Smalling and Jones are still our best CB pairing

meninred

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I am personally sad that the dream paring of Jones and Smalling is gone.
 

RedB4ndiT

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Why did we get rid of Johnny Evans again? Seems he's better than either Smalling or Jones.
 

Offsideagain

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We have six Centre Backs now and only one is currently injured although I haven’t checked training today. Rojo wants out the sooner the better for me. Isn’t Rojo Spanish for red as in card?
 

PhilQ

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Actually you just summed up exactly what I was saying the entire time. That Smalling isnt a "top class CB" but he's the best we had and has never had a "top class CB" next to him while he's been a first choice. That there have been a million suggestions for grass is greener CB upgrades, but it would actually be very very expensive to replace him with someone who defends as well as he does.

We've played 1 game against a weak Chelsea side who should have scored at least 1 goal, but we survived with a clean sheet by the skin of our teeth. Even if this is the end of Smalling starting, and Maguire + Lindelof build on this and do better from this point on than the Chelsea match - it cost £80 million, a record for a CB to replace Smalling.

Lets see where we're at after 15-20 matches, not 1 match where we could easily have conceded.
That logic seems a bit weird. Would you say Lovren was that good of a defender that Liverpool had to spend a world record 75 mil to replace him? Or Mignolet and Karius that good that they had to spend a world record to get Allison?

Maguire's price has nothing to do with Smallings quality as a player. Maguire is a big step up and Leicester held out for as much as possible as is their right.
 

Jacob

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Jones will see very little play time. Smalling seems to be first in line to rotate when Maguire/Lindelöf needs to rest. Considering that we're in Europa league, there will be very few league games that CBs needs to be rested in.
 

Adisa

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Some people are too sensitive when it comes to Smalling. It's simple, pinned in your own box and having to defend, there are few better. But the game is much more than that. It's the same reason he doesn't play for England.
In Modern football, the CBs split when their teams have the ball making them vulnerable to the press. This is where Smacking is at his weakest. For any manager that is adamant about playing out from the back, that is a massive problem.
 

Oldyella

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Those two + Young are the reason we finished 6th.
Oh come on...

Looks like Ole is determined to move on from this pair, unless he believes Tuanzebe will get more out of being on the bench, a position that doesn't normally get changed during a match than Jones or Smalling and goes back to a safe choice when our first choice pair need a rest.

Jones having his contract renewed seems a crazy decision now, he's a busted flush we will find very difficult to move on given his wages and fitness record. Smalling could still do a job in games we are expecting to come under a lot of pressure, look at how he did against PSG last year when every one was dreading him, the dreaded var and their front line.

Also a shame seeing some of our older players coming to the end of their Utd careers. For all their faults these are some of the final remains of our last league winners squad. Jones was a frustrating player and should have left years ago, never kicked on and was always injured but Smalling has generally been a good servant, just never quite the player he originally looked like he could become.
 

Ekeke

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That logic seems a bit weird. Would you say Lovren was that good of a defender that Liverpool had to spend a world record 75 mil to replace him? Or Mignolet and Karius that good that they had to spend a world record to get Allison?

Maguire's price has nothing to do with Smallings quality as a player. Maguire is a big step up and Leicester held out for as much as possible as is their right.
You're looking at it wrong. I never said Smalling is such a good defender that it takes £80 million to replace him

I said he was one of the better defending CBs in the league and to get someone around as good defensively and good on the ball, like people wanted to replace him, then it was going to cost a lot of money. But I was saying that years ago when £40 million would have been a large amount for a CB. I would have expected we'd spend like £60 million on replacing him, turns out it was £80 million. But again the point is that it would be expensive to get someone that replaces him (whatever expensive was at the time) and it was. But we've potentially done it now, depending on how we do against pacy tricky forwards which would logically be the hardest test for Lindelof and Maguire.
 

Amerifan

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They may be, but I doubt they’ll ever string enough consecutive games together for us to find out. Both men have been seriously unlucky with fitness. They’re obviously gifted, but I suggest neither has reached their full potential due to all the time lost due to injury.
 

Revan

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Jones will see very little play time. Smalling seems to be first in line to rotate when Maguire/Lindelöf needs to rest. Considering that we're in Europa league, there will be very few league games that CBs needs to be rested in.
Smalling didn't make the bench last match (Tuanzebe made it instead) and all our CBs bar Bailly (who was injured) played more in preseason than him. He is fifth choice at best, maybe even sixth choice.
 

Jacob

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Smalling didn't make the bench last match (Tuanzebe made it instead) and all our CBs bar Bailly (who was injured) played more in preseason than him. He is fifth choice at best, maybe even sixth choice.
If that's the case he should've been told already and a transfer would follow in the same window. Doubt Smalling would sit around to be 5th choice CB for the season.
 

Revan

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If that's the case he should've been told already and a transfer would follow in the same window. Doubt Smalling would sit around to be 5th choice CB for the season.
That's another matter, but it is pretty clear that Ole doesn't like him in this system. I think this is his last season here.
 

Dan_F

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Smalling didn't make the bench last match (Tuanzebe made it instead) and all our CBs bar Bailly (who was injured) played more in preseason than him. He is fifth choice at best, maybe even sixth choice.
Didn’t Ole say he’s going to play an important part this year. I’d personally keep him over Rojo, Jones and Bailly. Rojo is an absolutely liability for staying on the pitch and I’d rather have someone fit constantly as a back up than the other two.
 

SilentWitness

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I'm gutted that you didn't let us have Smalling. He's a good player and I understand why you're phasing him out as Maguire - Lindelof will be an outstanding partnership and it makes sense to ease in Tuanzebe but he'd do very well for clubs outside the top 6. Look at Evans for example at Leicester - he's restarted his career and looks ready to make the step up again. He's the best player out of Jones/Smalling/Bailly I reckon too.
 

Kush

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I'm gutted that you didn't let us have Smalling. He's a good player and I understand why you're phasing him out as Maguire - Lindelof will be an outstanding partnership and it makes sense to ease in Tuanzebe but he'd do very well for clubs outside the top 6. Look at Evans for example at Leicester - he's restarted his career and looks ready to make the step up again. He's the best player out of Jones/Smalling/Bailly I reckon too.
If only Everton had put in a serious offer instead of taking the piss with a loan deal. I’m glad United didn’t give in, if you can fork out £40m on frickin Iwobi then you can afford to pay £20m for Smalling.
 

SilentWitness

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If only Everton had put in a serious offer instead of taking the piss with a loan deal. I’m glad United didn’t give in, if you can fork out £40m on frickin Iwobi then you can afford to pay £20m for Smalling.
Sure, we can afford it, but I also understand why we didn't pay 20m for Smalling - his age. It would be silly to spend that amount of money on a 29 year old and I think we are trying to move away from that model of signing that we regularly made in the past. Yes, we bought Delph at 29 but at only 8m it offered a cheap experienced player who is versatile. Smalling only offers us CB, is an injury risk and is far too much in terms of asking price.

Iwobi wasn't even 40m ffs. He was 28m. In this market that's a decent deal for a player with plenty of unlocked potential.
 

Oldyella

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If that's the case he should've been told already and a transfer would follow in the same window. Doubt Smalling would sit around to be 5th choice CB for the season.
Fair fecks to him for thinking he can get back into the side? At least he seems willing to give it a shot rather than be like Lukaku and quit as soon as he is not the first choice?

He has also started previous seasons not first choice and normally ends up playing, hes probably banking on the voodoo curse(or Jones) striking again!
 

Ducklegs

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Hopefully both will be gone by this time next year.
 

Ducklegs

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Why did we get rid of Johnny Evans again? Seems he's better than either Smalling or Jones.
Because he was awful.

It’s easy to forget just how shit he was I know, but he was probably bad.
 

Sylar

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I think we could see how Ole wanted to play when he came in. He wanted a press and that started off having Jones and Lindelof as our CBs to begin with. We were much better playing out the back at that point. However a sending off to Baily in a game, and I think an injury to Jones meant it reverted to Lindelof and Smalling.

That was the partnership from around the PSG game and our defence was not good, our ability to play from the back was not good, our midfield dropped further back to collect the ball meaning our strikers were more isolated. (counter attack of course suffering for this).

For oles style, I think Jones is a better player than Smalling. Jones seems more capable of doing the one touch stuff when with Lindelof as we saw when Ole took over.

However Jones is less reliable than Smalling in terms of fitness. (Baily too it seems)
For short term, I was thinking keep Smalling as option 4 (if we are bombarded last 10 mins, holding on, pinned back). But for long term, we wont be able to implement Oles style with him in the team, regardless of who is next to him and we should move him on.

His best seasons for us were under LVG, but that was also because of the deeper team, meaning more protection, but that also meant less shots / goals for our attack.

Smalling is good at defending, but hes not a top six CB. Not in the way that it looks like all top 6 teams want to play.
 

Cloud7

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Some people are too sensitive when it comes to Smalling.
This. The uproar over him not being selected at all for England was so strange, especially when our own United manager has now dropped him for similar reasons.

Smalling is one of the stranger players to have developed such a devoted following.
 

Sylar

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This. The uproar over him not being selected at all for England was so strange, especially when our own United manager has now dropped him for similar reasons.

Smalling is one of the stranger players to have developed such a devoted following.
I remember a lot of negative things being said about Southgate for doing that and trying to implement a style that Smalling has no part of. In fact, didnt Southgate take Jones over Smalling, one of the reasons why I think Jones may play more than Smalling for United (if both are fit, but thats a big if).
 

Adisa

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Is it true he wasn't in the squad for half of our preseason games?
 

Ikon

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Having seen the first outing for Maguire & Lindelof, doesn't it make you realize just how very badly our standards had slipped since Rio & Vidic...?
 

Wednesday at Stoke

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Having seen the first outing for Maguire & Lindelof, doesn't it make you realize just how very badly our standards had slipped since Rio & Vidic...?
Yeah because defenders like Rio Ferdinand are a dime a dozen waiting to be signed.
 

RedPed

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Is it true he wasn't in the squad for half of our preseason games?
He was in the squad for all the games and had some game time in the earlier matches but he didn't even get on the pitch against Kristiansund and AC Milan, the last two games.
 

Nikelesh Reddy

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Not anymore,although I wouldn’t be writing the obituary of Smalling yet.I think that Smalling still a very competent defender and he will be the one who”ll seriously challenge Lindelof for the rest of the season...I think there’s no way back for Phil Jones though...
 

SilentWitness

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feckin hell, now even rival fans think Smalling is Injury prone. He isn't, he's actually one of the best players in terms of injury records. So weird this became a 'thing'.
Most seasons he's missed 5-10 games through injury. For a 29 year old at 20m that's too much of a risk that we are looking to avoid now in our transfer tactics. That's what i meant by it.

He's nowhere near as bad as someone like Jones of course who is injury prone.
 

Dave_MUFC

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Thought this article was written recently. Almost had a heart attack.
 

GenZRed

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I cannot wait to see the back of Phil Jones. It will be so hard to get rid of him though due to his high wages, not to mention the fact that no top club would want him due to how clumsy he is.

As for Chris Smalling, I would not mind keeping him as a rotational option but if he is sold too, it is no big deal for me or Manchester United.