Vital Football

Latest Manchester United News

A Vacancy in the Ranks

A Vacancy in the Ranks

And it is a hole that Chris Smalling has ambitions of filling.

With the United careers of Nemanja Vidic and Rio Ferdinand now over, there is a huge gap at the heart of the Manchester United defence.

Now whilst Louis van Gaal may have ideas of his own as to how that huge hole in our defence can be filled, Chris Smalling has his own thoughts on the subject matter.

Speaking to the media, following England`s early World Cup demise, the 24 year-old defender has remarked,

"It is my goal to be first choice for United and England. I`ll be looking to get a little breakthrough now, to go back to United and then cement my place."

"Roy knows I`m a centre back and next season I intend to stake my claim to be that #1 centre-back, because I think that opportunity is there and if I can do that there (at United) that will impact on England."

"With a new manager it is an opportunity for a lot of players and I see this as very much my chance, having a good pre-season and really making that position my own."

What`s your view?

Is Smalling the man to ease what could be a problematic position?

Click here to join in the debate on the club forum.

Writer:Red Boy
Date:Sunday June 29 2014
Time: 11:54AM


Smalling has the physical build to make it in the Premier League and the technical requirements to be a solid Premier League defender but mentally he's another Wes Brown at the moment. He really needs to work on being more aggressive, vocal and demanding and also concentrating more on what's going on. However, we must bear in mind he is only 24 and these skills may come with experience, onlt the really special defenders are blessed with such skills at such a young age.
29/06/2014 20:06:00
Tbh I don't think Smalling will ever be near the standard that Vidic or Rio were in their prime and I cannot understand the thinking that he could be a solution to our centre back problems if he was the solution he would of pushed a very average Vidic (last season) or a near dead Rio out of the team. I would rate Evans as a better defender than him. Surely we will be in the market for at least 1 top class centre back to partner Jones but realistically we need 2 top cb's.
30/06/2014 20:00:00
Well Smalling made 38 appearances whilst Evans has made 25 appearances, Jones has made 39 appearances, Ferdinand made 23 appearances and Vidic made 34 appearances so to be fair he arguably did push them out of the team. Don't get me wrong I don't believe he's the solution either, he certainly wouldn't have racked up those appearance stats if it were a Rio and Vidic in their prime playing but I do think he's a great squad option to have and certainly doesn't deserve the stick he gets.
30/06/2014 20:47:00
He may have made all those appearances, ( mainly due to Rio's age and Vidic's form) but how did we do in those games, what was his contribution. He is a good squad option, nothing more. For a centre back he doesn't really have any strengths, he seems physically weaker than most cb's, average at best in the air and compared to Rio he's not the best with he ball at his feet. I just don't see what he does for us other than fill in when required. Remember this is a bloke constantly spoken about in the media as if he's England's answer to Cannavaro. For me Evans is braver, better in the air and more consistent when given a chance. Hopefully though it won't matter when we sign De Virj and Hummels or Mangala or Jagielka.
01/07/2014 13:11:00
I think it's unfair to use last season as a stick to beat him with as you could pose the same question of "how did they do?" to all of Rio, Vidic, Evans and Jones but the reality is you'd get the same answer. For me they weren't at fault for our defensive frailties last season, Dithering Dave 'change things for the sake of it' Moyes was. Him never allowing a settled, consistent back four play translated into an unsettled and uncertain defensive performance on the pitch. Despite all that I personally thought he was one of our most consistent and reliable performers last season and was the only defender who coped with the constant chopping and changing. He might not stand out for anything in particular but his game is generally well rounded which you can't really expect anything more from a squad option. Just to clarify i'm not suggesting he is the answer but if his job in the team is to simply fill in when required then credit where it's due he's bloody good at it!
01/07/2014 18:37:00
Page 1/1
  1. 1

Login to post a comment

Recent Manchester United Articles

Bailly Out For Two-Months

Eric Bailly's knee injury suffered at Chelsea on Sunday will keep him out of action for Man United for the next two-months.

Schneiderlin Off In January?

Schneiderlin was linked with a summer exit from Man United only for Mourinho to say he wanted to keep the former Southampton midfielder as he had a part to play under him.

A Questionable Approach?

Mourinho has a 'distant' and 'hands off approach' at Man United some have been 'stunned' by according to reports with Barcelona's Xavi urging him not to 'go to war' whilst at United.

United Still In The Title Race

Defeat, in fact a spanking, by Chelsea has left some questioning how possible Man United's title credentials are but Mourinho has insisted the Premier League is still on.

Archived Vital United Articles

Vital United articles from

Site Journalists

Red Boy
Editor email
Charlie Bacchus
no email

Current Poll (see more polls)

MOTM o a bad day at Chelsea?
Suggested By: Red Boy
De Gea8%
ScoopDragon Premier League Network Sites

League Table

# Team P W D L Pts. GD
1 Man City 9 6 2 1 20 11
2 Arsenal 9 6 2 1 20 10
3 Liverpool 9 6 2 1 20 9
4 Chelsea 9 6 1 2 19 10
5 Spurs 9 5 4 0 19 9
6 Everton 9 4 3 2 15 5
7 Man Utd 9 4 2 3 14 1
8 Southampton 9 3 4 2 13 3
9 Watford 9 3 3 3 12 0
10 AFC Bournemouth 9 3 3 3 12 0
11 Crystal Palace 9 3 2 4 11 0
12 Leicester City 9 3 2 4 11 -4
13 WBA 9 2 4 3 10 0
14 Burnley 9 3 1 5 10 -5
15 West Ham 9 3 1 5 10 -7
16 Stoke 9 2 3 4 9 -7
17 Middlesbrough 9 1 4 4 7 -4
18 Hull City 9 2 1 6 7 -14
19 Swansea 9 1 2 6 5 -7
20 Sunderland 9 0 2 7 2 -10
The Vital Football Members League
Latest F1 News
Latest Vital Boxing News
Vital Football Comment

Recent Manchester United Results (view all)

Manchester United Fixtures (view all)

Oct 26 2016 8:00PM : Manchester City (H)
Capital One Cup
Oct 29 2016 3:00PM : Burnley (H)
Barclays Premier League
Nov 6 2016 3:00PM : Swansea City (a)
Barclays Premier League
Nov 19 2016 12:30PM : Arsenal (H)
Barclays Premier League
Nov 27 2016 4:30PM : West Ham United (H)
Barclays Premier League
Dec 3 2016 3:00PM : Everton (a)
Barclays Premier League
Write for Vital Football