By, Kyle Gibson
Chris Smalling’s yellow to red card on Sunday ultimately ruined Manchester United’s 1-0 derby loss against Manchester City.
The Reds surrendered a second half goal to Sergio Aguero after going a man down, even though United did manage to play very well in Smalling’s absence with a makeshift back line.
Still, Smalling’s foolishness has me wondering if his days at Manchester United might be over.
His Gaffer Is Ticked at Him
New United manager Louis Van Gaal had to play Smalling in that match because of injuries. Normally, Phil Jones would have occupied that slot, but the back line has been plagued with the injury bug this campaign (add Marcos Rojo to the list from a frightening injury during the City game).
After the game, Van Gaal called the red card “stupid”. It is always valuable to gain a new manager’s trust, something that Smalling has no doubt just lost.
Smalling has made 76 EPL appearances with United since he joined in 2010. Despite shaky play, he has been involved with the first team throughout. I think that is because of his youth.
Young English players are given plenty of (maybe too much?) patience in the EPL. Smalling has been playing at the highest level for four seasons and makes Manchester United fans across the globe nervous every time he takes the pitch.
There was the thinking that Smalling and Phil Jones would succeed the center back pairing of Nemanja Vidic and Rio Ferdinand. However, Smalling has consistently shown he is not ready for that role. There are no real trial periods for defenders in the Premier League.
Maybe it’s time for Smalling to go to a smaller English club, like a Burnley, or West Brom. There is still plenty of time left in his career to reinvent himself.
I just don’t see much of a future after such a stupid decision on Derby day.
Share your thoughts in the comments! What do you think about Smalling’s future?