Paul Parker: Jose Mourinho is the reason for Chris Smalling’s decline at Manchester United

Paul Parker: Jose Mourinho is the reason for Chris Smalling’s decline at Manchester United

Paul Parker has stunningly accused Jose Mourinho as the reason for Chris Smalling‘s decline at Manchester United this season.

The Englishman has featured more times than most would’ve expected him to in the Portuguese manager second season in charge.

After all, Mourinho has invested in two central defenders since joining United in the shape of Eric Bailly and Victor Lindelof.

However, neither player has been consistently picked in the starting XI for various reasons with Smalling taking advantage of their absences.

Parker though rather surprisingly blames the manager who has been picking him consistently, claiming that Jose is the fault for it all.

According to the Sport Review, Paul said to 888sport: “Chris Smalling had a very good season under LVG prior to Jose and won the captain’s armband.

“As much as you suggest he isn’t trusted this is a new-fangled word that’s brought up now – trust. Everybody has trust in people or doesn’t and I find it a strange, condescending word to use in football.

“Managers say it about their players but no, they should make them better and make them believe they can do anything. There is a reason why Chris Smalling has been a Manchester United player for so long and there is a reason why he’s suddenly making so many mistakes.

“Ask yourself what are the reasons why Smalling is now maybe jittery? Is it because someone doesn’t have faith in him and so he doesn’t feel comfortable, thinking that every game could be his last?

“Prior to Mourinho he was a regular and as the old saying goes you don’t become a bad player overnight. Does he feel he has enough trust from those around him and the people upstairs?

“They are the ones who need to show belief in him and let him know why he’s a Manchester United player”

The points Paul Parker make are rather worrying because they couldn’t be further from the truth, it’s almost as if someone who hasn’t been paying attention to the Red Devils made the claims.

The one truth is that Chris had a good season under Louis van Gaal but it was his only good season ever despite being at the club since 2010.

The defender’s decline has nothing to do with Jose Mourinho and all to do with the player himself since he’s consistently struggled fitness issues and inconsistent form.

What’s worse is Chris Smalling is error prone just as the match against Manchester City proved and had he not scored the winner, fans certainly would’ve called for him to be sold.

Mourinho clearly does trust him to some degree, having played him so frequently and it’s down to the former Fulham man to wonder why he’s the only defender to not improve under Mourinho’s guidance.

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Freelance football writer and Football Manager enthusiast. Unhealthy obsession with tactics, debates and chasing after a ball with 21 other people.