Manchester United fans were in unforgiving mood after Chris Smalling’s dive indirectly cost the side a 1-0 Premier League defeat at Newcastle United on Sunday. The England international had a poor game in the United shirt, and probably escaped conceding a penalty during the first-half of the encounter.
Smalling has struggled to maintain consistency in the United shirt over the past few games, and his needless dive during the second period pretty much summed up his performance. The free-kick from Jonjo Shelvey allowed the Magpies a rare attempt to find a goal for themselves, and they took their opportunity after Smalling failure to clear the second ball, which allowed Matt Ritchie to score the winner in the 65th minute.
If any of these factors occur in the next League game, then I’m Mourinho out: 1)we play 4-2-3-1 2)Martial doesn’t start on the left 3)Chris Smalling plays
— Harv? #glazersOUT (@theharvester100) February 11, 2018
Smalling – should be playing in League 2
Pogba – thinks it’s 5 a side football
Lingard – only plays because he can track back
Lukaku – should be an NFL player#MUFC
— Brandon (@UnitedsRelated) February 11, 2018
Genuine question, why is Smalling starting ahead of Lindelof and Rojo? I absolutely hate criticising our players, but how we’ve persisted with him for so long amazes me. #mufc
— United Xtra (@utdxtra) February 11, 2018
I’d terminate Smalling’s contract even if it cost us £15m. Would be the best money we could spend. #mufc
— Hesham Bilal-Hafiz (@hesham786) February 11, 2018
I cannot stand the way that Smalling passes the ball. Every single movement is overexaggerated, and he cannot seem to play a ball infront of anyone.
— Adam Sweeney (@AdamWSweeney) February 11, 2018
José Mourinho’s not blameless, either. The fact he rarely sets up with a three-man midfield, knowing that is where Pogba performs best, is odd. And how he keeps using Chris Smalling when he can see what a total liability he is. Not good enough.
— Liam Canning (@LiamPaulCanning) February 11, 2018
Smalling’s performances have produced mixed performances for United since his sole standout season under ex-boss Louis van Gaal. At 28, many defenders normally touch the prime of their careers, but Smalling has been more of a liability during the current campaign with struggles to keep in touch with opposition attackers.
Both Victor Lindelof and Marcos Rojo were warming the bench during the Magpies outing, and it would not come as a surprise if one of the pair start in the key Premier League fixture versus Chelsea in about a fortnight’s time.