Manchester United fans not impressed with Chris Smalling’s performance against Southampton

by Tanveer Arayan

Manchester United fans were far from impressed with Chris Smalling‘s display during their side’s 0-0 draw with Southampton in the Premier League.

The Englishman, widely lambasted for shaky displays against both Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur, was thrown in alongside Phil Jones once again at Saint Mary’s.

And, on a night where Jose Mourinho would continue to see who, out of the Smalling and Jones, accompanies Daley Blind in the Europa League final, the 27-year-old did himself no favours with what was another performance laced with uncertainty.

Supporters were quick to once again jump on the defender’s back following an unconvincing display.

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There was once a time when Smalling boldly stuck out amid the uncertainty engendered by Louis van Gaal. His looming, dictatorial presence at the back last season was noticeable from a distance; he was the focal point, the de facto captain of this United side, gesticulating wildly and tearing across the turf.

Fast forward a year later and the difference could not be more poignant: the 27-year-old has lost that intangible aura reliable defenders have; the only time I notice Smalling these days, in fact, is when he sends the side into panic mode with a misplaced pass or poorly timed challenge.

The sad thing to come out of all of this is that, actually, Smalling is a solid defender – an England international who helped his side to an impressive defensive record last year. But unless he can re-ignite that assurance in his game very quickly, one suspects his days at Old Trafford are numbered.

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