Manchester United fans were hugely disappointed in Chris Smalling‘s performance vs Newcastle on Sunday afternoon in the Premier League.
Jose Mourinho’s men fell to an unexpected 1-0 defeat to the Magpies who were full of grit and determination, proving they wanted the three points more.
Smalling was at centre stage of the loss after his dive gave away the free-kick through which Rafael Benitez’s men scored.
The display from the Englishman itself was dire as he failed to put in one single successful tackle over a period of ninety minutes.
However, supporters have long been frustrated with Chris and it may just be that his time at Old Trafford has finally come to an end.
Can’t believe Chris Smalling is still at Manchester United, let alone starting. Liability of the highest order.
— Liam Canning (@LiamPaulCanning) February 11, 2018
Chris Smalling joined United eight years ago last month but sometimes plays like he joined at Christmas. Given a handball away, should have given a penalty away and dived to give a free-kick away from which Newcastle score. #mufc
— Samuel Luckhurst (@samuelluckhurst) February 11, 2018
Genuine question, why is Smalling starting ahead of Lindelof and Rojo? I absolutely hate criticising our players, but how we’ve persisted with him for so long amazes me. #mufc
— United Xtra (@utdxtra) February 11, 2018
Think it’s time for Smalling to go in the Summer #MatchDayJay
— Full Time DEVILS (@FullTimeDEVILS) February 11, 2018
I’d terminate Smalling’s contract even if it cost us £15m. Would be the best money we could spend. #mufc
— Hesham Bilal-Hafiz (@hesham786) February 11, 2018
Wonder if we can trick Wenger into another player exchange. We don't a player in return. Just swap smalling with a pitch attendant
— kenna (@kennagq) February 11, 2018
Chris Smalling must be looking over his shoulder not just because of his performance but because of the abundance of options Jose Mourinho has in defence.
The Portuguese manager temporarily flirted with the three centre-back formation but has mostly played with his preferred 4-2-3-1 tactic.
This of course leaves just two centre-back spots in the starting XI with the club currently employing five players capable of playing in the position.
Phil Jones, Eric Bailly, Marcos Rojo and Victor Lindelof are the remaining senior players and Axel Tuanzebe is a highly rated youngster that should return next season from his loan spell ready for first team action.
It’s difficult to see the summer transfer window shut without any of the above defenders leaving and considering how Bailly and Lindelof were bought by Mourinho himself, it has to be the remaining three who are in trouble.