Tag Archives: Smalling

Pundit: Chris Smalling was embarrassing against Newcastle United

Former West Ham United defender has lambasted Chris Smalling for what was an ’embarrassing’ defensive performance against Newcastle United.

The Englishman could have easily given the hosts a penalty in the first half with a trip on Dwight Gayle just inside the box.

Referee Craig Pawson waved play on but Smalling eventually found himself in his book after a woeful dive near the halfway line having lost the ball in far from challenging circumstances.

Newcastle proceeded to score the winner from the resultant free-kick and Gale, speaking on Sky Sports, was quick to note that Smalling’s display was nothing short of embarrassing.

“Well I think he got embarrassed so quickly he got up so quickly didn’t he,” he said.

“He realised what he had done. His defence would be that he was anticipating the challenge, but that’s not enough.

“You’ve got to have a connection on you and it was embarrassing really, it was quite embarrassing. Watch how quickly he gets up here, he goes down and he’s ‘oh blimey, what have I done, up I get’.”

It is nothing short of astonishing to think that Smalling has been at this club for almost eight years.

Newcastle’s last win over Man United at St James’ Park came back in 2012 on a night that saw Smalling kill the came completely with an own goal, and six years on there he was, once again, needlessly gifting them a chance to score. Someone on Tyneside certainly owes him a beer.

The main point here, I guess, is that despite the number of opportunities and years of experience under his belt, Smalling hasn’t shown any discernible signs of improvement, or even upward trajectory. He continues to thrive and fall short in the same areas – strong in the box but technically way off the mark – and at a club of this magnitude you simply cannot accommodate players who stand still.

Player Ratings: United punished by Newcastle, Smalling slated for shocking performance

David de Gea 6 – Made a strong save from Jonjo Shelvey’s powerful drive during the early stages but found himself stranded by his defence for Newcastle’s goal.

Antonio Valencia 6 – Composed himself well defensively, untroubled by the pace of the game, but lacked influence in the final third.

Chris Smalling 4 – Could have easily conceded a penalty in the first half and his needless dive in the second led to Newcastle’s opener. Another fraught, disjointed display.

Phil Jones 6 – Provided a strong physical presence, throwing himself in front of shots and harassing defenders all afternoon, only for his positional sense to wane in the second half and allow Dwight Gayle to set up a goal.

Ashley Young 6 – Frustrated with some loose balls and sloppy crosses in the first half but improved as an attacking presence as the game went on.

Nemanja Matic 6 – You sense that the Serbian, having played almost every Premier League game, could do with a rest. Moved the ball around sensibly but look sluggish at times, especially when Shelvey went forward.

Paul Pogba 4 – The Frenchman picked up a strain during the warm up and looked to be operating at 60% throughout the game, with his ambling nature allowing for the hosts to score from a set-piece. Shouldn’t have been on the pitch.

Jesse Lingard 5 – Sprung forward with intent at No.10 and always looked to link up with teammates, but failed to find the right final ball.

Anthony Martial 5 – Placed on the right to accommodate Sanchez, the 22-year-old, despite streaming forward confidently, never looked comfortable in front of goal. Could have easily claimed a hat-trick.

Alexis Sanchez 7 – An ebullient, tenacious attacking display from the Chilean. Posed an unpredictable and constant threat going forward, with his only shortcoming being his delay in pulling the trigger after rounding keeper Martin Dubravka.

Romeu Lukaku 7 – The Belgian’s performance deserved so much more: brilliantly held up the ball and released teammates on countless occasions.

Substitutes

Michael Carrick

Juan Mata

Scott McTominay

Chris Smalling was an idiot, Newcastle were robbed

Chris Smalling vs Newcastle

Newcastle United fans were shouting ‘penalty’ in unison on Sunday against Manchester United.

And, in turn, plenty of other fans agreed with the Magpies.

Newcastle put in an excellent first half performance against Manchester United at St James’ Park.

Indeed, for large parts of the first half, the Toon were on top. Although slack shooting from Anthony Martial allowed the Magpies off the hook a couple of times.

Yet, at the other end, Newcastle were robbed a nailed-on penalty.

How did Chris Smalling get away with it?

Man United get away with a penalty

In the final stages of the first half, Chris Smalling fouled Dwight Gayle in the Man United box.

Yes, the foul ‘only’ happened at the top corner of the box, but yes, it was still in the area.

Chris Smalling penalty vs Newcastle

Replays clearly showed that Smalling tripped Gayle in the box. He lunged into the tackle, but he missed the ball.

Rafa Benitez was naturally flabbergasted on the sidelines by the non-decision.

Rafa Benitez couldn’t believe it

Cue the Chris Smalling hate

Fans poured onto social media to complain about the penalty which wasn’t given.

Also see: Graeme Souness destroys Paul Pogba before Newcastle.

Jose Mourinho: Pep Guardiola ‘cries’.

Pundit absolutely destroys Man Utd's Jones and Smalling

Transfer Window Podcast guest Ian McGarry did not sugarcoat his criticism of Manchester United defenders Chris Smalling and Phil Jones.

The two Englishman have once more been under the microscope following the club’s performance vs Tottenham Hotspurs at Wembley in the Premier League.

United were essentially played off the park and were lucky that the scoreline remained just at 2-0 in favour of the London side.

Jones and Smalling were the two paired at the centre of defence and failed to put in a convincing performance of any kind, conceding within 15 seconds of the match.

Although most fans quickly put the display behind them, McGarry was relentless in his assessment of both players’ qualities.

According to the Daily Star, Ian said: “At some point Jose Mourinho has to look at his defence (against Tottenham) and say can I go to a team with their creative and goalscoring capabilities with Phil Jones and Chris Smalling as my two central defenders?

“Because those two players, for me, have been absolute charlatans, earning a wage at Manchester United for such a long time when they are clearly not Manchester United class, clearly not.”

One thing is certain for Phil and Chris and that is that their position at the club is under threat given the competition for places.

Eric Bailly, Victor Lindelof and Marcos Rojo are the club’s remaining centre-backs, not to mention Axel Tuanzebe who’s currently out on loan.

The young centre-back is highly rated by the backroom staff and is expected to be more heavily involved in the first team next season when he returns.

Lindelof and Bailly are both players who were specifically targeted and bought by Jose Mourinho himself which only leaves fans to assume that they’re naturally favoured by him.

If one throws Daley Blind in the mix of players capable of playing in the centre-back position that leaves seven players competing for two spots in the starting XI.