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Smalling: I Should Win The League Every Year At United

Five years ago, Chris Smalling was playing in the Isthmian League Premier Division with Maidstone and now he plays for the Champions of England.

After signing for the club over two years ago, Smalling came in to the first team squad 18 months ago and says that he doesn’t feel like one of the newbies any more.

“I was lucky to win the league in my first season and, at the risk of sounding greedy, I want to win the league every year,” he told the club’s official site. “That’s how it should be at Manchester United. In fact, I’d be disappointed if we didn’t win at least one or two trophies every season. I don’t feel like a new boy at all anymore. I’ve been here for 18 months, so I feel well and truly settled. I think I’ve learnt a lot since I joined and I’m striving all the time to improve because I want to be a part of many more title wins in the future.”

About Scott

Scott is the editor of Red Matters - 50 Years of Supporting Manchester United and an author of Play Like Fergie's Boys and Not Nineteen Forever. He writes for ESPN, The Metro and Bleacher Report. Follow @R_o_M on Twitter.

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  1. WillieRedNut says:

    Biggie Smalling! Rio’s heir apparent.

  2. seanmthered says:

    Finally a thread on the best young defender in England thank you Scott! He’s been one of the best buys of the modern era by fergie has absolutely everything in my view. Quick, intellegent good on the ball great in the air great temperment have a slight bitta guy love going on for him as is probably obvious in this post haha. Just hope he can get a good run of games we look a much better team with him then without him. Top lad Chris. UNITED

  3. Mikael says:

    Good head on those shoulders. Keep improving lad and you’ll be an important player for years at United.

  4. fitz'em'good'n'tight says:

    chris smalling 1
    steven gerrard 0

  5. James1878 says:

    Really is astounding that he was playing non league football no more than 2 years ago.

  6. FletchTHEMAN says:

    Chris has been a revelation. So pleased we snatched him. Can well recall all the bile on here on our lack of ability to bring in a big name signings. Ha ha ah. That was one heck of a pickup.
    Evans coming in from the cold as well. I still think we are a central defender light. I would be surprised if we don’t pick one up this summer.

    Posted already but surely worth a listen:
    Sir Alex Interview with DJ Spoony BBC5 at 19:00
    Several sources leaking tit bits already, including the story on Joe Hart.

  7. CedarsDevil says:

    I agree with FletchTHEMAN….. Chris has indeed been a revelation. What a talent, so calm and composed and for such a young man he speaks way beyond his years. One of our best signings for years

  8. Giggs12Gerrard0 says:

    Listening to SAF I fucking love hearing Fergie outside of a pre or post match interview.

    Unreal man, he is Manchester United

  9. CedarsDevil says:

    Giggs12 / FletchTHEMAN

    Any video link to the interview?

  10. Giggs12Gerrard0 says:

    No mate its radio only its at his house

  11. Sparkz says:

    Agree with Seanmthered…..I actually feel Smalling is massively underrated at times. The guy is class, and he’s barely put a foot wrong when he’s played at centre back. The big game for him was about 12 months ago in the Manchester derby. Rio was injured, and all week people were wondering how Smalling would cope. He was immense….Rooney got the Man Of The Match award because of his goal, but Smalling was head and shoulders the best player on the pitch from start to finish.

    Don’t wanna put too much pressure on him, but I genuinely feel he can go to the top. He has all the tools in his locker. He’s got the physical attributes….pace, strength, aerial ability.
    But more importantly….he’s got that reading of the game, which for a 21 year old is actually phenomenal. Its something I’m not sure you can teach…..just that anticipation of knowing exactly where the danger/ball is gonna be, and snuffing it out. Rio’s got the exact same attribute.

    Only problem for Smalling is that the Evans + Rio partnership is without question our best combination. They seem to suit each other really well, so chances are, Fergie’s gonna go with that partnership from now until the end of the season, which reduces Smalling’s opportunities in his best position. Can’t see him playing much at RB either now that Rafael’s back and firing.

  12. salvenue says:

    Anyone wonder how many Champions League’s we’d have if the Champions League was actually a ‘league’.
    We have the results of a study into just that very question at OTmcr. if anyone is interested in taking a peak here’s the link.

  13. FletchTHEMAN says:

    Spoony did a fine job on BBC5 interview with Sir Alex. Seemed to get a real conversation.

    Well paced, quick witted. Manager still has it. Well done all around.

  14. Costas says:

    Top top defender. I just hope Smalling remains healthy for an extended period of time. This season he’s been hit with as many injury setbacks as Rio.

  15. MG says:

    Want to repost what I’ve posted on the other thread


    12 Premier League titles

    2 European Cups

    5 FA Cups

    4 League Cups

    1 European Cup Winners’ Cup

    1 European Super Cup

    1 Intercontinental Cup

    1 World Club Cup

    10 Charity/Community Shields

    Thank you gaffer – for all the losses and the heartache too


  16. FletchTHEMAN says:

    Cedars. Sorry mate. I only had the radio feed that I posted earlier. I listened on line myself.

    Hope they will post the entire interview soon. I will put it up for you if I see it.

    But the managers key points:
    History: Lots of banter, loves the working man, dyed in the wool union man,
    Took up wine as an investment. Took up horses to relax.
    Managing: Sorry to miss out on Paul Gascoigne. Biggest pleasure was getting Rio (interesting).
    Thinks Harry is the next England manager, but doubts Paul Scholes will go to Euros.

    Says he will be still be manager here for at least 3 years. Will want to leave after winning something.
    Interestingly, says there is no list of replacements!
    Also said

  17. bah_humbug says:

    Aye he did talk over him slightly at times but that was a fantastic listen

  18. MG says:

    Supporting United isn’t just a right or a thing to do

    It’s a sincere privilege – what stories we have to tell, to pass on…


  19. gazzer says:

    I’m getting a little concerned with so many of our younger players talking about how they expect to win every time. Sure, I know that confidence is good, but if you’re not careful, it can start to sound an awful lot like boastfulness, and that’s a bad trait in someone who hasn’t even won anything yet. It’s starting to sound like Chelsea. We heard it during the champions league campaign when we kept dropping points. Perhaps a little more in the way of aggression, desperation and hunger would have been more in order.

    I still recall the quotes of England players like Terry (yes, and Rio too sometimes) talking about how they are good enough to win the world cup. You NEVER hear Giggs / Scholes / Rooney / VDS / Beckham / Chicharito / the twins talking that way, among others.

    Glad to have them all, but let’s just do our talking on the pitch.

  20. FletchTHEMAN says:

    Well no need for me to babble on.

    Guardian and others have some quotes:

  21. WillieRedNut says:

    Fergie told spoony, that Rio is working with Pogba.

  22. MG says:


    Did SAF say that I’m getting a job at OT as chief motivator?

    I hope he did


  23. Sparkz says:

    Is this interview gonna be on iPlayer?

  24. CedarsDevil says:


    Cheers mate, if you or anyone else gets a link to that interview then please post it here…

    Pissing off to bed, if anyone caches a glimpse of the Earl of Sandwich then please pass on my regards

    NIght all

  25. WillieRedNut says:

    There’s a position open MG? Phone David Gill, pronto! :D

  26. Red Nation says:

    Thanks for tat Salvenue, I knew we was the best in EU, but not table-wise over 5 years.

  27. Giggs12Gerrard0 says:


    Jump on five live website I’m sure they will have a recording to listen to.

  28. Sparkz says:

    Cheers mate, just had a look now and its not up yet…. I think they’ll be putting it up in a couple of hours though.

  29. James21 says:

    Great Hunger Chris wanting to win the League every season. We also want you to win the league every season. Why? Because we’re greedy bastards and we support UTD UTD UTD.
    Smalling Smalling Smalling
    And its Smalling of MUFC
    He’s big and he’s black
    And he plays at the back
    And he’s Smalling of MUFC

  30. NBI Red Onion says:

    Heir to Rio !!!! – I would say he is almost level with the defence master though Rio is hampered by injuries ofcourse – I would rate him a notch below Rio and Vidic, but the only thing separating them is experience. Smalling and Hernandez were the buys of the Europe last season, price and quiality wise this was an incredible bit of business. Two world class stars in the making and they seem like really nice lads to boot – in the United mould, great mentality, buys you would want to have a beer with. The way Smalling reads the game and positions at CD is incredible for his age. His timing on tackles is also second to none with several crucial interventions.

    I think Evans would slot in fourth, his concentration and calmness has improved alot though still prone to the odd careless pass or lack of focus, and I am still struggling to see Jones as a CD, he was not great playing there early season. Maybe with a consistent run of games in that position he could establish himself but right now he is like a more gifted John O’Shea with pace – a potentially high level utility guy who can cover 3/4 positions but has made none his own. However he has time on his side, he is very young and Rio and/or Vidic will sadly retire in the next few years, though I cannot see him displacing a first choice of Evans and Smalling if they continue to progress. While Smalling and Jones have played RB, which is also a testament to Smalling’s versatility, to me Rafael is our best RB by a mile.

  31. NBI Red Onion says:

    Smalling also has the versatility to play the Carrick role, holding mid role, which I believe Rio could also have played. But he is best developing into a world class central defender. Not to mention that he has banged in the odd goal. Would actually rate him above Pique at same age.

  32. NBI Red Onion says:

    @ gazzer – you make a good point – aiming to win and fight on all fronts because that is the expectation at United is one thing, but that comes with serious graft, expecting to win is not the right mentality. However, I think Smalling has his head and efforts focused in that regard, to be fair the guy came from nowhere and is now at United playing in Europe, he must be living the dream, he will hopefully sound more like Giggs, Paddy, Vida and Rio in years to come. Humble and understated but with a core of pure steel and a deep understanding of the Club.

  33. gazzer says:

    Onion – yeah, I like him very much. Perhaps it was just that in the CL we had injuries to key players and had to put out makeshift sides that in retrospect were not quite up to it. Sometimes it seems that without Rooney we lack the werewithal to pick teams apart.


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