Manchester United fans were decidedly furious with Chris Smalling following their side’s 2-1 second leg defeat to Hull City in the League Cup semi-final.
The Englishman, deployed at the back alongside Phil Jones, cut a truly unsettled figure at the back all evening, making a series of poor mistakes on and off the ball.
Man United fans, despite seeing their side reach Wembley, were quick to vent their frustration towards the 27-year-old.
Think it's safe to say Chris Smalling won't be with United after next summer.
— United Religion (@Unitedology) January 26, 2017
That was an embarrassing display . Unbeaten run over. Thank goodness Bailly is back. Coz Smalling is just….
But we are gooing to Wembley !
— Sadikshya (@Sadikshya_) January 26, 2017
Chris Smalling plays like he's afraid of his own shadow and I'm pretty sure Darmian would struggle marking his one.
— Alex Shaw (@AlexShawESPN) January 26, 2017
Smalling when he has the ball at his feet pic.twitter.com/JopdZbHr0E
— jb8521 (@jb_8521) January 26, 2017
United coasted through this encounter with an almost fatal sense of complacency, struggling to find their feet and failing to really impose themselves all evening. And Smalling, very much a second choice option this season, somewhat embodied that lackadaisical attitude at the KC Stadium.
The Englishman, above anything, looked notably slower than anybody else on the pitch, as if unsure of every step he took. Hull’s second of the evening was an excellent case in point: a decent but perfectly defendable ball from the right, drifting into the box, almost begging to be intercepted for a corner – but Smalling was nowhere to be seen, choosing instead to listlessly watch on as Hull came dangerously close to forcing Jose Mourinho’s men into extra-time.
A marked contrast to the stalwart that marshalled United’s back four under Louis van Gaal last year to say the least.