Manchester United fans were left with mixed feelings after Chris Smalling‘s performance vs Crystal Palace in the Premier League.
The Englishman has often been the scapegoat for the club’s defence and was once more feeling the wrath of supporters after the team went 2-0 down to the home side.
Smalling’s career at United has often been doubted with many believing he’s not of the right quality to perform regularly for the club.
The former Fulham man’s only good season at the club came under Louis Van Gaal‘s management but he’s failed to replicate anything of the sort since.
To make things even more complicated, Chris scored the Red Devils first goal of the game to try and inspire his team to complete a comeback.
Chris Smalling with the header to make it 2-1. He actually meant to clear it but still, good finish.
— SportsJOE (@SportsJOE_UK) March 5, 2018
ffs that’s earned smalling another month run in the first team
— J (@KingMartiaI) March 5, 2018
Short-term gain for long-term suffering. Smalling’s bout to compete the comeback and get a new contract ffs.
— Jordan Clarke (@FourFourJordan) March 5, 2018
I wouldn't start smalling even in his own testimonial match.
— Ashish (@futbolpogs) March 5, 2018
Fair enough Ashley Young has had some good moments for United this season, but I just can’t comprehend why he starts over Luke Shaw. I’m also still bemused as to how Chris Smalling is at the club, but there we go.
— Liam Canning (@LiamPaulCanning) March 5, 2018
I’ve watched football of all levels for many years and I’ve genuinely never seen a more awkward footballer in my life than Chris Smalling. It’s like he’s been picked out the crowd to play football, and that’s offensive to people in the crowd.
— The Man Utd Way (@TheManUtdWay) March 5, 2018
Most of the aforementioned players have struggled with fitness issues and so he’s taken advantage by featuring more often than perhaps expected.
Bailly and Lindelof are the centre-back partnership that Jose Mourinho appears to be building towards but unless they can overcome their fitness issues and adaption issues respectively then others may step up.
On loan Axel Tuanzebe is also highly rated by the club’s staff and is expected to return next season from Aston Villa to challenge for a first team berth.