Sir Alex: Smalling impresses despite conceding penalty

There is always a level of expectation for a new signing. Chris Smalling is no exception. The 20-year-old center back made his debut last night against Celtic, much to the excitement of myself and many other fans. The Daily Mail dubbed it “a debut to forget” and have now followed up with a story of Sir Alex defending Smalling after “debut clanger.”

As I said, there is always a certain amount of expectation for a new signing’s first match. That expectation is even greater when you join a club the size of Manchester United. We shouldn’t forget that Smalling is only 20 years old and doesn’t have much experience in top-flight football. Only two years ago he was playing at non-league side Maidstone United, and has since only made 13 appearances for Fulham.

I think The Daily Mail was a bit to harsh on Smalling’s performance last night. Aside from conceding a penalty, I thought Smalling looked pretty solid. Sure he’s not Rio Ferdinand or Nemanja Vidic, but did we really expect him to be at this stage? For a young center back, I thought he looked very promising.

Let’s also not forget this is preseason. He’s hardly at top form right now. If he’s going to make mistakes, this is certainly time to do it. Conceding the penalty was a very clumsy and unnecessary mistake, but even Vidic, one of the best center backs in the world, has been prone to making the same mistake on occasion. I have no doubt that these little mistakes will be eliminated as he mature’s under the watchful eye of United’s coaching staff.

Last night actually gave us a very nice glimpse of what could be the future back four of Manchester United. Rio, Vidic, and Evra won’t be around forever. Rafael has already started to assert himself at the right back position. Five years from now he may very well be joined at the back by Smalling, Evans, and Fabio. If last night’s back four was any indication for the future of this club, then I am certainly thrilled for what is to come.

All-in-all, it was a decent debut for Smalling and I’m looking forward to seeing him continue in the preseason. I think I speak for the majority of United fans when I say this: Chris Smalling, welcome to Manchester United!

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3 Comments on Sir Alex: Smalling impresses despite conceding penalty

  1. no doubt about his potential. Arsene and Fergie in race for a Fulham player says a lot. and he hasn’t played that many competitive matches last season. now at a new club he needs time to’s hoping Fergie will play him every min of pre-season tour so that he’ll get the feeling of being in a team and confidence.he with Evans can become United’s future. as Fletch said he’s really an imposing figure at the back.considering his age and the faculty united have for him, he can only go upwards. to add, i think Evans will be a massive figure in the coming season. Rio’s injury prone nature and Vida’s unsettled situation makes him more than a prominent figure.

  2. To be perfectly honest, I wasn’t hugely impressed what I saw of him last year. He clearly has potential though and has all the attributes to be top class. Centre back is one position Fergie very rarely gets wrong when recruiting. By the looks of things, we will need plenty of cover for this position next season..

  3. I think with Smalling we need to ignore the fee for now.

    If we’d got him for a small fee nobody’d be worried but it’s a decent chunk of money. We just need to appreciate that Fergie’s happy to pay for players he wants.

    Didn’t see this performance, mind. Might have a look for highlights.

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