'Not Good Enough!': Manchester United Fans Have Overwhelmingly Voted For The One Player They Want Out Of The Club Now
In a season so far when wave after wave of criticism at the current Manchester United set-up has been pretty much unrelenting, the Manchester Evening News conducted a poll during the international break, with one eye on the upcoming January transfer window, to see who supporters most wanted to leave and stay at the club.
The Red Devils suffered a pungent summer, with just Fred, Diogo Dalot, and veteran goalkeeper Lee Grant being the only new faces brought to the club, leaving the majority of aspirations for a solid contention with Manchester City for a Premier League title push dwindling before the campaign even began.
United currently sit 12 points behind the league leaders in eighth - with even Bournemouth and Watford ahead of them - with a goal difference of -1 and having kept just a single clean-sheet so far.
United’s defensive woes have been the source of much ire, with the side conceding a shocking 15 more goals than at this point of the 17/18 season.
This is reflected by the fact that relative stalwart Chris Smalling has been overwhelmingly voted as the player United fans would most like to see leave the club ASAP.
Smalling, now apparently one half of manager Jose Mourinho’s chosen centre-back pairing alongside Victor Lindelof, has completed 90 minutes of action in 10 of the 12 EPL fixtures so far, and a lot of responsibility for the defensive leakage is - perhaps unfairly - being placed at Smalling’s Size 10s.
One glance on United fansite Red Cafe informs that this the 48.8% vote the Englishman received on the MEN are certainly representative of the general consensus.
‘I hope he's only here as a backup. Not good enough on the ball, for me personally, to start every game.’ was one statement (JBO8). ‘29 years old and still doesn’t know how to be in line, still drops behind cb partner and make opponents onside’ (yardieUnited), ‘I really hope he’s nowhere near the starting 11’ (All 3 United) were other impressionable opinions on the player who has won a UEFA Europa League trophy, two Premier League titles, an FA Cup, a League Cup, and three FA Community Shields as a United player.
Lindelof, on-the-other-hand, received a refreshing amount of support, with 89% of fans electing to keep the defender. This signifies a remarkable turnaround for a player who was constantly maligned in his inaugural season after moving from Benfica in summer 2017.
The Swede took a while to settle in and was seemingly distrusted by Mourinho but has battled and bruised his way into the starting XI culminating in arguably a man-of-the-match performance in the home leg against Juventus in the Champions League last month.
Smalling is closely followed by misfit Alexis Sanchez (37.6%), who has returned just four goals since moving from Arsenal at the beginning of the year, and followed by four other defenders; the aging Antonio Valencia (35.3%), the reckless Marcos Rojo (19.5%), Phil Jones (17.4%), and Matteo Darmian (7.5%).