Smalling & Jones

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Alfonso Bedoya
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6 years ago

Wasn't sure where to put this, so gave it a thread.

Keane basically said they were both a big disappointment... these stats suggest they weren't great, but they weren't that bad either, and that there is real potential.

http://www.squawka.com/news/is-roy-kean ... ine/110401

Defenders are a bit like keepers, in that they take a bit more time to become top players... attackers can become superstars young, with raw talent, trickery and pace... defenders need to learn a lot more about the game... Smalling and Jones are still relatively young, and given the chance and time to form a partnership could become great... I think they will...

Anyone else agree, or do we need new centre backs?

I'd go with Smalling and Jones to start... Evans and another to back up... I'd rather spend whatever big money the Ginger troll is giving us on the 2 best midfielders we can get...
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bman2
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6 years ago

No we definitely need at least one established top quality centre back, so that Jones, Evans, and Smalling will fight it out for the spot alongside him. It wouldn't surprise me if the club brought in two CBs and sold one of Jones, Evans, and Smalling. I think they've all got potential -- Evans had a few very good seasons with us when he started most games -- but as we all know none of them have fully convinced yet. Yes they are young, but I don't think the club can afford to take chances this coming season because not getting back into the top 4 would be really dangerous. I can't see VG or anybody else not wanting a big name CB as one of the highest priorities.
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Alfonso Bedoya
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6 years ago

The problem is money... £10/15 mill isn't going to get you much, if any, better... £20/25 mill might, but then you've just pissed away a large chunk of what could have been spent on a midfielder... all fine if you believe we've got this mythical "war chest" to spend... I don't... we've supposedly had all this money since we sold Ronaldo, but year after year, window after window, we've not used it for all sorts of bullshit reasons... because it's not there... it's club spin... and I don't believe this year is any different... £100/150/200 mill??? Bollocks!

We'll sell a couple players, and still have excuses for why we only spend £60/70/80 mill.

For that money, I want at least one top tier midfield master and a couple other good signings... another midfielder/winger, a left back and maybe a centre half to give us 4.

Whatever money is available... we HAVE TO move mountains to get one top class centre mid... whatever the cost... it is the number one priority... and will cost £30/40/50 mill... won't be much left after that for expensive centre backs.
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bman2
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6 years ago

Well I definitely think some combination of Smalling/Jones/Evans has more chance of being good than some combination of Carrick/Fellaini/Cleverley, but we'd really be rolling the dice starting the season without an experienced, quality CB.
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Sid
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6 years ago

Let a good manager work with em

They should learn a lot from Van Gaal as they're young and aving it. He'll educate em, make them better more intelligent players

They were never going to do anything under Moyes. I mean Jagielka ffs that's as good as it got at Everton. And Moyes rated him ridiculously highly, using a video of his performances to "educate" Ferdinand ffs.
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redzebs
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6 years ago

A fit Evans and one of the other two can do a good job and develop, Evans reads the game really well, he doesn't have he stick your head into everything of Jones but he is good on the ball and great and handing out bollockings and organising set pieces, what concerns me is RB, If Rafa isn't fit then Smalling or Jones has to slot in, and people wanting Valencia as a back up right back can fuck off, Id be more inclined to sign two full backs and two centre mids and accommodate the actual talent ahead of Mata Kagawa Januazzi and then the strikers into a decent modern formation, Id let Hernandez go out of fairness to him, promote Keane at bc, promote Wilson as your fourth striker and bring Powell and Lingard and maybe Lawerence into the squad seeing as we've no Europe, get rid of Valencia Young and Nani and change our shape which LVG can do. No Smalling or Jones at RB means with Keane promoted, we have four cbs who shouldn't have to play elsewhere
Well I suppose that's the knighthood fucked.
ichiro
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6 years ago

I agree that Jones has gone backwards. When he first played he was quick in the tackle and strong, opposition players just bounced off him.

Now he looks soft and gets shrugged off the ball easily by smaller players like Suarez. Something wrong with his conditioning.

Smalling is average, dont really see what the big deal is.

All in all Keane wasnt far wrong on these two.
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Edfuckingwoodward
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6 years ago

I'd be very nervous about going into a season with just 3 centre backs, especially when you look at each of their injury records. I'd like us to buy a top centre back, but not at the expense of strength in the midfield and wide forward positions. If we have to bring in someone cheap, for the numbers, we could do worse than bring in someone like Joleon Lescott on a free. I'll probably get reamed for saying that, but I want proper quality across the midfield. If we can do that and get a top CB, then great, but I doubt it.

I think Jones, Smalling and Evans are ok talent/potential wise. They've been exposed because the rest of the team in front has been shite. Without a midfield who control possession, the opposition are on the front foot and we become exposed as a side. Because we don't win the ball back well, teams are happy to throw bodies forward too, so we're overrun. They're not bad defenders, they just don't get a chance to defend in good situations often enough.

They need to up their game, but with the right coaching and with the right midfield helping them, I think they'll be fine.
Neil
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6 years ago

I would go with Smalling and Jones, you can come back and quote me on this all you want... Lol

Smalling is 24, Jones is 22, that's still young in CB terms but being honest here both of them have gone backwards in the past 3 years. But they have great potential as a partnership. Have you noticed how awful City have been defensively at times? Despite having Kompany, the best defender in the league? It's mainly because they didn't have a good CB partnership developed. Cahill and Terry aren't as good as Kompany but they seem to work well as a pairing and have played a lot of matches together so have built up a good understanding.

Think of all the good CB pairings, it's based on combinations of attributes and consistency of selection. I saw Smalling and Jones in the 2011 Euro U-21 championships, England were shite but those two were brilliant - against Spain in the group phase they played against some top players and didn't put a foot wrong. Jones was aggressive and strong physically, a faster version of Terry basically. Smalling is no Rio Ferdinand but he was reliable and worked well alongside Jones.

Since they've both been at United, how many games have they started together in the centre? I have no idea but would guess it's fewer than 20. But based on their potential quality as a pairing, I would nominate them both as first choice in the middle. If we had a better midfield (a big if) they would gain confidence as the coming season goes on, and we would start to see their best form again.

A new big money signing is a possibility but I don't see it as a priority when the midfield is in such dire need of a total overhaul.
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marlon
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6 years ago

Agree with redzebs - Evans + Jones/Smalling and bring Keane through, although I'm tempted by Laporte if there's any money left over.

Can't really judge Smalling and Jones on their stats because of all the time they spend out of position (and in the league they've spent 3 games together at CB since they arrived). As for their injury record, they've played the 4th and 6th most minutes in the squad this season - and we'll have an easier schedule next season.

In an ideal world, we'd get another quality CB, but there's not enough money. Bring the kids through where we can - Varela/Janko at RB, Keane at CB, Lingard at LW, Wilson at FW and spend where we can't - DM, CM, LB. van Gaal likes to decide where young players are best suited to play, so what Powell's done for the last few years may not be relevant, but when was the last time Powell played as a CM?
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