Owen: I could do Smalling’s job in this United side

Date published: Monday 30th November 2015 10:37

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Michael Owen has responded to praise of Chris Smalling by claiming that even he could play centre-half in Louis van Gaal’s Manchester United team.

Smalling has been in superb form this season at the heart of United’s defence, which has conceded only 10 Premier League goals all season.

But Owen believes the England centre-half is simply benefiting from playing in a side set up by Van Gaal to defend.

The BT Sport pundit said: “To be so good going forward you have to commit players.

“With Manchester United this year and Chelsea last year, everyone was raving about John Terry’s performances last year and now everyone raves about Chris Smalling.

“I could play centre-half when I’ve got Schweinsteiger, Schneiderlin, two full-backs that don’t move and wide players that really do a good shift.

“To be a good attacking team you almost all have to have some influence on going forward. Maybe not the two centre-halves, but it’s a team game. It’s not like ‘you six stay here and defend, and you four go and attack’.

“It’s a team game. You’re either a good attacking team or good defensively.”

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Home Forums Owen: I could do Smalling’s job in this United side

This topic contains 12 replies, has 7 voices, and was last updated by hatters hatters 1 year, 2 months ago.

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    Ian Watson

    Michael Owen has responded to praise of Chris Smalling by claiming that even he could play centre-half in Louis van Gaal’s Man Utd side.

    [See the full post at: Owen: I could do Smalling’s job in this United side]



    Shut up Michael Owen, no one cares what you have to say because you NEVER talk about what players/teams do well. Reeks of jealousy and bitterness.


    Michael Owen is a dolt.



    Owen is right. If the team is set up to be defensive its easier for defenders to defend and harder for attackers to attack.



    Bullseye Mac.



    This is disrespectful to the progress that Smalling has made under LVG. When a player has progressed through the ranks like Smalling and Vardy have, it should be celebrated and encouraged. Regardless of the systems that Man Utd and Leicester play, there is no denying the progress that these players have made over the last few years.
    A good solid foundation is required for a team to defend well and Smalling has been central to that. Every position has its responsibilities and last year more often than not, the Utd defence were in trouble because the players in front of them were not doing their job properly and getting the defence into trouble.


    Michael Owen is a dolt. He makes stupid observations and clearly doesn’t know how to watch football critically.

    Anyone who agrees with his musings either has an agenda or is similarly stupid. The only reason why Owen still has a job is because he consistently says dumb things which get lapped up by the media and regurgitated onto us on forums such as this.

    It’s a huge disrespect to Smalling for him to say what he did but he probably doesn’t see that it is disrespectful either; because he is stupid.

    By the same token I can say that I would easily score goals playing for Barcelona because they are set up to attack. Stupid logic from a stupid man.



    as usual people avoid the issue. Does our team set up and tactics make it easier to defend? One must assume it does. If we set up shop to keep possession 70-80% of time then that time the defence is not at risk. And if defenders and midfield dont go forward that helps as well.

    Talking of disrespect is nonsense. Its not a matter of respect, its football talk.

    And it doesn’t matter what you think of Owen. Is what he says right or not. Once again people try to attack the person in order to discredit what’s said.

    And folk are fond of talking of the progress Smalling has made. Improvement is irrelevant. The issue is how good is Smalling.Is he the level we require. Tell me, if he were sold what fee could we expect. I doubt more than 20 million probably 15-20m. And when you consider we paid 30m for Rio all those years ago it shows how Smalling compares.



    Mac – there is no issue here as such. A comment has been made about one professional by an ex professional that would not be out of place as banter amongst fans in the terrace. The fact that the comment has been from Michael Owen of all people, is laughable – he played in some fabulous attacking teams but never really cut it. By applying his logic, I guess Chris Smalling could have rivalled Owen’s scoring record if he had played as a striker in those teams?
    As for how good he is, I would say he has been England’s best centre back for the last 12 months. Akthough England centre back quality isn’t as good as it has been in recent times, he is good enough for me.
    Many of the great Italian defenders have been part of highly defensive/organised teams so why should we be quick to knock our own?



    james – you evade the issue. Forget who made the comment. The question is, is it a valid point ie is it easier to defend in the current set up. You wander off talking about Owen.

    And as to how good he is you choose to use the yardstick of England the past 12 months. Is that the yardstick we should use for United players. Forget world class just is he good enough for England. At the end of the day market value is the worth of players. How much do you think we could get for Smalling?



    We defend as a unit- which stifles attack- which makes it easier to defend! This IS our LVG complaint how do you all not see? If lvg had the confidence in smalling and the defense allow them to do it on their own and have the attackers take up attacking positions which may lead to a goal or two….wow imagine!!



    Owen has come out with some daft stuff in the past, but this has to take the biscuit. Smalling has been quality this season, rarely has made any mistakes. One on one, headers, tackles, blocks, Smalling always wins the battle. I can name defensive mistakes made by Blind, Rojo, Darmian and Jones this season, cannot think of one made my Smalling.

    Also since some agree with Owen after years disagreeing with him and mocking him, does that mean Terry, Carvalho, Carragher, Cahill are/were not as good due to them playing and looking good in a defensive set up. Not that United play in a defensive set up, opposition camp in their own half and stifle space, then hit United on the counter, guess who cleans up the mess, Smalling!


    “Footballers these days often have to use their feet” – Michael Owen

    I could go on listing all the stupid things he has said in the past but you are right CM, the comment on Smalling has to take the prize.

    Michael Owen has a remarkable level of stupidity and I do not respect any of his opinions ever in a conscious effort to avoid his stupidity transmitting through to me.

    Stupid man with stupid opinions.


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