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Smalling: Showing Fans I Can Be A Real Player Here

Chris Smalling has acknowledged that we’re fragile at the back with all our injuries, with Rio Ferdinand, Nemanja Vidic, Rafael, John O’Shea and Jonny Evans all currently injured. However, he hopes that he’s played well enough in Rio’s absence to ensure the fans have faith in him.

“We’re down to the bare bones in the defensive department but whoever has stepped in has done a great job,” said Smalling. “When you come here you want to be playing on the massive nights and in the weekend games. You want to be given that chance and hopefully I’ve shown the fans I can be a real player here. Nemanja is a focal point of our defence and, being the captain as well, he’s a massive loss. But we’ve got other experienced players who can come in, like Wes and the fact he can do a job is great.”

Let’s just hope he can maintain it next season, like Evans sadly has struggled to do.

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. Costas says:

    Yeah, the last sentence is what worries me. I don’t think Evans is an exception though. Sometimes, your first season is easier than the next few. Brown suffered from the same trend. Hopefully, Smalling will go from strength to strenght, but he still has a lot of work to do. Bolton will be a good test for him. At least we are playing this game at OT.

  2. Passe says:

    Future In Reassuring Style Truly!

  3. Passe says:

    Ah, bloody Costas…

  4. CedarsDevil says:

    Since his match vs shitty the kid has been a rock. Keep it up Chris and I still believe that you and Evans are our future

  5. Kings says:

    He’s looking very good this season.

  6. Greville Neville says:

    His test will be how he reacts when he does have a bad game. We all know the younger players can be fragile.

  7. Collyhurst Red says:

    Secure Every Victory, Even Now


    Clever lol

  8. Collyhurst Red says:

    Seriously though, this will be a good test for our defence.

    I suppose a lot depends on how much air Davies pumps into his chest!

    I reckon Bolton will be too busy defending to worry us though but I can see every free-kick from 70 yards out being lumped in. I know Bolton can now play a little but that’s what will happen.
    Mark my words.

  9. Costas says:


    You get points for creativity mate. If only I had written two more sentences. ;)

  10. Collyhurst Red says:


    I know, you have to be quick at this or you look a right dick!

  11. Costas says:


  12. Collyhurst Red says:

    Back to the topic in hand…..

    I really like Smallings confidence but there were a couple of occasions against Marseille where he tried to be a bit too clever and almost messed up.
    Hopefully he will learn from this sort of thing. Too be honest Rio does this as well, when he’s playing, but Vidic very rarely does, gets rid if there is any danger at all.

    Smalling has a fine pair of role models to learn from, and then he can help Evans!

  13. Costas says:

    @Collyhurst Red

    Ha, isn’t that the truth! At least Passe’s was cool even if he didn’t make it. There was another guy that admitted he logged in this blog just to get the 1st post to piss us off and he ended up getting the 4th one. :lol:

  14. Collyhurst Red says:


    Damn you nicked my line, I was just going to press submit.

  15. Balders says:

    Bolton are famous for their set plays. I see this as our main worry.
    @Colly – 70 yards may be an exaggeration, but I get the meaning. Our defenders just have to take great care around the edge of the box and I feel Bolton may play to this fact :(

    Time for Smalling to step up and show how good he really can be.

  16. arijc says:

    Pogba playing for the Academy side today. Tunnicliffe on the subs bench. So not in the first team plans today.

  17. Costas says:


    Sorry mate. :) Just leave it now. The words are getting too long, lol.


    Thanks for the update mate. In this case, I wouldn’t completely rule out Ando or Fletch making the bench today.

  18. Greville Neville says:


    I’m sure Fletch will be on the bench today, we don’t have much cover on the right so fergie may be forced to take a gamble on him. Not sure about Ando yet though.

  19. Passe says:

    I’ll show you, just you wait…

  20. Collyhurst Red says:

    Easily Keep Our Strikers Interested
    OK, I agree

  21. Costas says:

    @Greville Neville

    I hope so. I mean, Fletch just has a virus I think. He’s had it since the Pool game 2 weeks ago. He must have gotten over it by now.


    Haha. In Greek hey? Nice. :)

  22. Collyhurst Red says:


    Thought you’d like that!

    I’m stopping this now, it’s childish and I’m not a child any more.

  23. Raizzen says:


    Yeah mate I think so too. That our defensive future line will be centrered between him and Smalling. Both very young, strong players. Evans, based on his first season in senior season.

  24. Devil310 says:

    I don’t want to get carried away, but I feel that Smalling is Rio’s official replacement.

    Some people would like to compare him with Evans’ last season, but I honestly think that Johnny was never as good. The guy is quick with his feet. Confident. Great in the air. His positioning is pretty good. But most of all….he has that United hunger and fighting spirit

    Value in the Market….’nuff said!

  25. sports24x says:

    go smalling go..

  26. KingOfStretfordEnd says:

    The point is that he has to perform as well as he’s doing now, next season. Besides Evans, I’d think even Nani had a better 1st season than 2nd. LIving up to expectations can pressurize a player a lot, he has to take everything in his stride and just focus. Its big boots to fill-Rio’s and Vida’s, and what makes it worse is that its just difficult playing for Manchester United. Not only do the lads have to be focus and patient, we fans do too.

  27. bchilds says:

    You’re showing us Chris!

    Need to keep your feet on the ground though, a mate of mine used to play with Smalling and said he’s so far up his own arse now it’s crazy.

    Whether to believe that or not I’m not sure, jealous he could well be.

  28. smokebreaksteve says:

    Need to keep your feet on the ground though, a mate of mine used to play with Smalling and said he’s so far up his own arse now it’s crazy.

    I would put your mate’s comment down to jealousy.I would be up my own arse if I had gone from Maidstone Utd to UTD via Fulham.Looks the part but cut him a bit of slack on his naivety.It may take 2 or 3 seasons for the lad to realise his true potential but coming from his humble roots I will guarantee he will be a red through and through and will become a top player.

  29. bchilds says:


    As long as there’s no repeat of £2,000 parties after an important defeat I’ll be happy!


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