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

dmode

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The Ole effect has made two more than decent Center Backs play a world class act, so it's up to you to make up your mind.

Personally I feel safe with both in front of De Gea, a definite contrast to the days when we used to have Brown and likes in front of Barthez or something, balls spilling everywhere and conceding shit goals, with their heads down and shit body language.
 

NoLogo

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Like most of our players he has vastly improved since Ole took over. Still he can't hide his shortcomings when it comes to the technical and play making side of his game. Lindelöf is the only CB in the team that is performing on a good level in that regard.

That being said. Him and Lindelöf look like our best CB pairing at this time.
 

cyril C

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He's always been really good tbh but under Mourhino people were really dissatisfied with our style of play and Mou used him as an escapegoat for why we can't play good football and the fans lapped it up..Mou really did a number on all of us tbh..
Mourinho did that to almost every players, in particular on Shaw and Lindelof who are ranking high on my player of the season.
 

Cabin Clown

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What's all this 'Ole has made him look like world class' malarky? Smalling always showed this potential and there's plenty of members in here who've seen it. Comfortably our best defender for years.
 
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Fosu-Mens

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Like most of our players he has vastly improved since Ole took over. Still he can't hide his shortcomings when it comes to the technical and play making side of his game. Lindelöf is the only CB in the team that is performing on a good level in that regard.

That being said. Him and Lindelöf look like our best CB pairing at this time.
True. Very useful when we play with a low block and not interested in keeping possession, like yesterday.
When we play against weaker teams sitting low, and we are the one in possession he is not that as useful.
If he can improve his ability on the ball and stop the holding/dragging of shirts on set pieces he would be very similar to VVD both in ability and style of play.
 

MuFc_1992

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I think there were already posters saying that stuff, but obviously when the manager says it too it can only make the situation worse.
Yup and my point is that Jose's comments lead to furthur underrating of Smalling. He was almost considered next United captain under Van Gaal and I don't think his performances have deteriorated at all to be considered so mediocre by most United fans including myself. Also, having lindelof besides him should definitely hide a lot of his weaknesses.
 

Loublaze

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Smalling's towering performance against Mbappe FC says it all. He'd be a welcome addition to all of the top 6 clubs bar Manchester City.
 

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Smalling's towering performance against Mbappe FC says it all. He'd be a welcome addition to all of the top 6 clubs bar Manchester City.
I am not a fan of Smalling but why people keep mentioning City's defenders as some high level standard? Laporte is the beast but others are nothing special. Not worse or better than Mike or Lindelof
 

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True. Very useful when we play with a low block and not interested in keeping possession, like yesterday.
When we play against weaker teams sitting low, and we are the one in possession he is not that as useful.
If he can improve his ability on the ball and stop the holding/dragging of shirts on set pieces he would be very similar to VVD both in ability and style of play.
Pretty much spot on.
When we want to sit on the edge of our own box and defend deep he's as good as anyone.
When we want to push further up the pitch his shortcomings start to show.

A club like this should never be happy camped on the edge of our own box. Against good teams you need all defenders capable of forcing the ball forward. It wouldn't be accepted at City, Spurs or Liverpool and it shouldn't be here either.
 

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He's the best actual defender aside from Van Dijk IMO. It's just awkward nature in possession that makes people underrate him.
 

OneLoveMUFC

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You can make a case for Smalling to start for every team in the top 6 bar City, and I think that's down to his distribution. He's the perfect foil to a ball playing CB.

He most definitely partners VVD at Liverpool, Rudiger at Chelsea and would walk into Arsenal's back line. Spurs is a tougher case because Vertonghen and Alderweireld are top players, but for me he is better than Sanchez.
 

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Big improvement since Ole took the wheel, but he is still swinging out of players at set pieces. He needs to cut this out or he will cost us a game sometime soon.
 

Trizy

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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.
That's exactly what it looks like :lol:.
 

tomaldinho1

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I am not a fan of Smalling but why people keep mentioning City's defenders as some high level standard? Laporte is the beast but others are nothing special. Not worse or better than Mike or Lindelof
Because of how they play - not a chance Smalling gets into that team. If you took Stones out of that team and put him somewhere like Leicester he'd be awful, whereas Smalling would be just as good as he is now.

That's why Smalling simply wouldn't get into City or Chelsea, IMO not Tottenham either because of their playing style.
 

Loublaze

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I am not a fan of Smalling but why people keep mentioning City's defenders as some high level standard? Laporte is the beast but others are nothing special. Not worse or better than Mike or Lindelof
There's nothing special about any of their centerbacks but Guardiola wouldn't sign Smalling IMO because of their system of playing out of the back
 

Loublaze

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No he's not.
He is right in one way. Kompany, VVD and Smalling are the most physically imposing CBs in the league. No one else dominates their opponents and commands their own area like these three, but Kompany's injuries have damn near derailed his career, his city career is pretty much over. Still, Smalling has more big game performances than those two throughout his career.
 

adexkola

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He is right in one way. Kompany, VVD and Smalling are the most physically imposing CBs in the league. No one else dominates their opponents and commands their own area like these three, but Kompany's injuries have damn near derailed his career, his city career is pretty much over. Still, Smalling has more big game performances than those two throughout his career.
That is only one component of being a great defender. You can't tell me with a straight face that Smalling as a defender is better than all in the league except VVD.
 

Loublaze

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That is only one component of being a great defender. You can't tell me with a straight face that Smalling as a defender is better than all in the league except VVD.
Its one massive component that is very rare to find in this league and in general these days since we're in the era of the 'cultured' ball playing defenders. You can't tell me with a straight face you think those pussies Otamendi and Stones are better CBs than Smalling. VVD is better than Smalling because he's superior on the ball, they are pretty much very close in every other aspect.

Smalling still has more big game experience and more impressive big game performances than any other CB currently playing in the league. Kompany is close and he's on the way out. You just have to see how well Smalling has performed against top 6 forwards. Kane, Salah, Mane, Firmino and Hazard havent had much joy against United when Smalling has started. He's nullified them several times. Only Aguero has an outstanding record against United. Hazard has only scored against United once with Smalling in the starting lineup and it was a penalty gifted by Jones.
 

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Smalling still has more big game experience and more impressive big game performances than any other CB currently playing in the league.
I agree with what you’re saying but just needed to point out as a long time admirer of Laporte. He put on some show stealing performances against Barcelona and loved a duel with Messi. But for me the 3 standout CB’s in the league this season are VVD, Laporte and Smalling. Alderweireld and Vertonghen haven’t been up to their usual level.
 

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He's the best actual defender aside from Van Dijk IMO. It's just awkward nature in possession that makes people underrate him.
Disagree a lot.

He gets caught out of possession too often and is at fault for too many goals we concede
 

Cabin Clown

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Disagree a lot.

He gets caught out of possession too often and is at fault for too many goals we concede
This is such a lazy post. You'd swear footballers are immune to mistakes. When was the last time he got caught out of possession? He gets caught out no more than any other CB. Yeah he can look like a bit of an oaf on the ball but his distribution in just fine. Nothing remarkable, but fine.
That is only one component of being a great defender. You can't tell me with a straight face that Smalling as a defender is better than all in the league except VVD.
Don't see what the issue is here. It's the most crucial part. He's the best bar VVD for me.
 

adexkola

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Its one massive component that is very rare to find in this league and in general these days since we're in the era of the 'cultured' ball playing defenders.
You overstate it's importance. Being "physically imposing" as you call it, in open play situations, is one of the key components of being a defender. You can have a similar effect if you can sweep up the pass before the final attacker receives it. Defending set pieces. Organizing the offside trap and back 4/3/5. Able to support a high line when your team needs it, without sticking out like an open sore. Being able to keep and pass the ball while being pressed, without hoofing the ball back to the opposition. Being a player that pressed players can use as an outlet.

You can't tell me with a straight face you think those pussies Otamendi and Stones are better CBs than Smalling.
City conceded the least amount of goals (27) in the league last season with the pussies Otamendi and Stones starting in central defense. They are on pace to concede 27 goals in the league this season, with Stones and Otamendi featuring in a good amount of games as well. They've conceded 7 goals from set pieces (one more than Liverpool) this season. We've conceded over 40 goals this season so far. Conceded more goals than City last season, even when DDG was in God form. Some pussies.

But as for defenders I put above Smalling definitively in the league, that would be VVD, the 2 at Tottenham, and Laporte. I would rank him in the same tier as Stones, Otamendi, Gomez, Rudiger... he's better than all of the above from a physical, "lock this forward down" perspective. Overall package? Doesn't distinguish himself enough.

VVD is better than Smalling because he's superior on the ball, they are pretty much very close in every other aspect.
Smalling is only VVD's near-equal when it comes to 1 on 1 matchups against forwards. In terms of the other categories I mentioned, VVD is ahead. Liverpool would concede more goals in an alternate simulation where Smalling was starting for them. Ironically, City would concede more with Smalling in the lineup instead of Stones or Laporte. Ditto with Chelsea. He would improve Arsenal's defense no doubt. Tottenham would see a negligible impact.

Smalling still has more big game experience and more impressive big game performances than any other CB currently playing in the league. Kompany is close and he's on the way out. You just have to see how well Smalling has performed against top 6 forwards. Kane, Salah, Mane, Firmino and Hazard havent had much joy against United when Smalling has started. He's nullified them several times. Only Aguero has an outstanding record against United. Hazard has only scored against United once with Smalling in the starting lineup and it was a penalty gifted by Jones.
I agree that his 1-on-1 skill is very very good. World class probably. But again, that's only one part of the package.
 

Adam-Utd

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Disagree a lot.

He gets caught out of possession too often and is at fault for too many goals we concede
What a load of rubbish, how many times has he been caught on the ball? You can argue he passes safe, but he rarely actually gives it away.


That is only one component of being a great defender. You can't tell me with a straight face that Smalling as a defender is better than all in the league except VVD.
Who else is better? At chelsea Luiz is a nightmare, Rudiger while physical is poor positionally. Arsenal none of them are better. Liverpool only maybe Gomez has shown a level close. City I'd say Laporte runs him close but Smalling is better in the air, Laporte better on the floor. Otamendi no chance. Tottenham's CB's are good but much better? not for me.

The grass is always greener but with Smalling in the team we concede way less goals than having Jones/Bailly.

Smalling is unfashionable but he's a top CB.
 

adexkola

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Don't see what the issue is here. It's the most crucial part. He's the best bar VVD for me.
*looks at goals we've conceded*

Who else is better? At chelsea Luiz is a nightmare, Rudiger while physical is poor positionally. Arsenal none of them are better. Liverpool only maybe Gomez has shown a level close. City I'd say Laporte runs him close but Smalling is better in the air, Laporte better on the floor. Otamendi no chance. Tottenham's CB's are good but much better? not for me.

The grass is always greener but with Smalling in the team we concede way less goals than having Jones/Bailly.

Smalling is unfashionable but he's a top CB.
VVD, both Tottenham starting CBs, and Laporte are definitely better (overall). I'm not here to debate by how much. But in an auction I think all those go before him.

He's on the same tier as Rudiger, Gomez, Otamendi (who was excellent last season), Stones. How these are ranked depend on personal preference. But these are all great defenders. For the way we play, Smalling is excellent.
 

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*looks at goals we've conceded*



VVD, both Tottenham starting CBs, and Laporte are definitely better (overall). I'm not here to debate by how much. But in an auction I think all those go before him.

He's on the same tier as Rudiger, Gomez, Otamendi (who was excellent last season), Stones. How these are ranked depend on personal preference. But these are all great defenders. For the way we play, Smalling is excellent.
I completely agree, people overrate Smalling when he's on a good run of form. They'll be saying he's Championship quality when he inevitably makes a mistake in the future.
 

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*looks at goals we've conceded*



VVD, both Tottenham starting CBs, and Laporte are definitely better (overall). I'm not here to debate by how much. But in an auction I think all those go before him.

He's on the same tier as Rudiger, Gomez, Otamendi (who was excellent last season), Stones. How these are ranked depend on personal preference. But these are all great defenders. For the way we play, Smalling is excellent.
You can also check the goals we conceded last season while you are at it.
 

LawCharltonBest

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This is such a lazy post. You'd swear footballers are immune to mistakes. When was the last time he got caught out of possession? He gets caught out no more than any other CB. Yeah he can look like a bit of an oaf on the ball but his distribution in just fine. Nothing remarkable, but fine.

Don't see what the issue is here. It's the most crucial part. He's the best bar VVD for me.
What a load of rubbish, how many times has he been caught on the ball? You can argue he passes safe, but he rarely actually gives it away.



Who else is better? At chelsea Luiz is a nightmare, Rudiger while physical is poor positionally. Arsenal none of them are better. Liverpool only maybe Gomez has shown a level close. City I'd say Laporte runs him close but Smalling is better in the air, Laporte better on the floor. Otamendi no chance. Tottenham's CB's are good but much better? not for me.

The grass is always greener but with Smalling in the team we concede way less goals than having Jones/Bailly.

Smalling is unfashionable but he's a top CB.
Smalling?
Out of position*
 

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I completely agree, people overrate Smalling when he's on a good run of form. They'll be saying he's Championship quality when he inevitably makes a mistake in the future.
Unlikely though seeing as he rarely makes mistakes.
 

adexkola

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You can also check the goals we conceded last season while you are at it.
Done. 28. One more than City (who supposedly play charlatans as central defenders).

Liverpool has seen the biggest improvement from 38 goals conceded to about 21 goals (if they continue to concede at the same rate). Part of that is Klopp making them more organized and less open. And part of that is VVD's impact. If Smalling is the best defender in the league after VVD, he should be having a similar impact on our defense.