City and Spurs, he'd htart for all of them.
Maybe Klopp and Sarri won't stand for his ball skills.
 

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Arsenal, Tottenham and Chelsea I’d say. He’s a good player, but we can definitely do better.
 

Canagel

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on pure defending he could get into all of those teams easily- City included. but its not the most important thing anymore. hes not a good footballer so the top managers would overlook him.
 
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The holy trinity 68

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He starts for the team that finished 2nd last season and the one with the best 2019 domestic form of any team in the top 5 leagues. The team that is fighting for 3rd so that’s all that matters. Who cares about this hypothetical crap.
 

Oldyella

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With the exception of City and Spurs, he'd htart for all of them.
Maybe Klopp and Sarri won't stand for his ball skills.
This, although do think he would have a shot at Spurs too, neither of their centre backs are as good as they have been in previous seasons.
 

DeGea

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He pulls people’s shirts all the time and somehow gets away with it. With VAR next year, he will get us fecked.
 

El Jefe

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Arsenal and that's it. His terrible football skills aren't tolerated for England so there's no chance managers like Pep, Klopp, Pochettino and Sarri would have him in their teams.

He's a better box defender than most CB's in the league but there's far more to being a CB nowadays.
 

quackattack

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He pulls people’s shirts all the time and somehow gets away with it.
But this is how football has become for everybody in my opinion. And on topic, he would probably be a starter or rotation player for most teams in the PL, just not a first choice in any CL winning team.