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2019-20 Performances


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6.0 Season Average Rating
Appearances
41
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18
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2
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1
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5

RussellWilson

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Feb 18, 2013
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The gravitational pull of his massive head is attracting every ball into the box again. Great to see.
 

RussellWilson

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Also if we paired him with Smalling this season I think we would comfortably be in the top 4 right now. Still a mind boggling decision from the club. It's so obvious he needs pace beside him.
 

Bastian

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Also if we paired him with Smalling this season I think we would comfortably be in the top 4 right now. Still a mind boggling decision from the club. It's so obvious he needs pace beside him.
I know Smalling somehow turned into a world class defender as soon as he arrived in Rome... But the decision to go another route is understandable as he's not great with his feet and we're pursing a backline that's more composed on the ball. Yes, we could do with his aerial ability and his pace, but we've got 5 defenders who all have significant deficiencies and we're banking on ball playing ability it seems. Hopefully Tuanzebe can get fit and progress to that level.
 

jem

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I know Smalling somehow turned into a world class defender as soon as he arrived in Rome... But the decision to go another route is understandable as he's not great with his feet and we're pursing a backline that's more composed on the ball. Yes, we could do with his aerial ability and his pace, but we've got 5 defenders who all have significant deficiencies and we're banking on ball playing ability it seems. Hopefully Tuanzebe can get fit and progress to that level.
But the thing is, I really don't see a huge difference between Lindelof's ability with his feet and Smalling's, certainly not enough to offset the other areas where Smalling is far superior.
 

noodlehair

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Smalling did nothing while he was here to suggest he should be paired with Maguire ahead of any of our other centrebacks. He just hasn't played for us for a while and so by virtue of not being able to be blamed for any of the daft goals we concede, has mysteriously gotten better.

I'd probably give Bailly a chance next to Maguire but there's no basis for that really other than just because it's trying something different, and I don't think Lindelof is strong enough physically, in the air or when facing someone one on one. I know people like to think physicality shouldn't be a big deal for a centreback, but it kind of is. Particularly when you don't really have other attributes that compensate for having a lack of it.

I'm also still not convinced either way on Maguire. He was superb for 4-5 games in a row, but the daftness has started to creep back in. That Europa League game the other night where the ball was punted up the pitch and he ended up on the floor trying to rugby tackle the Brugge player as they were through on goal...why, and how, did he do that? He's capable of being a really top defender but the best defenders are always composed and give an assurance and confidence to the defence. Maguire sometimes does just that, but then other times looks like a drunk man trying to run away from a lion while realising his shoelaces are tied together.

I do think he's moving in the right direction on the whole though. On the ball he's improved massively since he stopped spending 50 minutes of every game dithering with it.
 

jem

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Smalling did nothing while he was here to suggest he should be paired with Maguire ahead of any of our other centrebacks. He just hasn't played for us for a while and so by virtue of not being able to be blamed for any of the daft goals we concede, has mysteriously gotten better.

I'd probably give Bailly a chance next to Maguire but there's no basis for that really other than just because it's trying something different, and I don't think Lindelof is strong enough physically, in the air or when facing someone one on one. I know people like to think physicality shouldn't be a big deal for a centreback, but it kind of is. Particularly when you don't really have other attributes that compensate for having a lack of it.

I'm also still not convinced either way on Maguire. He was superb for 4-5 games in a row, but the daftness has started to creep back in. That Europa League game the other night where the ball was punted up the pitch and he ended up on the floor trying to rugby tackle the Brugge player as they were through on goal...why, and how, did he do that? He's capable of being a really top defender but the best defenders are always composed and give an assurance and confidence to the defence. Maguire sometimes does just that, but then other times looks like a drunk man trying to run away from a lion while realising his shoelaces are tied together.

I do think he's moving in the right direction on the whole though. On the ball he's improved massively since he stopped spending 50 minutes of every game dithering with it.
This is why I'd prefer Smalling. He's not one of the best in the world, but I think he'd be more than good enough - better than Lindelof, in my opinion.
 

Bastian

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But the thing is, I really don't see a huge difference between Lindelof's ability with his feet and Smalling's, certainly not enough to offset the other areas where Smalling is far superior.
I don't particularly rate Lindelof as he's not fast, not strong, not great in the air, but his composure on the ball and his passing is a few levels above Smalling. Not like some Bonucci, but good enough so we can actually play it out from the back.
 

noodlehair

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This is why I'd prefer Smalling. He's not one of the best in the world, but I think he'd be more than good enough - better than Lindelof, in my opinion.
Smalling had his own problems when we played him though. He was pretty bad on the ball...I know Lindelof isn't anything special, but he can get the basics right. Smalling sometimes can and sometimes can't. He also used to switch off a lot in games.

Plus I'm sure both he and Ole have said he left because he wanted to play...so it wasn't really entirely down to Ole/the club to remove him from the equation. I don't begrudge him at all for choosing to go to Roma, but he was free to stay and fight/earn his place back in the team and chose not to. That would automatically move him down the pecking order rather than up.
 

MikeKing

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Smalling had his own problems when we played him though. He was pretty bad on the ball...I know Lindelof isn't anything special, but he can get the basics right. Smalling sometimes can and sometimes can't. He also used to switch off a lot in games.

Plus I'm sure both he and Ole have said he left because he wanted to play...so it wasn't really entirely down to Ole/the club to remove him from the equation. I don't begrudge him at all for choosing to go to Roma, but he was free to stay and fight/earn his place back in the team and chose not to. That would automatically move him down the pecking order rather than up.
You could argue Smalling weren't the main culprit for not being able to play out from the back. He played alongside Blind and that season, it actually worked. Midfield weren't good enough with Schneiderlin and Rooney but defensively it worked. Since then he never had a partner as good on the ball as Blind, not even a reliable partner full stop. We weren't really set up to build well after Van Gaal and we had Young, Rojo, Valencia and Darmian as fullbacks. I'd argue not everything was down to his lack of abilities on the ball, and his inconsistency on the ball would be greatly covered by his teammates if they in fact were good on the ball. Maguire-Smalling partnership would be the best surely. Both in the right age for CB's, experienced, consistent, reliable, strong, good aerially, loves defending. One good on the ball and slow, the other one quick and aggressive.

Anyhow, Maguire had a great game against Everton. Dominated his area well, and was just excellent on the ball. He looked better than Matic as a midfielder when he moved upfield.
 

jem

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Smalling had his own problems when we played him though. He was pretty bad on the ball...I know Lindelof isn't anything special, but he can get the basics right. Smalling sometimes can and sometimes can't. He also used to switch off a lot in games.

Plus I'm sure both he and Ole have said he left because he wanted to play...so it wasn't really entirely down to Ole/the club to remove him from the equation. I don't begrudge him at all for choosing to go to Roma, but he was free to stay and fight/earn his place back in the team and chose not to. That would automatically move him down the pecking order rather than up.
Yeah he wasn't perfect by any means, but I felt much more comfortable with him back there then I've ever felt with Lindelof. The part about his wanting to leave is certainly fair enough, and not something to hold against Ole.
 

Isotope

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He was mighty impressive in the back. A captain performance. He and Bruno kept us on the game.
 

Amarsdd

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This is why I'd prefer Smalling. He's not one of the best in the world, but I think he'd be more than good enough - better than Lindelof, in my opinion.
Defensively Smalling is better than Lindelof, but with the way we want to play I think Smalling will be a disaster. Smalling had a knack of panicking almost every time with a ball in his feet. It's for sure he will be targeted by the opposition like we targeted Davison Sanchez against Tottenham. Bailly should be a much better partner for Maguire if he could stay fit for long enough.
 

UNITED ACADEMY

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This is why I'd prefer Smalling. He's not one of the best in the world, but I think he'd be more than good enough - better than Lindelof, in my opinion.
The system is playing from the back. That's why Smalling isn't in the team anymore right now. Having Smalling back again doesn't mean we will secure top 4 if we still try to play from the back. Axel or Bailly will compliment Maguire much more than Smalling.
 

noodlehair

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You could argue Smalling weren't the main culprit for not being able to play out from the back. He played alongside Blind and that season, it actually worked. Midfield weren't good enough with Schneiderlin and Rooney but defensively it worked. Since then he never had a partner as good on the ball as Blind, not even a reliable partner full stop. We weren't really set up to build well after Van Gaal and we had Young, Rojo, Valencia and Darmian as fullbacks. I'd argue not everything was down to his lack of abilities on the ball, and his inconsistency on the ball would be greatly covered by his teammates if they in fact were good on the ball. Maguire-Smalling partnership would be the best surely. Both in the right age for CB's, experienced, consistent, reliable, strong, good aerially, loves defending. One good on the ball and slow, the other one quick and aggressive.

Anyhow, Maguire had a great game against Everton. Dominated his area well, and was just excellent on the ball. He looked better than Matic as a midfielder when he moved upfield.
I don't think it did work though with Blind though. We had a decent defensive record but that was more because we had the ball 70% of the time while passing it sideways. As soon as we came under pressure we'd inevitably concede.

If Smalling was here I would give it a go but at the start of the season not many people were saying that he should be first choice next to Maguire. Most people had him on their silly "deadwood" lists. He decided he wanted to go somewhere he was guaranteed to play rather than fight for a place...and again no issue with that but if he really cared about wanting to make it here and was confident in himself, he would be at the club at the moment and not in Italy.
 

thepolice123

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Defensively Smalling is better than Lindelof, but with the way we want to play I think Smalling will be a disaster. Smalling had a knack of panicking almost every time with a ball in his feet. It's for sure he will be targeted by the opposition like we targeted Davison Sanchez against Tottenham. Bailly should be a much better partner for Maguire if he could stay fit for long enough.
It would be an absolute disaster. The Smalling-AWB combo on the right will be a black hole. The place where all our build ups go to die.
 

A-man

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Defensively Smalling is better than Lindelof, but with the way we want to play I think Smalling will be a disaster. Smalling had a knack of panicking almost every time with a ball in his feet. It's for sure he will be targeted by the opposition like we targeted Davison Sanchez against Tottenham. Bailly should be a much better partner for Maguire if he could stay fit for long enough.
Lately, Smalling has been poor defensively as well. He would be a great player to have on the bench for given occasions but not good enough as a starter.
 

ottosec

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Thought he was trash in most of his time here, but he improved greatly in the last few games. Good to see.
 

zenith

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Apr 24, 2013
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Great game by him, keeps improving as he gets more and more integrated into the squad, which is hardly surprising.

I hope he has rested for the FA cup game. The city game is far more important for us.
 

cyberman

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Hes fantastic. All of this talk of getting beat on half turn etc but ive never seen that. His pace just isnt an issue
 

VP89

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Hes fantastic. All of this talk of getting beat on half turn etc but ive never seen that. His pace just isnt an issue
So you've barely seen him play. He did it loads for Leicester, has been beat on the half turn for us and for England.

Very good midfielder but lets not pretend that he has no weakness on pace and turning.
 

cyberman

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So you've barely seen him play. He did it loads for Leicester, has been beat on the half turn for us and for England.

Very good midfielder but lets not pretend that he has no weakness on pace and turning.
I have seen him play and i cant think of many times strikers have gotten in behind us.
Picking up men from corners etc lets us down but we play and press from a high enough line that we should have many, many examples of paceless Maguire to sort through but we dont. Unless he magically gains pace one week and loses it the next.
It became a meme on here so posters can show us how tactically astute they are but it just doesnt happen. Not anymore than it does to other top defenders.
Maybe you havent seem him much, or if you have you dont know what youre looking at?
 

ash_86

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Great performance from Harry. Everton have scored the most from corners and they had like 15 corners yesterday. He organized the the defence pretty well and made important clearance.
 

VP89

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I have seen him play and i cant think of many times strikers have gotten in behind us.
Picking up men from corners etc lets us down but we play and press from a high enough line that we should have many, many examples of paceless Maguire to sort through but we dont. Unless he magically gains pace one week and loses it the next.
It became a meme on here so posters can show us how tactically astute they are but it just doesnt happen. Not anymore than it does to other top defenders.
Maybe you havent seem him much, or if you have you dont know what youre looking at?
Maguire has improved of late largely because we've generally controlled games better of late. He is not flawless and lack of pace and slow turning is one of his major flaws.

It's actually quite funny you are claiming it isn't. It's like you just want to ignore it all together. He's shown that vulnerability in all shirts, but he has been able to adjust his play so as to minimise it.
 

Sea-Cow

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I am not his biggest fan, but he was great on all of those corners today. It seemed like he won all of them, and got good distance on his headers too.
 

Bobski

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Just on Smalling, I have defended him over the years and still think he should have been used this year alongside Maguire. However I do think there were signs last year, and even this with Roma despite his excellent first half of the season that he is in physical decline. This is most apparent when he plays 2-3 games a week. Lindelof absolutely needs to be upgraded, he is just not at the level required and unless he undergoes a dramatic mentality change that is unlikely to change. Can't be as passive as he is if you want to win things.
 

Adam-Utd

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I don't particularly rate Lindelof as he's not fast, not strong, not great in the air, but his composure on the ball and his passing is a few levels above Smalling. Not like some Bonucci, but good enough so we can actually play it out from the back.
He really isn't though. The only time he looks half decent is when he's under zero pressure. Even Smalling could hit 40 yard cross field passes with no pressing.

As soon as Lindelof is pressed he panics and just lumps it forward or sideways to AWB.
 

Water Melon

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Slabhead definitely saved our arses against the toffees, however, he is very vulnerable when we press high up the pitch. Good defender yes, excellent? I don't think so.
 

Classical Mechanic

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How did Dubravka get in that? Most of the time i see him he does some weird stuff you dont want a goalkeeper to do....
It's the way the algorithm works (or doesn't work) for keepers, they get a higher rating if they are under more pressure and save a lot of shots so keepers at the lower end of the table always seem to get in the team.
 

Harry Harries

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Slab God doesn't suffer fools! Great to see he's engaging in that kind of shithousery.

He's quite an easy target for ire due to the exorbitant fee and the expectation that carries, but he's far and away the best centre back we've had at the club for quite a long time. He's assertive and can ping balls about. We've had a fantastically high (and surprising) number of clean sheets this year. It's obviously not a coincidence. He'd look even better with a more assured partner next to him and a stable defensive midfielder in front. Good first season, though.