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Chris Smalling..

What Martial and Smalling were spotted doing before Newcastle game is embarrassing

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So, just how bad was Chris Smalling's performance against Newcastle United?

Well, you know it's a pretty dire showing when reports emerge that Manchester United are going to sell you at the next available opportunity less than 24 hours on. Something tells us Smalling has had better days at the office.

It's been a long while since United fans have been convinced about the Englishman and his partnership with Phil Jones has left a lot to be desired in recent weeks.

Supporters are itching for the return of Eric Bailly and when reports surfaced that Toby Alderweireld could arrive in the summer, the Manchester Evening News asked their followers which centre-back should make way.

Three thousands United fans responded and over 90% of them selected Smalling as the fall guy. Ouch.

Chris Smalling's poor form at Manchester United

Of course, it's not all doom and gloom for Smalling who remains one of England and the Premier League's finest centre-backs. At the highest level, though, all it takes is three or four shady performances and the vultures begin to circle.

However, there are indications that fans aren't the only people bemoaning the Englishman's performances and perturbations over his form may even have reached the United dressing room.

Newcastle United v Manchester United - Premier League

Teammates will obviously be abundantly aware of each other's form but, for obvious reasons, keep their thoughts to themselves and fight for team cohesion at all costs.

Anthony Martial gave Smalling defending advice

That being said, according to the Manchester Evening News, a certain Anthony Martial couldn't disguise his worries before the Newcastle game on Sunday and had a quick chat with Smalling.

The report explains: "Anthony Martial, returning to the starting line-up, trotted over to Chris Smalling for his traditional pre-match man hug. Only it did not stop there. Taking the defender aside, Martial gestured to Smalling to push up and close the space."

The journalist went onto confirm that the instructions concerned Smalling's defending.

Newcastle United v Manchester United - Premier League

Talk about humiliation. While there's nothing untoward about two teammates exchanged advice, it must have hurt Smalling to be given defending tips from a winger.

While reports that Mourinho wants him sold after the Newcastle game seem rather knee-jerk, there's every reason to suggest he'll be fighting for his United career over the coming months.

Given how the Newcastle game unfolded, though, taking advice from Martial might not be the answer.

Do you think Man Utd should sell Smalling this summer? Have your say in the comments section below.

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